You can now visit Ireland on a UK visa

Yes, yes, yes, you finally can. That country most of us know by way of Irish pubs, Colin Farrell’s sexy accent and James Joyce (if you have a literary bent) is finally open to UK visa holders. For details, read this news piece.

The rule will be applicable from July 2011 to October 2012, and this is what it means:

  • You don’t need a separate Irish visa to visit Ireland if you have a multiple entry British Visa. If you have a UK tourist or business visa or residency, you are now free to cross over to the Republic of Ireland.
  • You must first enter via UK. But then you can drive, fly or boat it to Ireland as many times as you want (depending on the terms of your visa).
  • Here are your savings: 60 euros (the Irish visa fee), hours of painful paperwork and red tape, and the bloody anxiety of whether you will get the visa or not.

So don’t hesitate to include Ireland on your itinerary, if you visiting the British Isles. They have the loveliest of accents and there are not many countries that are this generous to us Indians ;-)

For more on visas to visit Europe, read here.

If you have any tips, advice, experience, peeves or bile on the subject, the comment space is all yours. If you have any questions or stories you want to share with other Indian readers, write to us at

  • prince

    hi am a uk work visa holder from india can i treval to ireland if visa needed how much pounds for visa

  • Tamanna

    Hi i am travelling from India to Belfast via Dublin do i need separate visa for both the places? Thanks in anticipation.

  • Anu

    Hello there!

    I am on a Tier 1 (General) visa which is valid for another 3 years. I am off to see clients in Ireland. Can someone please tell me if I need a visa for Ireland. All the posts on this thread are very old. So just want to ensure that the waiver is still valid.

    Will really appreciate your response, don’t want the office to book tickets if I cannot go.

    Can’t wait to go to Ireland!


    • Nitin Gupta

      Anu, I have same situation. Though I believe a visa is necessary. Tier 1 General is not covered. If you find anything new, post here as well.

  • samo

    can i use student as well on a visit or to enter Ireland too?

  • Fr. Lauzerio Godinho

    Hi I have a valid U.K. visa for six months. After spending 15 days in London I want to travel to Ireland for another 15 days and want to come back to London for 3 days and then fly to India. Is it possible? Lauzerio.

  • Raghuraokv

    Hi all,
    I am travelling to Ireland in a couple of weeks. I am in London now on UK tourist visa valid for 180 days with multiple entry. I understand that I can travel to Ireland with UK visa from here. But, I have to fly from Ireland to Portugal and return to Ireland before flying back to London. Now, nowhere does it clearly say that I can fly out of Ireland to another country and return or not!!! Is this possible??? I hope I hope it is. Please somebody let me know if this is ok…

  • Omygodolga

    Hi, Please help me out, I am on a PSW Visa (Post Study Work Permit) in the UK and I have applied for a job in Dublin. I have been working in England for the past year and I have another year to go on my PSW Visa (Tier1). Am I eligible to work on this visa in Ireland? Or do I have to apply for something? Please help. Thank you. Shirley

    • Omygodolga

      I forgot to mention I’m from India but living in the UK after finishing my masters.

  • mrs m

    hi there my hubby has an iranian passport but he has a uk residency permit ( indefinite leave to remain ) we want to travel to dublin does he need to apply for a visa 

    • James Arnold

      Yes. Long term residents of the U.K. with passports from countries not covered under the visa waiver porogramme still need to apply for a visa to visit Ireland. But the good news is that under the new programme there is no charge. It’s free and subject to the usual security checks it will be issued promptly.

  • Jamesa29

     May 14 2012 In Ireland a visa waiver for UK visitors has been extended for another 4 years until the
    end of October 2016 which allows long-haul travellers to pass in to
    Ireland without additional travel documents.An Irish  Government minister has called for Britain and Ireland to become a common travel zone like parts of mainland Europe.
    Leo Varadkar, Transport Minister, said tourists and business visitors
    from far flung destinations should not be forced to source one set of
    travel papers for the UK and a second set to cross the border to the
    Irish Republic.
    “This means that there are real opportunities to attract more
    high-value, high-spending visitors from rapidly growing economies like
    Brazil, India, China and Russia to both Britain and Ireland,” he said.
    Mr Varadkar said Ireland
    and Britain could become a “mini-Schengen” referring to the 20
    countries in mainland Europe signed up to common travel and visa rules.

