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Ireland no longer a visa-free destination for South Africans

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Ireland no longer a visa-free destination for South Africans

Passport holders from Botswana and South Africa will now be required to obtain a visa before travelling to the Republic of Ireland.

This was announced by the Irish Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, on the 8th of July.

The new visa regulation applies as of Wednesday, the 10th of July 2024. Visa costs are expected to range from R1 200 to R2 000.

Picture: Unsplash

According to BusinessTech, a transit visa will also be required if one intends to transit through Ireland en route another destination.

The Irish Department of Justice cited a significant increase in International Protection applications from people who are citizens of Botswana and South Africa in recent years.

Both countries are designated safe countries of origin for International Protection purposes. They are also the only countries on the list which currently don’t require a visa for entry.

Picture: Sourced / iStock (teekid)

Travellers from South Africa and Botswana who have existing travel arrangements are advised to visit the Irish Immigration Service site for further information.

‘This is a carefully considered decision which will bring Ireland into closer alignment with the Schengen Area in respect of both these countries, and into line with the UK in respect of South Africa,’ said McEntee.

She further added that the visa system is an essential part of Irish Immigration to determine who can travel to Ireland.

Moreover, Irish visa requirements are kept under ongoing review, having regard for the need to ensure that effective immigration controls are in place.

As per the Department of Justice, transitional arrangements will be put in place for Botswana and South Africa nationals with existing arrangements (made before 10 July 2024) to travel to the State until 9 August 2024.

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