Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ceisteanna (151)

Richard Boyd Barrett


151. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether it is now time to examine the possibility of requiring Israeli citizens who reside in illegal settlements to undergo the same visa application process as that which Palestinians are subject to in order to enter here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20763/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The requirements for which countries are visa-required to come to Ireland are kept under regular review in consultation with my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

A wide range of factors are considered in determining which countries are visa required. In particular, the Government is pursuing a strategy of greater co-ordination and co-operation on visa matters with the United Kingdom (UK) in the context of the Common Travel Area (CTA) - a matter which commands even greater importance in a post BREXIT scenario.  This is exemplified by the operation of the British Irish Visa Scheme in China and India which allows for travel to and around Ireland and the UK on a single visa.  

As part of this greater co-operation, the matter of alignment of those States whose citizens are visa-required is also being kept under review.  The greater the extent of alignment between the two jurisdictions, the greater the opportunity to increase the numbers of tourism and business visits to the CTA. At present, both Ireland and the UK (in common also with States in the Schengen Area) require citizens of Palestine to be in possession of a visa for travel to their jurisdictions and, while there are no plans to do so at this time, any proposals for change would need to be considered in this context.