    “While the visa waiver is a step forward, it should be just that – one step of many to come,” he said.
    “It makes no sense to me that a tourist flying into Dublin from Dubai
    needs a separate visa to travel to the Titanic Experience in Belfast
    and to see the Giants Causeway. And it makes even less sense to the
    Mr Varadkar made the call at the latest meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly as it sat in Leinster House in Dublin. His idea has been backed by co-chairman Joe McHugh.
    Citizens of the UK and Ireland
    are covered by the Common Travel Zone which allows passport-free
    movement between all the islands including the Isle of Man and Channel
    The theme of the latest parliamentary assembly, sitting for the first
    time in the Seanad (Upper House) in Leinster House, was about making
    business easier between the two countries.

    • Raghuraokv

      I am an Indian national witha permanent resident status in Canada travelling in the UK with Tourist visa – 180 days/ mutiple entry. I am visiting Ireland with my wife and kids to meet her family there. I realise that I can travel into Ireland with UK visa. My question is can I after entering Ireland travel to Portugal and re-enter Ireland? I hope its possible.
      thank you,

  • Mathew

    Hello, Thank you very much for the information. I have the permit of sojourn in European Union ( of Italy). I have a valid multiple entry visiting visa to UK which expires in August 2012. I plan to fly to London on 12 June 2012. After two weeks’ stay there, I will visit Dublin too. Then, will it work? One more question; Where shall we get the details of this information officially from? Could you provide me with the official site address? Thank you Have a nice time

  • Jamesa29

    Visiting Ireland with a UK visa
    You can now visit Ireland without having an Irish visa up until October 2012 ( to be reviewed for extension in Summer 2012) as long as you have a valid UK visa. You must land first in the UK and then you can travel freely to Ireland and back again as and when you wish. Ireland offers a 90 day period of stay under the 180 day UK visa programme. Make sure your UK visa is a multi -entry visa. It costs very little more than a single entry visa. This means you can come to Ireland as often as you wish but the maximum number of days you can stay in Ireland is 90 without an additional application through the UK – not Ireland. Ireland and the UK are not signed up to the Schengen visa programme. This is because there is a common travel area between Great Britain and Ireland and passports are not needed for UK and Irish citizens. If both countries had signed up to the programme, they would lose this facility. If you are a student tourist or if you  are on an economy budget, you could take a luxury coach from Victoria coach station in London and travel to Dublin overnight on the ferry across the Irish sea to the central bus station in Dublin. It is not expensive – see Eurolines travel website and from there you can go where you wish. When you arrive in Dublin you can take the city trams (Luas) or DART (Dublin area rapid transprt trains) to 1 or 2 central train stations and embark on your Irish journey. Just make sure you have your passport and your UK visa is in order as otherwise you will be very sad when they send you back to the UK from Ireland to fix your visa. They do it all the time because people dont have the correct visa. Multi entry visa to the UK 180 days for tourists and business people is the correct visa. Come and have a nice  experience. :) James
    Here’s a video to watch – Wild Ireland

  • aloksaps1

    i had submitted my all documents and had my bio metrics at UK Vfs kolkata ,12 days before and still online tracking shows ” your application has been forwarded to British high commission” i am first time travelling abroad and its through cox and king. how much time it takes for visa approval.
    please do tell how much money i can carry on my 15 days tour to Europe..its a all paid tour of rs 2 lakhs with cox and my travel agent told me i can only carry approx 60 thousand rs for personal use. Now i am thinking is it not too small amount for europe for 15 days. ..

    • Editor, Indian Compass

      We believe that 15 days is the time period by which you should hear. About the cash, if you are going on a package tour, 6000 rs or about 800 pounds should be more than enough since your acco, flight tickets and transport would be all paid for. You should be quite comfortable. We hope you enjoy this trip. And if at the end of it you have any tips for us – do write to us. 

