Re-entry visa system to be abolished next month
Ireland’s re-entry visa system will be abolished with effect from next month, the Government announced today.
Under the system, visa-required nationals who live in Ireland and who wish to travel to and from the country have been obliged to apply for a re-entry visa in advance of travel.
From 13 May 2019, such individuals will be exempt from the requirement to hold a visa if they have registered for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “I am delighted to announce the abolition of the re-entry visa system. Visa-required nationals will now be able to use their Irish residence permit or GNIB card to prove to airlines and immigration officials that they have a right to travel to Ireland.
“This will save over 40,000 people annually both time and money. I am committed to improving customer service in the immigration service and today’s decision is the first of a series of improvements which I intend to announce over the coming year.”
The IRP card is in the standard EU format for residence permits, and is recognised by airlines.
The Department of Justice and Equality said improvements in security in the IRP has made it possible to eliminate the need for re-entry visas, without compromising the safety and security of the visa or immigration system.
The abolition will not take effect until 13 May 2019 due to the need to notify airlines, ferry companies and immigration authorities in other countries.
Until this date, the existing system will remain in place and visa required nationals will continue to need a valid visa or re-entry visa to travel to Ireland.
Any applications for re-entry visas which have already been submitted to INIS will be returned to the applicant. Applicants who intend to travel and return before 13 May 2019 will be facilitated with an in-person appointment at which they will be issued with a re-entry visa free of charge.