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UK issued Residence Card; do I need a visa to visit Ireland?

Forum to discuss all things Blarney | Ireland immigration

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Liberal Immigrant
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UK issued Residence Card; do I need a visa to visit Ireland?

Post by Liberal Immigrant » Mon May 19, 2008 6:45 pm

edit
Last edited by Liberal Immigrant on Sun May 25, 2008 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dsab85
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Post by dsab85 » Tue May 20, 2008 7:40 am

She will need an Irish Visa, which will take about 3 weeks to be processed by the Irish Embassy in the UK.

I am living in Northern Ireland (around 3 km from the border to the Republic of Ireland) and even my legally residing non EEA wife needs a visa to go to the republic. Bit of a joke, IMO.

Furthermore the Irish Embassy in the UK is a pain in the butt to deal with.

Liberal Immigrant
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Post by Liberal Immigrant » Tue May 20, 2008 8:33 am

oh crap!

the Irish r always 10 steps behind the Britts!

ca.funke
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Re: UK issued Residence Card; do I need a visa to visit Irel

Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 9:08 am

Liberal Immigrant wrote:hey guys,

need a bit of guidance for my mum:

She is Pakistani and living in UK as she has an EEA Residence Card issued to her by UK Home Office bcoz she is "family member" of her Irish son i.e. (who is exercising treaty rights).

the question is: does she need a tourist visa to visit her Irish daughter (my sister) who lives in Ireland? or is her EEA Residence Card issued by UK good enuff?

i ve already had a look at the Irish websites and they are so vague and inconclusive on this point.

thanks
Hi Liberal Immigrant,

I presume the UK-issued EEA-family-permit has a 5year validity period, and is issued to your mother because her son is Irish?

In this case she does NOT need a visa to go to Ireland. Indeed she does not need a visa to travel anywhere in the European Union:

The relevant law is 2004/38/EC. Article 5, Section 2 reads:
Article 5
Right of entry
(...)
2. Family members who are not nationals of a Member State
shall only be required to have an entry visa in accordance with
Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 or, where appropriate, with
national law. For the purposes of this Directive, possession of
the valid residence card referred to in Article 10 shall exempt
such family members from the visa requirement.

(...)
The same is described more clearly on the commissions' website:
Possession of the valid residence card, referred to in the relevant fact sheet, issued by any Member State, exempts you from the visa obligation not only in the Member State which issued the residence card, but in all Member States.
Between Ireland and the UK "enforcing" this law is no problem - just travel, as there are no border-checkpoints.

If you travel to anywhere else in Europe, it's better to have a copy of the law with you, as some border-guards are unaware of these laws. However, in the end and after some (polite) arguing I never heard of people who were ultimately turned back.

Rgds, Christian
Last edited by ca.funke on Tue May 20, 2008 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ca.funke
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Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 9:18 am

dsab85 wrote:She will need an Irish Visa, which will take about 3 weeks to be processed by the Irish Embassy in the UK.

I am living in Northern Ireland (around 3 km from the border to the Republic of Ireland) and even my legally residing non EEA wife needs a visa to go to the republic. Bit of a joke, IMO.

Furthermore the Irish Embassy in the UK is a pain in the butt to deal with.
Hi dsab85,

as long as you live in the UK, what I explained above is only applicable for family-members of non-UK-EEA-citizens.

See Article 3, section 1:
Article 3
Beneficiaries
1. This Directive shall apply to all Union citizens who move
to or reside in a Member State other than that of which they
are a national, and to their family members as defined in point
2 of Article 2 who accompany or join them.
Meaning: If you are a UK-citizen and live in the UK, you are dealt with under UK-law (only). You will, paradoxically, continue to need a visa to visit the Republic of Ireland with your wife.

As "Liberal Immigrant" is Irish and lives in the UK, 2004/38/EC applies, and his mum can travel visa-free.

If you want to find the reason behind this, please ask the home-office or the commission. I'm sure they do not have a good explanation.

The main underlying problem is that the UK (and Ireland) refuse to join Schengen.

dsab85
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Post by dsab85 » Tue May 20, 2008 9:24 am

Between Ireland and the UK "enforcing" this law is no problem - just travel, as there are no border-checkpoints.

If you travel to anywhere else in Europe, it's better to have a copy of the law with you, as some border-guards are unaware of these laws. However, in the end and after some (polite) arguing I never heard of people who were ultimately turned back.
Very bad advice IMO. These days there are regularly Irish Immigration checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland, especially when travelling on a bus or the train.