      • aloksaps1

        thanks for the reply and i will surely add my experiences here after travel.
        if i carry an international credit card and shop for a laptop worth 1 lakh in uk besides keeping cash of 800 euro for other expenses.. then is there any problem at customs on my return at Indian airport. or laptop worth any amount is free to bring in? customs is bit tricky so if u can help on this..

  • James

    I thought I would like to write a comment here.
    Ireland loves India :) . We always did! So many of our doctors here are Indian. My own doctor is, and a super doctor he is too!! I also have 4 close Indian friends who live and work here happily and they are loved very much in our country. It is true! And your food too!!!, it is so tasty mmmmmmmm. I know people say it is very hard to get into Ireland because of our strict visa policy, and it has been so, but now the doors have opened up a bit through the UK because of our ever growing relationship with Great Britain and their strict visa policy is approved by Ireland. The United States and the United Kingdom have special border departments for visitors to Ireland based in the U.K. and in Ireland. Shannon Airport in the westmidlands of Ireland is the official U.S. gateway. It is like a U.S. embassy. They decide who comes and goes to the U.S. from there!! It works and everybody is happy. So now you have a U.K. visa? well come and see us! See how unusually green the countryside is! You will be surprised by the colour. It is called Emerald. Why is this? It is not a secret :) It is because we have a lot of rain in the sunshine – so bring your umbrellas. The good thing about Irish rain is that it doesn’t last too long! it is mostly in showers. James from Donegal in Ireland. The blue flag capital of Ireland  – because the beaches are all white sand beaches and there is no pollution!

  • Amit

    i have a question… i have valid 6 months multiple entry schenegen visa.. can you tell me if this will in  some ways help me in getting a UK tourist visa?? i mean does this make the process easier for me.. or is it just that coz i have a an indian passport it wudnt matter which visa i have it will still be tough for me to get it..

  • shamik

    I am having short term UK work permit visa ( Multi entry and valid 10 months) and currently I am in UK, Can I go to Dublin ( Ireland ) for a holiday ? Is there any Visa required for me?

  • Tom

    I have a uk sudent visa living in northern ireland,,, can i go to dublin with this visa by private transport,,,? plz reply me

    • James

       yes – under the Irish visa temporary waiver programme – no problem up to Oct 2012

  • Ashwinchiwadi

    i have a uk student visa so can i fly to ireland??

  • A Ibrahim

    just a question here now, this new rule applies to any any nationality with a uk visa be it student, buisness…. or whats the story there? becuase im an irish citizan and ive a friend on a student visa in uk and would love for him to come visit but wasnt sure if he would need to apply for a seperate visa or if he needed a letter of invitation from me.

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  • Pooja

    This is a great news. Is it necessary to enter UK first even if we are on Transit. I found some cheap rates with Ryanair to UK from Germany(multi booking), but not sure if we are allowed to do it.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, that is the catch. If you are visiting Ireland on a UK visa, you must first enter into UK and then move to Ireland. And yes, Ryanair has cheap flights between most England airports and Dublin.

      • Priyaranjan Nanda

        Hi,I have UK business VISA.Can i travel to Dublin to meet one of my friend without Ireland Visa.If not suggest me how i can meet my fnd??As he is a resident of IRELAND.Which place in Ireland where we can meet without Ireland visa for me and also without UK visa for my fnd.

        • Indian Compass

          If you have a UK Business Visa you can travel up to to Ireland on it – you don’t have to apply for an Irish Visa. However, you will have to clear immigration in the UK first and then travel on to Ireland. The rule is application till Oct 2012.

          • Priyaranjan Nanda

            Hi…..Is it necessary to stay in UK for one day or can i go to Ireland on the same day…..Becoz i heard from someone that i have to stay in UK for atleast one day otherwise they will not allow to enter to Ireland… it like that……please confirm me as soon as possible…as i am reaching in UK on 8th Oct 13:40….and i have booked my tkt to ireland same day 8th Oct night 21:00PM…..can i travel in this tkt or should i change my travel date to ireland(next day)…Thankss

          • Indian Compass

            As far as we know, there is no such rule. You just need to clear immigration in the UK. We will check with another source and try to get back. 

