Ireland & The Schengen Area: ETIAS Rules

The proposed ETIAS system will probably only apply to the Schengen countries and will not apply to Ireland unless Ireland joins Schengen before ETIAS (which stands for the E.U. Travel Information Authorisation System) officially rolls out at the start of 2025. This is a bit confusing, but basically Ireland controls who enters the country who is not an E.U. citizen, but there is freedom of movement for all E.U. citizens between Ireland and the other E.U. nations. Not every ETIAS detail has been finalised yet, so the situation could change between now and 2025. Note that the information here is only for the Republic of Ireland, not for Northern Ireland, which is part of Britain. An ETIAS will be issued for a period of 3 years, or the date of passport expiry, whichever date is sooner. The ETIAS will cost €7 per applicant.

Is Ireland part of Schengen or the E.U.?

The Republic of Ireland, also called Eire, is not a part of the Schengen zone, but it is part of the E.U. In fact, Ireland is only one of a handful of countries that are in the E.U., but never joined Schengen. This does make it a bit confusing for a lot of people, many Europeans included. The Schengen agreement is designed to provide uniform border rules for all the countries in the zone. Once you have been allowed into 1 Schengen country, you can go to any of the others as long as you don’t exceed the maximum stay of 90 days in the whole zone.

The main reason that some countries didn’t or haven’t yet joined Schengen is because they want to control the immigration status of non E.U. citizens in their own way rather than have the same rules as the rest of Europe.

What are Ireland’s main attractions?

They are many and varied. Ireland, especially the South is a very popular attraction. For many North Americans, Australians and New Zealanders it’s a chance to trace their roots. For every visitor there is something for everyone in the Emerald Isle, from kissing the Blarney Stone, supping Murphy’s or Guinness in a traditional Irish pub to sight-seeing around Ireland’s beautiful countryside and coastline.

It may surprise the average visitor just how uncrowded Ireland is. That’s what makes a leisurely journey around the country so rewarding. Ireland’s complex and at times troubling past is all around for the budding historian. Top attractions include the Cliffs of Moher, County Donegal with its indented coastline and quaint villages and Kilkenny, the ancient capital just out of Dublin.

Will I need an ETIAS?

If you have a passport from one of the E.U. countries the answer is no. If you are not an E.U. passport holder, it seems unlikely at this early stage that you will need one either, but that might be premature. Ireland might decide to join Schengen, or it may decide it is better to use the ETIAS system after considering the possible advantages of screening visitors in advance.

If you have been to Ireland before you will remember what you needed to do or not do before you arrived in the country. Some people might need to get an Irish visa in advance and if that applies to you, it’s unlikely to change. If you can just turn up in Ireland at the moment and get your passport stamped, the chances are that that will continue. Keep an eye on the rules as you get closer to 2025. Also, feel free to take the ETIAS assessment to find out if you’ll likely need a Schengen visa or an ETIAS.