I am an Indian national and I posses a UK general visitor visa which was issued to me in the USA. I wish to make a short trip to Dublin after I have spent a few days in the UK. I believe that since my UK visa was not issued in India, I cannot avail the BIVS programme. However, there appears to be another programme- the short stay visa waiver programme- which seems to permit my travel to Dublin. Although all material on the website of this programme doesn't state it, I wish to be sure that I can indeed make this trip despite having had my UK visa issued in the USA. Is it sufficient for me to simply have a UK visa and to hold an Indian passport?

EDIT: The question is primarily focused on two aspects:

  1. To clarify whether the BIVS is a subset of the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme (henceforth SSVW) or not, stated here as 3(e) and 3(d) respectively, and if so provide reasons. In the Immigration Act 2004, the two are stated as separate points, not sub points, and apply to separate lists of countries and it is not stated there that the BIVS merely imposes additional conditions on Indian and Chinese nationals within the SSVW. One will note that 3(d) states that the SSVW is valid only until October 2016. The amendment which extends the programme to 2021 can be found here. If I am missing something, please let me know and state it clearly.
  2. If it is established that the BIVS is indeed a separate programme, please clarify whether the clause on obtaining the UK visa in ones home country applies to the SSVW as well.
  • Does your visa have the BIVS notation on it?
    – Giorgio
    Apr 17, 2017 at 13:13
  • @Dorothy : No, I cannot avail that programme since my UK visa wasn't issued in my home country. This question is regarding the "Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme" and whether it has a similar clause.
    – prishc
    Apr 18, 2017 at 22:51
  • I've done this in the past, with exactly the same circumstances as you - travel.stackexchange.com/questions/62053/… I took the ferry to Dublin from Wales.
    – nikhil
    Apr 19, 2017 at 20:48
  • 2
    @nikhil I want to be able to travel legally, and I haven't found a convincing reason to believe that this waiver doesn't apply, but I want to be sure. Also, unfortunately I'm flying Ryanair.
    – prishc
    Apr 19, 2017 at 22:32
  • 1
    @prishc - Also see goo.gl/S4Uzk5 Maybe this section applies to you - Visa required, except for Nationals of India with a valid C visa issued by the United Kingdom if they have first entered the United Kingdom and been granted a stay of 180 days in the United Kingdom. They are visa exempt for a maximum stay of 90 days in Ireland (Rep.) or until the end of the period of stay
    – nikhil
    Apr 20, 2017 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


The Short stay visa waiver programme is not separate from the British Irish Visa Scheme; it is inclusive and has footnote specific to Chinese and Indian nationals.

While it does allow a visit to Ireland, the short stay visa waiver programme has a requirement that affects those nationalities, the need to have a BIVS endorsement on the visa. Your UK visa does not, as you commented; thus, there is no work-around that allows you to visit Ireland after your trip into the UK.

Note: Chinese and Indian nationals may visit the United Kingdom and Ireland in some circumstances using a single short stay visa issued by either country. Read a longer description of the British-Irish Visa Scheme.

The expanded information from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has the detail, as it affects Indian nationals who can travel to Ireland after the UK if the visa is endorsed with BIVS. Without that endorsement, the Irish short stay visa programme is not available.

Note: The astute reader will observe that the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs site (above link) is out-of-date by about 3 years. Accordingly, it should read with a jaundiced eye and for indicative value only.

The UK Guidance is clear and current for the UK only, it does not take up national schemes that the Republic has implemented.

  • 2
    It appears from the information on the website that the BIVS programme is a separate, related and reciprocal programme, i.e., it allows travel to Ireland with a short stay UK visa and vice versa. The short stay visa waiver programme, however, is evidently not a reciprocal arrangement. Since India is listed on the "list of countries" for which the short stay visa programme is applicable, I don't see where they specify that Indian and Chinese nationals need to satisfy additional clauses (BIVS is more stringent) solely for travel to Ireland.
    – prishc
    Apr 19, 2017 at 18:29
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    @GayotFow the answer says that the BIVS is a subset of the short stay visa waiver programme but if you look at the immigration act you can see that they're separate articles (BIVS is 3(e) and the short stay waiver is 3(d)) and the both refer to a separate list of countries each, and both lists include India. What i mean to convey in my comment is that i am not convinced by the answer.
    – prishc
    Apr 20, 2017 at 1:10
  • @GayotFow it is established that there are provisions for an Indian national holding an SVV to make a visit to the republic. The conditions, ie, the rules of those provisions are set by the minutiae of the programmes aren't they?
    – prishc
    Apr 20, 2017 at 1:43
  • @GayotFow well my question was more along the lines of "does the short stay waiver also require me to obtain my UK visa in my home country as well" but I tried to idk make it sound broader in case someone else would want to know. Apologies for that.
    – prishc
    Apr 20, 2017 at 1:54
  • @prishc brief edit to clarify the authorities, it will be edited again most likely tomorrow with a final answer for you :)
    – Gayot Fow
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:00

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