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South Africans are visa exempt for Ireland for 3 months.

However, if connecting in the UK on the way there, they have to clear UK immigration as Ireland is in the CTA.

The GOV.UK website states the following regarding South Africans going to Ireland via the UK:

You’ll usually need to apply for a UK standard visitor visa;


You might be eligible for ‘transit without visa’ if [...] [you] have the right documents for your destination (for example a visa for that country)


You must also have an Irish biometric visa (marked ‘BC’ or ‘BC BIVS’ in the ‘Remarks’ section) and an onward flight ticket to the Republic of Ireland.

The second and third statements overlap but differ: the second statement implies you just need to have the right papers to enter Ireland (for a South African, a passport), while the third statement specifically says you need an Irish visa to connect the UK visa-free.

Judging by the first and third statements combined, it would appear that a South African, despite being visa exempt for Ireland, would need either a UK Standard visitor visa or an Irish visa if connecting in the UK.

Is this the case?

marked as duplicate by JonathanReez Sep 16 '17 at 1:26

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  • Looking at Timatic, the visa-free landslide transit exemption for the Republic of Ireland clearly states the need for a biometric visa. Without written proof from UK immigration authorities that you are in the clear, I would be very hesitant to try this without a visa (no matter what the actual rule), as one would run a significant risk of being denied boarding. – jacoman891 Sep 15 '17 at 22:07
  • @jacoman891 I see, will tell the concerned person that. Unfortunately the Border Force cannot be contacted by e-mail – Crazydre Sep 15 '17 at 22:08
  • All signs point to yes - you would need a visa. There's no reason to believe a special exemption exists. – JonathanReez Sep 16 '17 at 1:26