Using the British-Irish Visa Scheme to Visit the UK and Ireland

The British-Irish Visa Scheme allows for mutual recognition of short-stay visas between the UK and Ireland, meaning only one visa will be needed to visit both countries. Visas that are valid for use under this Scheme will have ‘BIVS’ endorsed on them and apply to short-stay visas up to 6 months. To find out if you are eligible to visit the UK and Ireland under the British-Irish Visa Scheme, then do not hesitate to contact our specialist UK Visas and Immigration Team who can advise you on your next steps.  

What is the British-Irish Visa Scheme?

The British-Irish Visa Scheme was launched in 2014. Its aim is to promote legitimate travel between the UK and Ireland, making it easier for tourists and business visitors to travel between the two countries. It supports joint British and Irish measures to secure the external border of the Common Travel Area to ensure smooth processing of legitimate visas. The Common Travel Area comprises Ireland and the United Kingdom. For citizens in the Common Travel Area, there are no passport controls between the two countries. For the purposes of this Scheme, however, the Common Travel Area excludes the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Applicants should apply for their visa from the country in which they will arrive first. For example, if they plan to travel to the UK first, and then go to Ireland, they should apply for a UK visa.

Who can visit the UK and Ireland under the British-Irish Visa Scheme?

The British-Irish Visa Scheme was launched for Chinese citizens in October 2014 and Indian citizens in February 2015. The Scheme will be rolled out in other countries in the future. Currently, Chinese and Indian citizens who apply for their short-stay visa in China and India will be able to benefit of the Scheme.

Eligible UK visas include:

Our Immigration Team specializes in short-stay UK Visitor Visa applications and are happy to arrange a consultation with our solicitors in order to highlight the potential obstacles that may arise based on our vast experience with dealing with these types of applications. Often UK Visitor Visa applications are refused on the basis of the genuine intention to visit requirement, so it is crucial that applications are prepared correctly with sufficient documentary evidence, in order to give the application the best chance of success.

Can applications be made under the British-Irish Visa Scheme after Brexit?

Yesterday, the UK and Ireland signed a deal to maintain their citizens’ rights to travel freely between the two countries after the UK leaves the EU. The deal to maintain the Common Travel Area, which has been in place since Irish independence in the 1920s, has been welcomed by many and may be a step towards helping ease the tensions over the UK-Irish border.

This means that after Brexit, applications may still be made under the British-Irish Visa Scheme, and will likely open up to allow other countries as well as China and India to apply and benefit as was initially intended.

Using Legal Representation to submit an application under the British-Irish Visa Scheme

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an application under the British-Irish Visa Scheme.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application under the British-Irish Visa Scheme succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully apply under the British-Irish Visa Scheme

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful UK Visa and Immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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