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South Africa and visa-free travel

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Sir, – Pat Leahy and Jack Horgan-Jones’s article, “Visa-free travel from South Africa may end under immigration plan” (News, April 25th), contains a startling statistic.

Considering such a change based on just 198 International Protection applicants (or 3 per cent, itself only a portion of migration to Ireland) is a worrying overreaction. Since 2018, 5,224 employment permits have been issued to South African nationals to fill key skills gaps in our economy, particularly in construction. This includes 326 in 2024 so far.

Making recruitment by Irish employers of this important group more onerous would be an ineffective response to issues in our immigration system. – Yours, etc,

STEPHEN McCREA,

Fragomen Ireland Limited,

Dublin 2.

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