Indian nationals can now benefit greatly from a single travel permit which allows them to travel to both Ireland and the United Kingdom. This commenced on Tuesday under the BIVS or British-Irish Visa Scheme in India. This scheme recognizes mutual short term visas to both the countries. This agreement is already in place for Chinese tourists and is a sign of exceptional co-operation between Britain and Ireland.
The Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald said in December of last year that it was one among the department’s chief priorities to make this scheme globally widespread by the end of 2016 in conjunction with the British Home Office. It will witness the mechanical and ordered sharing and cross-check of the data for immigration between London and Dublin. The Irish counterpart of the British authorities will gather biometric data to match with that required by the British.
The above scheme is only applicable to visas of short stay duration and does not include student or work visas. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, tourists should give visa applications for the nation they wish to visit first. For example, if you are an Irish short term visa holder, who wishes to visit the UK as well, then Ireland should come first on your itinerary and vice-versa.
The department also said that the scheme is still in its nascent stages, applicable only to nationals of China and India who apply for short term visas for Britain or Ireland from either of these countries. The scheme will then undergo a world-wide roll out.