Even when you arrive on flight from the UK you have to go though immigration. It is not like in the UK where there is no check at all if you come from Ireland.

I personally know of two cases in Dublin where people have been turned back at Dublin Airport because they had a EU issued residence card, but no valid Irish Visa.

Irish immigration doesn't give a damn about the EU regulation at the moment, and we all know it. And I def. wouldn't take the risk.

ca.funke
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Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 9:43 am

dsab85 wrote:
Between Ireland and the UK "enforcing" this law is no problem - just travel, as there are no border-checkpoints.

If you travel to anywhere else in Europe, it's better to have a copy of the law with you, as some border-guards are unaware of these laws. However, in the end and after some (polite) arguing I never heard of people who were ultimately turned back.
Very bad advice IMO. These days there are regularly Irish Immigration checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland, especially when travelling on a bus or the train.

Even when you arrive on flight from the UK you have to go though immigration. It is not like in the UK where there is no check at all if you come from Ireland.

I personally know of two cases in Dublin where people have been turned back at Dublin Airport because they had a EU issued residence card, but no valid Irish Visa.

Irish immigration doesn't give a damn about the EU regulation at the moment, and we all know it. And I def. wouldn't take the risk.
They can check all day long - just have a copy of 2004/38/EC with you, and have them explain why they do not want to adhere to binding law.

There are no immigration-checks in Dublin when arriving from London. Last personally known occurrence from Saturday, 26th of April 2008, described here.

dsab85
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Post by dsab85 » Tue May 20, 2008 9:46 am

I came back from London to Dublin on Sunday, and I def. had to go through Passport Control.

ca.funke
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Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 9:56 am

dsab85 wrote:I came back from London to Dublin on Sunday, and I def. had to go through Passport Control.
Oops - always good to learn something.

This may have to do with the layout of the new terminal, where traffic cannot be separated?

It would be really interesting to know, if they would have let you pass showing your boarding-pass (from London) instead of a passport.

Could you substantiate a little bit why the above is "Very bad advice" (IYO), as even a check does not change that the above laws apply.

Summary: If there is no check - fine. If there is a check, handle it as described above. (Show them the law)

yankeegirl
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Post by yankeegirl » Tue May 20, 2008 10:48 am

Could you substantiate a little bit why the above is "Very bad advice" (IYO), as even a check does not change that the above laws apply.
I think what dsab85 is trying to say is that, while in theory one shouldn't need a visa, the Irish aren't the most cooperative bunch when it comes to implementing the directive correctly. You could show up with a copy of it, argue til you're blue in the face, but there still is a real chance you aren't going to be let in, even though it wouldn't be right of them to do so. I think they've already shown with their whole handling of the EU1 process that they don't care how its supposed to be done, they are going to do things their way. So, if someone is just looking for a nice wee vacation, it's best to just get the visa and not take the risk of wasted time/money.

ca.funke
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Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 10:56 am

yankeegirl wrote:
Could you substantiate a little bit why the above is "Very bad advice" (IYO), as even a check does not change that the above laws apply.
I think what dsab85 is trying to say is that, while in theory one shouldn't need a visa, the Irish aren't the most cooperative bunch when it comes to implementing the directive correctly. You could show up with a copy of it, argue til you're blue in the face, but there still is a real chance you aren't going to be let in, even though it wouldn't be right of them to do so. I think they've already shown with their whole handling of the EU1 process that they don't care how its supposed to be done, they are going to do things their way. So, if someone is just looking for a nice wee vacation, it's best to just get the visa and not take the risk of wasted time/money.
If you want to be sure, of course a visa is better.

However, I (Belgian) visited Belfast from Dublin three times so far with my Lebanese wife, and we were never checked.

Should we be checked, we have our passports, marriage-certificate and a copy of the law with us.

Actually I am hoping to be checked some time, just to see what happens.

Current event: Came back to Dublin from a Schengen-trip recently, there was a huge Q for EU, absolutely no-one at "non-EU".

Of course we went to "non-EU" together (why should I leave my wife alone?), and we cleared faster than all the people Qing at EU.

IMHO it's a shame that Ireland does not join Schengen, even if this would mean introducing checks to "the North". But that's a totally different topic.

