Indian nationals can now travel to the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland on a single visit visa when travelling on some short stay and visitor visas and will no longer require a separate visa when travelling between the two countries.
The UK Single Visit Visa for Indian Nationals scheme includes the following short stay and visitor visas:
- visit (family/friend)
- visit (tourist)
The British-Irish visa scheme opened to Indian nationals last month and has been open to Chinese nationals since October 2014 with the aim of making it easier and more attractive for Indian travellers to visit both countries on the same trip, thereby helping the Government’s aims of improved trade and investment links between the countries.
India is a priority market for Ireland under the Government’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Strategy and the Embassy in New Delhi and the State agencies in India work on the basis of a joint strategy to increase trade, investment, education and tourism between our two countries.
As part of the scheme Ireland will share the UK’s 12 visa application centres across India. Applicants applying for an Irish or UK visa will need to use the shared Visa Application Centres to submit their applications and give their biometrics.
Under the UK Single Visit Visa for Indian Nationals scheme, applicants will need to arrive and travel to the country which issued their visa first, before being able to travel onto the other country. However visitors transiting via the UK to Ireland will not need a separate transit visa.
The Visa Application Centre offers a number of priority services to Indian nationals including:
- Priority service which guarantees customers a visa decision between 3 to 5 days. This service is open to all visitors who have previously travelled to the UK, the United States, Australia, New Zealand or a Schengen country in the last five years.
- Super Priority service, a same day service for applicants applying from Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai. The service is open to those applying for a six month or two year visit visa and who have travelled to the UK, the United States, Australia, New Zealand or a Schengen country in the last five years.
- Passport Pass-back service which will make it easier for travellers to apply for two visas at the same time, by returning an applicant’s passport after they have applied for their visa at the visa application centre.
- Premium Service lounges, available to applicants in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and New Delhi and which provides a faster service for the submission of documents and biometric data (digital photographs and fingerprints).