What is the change?
The Irish government has announced that the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme will be temporarily suspended as part of COVID-19 measures to restrict travel and protect public health. The program had allowed nationals of certain countries visiting the United Kingdom on short-stay visas to also travel to Ireland. Under the agreement, the visa holders had to leave Ireland before their permission to stay in the U.K. ended.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals from 17 countries were previously able to use their short-stay U.K. visa to enter Ireland, provided they could meet certain requirements. These nationals will no longer be permitted to use their U.K. short-stay visa to visit Ireland, but may apply separately for an Irish visa. This is a temporary measure, which does not affect the Common Travel Area rights of British/Irish citizens.

Key points:

  • Implementation time frame: July 10, 2020.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of 17 countries who hold a U.K. short-stay visa.
  • Next Steps: Employers should inform all employees who may be traveling to Ireland under this program. Nationals of the affected countries will now need to apply for a separate Irish short-stay visa; however, many embassies are currently restricting issuance to priority/emergency cases.

Analysis & Comments: The program is suspended because of a divergence in approach between Ireland and the U.K. in travel measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has committed to publishing a Green List of countries July 20 that will clarify which countries are in a similar position to Ireland in terms of the disease. Those entering Ireland from Green List countries will not need to restrict their movements, and the suspension may be reviewed at that time.

If you have employees or potential new hires who may be affected by the above changes, please contact the Deloitte immigration team. We have created a guidebook for non-EEA nationals that explains how to set themselves up in the system and how we will support them through this new process, and we continue to update our FAQ for employers.

Rest of World Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This includes Deloitte Tax LLP in the United States which does not provide legal and/or immigration advice or services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2020. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.