The Minister for Justice, Ms Helen McEntee, has announced that the Department of Justice is extending the five-year multiple-entry short-stay visa option to all visa-required countries. This means that persons who are applying for a short-stay visa to Ireland, for example, to visit family or for business purposes, can now apply for a multiple-entry short-stay visa which will be valid for travel for a five-year period.
Previously, Ireland would only issue a multiple-entry visa for periods of one to three years. One exception to this was Chinese nationals who had been granted the option of applying for a five-year multiple-entry visa since 2019, however, in reality, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which began in 2020, few have availed of this option hitherto.
To date multiple-entry visas would only have been issued to an applicant who had a previous Irish travel immigration record and who could show full compliance with any visas previously granted. In future persons who do not have a previous Irish immigration record or travel history may apply for a five-year multiple-entry short-stay visa where they can show that they have travelled frequently to countries in the Schengen Zone, the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Persons must convey that they have fully observed the conditions of all visas granted to them when travelling to the above countries when applying for the Irish five-year multiple-entry visa.
The Minister for Justice has confirmed that business travellers who have no previous travel record to Ireland may also be granted a multiple-entry five-year visa under certain circumstances.
A person who is granted a multiple-entry visa to Ireland will have the visa endorsed on their passport and may travel to Ireland a number of times during the validity of the dates specified on the visa. No stay can be longer than 90 days per visit. Persons can still apply for a single-entry visa even if they would qualify for a multiple-entry visa.
The Department of Justice have confirmed that the granting of a multiple-entry visa will be at the discretion of the relevant Visa Officer who processes the application at all times.
Sinnott Solicitors greatly welcomes this change to the short-stay visa rules. We have many clients who would travel to Ireland frequently and have had to apply for single-entry visas on several occasions, for example, parents visiting children who are residing in Ireland. Many of our corporate clients have also had to, in the past, apply for single-entry visas on numerous occasions for business purposes. The grant of a five-year multiple-entry visa will allow them to conduct their business more efficiently and we submit will also make Ireland a more attractive place for organisations to carry out their business. We also anticipate that the grant of multiple-entry visas will free up visa office resources and hopefully reduce processing times in circumstances where visa required nationals will not have to apply for numerous single-entry visas thus reducing the volume of applications being submitted which should make the visa system more efficient in the long run.
We note that the Department of Justice have confirmed that the granting of a multiple-entry visa is at the discretion of the relevant Visa Officer processing the application and we would submit that it is absolutely vital for the Immigration Service Delivery to publish clear and consistent guidelines to persons applying for the multiple-entry visa to give them the best possible chance of a successful application and ensure that the visas are issued in a fair and consistent manner.
Sinnott Solicitors have a specialist team of Immigration Solicitors and Immigration Consultants located in our Dublin and Cork offices who are experts on all Irish immigration matters. Should you have any queries with respect to any of the information contained in this article or any other immigration matters, do not hesitate to contact our immigration department in Cork or Dublin today on 014062862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.