Today, the British and Irish Government are going to sign a historic visa agreement that will allow international visitors to apply for one travel permit to visit both countries. The new scheme has been created to replace Ireland’s short-stay waiver introduced in July 2011, which allowed visitors on a UK visa to enter Ireland for a short period. The scheme is expected to boost tourism and business visits.
Minister for Justice: for the first time Non-EU Visitors will be able to visit both the UK and Ireland
The signing of the visa agreement will take place at the Irish Embassy in London by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Home Secretary Theresa May. The scheme will come into fruition at the end of the month for Chinese visitors and then at a later date for Indian nationals.
Mr Fitzgerald pointed out that the visa scheme will first be available for Chinese visa, but will eventually apply for visitors from fast-growing non EU markets. He stated that visitors from these countries:
“will be able, for the first time, to visit both the UK and Ireland, including moving freely between north and south of the island of Ireland on a single visa.”
The British-Irish visa scheme will also see the sharing of immigration data between Ireland and Britain.
Indian and Chinese can travel to the UK and Ireland if they are applying for the following UK Visitor visas:
- General visitor visa
- Business visitor visa
- Child visitor visa
- Student visitor visa
- Family visitor visa
- Entertainer visitor visa
- Private medical treatment visitor visa
- Sports visitor visa
- Parent of a child at school
- Approved destination scheme
- Student visitors
- Prospective entrepreneurs
- Visitors undertaking permitted paid employment
Chinese Tourism Rise due to simplification of the Visa Application Process
Earlier this year, the Barclays’ Tourist Dynamics report 2014 was published. According to the report, tourists will spend over £27 billion in the UK in 2017, an increase of 34% on 2013. The report found that in particular Chinese tourism in the UK is expected to grow by 84%, with visitors spending up to £1bn a year in the UK by 2017.
The UK is expected to see a strong growth in Chinese tourism spending thanks to the simplification of the visa application process. Richard Lowe commented:
“As George Osborne said, there should be no limit to the number of Chinese tourists who can visit. There’s a number of plans being put in place to allow that to happen and it’s important that those are followed through and as many Chinese visas who want visas do get them and can come and support the UK economy”
By 2017, China’s tourists (1.01bn) will be fifth on the list of countries that spend the most in the UK, behind the US (£2.92bn), France (1.79bn), Germany (1.66bn) and Australia (1.35bn).
Successful UK Visitor Visas
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making an application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had an application refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.
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