A joint visa initiative to be launched soon will allow visitors from China and India travel between Ireland and the UK.

According to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald the British-Irish visa scheme will begin in autumn for the two Asian nations.

The new scheme will allow visitors to travel to and around the Common Travel Area (CTA) on a single Irish or UK visa.

The British Irish Visa Scheme, which was jointly initiated by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of her Department and the UK Home Office, will make it easier and more attractive for visitors to visit Ireland and the UK. It is expected to provide a major boost tourism and business visitors.

“China and India will be the first to benefit from this groundbreaking scheme and I look forward to the successful implementation of the new arrangements in respect of both of those countries”, Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald said.

The new scheme, effective in a few weeks’ time, replaces Ireland’s short-stay waiver introduced in July 2011 which allowed visitors on a UK visa to enter Ireland for a short stay.

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