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Post by Christophe » Tue May 20, 2008 11:15 am

Personally, whatever the rights and wrongs of it, it would seem to me that it might be easier and more conducive to peace of mind for the OP's mother to get a visa. As she is living in the UK and is going on what sounds like a routine family visit, there is no time pressure, presumably.

ca.funke, it is great that you are well-versed in this area of EU law or regulation and are prepared to argue it (if necessary) with the Irish immigration authorities on behalf of your wife. All credit to you. However, the OP's mother probably isn't so well-versed, and she might be travelling alone, and she probably just wants to have a pleasant visit to her daughter in Ireland rather than worrying about having to have an argument with an immigration officer at the start and/or end of her visit there. If it turns out that her visa is never checked, she really hasn't lost much in the overall scheme of life, and she will have had peace of mind during her journey.

Just a thought.

yankeegirl
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Post by yankeegirl » Tue May 20, 2008 11:37 am

Actually I am hoping to be checked some time, just to see what happens.
LOL. Lately I've been the opposite. I have heard, as others have mentioned, of random passport checks going between NI and ROI, yet it never fails when I head down to Dublin to visit the in-laws, I always forget my passport. In 4 years, we've never been checked once, although once in Monaghan some guy came on to make sure everyone had a bus ticket. :roll: But, I have a friend in Belfast who commutes fairly often by train to Dublin and she's been checked a couple of times. My BIL lives in England with his fiancee, and I know when they fly into Dublin, they almost always go through immigration, which they find a bit annoying.

I think it all depends on the person, as Christophe said. If you are confident, assertive and really know your sh!t, you could very well be ok. But, if English isn't your primary language, or you don't have the ability to argue the law inside and out, or you don't want the potential headache, it's best to apply for the visa.

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Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 11:41 am

Christophe wrote:Personally, whatever the rights and wrongs of it, it would seem to me that it might be easier and more conducive to peace of mind for the OP's mother to get a visa. As she is living in the UK and is going on what sounds like a routine family visit, there is no time pressure, presumably.

ca.funke, it is great that you are well-versed in this area of EU law or regulation and are prepared to argue it (if necessary) with the Irish immigration authorities on behalf of your wife. All credit to you. However, the OP's mother probably isn't so well-versed, and she might be travelling alone, and she probably just wants to have a pleasant visit to her daughter in Ireland rather than worrying about having to have an argument with an immigration officer at the start and/or end of her visit there. If it turns out that her visa is never checked, she really hasn't lost much in the overall scheme of life, and she will have had peace of mind during her journey.

Just a thought.
I totally agree that peace-of-mind is worth a lot.

However, how much peace of mind is it applying for a visa for each visit? Each time you apply you are made to feel like a devout petitioner, and embassies toss your rights around due to ignorance and/or incompetence, without any grounds.

The visa takes 3 weeks to process - great! What does the mother do, should her child (god forbid) fall sick? Wait for 3 weeks before visiting the hospital, although the hospital is only a few k's away?

Again, most of these griefs would not occur if Ireland (and/or the UK) would decide to join Schengen.

If they decide they do not want to do this, they should at least give their "common-travel-area" a meaning by formally introducing a single-visa policy to this area.

Everything else, including the current situation, is totally pathetic as it does not add any security anywhere, but adds lots of hassle for legitimate travelers.

As for myself, I am prepared to argue for my 2004/38/EC rights, and hopefully all border-guards will receive proper training, so you do not have to "enforce" your rights through arguments, but can simply enjoy them.

Liberal Immigrant
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Post by Liberal Immigrant » Tue May 20, 2008 4:40 pm

edit
Last edited by Liberal Immigrant on Sun May 25, 2008 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ca.funke
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Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 4:46 pm

Hi Liberal Immigrant,

I agree to your previous post, in the end it's important to reach a practical solution.

May I enquire about the circumstances under which your cousin was "taken off a bus by ROI police whilst he was travelling from NI to ROI"?
  • What is his nationality?
  • What documentation did he carry?
  • Where is he (legally) resident?
  • Did this delay his onward journey?
  • Was he turned back altogether?
Regards, Christian
Last edited by ca.funke on Tue May 20, 2008 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ca.funke
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Post by ca.funke » Tue May 20, 2008 4:47 pm

this was only accidentally posted :oops:

Liberal Immigrant
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Post by Liberal Immigrant » Tue May 20, 2008 7:06 pm

thx

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