Indians can travel to UK & Ireland on single visa by end of 2014

Traveling to the United Kingdom and Ireland would be easier for Indians by the end of 2014. This came as a step to strengthen the travel ties between the nations when the current Home Secretary of UK, Theresa May signed an MOU with the Republic of Ireland at the Irish Embassy in London.

This will ensure free flow of information between the two nations. The data will support immigration decisions and enable Indian and Chinese travelers to move freely safeguarding the border security issues faced by the United Kingdom and Ireland.

There would be a single visit Visa for the Indians traveling to both these nations. The scheme would be first rolled out in China followed by India. The Home Secretary of UK, Theresa May expressed her feelings over the development and said “I am delighted to sign this MOU which will make it easier and more attractive for travelers to visit both Ireland and the UK, while at the same strengthening Common Travel Area borders”. The scheme is expected to benefit over 10,000 travelers.

Frances Fitzgerald, minister for justice and equality, Republic of Ireland said that cooperation between the countries can help in protecting the borders by preventing unlawful access and benefit genuine travelers. This initiative is all set to benefit the Northern Irish economy as this will allow Indian and Chinese visitors to Northern Ireland without a separate UK visa.

Frances Fitzgerald, minister for justice and equality, Republic of Ireland

Frances Fitzgerald, minister for justice and equality, Republic of Ireland

Ms Fitzgerald said it was a landmark scheme which seemed impossible a few years back.

“It is truly remarkable, and a potent symbol of the transformation in British-Irish relations, that the Home Secretary and I are today jointly launching an initiative of unprecedented co-operation between our countries,” she added.

However this won’t be applicable to a person traveling on transit visa or classified as a visitor for marriage.

The Home Secretary office stated that a person with a visa under this scheme is not required to apply for a transit visa if the flight travels to Ireland via UK.

The first phase of the year saw Britain issuing close to 4 Lakh visas to the Chinese visitors which is a rise of 22 percent compared to last year while the number was up by 1 percent for Indian travelers. The deal is supposed to encourage more visitors to Ireland while traveling to UK.