The Irish short-stay visa waiver programme says that nationals of Oman are allowed to travel to Ireland without an Irish visa, provided that they have obtained a short-stay visa in the UK and have gained lawful entry into the UK. It is explicitly stated that the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) is a valid short-stay visa for the purpose of the programme, with some restrictions.

However, the UK government website says that Electronic Visa Waivers have recently been obsoleted and have been replaced by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for nationals of Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

If a national of Oman has obtained an ETA and has gained lawful entry into the UK, are they allowed to travel to Ireland under the programme?

2 Answers 2


Having received no response from the Irish Department of Justice, we made a phone call to the honorary consulate of Ireland in Oman. Here's what we established:

  • It is legal for Omani citizens to enter Ireland from the UK with just an ETA. Many Omani people have successfully travelled to Ireland in this manner.
  • Airport personnel may not be aware of your right to travel to Ireland. If you face issues with airport staff, show them a printed document confirming your right to travel.
  • The consulate is not permitted to issue written statements confirming your right to travel. We were told that it's sufficient to provide a screenshot of an online source (e.g. the website of the Department of Justice linked in the question).
  • No Omani citizens have been refused entry to Ireland on the basis of an ETA that the consulate knows of.
  • We were advised to travel via the London Heathrow airport because the check-in agents there are familiar with the travel rules for Omani citizens.

You will face difficulties at check-in

Against our better judgement, we disregarded the consulate's advice and decided to travel via Liverpool. My Omani companion was denied boarding at check-in. We tried to explain our situation, but the check-in agent insisted that Omani citizens need a visa to travel to Ireland.

Ultimately, the check-in crew advised us to book a flight to Belfast and to enter the Republic of Ireland by land. We did so, and we travelled home via the same route.

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    Thank you for reporting back on what you've learned.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Apr 16 at 8:57
  • 1
    Reminder that you can probably claim the UK261 involuntary denial of boarding compensation Commented May 12 at 18:29
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    @Crazydre it's possibly more complex here, as neither the Irish official sites nor Timatic provide the "right" info, so the airline may be safe in this case. The right thing would be for the Irish government to update their pages on the subject to make things clear, and send updates to Timatic and Traveldoc.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 13 at 10:53
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    @jcaron Already emailed the Irish authorities to have this addressed, and after that I'll reach out to my TIMATIC contacts
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 13 at 11:28
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    @Lachcim "I'm afraid I'll have to let this one go" Absolutely wrong! The fact is you should've been allowed to travel, so no, there were NO "reasonable grounds". As I said, most likely the check-in company (Swissport) phoned Ryanair Immigration who almost always thinks they know all rules in perfect detail and will rarely care to double-check. You claim compensation by emailing [email protected] with the booking reference in the title, requesting GBP 220/person AND reimbursement of all travel expenses to Belfast and overland to Ireland (attach the receipts to the email=
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 13 at 21:02

While you should check this with the Irish immigration authorities, my reading of the rules is that the answer is no. The reason is that an ETA is not a visa (also implicitly confirmed here on gov.uk), and the Irish scheme explicitly considers only visas.

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    If one follows that line then an electronic visa waiver wasn’t a visa either. My guess is that they intend for the ETA to be acceptable, but they haven’t updated docs, and Timatic wasn’t updated either, which is a bigger problem as the airline is likely to refuse boarding.
    – jcaron
    Commented Apr 11 at 8:13
  • @jcaron which indeed is why I think it would be eventually marked as no - as neither the waiver nor the ETAs are visas. Commented Apr 11 at 17:14
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    @jcaron If it was Ryanair (which is likely the case for Liverpool-Ireland) they likely wouldn't have gone by TIMATIC, but phoned the Ryanair Immigration Dept. That in and of itself often spells doom. That being said, I'll definitely reach out to TIMATIC and see to it they update this detail
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 13 at 10:03

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