          • Priyaranjan Nanda

            please try to get this info for me ASAP as i m leaving from here on friday.very less time in my hand…else i will be in problem in ireland…

          • Indian Compass

            Hi there, you can also get the information from the Irish embassy in New Delhi. Here are its contacts:

          • Priyaranjan Nanda

            Hi,I have been visited Ireland in the month of Oct2011 with a UK business VISA.Again i am planning to visit ireland in Jan 2012.Should i need any immigration again in UK or i can land directly in Dublin?I have immigration stamp of UK in the Oct month Travel.

          • Indiancompass

            You know, we are not sure. Do check up with the Irish embassy, and we’ll try at our end too. Do let us know, if you find the answer. 

          • Jamesa29

            No. You must always land in the UK under the scheme. You can fly out of Ireland though anytime without returning to the UK for your home flight. You can fly to Belfast or Derry airport in Northern Ireland and take a plane, train, taxi or coach to Dublin or anywhere else in Ireland you want to visit. It’s easy and you will be welcomed. This programme is jointly managed so that is why you must go to the UK first because they have all the administration issues covered under the agreement. The UK ‘s population is more than 10 times that of Ireland and they have the manpower available and set in place for the London 2012 Olympics – the reason for the scheme in the first place. :)

          • Indian Compass

            We wrote to the London Visa office of Ireland, and here’s their reply: Once they have cleared UK Immigration (i.e. passport stamped indicating the start of their 180 days), they are free to visit Ireland.Visa Office,London.

          • Indian Compass

            But do your own clarification as well with the Irish embassy (contacts below). We only give information based on our own experience and the best of our information. We do not represent the visa authorities and cannot take responsibility for their rules, regulations and actions.

          • Priyaranjan Nanda

            hi….yes i have called Ireland embassy delhi.They told after imigration stamp in the UK airport …i have to come out of airport ..then i can come inside to airport to fly to ireland.There is no any minimum length of stay in the UK required before travel to Ireland…..Thanks a lot for ur info…..Thanksssss

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  • Tanay

    Thanks  for the info.1 more ques, I have a UK Work Permit, can i visit Ireland with this?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, of course you can. 

      • Sony

        Hi, my sister has a UK visa “Type C – Family Visit”. This visa is
        valid for 6 months. Can she travel to Ireland on this UK visa, without
        Irish visa ?
        The visa waiver program suggests:
        Valid current UK visa in one of the categories covered. On
        the visa, the “Type of Visa” should be “C”. Under “Remarks”, one of the
        following should appear:
        “C – visit”
        “C – visit – general”
        “C – visit – business”
        “C – visit – academic”
        “C – visit – academic”
        “C – visit – sport”

        It doesn’t list Family Visit visa, so we are really confused.
        Please guide.

        I found some links of Indians that were able to enter Ireland on Family Visit visa, but we don’t want to take any risks.

  • Chiranth M Patil


    That was really informative. Could you just let me if a person holding UK student visa (multiple entry) is eligible to visit ireland with out a irish visa?


    • Anonymous

      Yes, of course you can. Chetna Prakash, editor.

      • Csavina

        No, you cannot as a student travel to Ireland without an Irish Visa. If you have a TYPE C UK visa (90-180days) to the UK, only then can you travel to Ireland without having to apply for a seperate irish visa. If you are an Indian studying in the UK, or a long-term resident, then you must apply for a visa, however you will not have to pay the  embassy fees of 60 euros.

        • Sony

          Hi, my sister has a UK visa “Type C – Family Visit”. This visa is valid for 6 months. Can she travel to Ireland on this UK visa, without Irish visa ?
          The visa waiver program suggests:
          Valid current UK visa in one of the categories covered. On
          the visa, the “Type of Visa” should be “C”. Under “Remarks”, one of the
          following should appear:
          “C – visit”
          “C – visit – general”
          “C – visit – business”
          “C – visit – academic”
          “C – visit – academic”
          “C – visit – sport”

          It doesn’t list Family Visit visa, so we are really confused.
          Please guide.

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