Ireland and the UK are two neighboring countries living in harmony for years. To improve the tourism industry,l they introduced Ireland visa waiver and British Irish Visa Scheme. The two programs allow a few visitors to travel between the two countries.

What is Ireland Visa Waiver Program?

To attract tourists and improve the industry, The Irish government introduced the Visa Waiver Program. It allows citizens of a few countries who have a UK visa to enter Ireland. The nationals of these countries do not have to apply for an Irish visa; The UK visa will suffice.

Are You Eligible for Ireland Visa Waiver

To be eligible for Ireland Visa Waiver, you must be a national or resident of one of these countries:


  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • China
  • Russia
  • Thailand
  • Uzbekistan

Middle East

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates


  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

Providing that you are a national or citizen of the above list, then you are eligible for Ireland Visa Waiver.

There are also other eligibility requirements:

  • Being in the list of eligible countries is a must.
  • You must hold a UK short-stay visa, not a long-stay one. Holding Leave to Remain is also a must.
  • The time you will be staying in Ireland must not be longer than when you were supposed to stay in the UK.
  • When you wish to return home, you can go back from Ireland or the UK. There is no difference.

Visitors who enter the UK through one of the following ways ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for Ireland visa waiver:

  • The holders of UK long-stay visa
  • UK transit visa holders.
  • The people who enter the UK to marry a UK citizen or as a civil partnership.

Note: You can travel to Ireland with a UK visa, but you have no authorization to visit the UK with an Ireland visa.

The Application Process for Ireland Visa Waiver

You do not have to gather anything for Ireland Visa Waiver. As you can enter Ireland with a UK visa, you have to gather the UK visa requirements.

What are the Requirements for Ireland Visa Waiver

As there are no requirements for Ireland Visa Waiver, there is no application process for it either. When you receive a UK short-stay visa, you can enter Ireland. You would be familiar with the UK visa application process. You do not need to go through any form of a particular process.

Can I Enter Ireland from a Third Country Through Waiver Program?

YES. You can enter Ireland from another country with a UK visa. However, you must comply with two rules:

  • You must have entered the UK through its short-stay visa before. Entering for one time suffices.
  • The UK visa and Leave to Remain must still be valid.

Ireland Visa Waiver Validity

The validity of the Ireland visa waiver is up to 90 days. You may not remain in Ireland longer than the UK visa’s validity.

What is the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)?

British Irish Visa Scheme got introduced to improve the tourism industry between the UK and Ireland. The national of a few countries can travel to both Ireland and the UK having a visa of only one country. Only the nationals of China and India can use BIVS. It means when they have an Ireland visa, they can visit the UK as well. If having the UK visa, they can visit Ireland too.

Are you Eligible for British Irish Visa Scheme

China and India are the only eligible countries for the British Irish Visa Scheme. Moreover, the Indians and Chinese must comply with:

  • They can only use the scheme if they have a short-stay visa.
  • The Chinese and Indian minors can only use the scheme, providing that an adult is with them.
  • To enter Ireland or the UK, the visa you hold must have the BIVS stick. If not, you may not use the scheme.

What UK visas are Eligible for British Irish Visa Scheme?

To be eligible for the British Irish Visa Scheme, you must hold a UK short-stay visa. If you have a UK long-stay visa, you may not use the BIVS. You have to apply for a visa to visit the UK or Ireland.

When the visa you hold allows you to stay in Ireland for up to six months, you are eligible for BIVS. If the validity of your UK visa is longer than six months, you are not eligible for BIVS.

The Chinese and Indian nationals holding a long-stay UK visa can not use the BIVS.

The Application Process for British Irish Visa Scheme

Like the visa waiver program, there is no application process for the British Irish Visa Scheme. You just need to have a UK visa or Ireland visa. You should follow the application process of the country you will visit. It could be Ireland or the UK.

What are the Requirements for British Irish Visa Scheme

You do not need to gather anything for the British Irish Visa Scheme. As we explained above, you should apply for either an Ireland visa or UK visa. You just need to know the UK visa and Ireland visa requirements.

British Irish Visa Scheme Validity

The upmost time you can stay in Ireland is 90 days. The time is 180 days for the UK. However, the permitted time to stay depends on your conditions. You can not think of staying for longer than 90 days in Ireland.

When you want to enter the UK from Ireland, the story is different. The Ireland visa is only valid for 90 days. So, when you enter the UK from Ireland, you may not stay longer than permitted time.

When you enter the UK while the remaining validity is 30 days, you may not stay longer.

Ireland visa or the UK visa, which one to apply?

You should apply for the country’s visa arriving first. If you arrive in the UK then entering Ireland, you should apply for a UK visa. Remember that your visa must have the BIVS mark to travel to the UK or Ireland.

Let’s sum up…

In this blog, we explained everything about the Ireland visa waiver and British Irish Visa Scheme.

We have covered who is eligible for these two programs, requirements, FAQs, and more.

You can find all the information about Ireland visa in Visa Library.

You can find more information about other countries’ visa by visiting the left sidebar of the menu.

If you need more information about other countries’ visas, visit the homepage.

Providing that you have experience or knowledge about visas, please write it in the comment section below. Transferring your experience to applicants through comments is a great help. They can avoid mistakes and save time.

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