I've got a non-EU passport and UK Indefinite Leave to Remain and I permanently reside in the UK. My country is on the list of the Irish Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme (which I don't understand if it's still suspended due to COVID or resumed if anyone knows?) and I can even travel visa-free to the Schengen area (which Ireland is not a part of).
I was planning to travel to Ireland to spend Christmas with my Irish friend, but even though there is the Common Travel Area, it appears I still need to apply for a visa? Is there any sort of a short-cut (legal, obviously) for the non-EU citizens and UK ILR holders to travel to Ireland? How long is the visa processing time? I just find this very frustrating, does anyone else have this experience?