The Minister for Justice Ms Helen McEntee announced on the 25th of October that citizens of Russia and Belarus seeking to travel to Ireland from the UK pursuant to the Visa Waiver Scheme will now be required to apply for an Irish entry visa.

Under the terms of the Visa Waiver Programme, citizens of 20 countries who hold a valid short stay visa to travel to the UK are permitted to travel to the Republic of Ireland without the requirement to obtain an Irish entry visa after they have entered the UK. 

The Russian Federation and Belarus are two of the countries  listed on the scheme thereby exempting their citizens from the requirement to obtain an Irish visa when following entry to the UK on a valid short stay visa. The Minister for Justice has confirmed that Russia and Belarus have now been removed from the list.

The announcement does not prevent citizens of Russia and Belarus from applying for Irish visas and such applications will be processed as normal subject to the usual visa requirements.  Persons who are intending to travel to Ireland from the UK using their UK visas should make arrangements to apply for an Irish visa if intending to travel here.

The full announcement can be read here.

The Minister for Justice has also confirmed that the Irish Authorities will not recognise Russian Federation passports which have been issued in occupied foreign regions when processing visa and other immigration applications. This means that it will not recognise new Russian Federation passports issued to residents in areas of the Ukraine and parts of Georgia which are occupied by Russian forces.

Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork have a specialist team of Immigration Solicitors and Immigration Consultants located in both of offices who are experts on Irish visas and 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 Dublin or Cork today on 014062862 or