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  • Sarah Henry

Visas For Ukraine Nationals – Ireland Acts Swiftly While The UK Already Shuts The Door

25th February 2022

All Ukrainians who travel to Ireland from today will no longer need a visa to enter the State.

We welcome today’s official statement by the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, who confirmed the immediate lifting of visa requirements between Ukraine and Ireland.

The Statutory Instrument removing the Irish visa requirement for Ukrainian nationals as an emergency measure takes immediate effect. Those with pending visa applications can proceed to travel to Ireland to seek entry without a visa. Once in the State, those who travelled without a visa will have 90 days to regularise their status. Ukrainian nationals who have applied for visas to join family members who are Irish citizens will have their applications processed swiftly.

We would urge the UK government to go further in its easing of restrictions on travel for Ukrainian nationals who seek to enter the UK. Fees and some requirements have been temporarily waived but anyone arriving to the UK needs a visa and it was reported today that only those with British citizen family members can apply. A route for accepting refugees to the UK has not been established. As the Ukraine tragedy unfolds, Britain is apparently shutting its doors. We can ignore the unduly complacent tweets from the Home Office announcing the decision to introduce ’visa concessions’ for those impacted by the escalating crisis. They do not go far enough and do reflect the UK government’s condemnation of Russia’s actions. Afterall, the Tory government has already reneged on promises to resettle Afghan refugees, many of whom have been left stranded and ignored and is about to advance legislation that would make an asylum claim ‘inadmissible’ for people who have temporarily resided in another ‘safe country.’ This is bound to impact many Ukrainian citizens in need of safety.

In terms of seeking asylum in Ireland or the UK, It is of course to any person arriving to the State to seek asylum here if they have a well-founded fear of being persecuted, or if they cannot return to their country of origin because they are at risk of serious harm.

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