A single-visa scheme launched by British Home Secretary Theresa May and the Irish Minister For Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, is open for Indian tourists from today. It allows Indian tourists to visit UK and Ireland on a single visa.
UK and Ireland signed a deal in October, 2014, to offer a single visa travel to Indian and Chinese travellers to curb hindrances in their travel plans. Chinese nationals became eligible for the scheme in 2014, and now Indians too can greatly benefit from it.
The Times of India quotes Sir James Bevan, the British high commissioner to India, saying, “India is a key growth market for both UK and Irish tourism, we hope that more Indian visitors will choose to come to the UK and Ireland as a result of this latest change.”
Ireland’s ambassador to India, Feilim McLaughlin, is also mentioned saying, “India is a priority market for Ireland under the government’s trade, tourism and investment strategy.”
Indians applying for an Irish or UK visa can submit an application at the shared centers rather than going to two separate visa centers. People can also give their biometrics at the same centers.
The British High Commission said in a press release that a tourist with a UK visa will have to travel to UK first and then to Ireland and similarly the ones with Ireland visa can only travel to UK after a visit to Ireland. However, if transiting via either of the countries, a traveller does not have to apply for a transit visa.
Source: The Times of India