Britian Introduces Visa Scheme for Indian Nationals
The UK and Ireland have signed a visa agreement that will allow foreign nationals to travel to both countries with a single visa from either country. Chinese and Indian nationals will be the first to benefit from the program.
The UK and Ireland will accept certain short-stay visas issued by either country for business or tourism, under a visa agreement recently concluded between the two countries. Chinese and Indian nationals will be the first to benefit from the program starting late October. Expansion to other nationalities is expected in the future, although no timeline has been set.
Once the program is implemented, Chinese and Indian nationals will be able to travel freely within the Ireland-UK Common Travel Area, including Northern Ireland, if they hold:
- A UK visa, other than a visa for transit or for a visit to enter into marriage or civil partnership; or
- An Irish visitor, conference/event or business visa.
Eligible foreign nationals will be able to travel within the common travel area for the duration of their visa. Travelers with any other type of visa must apply for a separate visit visa for the individual countries.
Applicants must apply for the visa at an UK or Irish visa application center in their home country.
Generally, travelers under the new visa scheme must first travel to the country that issued the visa. If the holder of an Irish visa must travel through the UK to reach Ireland, he or she must leave the UK within 24 hours of landing.
What This Means for Employers
The new policy should ease travel for business visitors to Ireland and the UK and obviate the need to hold visas from both countries.