Indian visitors to get joint UK-Irish visa from November

07 October 2014

Indian tourists and business visitors would be able to avail a new scheme from November which would enable them to visit the UK and Ireland on a single visa, issued by either country, The Hindustan Times reported.

An agreement to this effect was signed in London yesterday by UK home secretary Theresa May and Ireland minister for justice and equality Frances Fitzgerald. A joint visa scheme would be rolled out for China from later this month.

More than 10,000 visitors from India would benefit from the joint visa scheme.

The UK would also shortly lift transit visas for visitors en route to Ireland. Under the new scheme, Ireland would share the UK's network of visa application centres, which would allow for joint vetting of applicants and exchange of data.

Fitzgerald said the aim was to boost tourism and business travel to the UK and Ireland and, together, the countries were sending a clear and powerful message that the islands were open for business.

She said the UK and Ireland were calling on tourists to visit their beautiful and historic lands, and experience the best that both countries had to offer.

She added the scheme would benefit the Northern Irish economy in particular, by allowing Chinese and Indian visitors to the Republic of Ireland the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland without having to obtain a separate UK visa.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times reported that unprecedented information would be shared by Irish and UK immigration authorities to help prevent the new joint visa deal being exploited by terrorists or illegal immigrants.

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