Citizens of South Africa and certain South American countries allowed to travel to Ireland again without a visa.

On the 28th of January 2021, the Immigration Act 2004 (Visa) (Amendment) Order 2021 (S.I. No. 23 of 2021) became law. The effect of Statutory Instrument was that a number of South American  countries as well as South Africa were added to the list of countries whose nationals require a visa to travel to Ireland. The law was enacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to control and restrict travel to the State.

The changes caused a lot of disruption and hardship to nationals of the above countries since the enactment, particularly in light of the uncertainty as to how long the restrictions would remain in place.

Today the Minister for Justice announced the reversal of the restrictions and confirmed that nationals of the following countries are again exempt from the requirement to obtain entry visas (including transit visas) to travel to the Republic of Ireland.

  • Argentina.
  • Bolivia.
  • Brazil.
  • Chile.
  • Guyana.
  • Paraguay.
  • South Africa.
  • Uruguay.

Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Suriname remain on the list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter the State, although they will not require a transit visa.

The full notice is available to read here.

The immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors greatly welcomes this news. We have seen first-hand the hardship suffered by many individuals since the enactment of the visa restrictions. Many Irish residents with expired IRP cards found themselves stranded outside of Ireland and unable to return when the restrictions came into place, families have been separated, students have been unable to take up college places and employees have been unable to take up positions of employment. The lifting of restrictions on the above countries is a significant milestone in the countries battle against Covid-19.

With offices in Dublin and Cork, Sinnott Solicitors have a dedicated team of Immigration Solicitors and Consultants who are experts on all Irish immigration matters including Irish Employment Permits and Employment Visas. If you have any queries on the contents of this article, or require assistance with your employment permit application, do not hesitate to contact our offices today on or 014062862.