Breen secures changes to the Visa Waiver Programme to facilitate business travellers flying into Shannon Airport.

November 4th, 2011 - Pat Breen

Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade Pat Breen has secured approval from the Ministers of Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar T.D. and his colleague the Minister for Justice, Law Reform and Defence Alan Shatter T.D. for a change to the Visa Waiver programme which will be of considerable assistance in facilitating business travellers to visit Ireland, but in particular for those travelling into Shannon Airport from the UK.

“I welcome the approval from both Ministers for a change to the Visa Waiver Programme which I had sought in order to facilitate business travel to Ireland but particularly for those business people from Asia who regularly travel from London into Shannon Airport to transact business in this Region.”

“Up until now, holders of long term UK business visas required two visas to travel on to Shannon Airport from London and this procedure was a deterrent for business people travelling to the Mid West Region. In fact, in my discussions with Ennis Chamber of Commerce recently they highlighted a number of cases where business travellers were put off from visiting this area given the cumbersome procedure of having to apply for two visas.”

“Following my representations to both Ministers I am delighted to say that this anomaly has now been changed. This change means that long-term holders of UK business visas who have a current valid “leave to enter” the UK, which they have utilised once, to travel to Ireland, either directly or via the UK, can now travel into Shannon without the need for an Irish Visa. Our overseas Visa offices and Embassies have been informed and agreement has been reached with the UK Border Agency. Arrangements are also being put in place to advise all carriers.”