ETIAS for Visiting Ireland
Northern Ireland and Ireland, how they are different
The Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK. Although Ireland is not part of the Schengen Area, it is a member of the European Union.
Northern Ireland forms part of the United Kingdom. The UK also includes England, Scotland, and Wales.
Even if the UK had not voted to leave the EU, you could not have used ETIAS to visit the United Kingdom because the UK didn’t sign the Schengen Agreement. ETIAS is required to travel to the Schengen area and to countries that are joining the Schengen region.
Northern Ireland is separate from Ireland. Northern Ireland will still be part of the UK, while Ireland will remain in the EU.
Recent history of the Irish border
It is helpful to understand the history of the Irish border to understand the current situation better. Internationally known as the Northern Ireland Conflict (or simply the Conflict), this political and nationalist conflict began in the late 1960s and was fueled by historical events.
The constitutional status of Northern Ireland was a critical issue. Most Protestant unionists and loyalists wanted Northern Ireland to remain within the UK. Most Catholics supported Northern Ireland joining a united Ireland.
The conflict started during a campaign to end discrimination by the police force against the Catholic minor and the Protestant/unionist governments. The police were accused of using brutality to suppress the movement of the authorities.
The violence between the groups resulted in riots that culminated in the August 1969 deployment of British troops and riots. Paramilitary organizations also emerged, and these events eventually led to three-decade-long disturbances.
Political negotiations have again focused on the border, this time about Brexit. Former Prime Minister Theresa May could not resolve the Northern Ireland border issue, and it continues to be a problem for Boris Johnson, the current PM.
After years of negotiations, the EU and UK have just created rules to prevent border checks between Northern Ireland (and the Republic of Ireland) starting January 1, after much discussion.
Ireland is not part of the Schengen Agreement.
Ireland is a member of the EU but has not joined Schengen Area.
The UK and Ireland have a Common Travel Area that allows passport-free travel to their citizens and the three British Crown Dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey, which are not members of the European Union.
Gibraltar will be included in the Schengen Scheme following the agreement reached by the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) for the post-Brexit period.
The UK refused to sign up for the Schengen Agreement, arguing that frontier controls are better than other methods to stop illegal immigration in an island country.
Ireland refused to sign the Schengen Agreement for its reasons. It said it was not in Ireland’s best interest to do so. Ireland would also impose exit and entry controls on people traveling between Ireland and Britain and on the frontier.
Ireland didn’t join the Schengen Agreement mainly because it wanted to control non-EU citizens’ immigration status. Ireland does not belong to mainland Europe. Therefore, it makes sense for Ireland to manage their borders in the way they choose.
What’s the difference between a Schengen and a Regular Visa
The Schengen Agreement was created to establish uniform border rules across its member countries. For example, Schengen visa holders can stay up to 90 days within the region. A Schengen Visa is valid to travel within the countries that have signed the agreement. It can be used for up to 90 days during 180 days.
ETIAS does not replace the Schengen visa. ETIAS is a visa waiver for citizens of countries exempted from visa requirements in the Schengen Area.
Do I require ETIAS to travel to Ireland?
The simple answer is no. You will not require an ETIAS visa waiver to visit Ireland. ETIAS travel authorization only allows entry to Schengen states. This does not apply to Ireland. ETIAS can also be used for countries that are joining Schengen: Bulgaria and Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania.
Non-EU citizens who want to make the most out of their trip and visit European countries such as Italy or Spain will need an ETIAS permit.
ETIAS will be available to citizens of more than 50 countries when it is released in 2023.
Check the entry requirements for travelers going to Ireland based on their nationality. You may need additional permits to enter Northern Ireland or any other country in the United Kingdom.
Schengen data systems and Ireland
Recently, the EU approved Ireland’s access to the Schengen Information System. Ireland now has access to SIS II – Europe’s most popular and widely used IT security system.
A Garda Siochana is the Irish national police force and will share data on missing persons and stolen or lost objects and cars with the 30 other participating countries.
This is a significant security boost because the data can be used to detect potentially dangerous persons trying to enter Ireland and locate people and objects elsewhere within Europe.
The An Garda Siochana PULSE and Garda National Immig Bureau databases will be integrated with SIS II to detect and prevent serious crimes. Ireland will not be included in the Schengen common travel area, but it will receive the safety and security benefits of sharing knowledge.