UK Visa from Ireland

The UK has many visitors from Ireland every year. In the case of Irish citizens, a UK visa will not generally be necessary. However, if you do not have Irish citizenship, you may require a visa in order to enter the UK.

Applying for a UK visa can often be complicated. At Total Law, we are ready to help make the application process as smooth as possible. Contact us online today or on +353 061 518 025 to learn more.

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    Do Irish residents need a visa for UK?

    If you are living in Ireland and looking to live, work, or study in the UK, there are a number of visa options. The specific visa which is right for you will depend on the nature of your reason for visiting the UK.

    The UK offers a range of Visitor, Work, Study, Family, and Business visas, all of which have specific eligibility criteria and conditions.

    Note that, as the UK and Ireland fall within the Common Travel Area, Irish citizens do not require a visa to live, work, and study in the UK. However, if you reside in Ireland but are not an Irish citizen then you may still require a visa in order to enter the UK.

    This will depend on your nationality. If you are a citizen of the EU, for example, you will not need a visa if you wish to visit the UK for up to 6 months.

    Upon residing in the UK for a sufficient period of time, it may be possible for UK visa holders to apply for permanent settlement (known in the UK as ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

    Applying for British citizenship may also be an option. Once British citizenship has successfully been obtained, the holder will be able to vote in UK elections and apply for a British passport.

    As Northern Ireland is part of the UK, Northern Irish citizens automatically have British citizenship.

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    Types of UK Visas from Ireland

    UK Visitor Visa

    The UK offers a range of Visitor visas, including:

    • Standard Visitor visa – this is the main Visitor visa. The details are given below
    • Permitted Paid Engagement visa – this visa allows the holder to engage in temporary paid and authorised engagement as a short-term visitor to the UK
    • Marriage Visitor visa – this visa allows the holder to visit the UK in order to have a wedding or civil partnership ceremony
    • Transit visa – this visa allows the holder to pass through the UK in order to reach a separate destination country (e.g. if the holder has a connecting flight from a UK airport)

    The Standard Visitor visa allows stays of up to 6 months. It allows the holder to engage in a number of activities, including tourism, limited business, and visiting family and friends.

    However, this visa type does not allow the following activities:

    • Engaging in paid or unemployed work for a UK company or working in a self-employed capacity
    • Claiming state welfare benefits
    • Visiting the UK frequently or successively and/or establishing the UK as your main place of residence
    • Marrying or having a civil partnership ceremony, or registering your intention to do so

    Note that, if you wish to visit the UK in order to get married or have a civil partnership ceremony, you will instead need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa.

    As Irish citizens do not require a visa in order to enter the UK, they will not require a UK Visitor visa.

    UK Family Visa

    If you are planning to visit the UK in order to visit or join family, one of the following visa types may be the best fit for you:

    • Standard Visitor visa – if you wish to visit family or friends for up to 6 months, this visa type is likely to be the best fit
    • Marriage Visitor- allows the holder to visit the UK in order to have a wedding or civil ceremony
    • Spouse visa – this visa type allows you to join your partner in the UK
    • Child Dependant visa – this visa type allows dependent children to join their parent(s) living in the UK
    • Adult Dependant visa – this visa type allows dependent adult family members (parents, grandparents, or adult children) to live in the UK with a family member from whom they will receive long-term and necessary care. This care must not be available in the applicant’s home country, whether due to availability or cost
    • Ancestry visa – this visa type is intended for applicants who are Commonwealth citizens and descendants of grandparents who were born in the UK, and allows the applicant to live in the UK for up to 5 years

    Whilst the exact eligibility criteria will depend on the type of visa in question, the UK sponsor of the applicant must generally fall into one of the following categories:

    • British citizen
    • Irish citizen
    • UK permanent resident/ indefinite leave to remain in the UK
    • In the UK with pre-settled status
    • In the UK with protection status (i.e. is either a refugee or someone with humanitarian protection)
    • In the UK as a stateless person

    Applicants will also generally be expected to demonstrate that they have the means to support themselves for their entire stay and that they speak and understand English sufficiently.

    UK Work Visa

    The UK has a wide range of Work visas, and the best fit for you will depend on the nature of the work which you intend to complete in the UK. The main Work visas are as follows:

    • Skilled Worker visa – this visa is for applicants intending to work for an eligible UK employer
    • Temporary Work visa- this visa category allows short-term work in the UK, and includes the following visa types:
      • Government Authorised Exchange visa
      • Seasonal Worker visa
      • Charity Worker visa
      • Religious Worker visa
    • Global Business Mobility visa- this visa category allows overseas companies to operate in the UK, and includes the following specific visas:

    Whilst the specific conditions vary based on the specific visa in question, the eligibility criteria are generally as follows:

    • Hold a work offer from an eligible UK employer
    • Possess a certificate of sponsorship
    • Your role must meet the minimum income threshold for your field. Note that this will vary depending on the type of role in question
    • Have the financial means to support yourself and any dependants for the duration of your stay
    • Be sufficiently proficient in the English language

    Different Work visas allow the holder to stay in the UK for different amounts of time, ranging up to 5 years. Certain Work visas, such as the Skilled Worker visa, also provide a path to permanent settlement and citizenship, once the holder has lived in the UK for at least 5 years.

