New rules set for minors traveling to Ireland

22 Oct 14

IRELAND

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Ireland has implemented new visa stamps for children under the age of 18 entering the country.

What does the change mean? The visa sticker will indicate whether the foreign child is traveling unaccompanied or accompanied; if accompanied, the child must travel with the named adult.

  • Implementation timeframe: The procedures took effect Oct. 13.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: Minor children (under 18 years old).
  • Impact on processing times: The rule shouldnot have a direct impact on processing times.
  • Business impact: The requirementmay impact travel planning for family members of foreign workers.
  • Next steps: Parents planning travel or work assignments to Ireland should be aware of the new visa rules for minor children as they will impact which parent must travel with the child.

Background: Under a new policy, all children under 18 years of age applying for a visa will obtain a visa sticker that also states whether they will be traveling “accompanied” or “unaccompanied.”

The “accompanied” designation will also state either (a) the name and passport number of one adult or (b) the passport numbers of two adults. The visa is only valid if the child is accompanied by the adults on the visa sticker.

Children whose visas indicate they are traveling “unaccompanied” may travel alone or with an adult. If a child obtains a designated visa sticker but then reaches age 18, the visa will be treated as an adult visa with no designation.

The policy applies to all visas issued after Oct. 12.

BAL Analysis: Foreign workers intending to bring minor children to Ireland should work with their BAL attorney to plan how to apply for their children’s visa endorsement as this will impact the logistics of travel plans should one or both parents be designated on the children’s visas. Irish ports of entry will be screening travelers to make sure children are traveling with the designated person on the visa sticker.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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