40,000 to benefit as Justice Minister abolishes Ireland's re-entry visa system

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Picture: Leah Farrell/ Rolling News.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has announced Ireland's current re-entry visa system will be abolished as of next month.

Up to now, visa required nationals who live in Ireland and wish to travel to and from the country have been required to apply for a re-entry visa in advance of travel.

As of May 13, those individuals will be exempt from holding a visa providing they have registered for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card.

Due to the need to notify airlines, ferry companies and immigratin authorities in other countries, the abolition will not take place until next month and the existing system will remain in place.

Any visa-required nationals will need a valid visa or re-entry visa until then.

Any applications for re-entry visas already submitted will be returned to applicants, and those intending to travel and return before the abolition will be provided with an in-person appointment where they will be issued with a re-entry visa free of charge.

Mr Flanagan said he was delighted with the change:

Visa required nationals will now be able to use their Irish residence permit or GNIB card to prove to airlines and immigration officials that they have a right to travel to Ireland.

"This will save over 40,000 people annually both time and money. I am committed to improving customer service in the immigration service and today’s decision is the first of a series of improvements which I intend to announce over the coming year.”

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