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Citizens of Botswana & South Africa Subject to Visas When Traveling to Ireland From July 10 – VisaGuide.News

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Authorities in Ireland have decided to introduce visa requirements for citizens of Botswana and South Africa, the Irish Department of Justice has revealed.

Through a statement, the Department said that the new changes will take effect starting from July 10, VisaGuide.World reports.

Besides, Irish authorities also have imposed transit visa rules on nationals of these two countries when planning to transit from Ireland to other destinations.

The Minister for Justice of Ireland, Helen McEntee said that the decision will bring Ireland into closer alignment with the Schengen Area, regarding these countries and also in line with the United Kingdom in respect of South Africa.

Irish visa requirements are kept under ongoing review, having regard for the need to ensure that effective immigration controls are in place whilst also facilitating those who wish to travel to Ireland for the purposes of a visit, to work, to study, or to join family members.

Minister for Justice of Ireland, Helen McEntee

McEntee also said that the visa system is an essential part of Ireland’s immigration system to determine who can enter Ireland.

A wide range of factors are taken into account when introducing visa requirements to ensure we can continue to facilitate travel with processes that are robust, effective, and fair.

Minister for Justice of Ireland, Helen McEntee

Ireland’s Department of Justice, through a statement, revealed that the Dublin Visa Office will establish a dedicated South Africa desk in order to process applications from South Africa and three Visa Application Centers (VACs) located throughout South Africa, with visa service provider VFS Global.

However, the Ministry emphasized that there will be some exemptions made in this regard.

Diplomatic passport holders from South Africa will be exempted from visa requirements. In addition, transitional arrangements will be established for nationals of these two countries who have arrangements made before July 10, in order to travel to Ireland until August 9 this year.

Ireland Adds New Countries to Its List of Safe Countries of Origin

The Irish Ministry of Justice said that it saw a significant number of International Protection applications in the past few years filed by nationals of Botswana and South Africa.

The Ministry has said that these two countries are safe countries of origin for International Protection purposes, and they are the only countries on that list which are not subject to visa requirements.

Last week, Ireland added five new countries to the list of states considered a safe country of origin.

Through a statement, the Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, said that the new countries added to the list are Brazil, Egypt, India, Morocco and Malawi.

At present, there are ten countries designated as safe countries of origin, among them, Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Botswana, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and South Africa.

Nationals from these countries are still eligible to seek International Protection in Ireland, with the applications from these states being accelerated following an “extensive review” made by Ireland’s Department of Justice.

Nationals of Ireland Eligible to Enter Visa-Free to Botswana & South Africa

According to the Passport Index of VisaGuide, which ranks passports of 199 countries, in terms of the strength of their passport, taking into account several factors,  Irish nationals can travel visa-free to a total of 156 countries, among them Botswana and South Africa as well.

In the VisaGuide Passport Index, the passport of Ireland is placed in the eighth position when it comes to the strength of its passport.

According to this index, the passport of South Africa is ranked in the 98th position, giving visa-free access to its holders in 73 countries worldwide.

At the same time, Botswana is placed in the 117th position as of July this year. Based on the VisaGuide Passport Index, holders of passports issued in Botswana can travel without a visa to just 59 countries worldwide.

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