- Ireland is a member of the EU but not of the Schengen Zone.
- Learn why Ireland is still not included in the common travel region and how this affects whether or not an ETIAS will be necessary starting in 2023.
By November 2023, the European Travel and Information Authorisation System will be operational. ETIAS is required for entry into the Schengen area for citizens of more than 50 nations.
The requirement for an ETIAS to visit Ireland may be a concern for people who want to visit Ireland in the future. Ireland: Is it a member of the Schengen area? Is it a nation that belongs to the EU? Ireland isn’t it a part of the UK?
ETIAS can be used to travel to any Schengen Area nation. Ireland is a member of the EU but is not a part of the Schengen area.
It’s critical to remember that Northern Ireland and Ireland are two different countries. Due to the fact that only the latter is a part of the UK, several issues relating to the border between Ireland and the UK have come up during the Brexit negotiations; more details are provided below.
Everything a traveller needs to know about Ireland, its connection to the Schengen Area, and the ETIAS authorization is covered in this article.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND?
The UK does not include Ireland. Ireland is a part of the European Union even though it is not a member of the Schengen Area.
Officially known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland is a part of the UK. The UK also includes the nations of Wales, Scotland, and England.
ETIAS wouldn’t have been valid to go to the UK even if the UK hadn’t decided to exit the EU because the UK didn’t sign the Schengen Agreement. For travel to Schengen nations and those that are in the process of joining the zone, ETIAS will be required.
In a nutshell, Ireland and Northern Ireland are two distinct nations. Northern Ireland will continue to be a part of the United Kingdom while Ireland will stay a member of the EU.
THE IRISH BORDER IN RECENT HISTORY
Knowing anything about the history of the Irish border will help you comprehend the situation better. A political and nationalistic struggle, known worldwide as the Northern Ireland Conflict, started in the late 1960s and was stoked by historical occurrences.
The constitutional position of Northern Ireland was one of the important problems. Protestants who were unionists and loyalists wanted Northern Ireland to stay within the UK. Irish nationalists and republicans, who were primarily Catholics, desired a united Ireland.
The conflict started during a campaign to stop the Protestant/Unionist government and the police from discriminating against the Catholic minority. Authorities were accused of using excessive force while attempting to put an end to the campaign.
In August 1969, disturbances caused by hostility between the tribes prompted the deployment of British troops. Along with the emergence of paramilitary groups, these developments caused unrest to persist for three decades.
Political conversations have once more centred on the border, but this time in relation to Brexit. The Northern Ireland border proven to be a source of contention for both Theresa May and current Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The EU and the UK have only recently, following years of negotiations, defined regulations intended to prevent border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland beginning on January 1st.
WHY IS IRELAND NOT PART OF THE SCHENGEN AREA?
Ireland, often known as Éire, is a member of the EU, however it is not a part of the Schengen Zone.
Passports are not now required for travel between Ireland and the UK, as well as between the three British Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, which are not members of the European Union.
Following the agreements agreed by the United Kingdom and the European Union for the post-Brexit future, Gibraltar will be a part of the Schengen system.
The UK refused to ratify the Schengen Agreement, claiming that border restrictions are a more effective method of stopping illegal immigration than other measures for an island nation.
Ireland, on the other hand, refused to sign the Schengen Agreement because it “would not be in Ireland’s interest to have a situation where the common travel area with Britain would be terminated and Ireland would impose both exit and entry controls on persons travelling between here and Britain and, in addition, on the land frontier.”
In conclusion, Ireland’s primary motivation for not ratifying the Schengen Agreement is their desire to regulate the immigration status of non-EU nationals. Ireland’s decision to manage its borders however it saw fit made logical because the country is not a part of continental Europe.
SCHENGEN VISA AND ETIAS
All of the member nations of the Schengen Agreement are required to abide by the same border regulations. For instance, those who have a Schengen visa are allowed to stay in the region for up to 90 days. This means that a Schengen visa may be used to visit any of the signatory nations for a stay of up to 90 days during a 180-day period.
The ETIAS does not take the place of a Schengen visa. ETIAS is a programme that exempts citizens from needing a visa to enter the Schengen Area.
WILL I NEED ETIAS TO VISIT IRELAND OR NOT?
No, you won’t require an ETIAS visa waiver to visit Ireland, to be clear. Schengen countries are the only ones allowed admission with the ETIAS travel authorization. Ireland is not included in this. ETIAS is also available for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania, which are Schengen candidate nations.
However, non-EU nationals who want to maximise their trip and go to other European countries like Italy, Spain, or France must obtain an ETIAS permission.
ETIAS will be available in 2023 and will be open to residents of more than 50 different nations.
Travelers must confirm the entry requirements for Ireland based on their nationality. To enter Northern Ireland or any other UK nation, additional permits might be needed.
IRELAND AND THE SCHENGEN INFORMATION SYSTEM
Ireland’s participation to the Schengen Information System was recently approved by the EU. Ireland will get access to SIS II, Europe’s largest and most frequently used IT security system, on March 15, 2021.
An Garda Sochána, the Republic of Ireland’s national police department, will share information on missing people, stolen or lost property, and cars with 30 member countries.
This is a significant security gain because the data may be used to detect potentially harmful individuals attempting to enter Ireland as well as find wanted people and goods throughout Europe.
To more effectively detect and prevent major crime, the SIS II is being connected with the An Garda Sochána PULSE system and the Garda National Immigration Bureau databases. Ireland will continue to be outside of the Schengen area for free travel, but it will gain from the improved security and safety provided by shared information.