A new visa scheme has been announced that is set to cover visits to both the UK and Ireland on one visa for certain nationalities.

Chinese and Indian nationals will now be able to visit both countries on a single visa, rather than having to apply for two separate visas, one for each destination, as is the current process. Although this will only initially apply to certain visa types, including visitor visas for the UK and short stay visas for Ireland, it is hoped that this will move into further visa categories should the scheme prove successful in this area. Similarly, it is hoped that further nationalities will be added into the scheme upon its success, as it currently only covers Indian and Chinese nationals.

The British-Irish Visa Scheme is set to begin use in China by the end of this month (October 2014) and is expected to be rolled out to India by the end of the year.

This move will have a huge benefit for visitors from these specific locations who are looking to tour around multiple areas within the UK and Ireland. By removing the need for multiple applications by allowing onward travel between the two destinations on one visa, travel between the UK and Ireland is made much easier and rendered more accessible.

The introduction of the new scheme will also give a benefit to visa applicants in their native countries, as it allows for Ireland to begin sharing the UK’s visa application centres. In a gradual rollout that will begin with the UK’s visa application centre in Hong Kong and follow throughout China and then to India, visa applicants for both the UK and Ireland will be able to apply for their visit visas in the same place.

To learn more about the British-Irish Visa Scheme, or to see if your visit visa allows you to travel between the two, contact one of our experienced immigration advisors.