New British-Irish visa scheme for Indian and Chinese nationals

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It was  announced by the Home Office, along with the Irish Department of Justice and Equality, will soon be introducing a British-Irish visa scheme between the United Kingdom and Ireland. This new scheme will apply to Chinese and Indian business and tourist visitors, allowing them to travel to and around the United Kingdom and Ireland on a single short-stay visa. Business and tourist visitors from India and China who wish to travel to both the United Kingdom and Ireland will no longer require separate UK and Irish visas.

This reciprocal visa arrangement is expected to commence in Autumn 2014. It is likely that applicants will need to apply for the visa through the embassy, consulate or high commission of the country of first arrival or maximum stay, as with Schengen visas. The visa will then allow the holder to travel freely around the Common Travel Area of the United Kingdom and Ireland for the duration of that visa.

This scheme applies only to business and tourist visitors and does not apply to individuals wishing to work in either the United Kingdom or Ireland. The UK and Irish authorities will continue to monitor the scheme and, as appropriate, will introduce other nationalities that require visas.

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