Russia and Belarus removed from short-stay visa waiver scheme
Russia and Belarus have been removed from the list of countries whose nationals can avail of the short-stay visa waiver programme to travel to Ireland.
The programme allows nationals of certain countries who have entered the UK on foot of certain UK short-stay visas to travel to Ireland without needing to obtain an Irish visa.
The Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2014 will be amended by justice minister Helen McEntee to remove the Russian Federation and Belarus from the list of countries eligible for the scheme.
Mrs McEntee said: “The decision of the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine, and to recognise a number of non-government controlled areas, including Donetsk and Luhansk, as independent entities is a severe breach of international law.
“Ireland continues to support action at a European and United Nations level to call for an end to the unjustified war on Ukraine. With active Irish support, the EU has initiated the largest ever package of sanctions against the Russian leadership.
“While, as a non-Schengen member state, Ireland is not bound to comply with the Schengen approach. However as well as always requiring individual visa consideration for applications made directly to Ireland, I have today recommended to the government that we fully align our policy on waiver of visas granted in the United Kingdom.
“I have now signed a statutory instrument to remove Russia and Belarus from the list of countries who may avail of the short-stay visa waiver programme in light of the continued Russian aggression against Ukraine.”
The countries that will remain eligible for the programme are Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Columbia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Montenegro, Oman, China, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.