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I'm a Saudi passport holder with permanent residence in the United States, and I'd like to book a flight from Washington to Edinburgh with a three-hour layover in Dublin. I know there's a Common Travel Agreement between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, and so I was wondering if I need an Irish transit visa to connect to a flight from Dublin to Edinburgh, or if a UK visa is sufficient. And are there any users who traveled US-RoI-UK under the same circumstances with needing a UK visa who can share their experience? Users who aren't visa-free for the UK or Ireland, that is.

From what I've read in these forums and others, it seems like Irish immigration in effect does controls on behalf of the UK government unofficially.

I have also heard concerns from people saying Aer Lingus employees could deny me boarding depending how confused an employee would be when looking up visa requirements on TIMATIC.

  • Will both legs of the trip be on one booking (same PNR)? inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/check-irish-visa – Traveller Apr 12 at 16:53
  • Yes, it would be one Aer Lingus booking. IAD-DUB-EDI. I know Saudis don't need a transit visa, but some fear that the exemption might not be applicable in the case of flights headed to the UK because of the Common Travel Area. And because airline employees might see that note on TIMATIC about the Common Travel Area and get confused and deny boarding. united.com/web/en-US/apps/vendors/default.aspx?i=TIMATIC – Nayef Apr 12 at 17:32
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    The note from TIMATIC: Flights between Ireland (Rep.) and the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are treated as domestic flights and passengers are subject to Irish immigration control before continuing to the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. – Nayef Apr 12 at 17:35
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Have you already used your UK visa to enter the UK, and are you still within the 180 days that were authorized when you last entered the UK? If so, you could be eligible for the short stay visa waiver program (also described on Wikipedia).

Otherwise, you need a regular Irish visa.

A transit visa isn't relevant because your second flight is within the Common Travel Area, so you have to pass border control after your first flight.

Note: My answer is based only on the Irish government official website and Wikipedia. It would be helpful if someone with real-life experience of this could add an answer as well.

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