Indian visitors now need just one visa for Britain and Ireland

The burgeoning numbers of Indian tourists to Britain and Ireland can now visit the two countries on a single visa. The scheme has been launched on both sides of the Irish Sea and the single-visa permit has been opened up to Indian and Chinese nationals.

Passengers on board an Air India flight

Passengers on board an Air India flight. Image by Hajime NAKANO / CC BY 2.0

Indians may apply for their visas under the British-Irish Visa Scheme, the Times of India reports. The British high commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, described India as a key growth market for tourism in both jurisdictions. The hope now was this new move would see more Indian visitors landing in the UK or Ireland, he added.

Ireland's ambassador to India, Feilim McLaughlin said that India was regarded as a “priority market for Ireland” under the government’s new strategy to bring in more tourists to the country. Ireland will share twelve visa application centres with the UK, spread throughout India. Those centres will process applications from intending visitors. The only restriction is that the applicant will need to visit first the country which actually gives them the visa. However, visitors transiting through the UK to Ireland won’t require a separate transit visa.

Over 300,000 visitor visas were issued to Indian nationals up to last September with over 90% of all Indian customers proving successful in their applications for visas. Indian or Chinese visitors in Dublin will now be able to journey to London or Belfast without further visa worries. Similarly, they could leave London to go to Dublin or Cork without visa restrictions.

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