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Does anybody know the exact date on when British Irish visa scheme is applicable for Indian Citizens? Although the scheme has been announced and implemented in China, there is no update on when it will be applicable to Indian Citizens? Please let me know if anybody has any info on this one.

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You have asked for information about the new British-Irish Visa Scheme, and an indication of the activation date for Indian nationals. Here's up-to-date information...

The original announcement of 6 October 2014 is posted here

As of right now (6 Feb 2015), the most recent statement is the Ministerial Statement of 30 October 2014; this provides the go-ahead for all of the infrastructure to be implemented.

They have circulated a schedule of indicative prices to the UK legal community and the price for this visa has been tentatively set at GBP 85.

The remaining steps are 1. to enact the law; and 2. to publish the Statement of Changes and 3. to publish the guidance.

Steps 1 and 2 will most likely be done by orders in council in March 2015 (when Parliament next sits), so they can be considered a formality. Guidance is being drafted right now.

There is pressure to do this quickly (see NOTE below), but the activation date (i.e., when the scheme is available to end-users) has not been announced. For working purposes 6 April 2015 is the best estimate. The first or second Monday in April has traditionally been the activation date for major changes on the immigration landscape (the alternative date being October).

NOTE: There is a general election in May 2015 and this may result in UK Visas and Immigration entering Purdah. If so, they will have to wait for the results before making any statements.

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