Ireland’s Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has announced new entry visa and transit visa requirements for nationals from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Namibia. The measures took effect from midnight on 26 November 2021.1 Visa applications from nationals of these countries, and from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, will only be processed if they meet the emergency/priority criteria set out by ISD. These measures have been put in place in response to the discovery of the new “omicron” variant of the coronavirus in the aforementioned countries.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Employers should note that entry visa and transit visa application requirements have been extended to cover South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Namibia. Visa applications are only being accepted for emergency/priority situations from nationals of these countries and from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
This will have the impact of severely restricting the entry of individuals travelling between these countries and Ireland, including individuals who are transiting through these countries into Ireland.
Employers and their mobile employees may wish to reconsider their plans if travelling between South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Ireland.
New Visa Requirements
In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, ISD has announced that from midnight on 26 November 2021, the entry visa and transit visa system has been extended to cover further countries and applications must meet the emergency/priority criteria. The emergency/priority criteria list is extensive and includes: all long-stay employment applications supported by an employment permit or Atypical Working Scheme permission; join-family visa applications; and, persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive.
Who Does This Apply to?
- Nationals from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Namibia.
- Nationals from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique will have their entry visa applications accepted and processed where they meet the emergency/priority criteria.
Individuals and their employers should be aware of these changes regarding the update to entry visa requirements.
For advice on this changing situation, please contact the Corporate Immigration and Employment Law Team with KPMG in Ireland (see the Contact Us section below).
1 See “COVID-19 Visa Arrangements” at: https://www.irishimmigration.ie/covid-19-visa-arrangements/ .
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ireland.
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