Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Neasa HouriganNeasa Hourigan (Dublin Central, Green Party)
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120. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the reason new entry and transit visa requirements have been placed on all passport holders from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia and Lesotho regardless of their country of travel origin; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [60621/21]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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As part of Government efforts to tackle the pandemic, I have signed an Order that imposes new entry visa and transit visa requirements on passport holders from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, and Lesotho. This order and the associated measures came into effect at midnight, 26 November 2021.

This move is in line with the latest public health advice regarding new COVID-19 variants of concern.

As of midnight, 26 November 2021, in addition to countries who were visa required prior to that date, passport holders of the following countries are now also required to apply for an entry visa or transit visa, as appropriate, before travelling to Ireland:

- South Africa (entry visa and transit visa required)

- Botswana (entry visa and transit visa required)

- Eswatini (entry visa and transit visa required)

- Lesotho (entry visa and transit visa required)

- Namibia (transit visa required – this country is already subject to an entry visa requirement and this requirement remains in place)

Visa applications from passport holders of the above countries (and from Zimbabwe and Mozambique which are already visa required) will be accepted and processed where the applicant is a person who:

- has obtained or is entitled to apply for a right of residence under EU Free Movement;

- has a valid Residence Permission in the State under the Immigration Acts (including persons covered by the interim arrangements that apply from 15 November 2021 to 15 January 2021);

- is a family member of an Irish citizen;

- has not been in one of the following countries (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe) in the previous 14 days prior to the date of travel to the State;

- is a diplomat and to whom the privileges and immunities conferred by an international agreement or arrangement or customary international law apply in the State, pursuant to the Diplomatic Relations and Immunities Acts 1967 to 2006 or any other enactment or the Constitution.

People in these categories will, of course, have to comply with all relevant health measures in place for international travellers.

The situation will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.


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