    Business Visa UK

    If you plan to visit the UK in order to conduct business, you may require one of the following visas:

    • Standard Visitor visa – this visa is a good fit for short-term business trips, such as attending an interview, conference, or meeting
    • Innovator Founder visa – this visa allows the holder to start a business in the UK
    • Global Business Mobility visa – this visa category allows overseas companies to operate in the UK with greater ease, and includes the following visas:
      • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
      • Graduate Trainee visa
      • UK Expansion Worker visa
      • Secondment Worker Visa
      • Service Supplier visa

    Note that, if you intend to start a business in the UK, you will be expected to demonstrate the business’s originality, scalability, and viability. The more evidence you are able to provide, the more likely that your application will be accepted.

    Study Visa UK

    If you are planning to study in the UK, you may require one of the following visas:

    • Standard Visitor visa- this visa type allows the holder to attend short-term recreational courses in the UK
    • Student visa- this visa type allows students of 16 and over to study in the UK when they have received an offer from a licenced educational institution
    • Child Student visa- this visa type allows students from 4-17 years old to study at a UK independent school
    • Study English in the UK: Short-Term Student

    The eligibility criteria for Student visas are generally as follows:

    • Be in possession of an offer from an eligible UK institution
    • Have the financial means to support yourself for the duration of your studies (note that this also includes any course costs)
    • Be sufficiently proficient in the English language
    • If you are under 18, you will also need to provide evidence that your parents have given their consent for you to study

    Student visas allow stays of up to 5 years and can sometimes be extended if the eligibility criteria continue to be met.

    Reach out to our immigration specialists if you need a visa to visit the UK. Contact Us

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      UK Visa Applications

      The exact steps of applying for a UK visa will depend on the visa type in question. Generally, however, the steps are as follows:

      First, you will need to apply online for your visa, via the UK government website. You will need to submit the necessary information and documentation. You will also need to book an appointment to have your biometric data (specifically your photograph and fingerprints) collected. If you are applying from outside of the UK, you will need to visit a UK visa application centre in order to do so. In Ireland, this centre can be found in Dublin.

      Once you have provided the necessary information, your application will be processed. If your application is successful, you will then be granted a visa, which can be used to legally enter the UK.

      Which Documents Will I Require?

      The specific documents needed for your application will vary significantly based on the visa type in question. However, you will generally require a combination of the following:

      • Valid passport
      • Any additional relevant travel documents
      • Proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself for the duration of your stay
      • Proof of sufficient proficiency in the English language
      • Birth certificate (if applicable)
      • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
      • Family records (if applicable)
      • Offer of study/employment (if applicable)
      • Copy of your criminal record

      Documents will need to be translated into either English or Welsh by a certified translation service.

      UK Visa Fees

      The exact application fee will depend on the visa type in question.

      For a Student visa, the cost is typically £490. For a Skilled Worker visa, the cost ranges from £719 to £1,500. Family visas, on the other hand, range from £404 to £3250. The exact cost will depend on different factors, such as the particular type of family visa in question.

      Most applicants will also need to pay the annual healthcare surcharge, which allows for use of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). In some cases, it will also be necessary to pay for your documentation to be translated into either English or Welsh.

      You may also choose to pay for legal assistance with your application. Contact Total Law today on +353 061 518 025 to hear more about how we can help.

      UK Visa Processing Time

      The exact processing time for a UK visa will depend on the specific visa for which you are applying and on whether or not you are applying from outside of the UK.

      At the time of writing in March 2024, the processing time for Visitor visas, Study visas, and most Work visas is 3 weeks. The processing time for Family visas is 24 weeks.

      However, these times are subject to change based on a number of factors, such as if your application is missing information or if a high number of other applications are simultaneously being processed.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      Many Irish citizens and residents choose to visit the UK, for a range of purposes. The UK offers a number of opportunities, including tourism, work, study, and business. It has a strong economy, numerous professional possibilities, and easy access to the EU.

      In some cases, a visa may be necessary in order to visit the UK. However, applying for a UK visa can often be a confusing process. At Total Law, our legal experts are adept at offering bespoke immigration advice on cases exactly like this. Contact us online today or on +353 061 518 025 to learn more and to receive assistance with every stage of the application process.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Yes, Irish citizens can still visit the UK without a visa after Brexit. They can also live, work, and study in the UK without a visa. However, if you reside in Ireland but do not have Irish citizenship, you may still require a visa in order to visit the UK. This will depend on your particular nationality.

                The British Irish Visa Scheme allows citizens of China and India who have certain types of UK or Irish Visitor visas to travel freely between the UK and Ireland. Valid UK visas include the Permitted Paid Engagement visa and the Standard Visitor visa. Valid Irish visas include the Visit (Family and Friend) visa, the Visit (Tourist) visa, and the Conference/Event visa.

                Note that, if you intend to travel under this scheme, you must first visit the country which granted your Visitor visa. If your visa was issued by Ireland, for example, you must first visit Ireland before then visiting the UK. This will be enforced at the point of entry by an immigration officer.

                This will depend on whether or not you are an Irish citizen, your nationality, and the nature of your immigration status in Ireland. For more information on which visa route is right for you, contact Total Law today on +353 061 518 025 to learn more.