UK Tourist Visa from Ireland

Irish citizens do not need a visa to enter the UK. However, foreign travellers coming to the UK from Ireland may need to apply for a tourist visa. If you are looking for more information about whether you need a tourist visa to enter the UK from Ireland, what eligibility criteria you must meet, what supporting documents you may require, what activities you are allowed as a tourist in the UK, or to receive bespoke advice from a team of expert immigration advisers, reach out to us today on +353 061 518 025.

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    Visit the UK as a Tourist From Ireland

    The Common Travel Area (CTA) agreement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland bestows a variety of rights upon each other’s citizens, including the right to travel freely between both countries. Even after Brexit, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU did not affect the rights of Irish and British citizens in each other’s territory protected under the CTA.

    Irish citizens will not need to show their passport to the UK immigration officers while travelling from Ireland to the UK. However, they may be asked to confirm their identity and nationality via documents such as a valid passport or passport card, a legible copy of the same, an expired passport or passport card, or any evidence of having obtained Irish citizenship. EEA and Swiss citizens can also travel to the UK for holidays without a visa.

    However, if you are a third-country tourist travelling to the UK from Ireland, you may need to obtain a Standard Visitor visa for tourism purposes, commonly called a UK tourist visa. Even if you are from a visa-exempt country for Ireland, you may still require a valid UK visa to enter the country. Moreover, even visa-exempt foreign nationals for the UK may have to produce certain documentary evidence to the UK border control officers at their port of entry.

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    The British-Irish Visa Scheme

    The British Irish visa scheme allows Indian and Chinese tourists to visit the UK from Ireland if they are holding certain Irish short stay visas, such as the visit (family/friend), visit (tourist), conference/event, or business visas. However, Indian or Chinese nationals holding any other type of Irish visa, such as a work or a study visa in Ireland, must apply for a Standard Visitor visa to travel to the UK.

    Under the British-Irish visa scheme, Indian or Chinese nationals will have to apply at an Irish visa application centre in India or China, respectively, for entering the UK from Ireland. Visa applications made at centres outside either of these two countries will not get the travel advantages under this scheme.

    What I Can or Cannot Do as a Tourist in the UK

    Foreign tourists coming to the UK on a Standard Visitor visa are allowed to engage in certain activities as permitted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Even if you are a visa-exempted foreigner for the UK, if you are entering the UK for tourism purposes you will not be permitted to:

    • Do paid or unpaid work for an employer
    • Work as a self-employed person
    • Access public funds
    • Enter matrimony or register a civil partnership, or give notice of the same
    • Live in the UK for a considerable length of time through frequent or successive visits

    As a tourist, you will be able to stay in the UK for up to six months (or as long as your Standard Visitor visa is valid, whichever is shorter). You will be able to travel through the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey as per your proposed itinerary submitted with your visa application.

    Eligibility Requirements for a UK Tourist Visa

    You will be eligible to apply for a Standard Visitor visa in the UK for tourism purposes if you can prove that you:

    • Are coming to the UK as a tourist
    • Will leave the UK at the end of your visit (or when your visa validity ends, whichever is shorter)
    • Have sufficient financial means (or a sponsor) to cover for your and your dependants’ (if any) expenses, including accommodation in the UK and return/onwards journey
    • Have funds or travel health insurance to pay for any medical treatment, emergencies or repatriation
    • Will not stay in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits
    • Do not have any intention to make the UK your main home

    Moreover, in case you are under 18 years of age and are travelling alone, you must have written consent from your parent(s) or guardian to be eligible for a UK tourist visa.

    How to Apply UK Tourist Visa From Ireland

    Similar to other UK visas, a UK Standard Visa application for tourism purposes has to be made online. You may apply for your UK tourist visa three months before your planned travel date at the earliest.

    Please start with creating an account on the Home Office website with a valid email ID. It is recommended to have your supporting documents and other necessary information ready with you so as to fill in the online application form correctly and completely.

    After completing the form, you will have to submit the same online along with scanned copies of your supporting documents. You will then be redirected to the payments page where you will have to pay your tourist visa processing fees online.

    The next step will involve booking a visa appointment at a UK visa application centre (VAC) for submitting your passport and supporting documents as well as providing your biometric information i.e. your facial image and fingerprints. TLScontact is the official partner for UKVI in Ireland and they have a VAC in Dublin.

    Speak to our legal team for assistance with your UK tourist visa from Ireland. Contact Us

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      Documents Required for Visiting the UK From Ireland

      To apply for a UK tourist visa, you may need to submit the following supporting documents along with your application:

      • A valid passport or any other travel document
      • A copy of your travel itinerary in the UK
      • Proof of accommodation, e.g. a hotel reservation etc.
      • Details of your tour operator, if applicable
      • Proof of funds (or sponsor details)
      • Your current residence address proof (including how long you have been living in that address)
      • Your parents’ names and dates of birth
      • Proof of income, e.g. salary slips, pension, income from any other sources etc.
      • Record(s) of any criminal, civil or immigration offences
      • Your travel history for the last 10 years
      • Your employer’s details (if you are employed in your country of residence)
      • Tax returns
      • Your spouse/civil partner’s name, date of birth and passport number, where applicable
      • Details of your family members (if any) in the UK
      • Written consent from your parent(s)/guardian along with their full contact details if you are under 18 and travelling without an adult

      If you are under 18 and are travelling with an adult who is neither your parent nor your legal guardian, you must have documentary evidence to show that you have your parent(s)’ or guardian’s consent with regard to your travel and accommodation arrangements in the UK, even if you are visa-exempt.

      Even if you are exempt from applying for a UK visit visa (except Irish citizens), please carry the supporting documents mentioned above with you while travelling to the country, since UK immigration authorities may ask for them at your port of entry. You may even be refused entry to the UK if you are unable to show these documents.

      If your documents are not in English or Welsh, please submit certified translation copies.

      UK Tourist Visa Fees and Processing Time

      A UK Standard Visitor visa for tourism purposes will cost you £115. This is a non-refundable fee, meaning you will not get your money back even if your visa application is not successful.

      After submitting your documents and providing your biometric details, it may typically take UKVI up to three weeks for processing your visa application. You may also be eligible to get your visa decision faster by paying an additional fee, i.e. £500 for a ‘priority service’ to get the decision within five working days or £1,000 for a ‘super priority service’ to get your UKVI decision letter by the end of the next working day.

      How Total Law Can Help

      Irish citizens do not need a visa to enter the UK, but if you are a visa-required foreign national coming to the UK from Ireland for holiday or vacation purposes, you may need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa UK for tourism purposes. You, however, may travel to the UK on an eligible Irish short stay visa if you are an Indian/Chinese citizen and qualify under the British-Irish visa scheme.

      Even visa-exempt country nationals have to meet the applicable eligibility requirements as specified by the Home Office as well as carry required documents with them to be able to enter the UK. You should also be aware of what activities you are allowed to do in the UK while on a tourist visa, so as to avoid a cancellation of your current visa or any future UK visa implications.

      Speak to Total Law. Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your application as well as resolve any query or doubts you may have regarding the UK tourist visa requirements and application process. To know more about the bespoke services we provide and how we can help you, call us today on +353 061 518 025.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                You may be able to extend your UK tourist visa if your current visa validity is less than six months. You cannot, however, extend your stay in the UK on a tourist visa for more than six months.

                For example, if you have been granted permission to stay in the UK as a tourist for two months, you may be able to extend the same for a maximum of an additional four months.

                UKVI does not recognise an Irish work permit as a valid travel document for the UK. However, it may prove to be beneficial in your UK tourist visa application if you have one.