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Judge rules that Irish Republic and Northern Ireland visa-free ‘common travel area’ not for benefit of foreign travellers | Immigration Matters

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The Common Travel Area between the Irish Republic and the UK is only for the benefit of Irish and British people, a High Court judge said last week.

Foreign tourists who leave the Republic for a day trip to Northern Ireland, without a passport or visa to enter the UK could, under Irish immigration laws, be refused permission to re-enter the Republic, the judge warned.

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan said in the High Court that this could apply to foreign nationals who had been given permission to stay in Ireland and who innocently crossed Northern Ireland on their way to Donegal.

He said it was a consequence of immigration laws that permission to enter and stay in Ireland automatically lapsed once a person left. On re-entry they would have to seek a new “permission to land or be in the State”.

Mr Justice Hogan said foreign nationals often took day trips to Northern Ireland. Many left their travel documents in the Republic, wrongly believing they did not need them because the Common Travel Area between the Republic and the UK was for the benefit of all.

“The Common Travel Area is only for the benefit of Irish citizens and British nationals,” Mr Justice Hogan said in a ruling on an application by a Bolivian couple, Roberth Moreno Choma (25) and Daniella Fernandez Pacheco (22), who travelled to Northern Ireland and Scotland on their way to a three- day break in London.

Mr Justice Hogan said it was probably fair to say they had made an innocent mistake.

When they first arrived in Dublin, immigration authorities granted them permission to stay in the State for a month.

The UK authorities stopped them coming off the ferry at Cairnryan last weekend and they face deportation back to Bolivia. Noticing their passports had been stamped by the Irish authorities up to January 16th, the UK authorities asked if they would be allowed back into the Republic, but they were refused entry.

The judge said he would hand down a written judgment. The couple’s solicitor, Derek Stewart, said that as a result of the judgment, he was hopeful the couple may get permission to re-enter Ireland. Source: Irish Times

The UK and Ireland have recently signed an agreement to reinforce the joint commitment to preserve the Common Travel Area (CTA) while ‘cracking down on illegal immigration and spurious asylum claims’.

See also:

UK Ireland Common Travel Area loophole crackdown announced by UK Border Agency

People smuggling gang ring leader jailed for 5 years

Church of England Vicar facing jail for 31 sham marriages for illegal brides and grooms

Could David Cameron’s EU veto spell the end of ‘free movement of labour rights’ and mass immigration from Eastern Europe?

Illegal immigrants find loophole to get in to UK on a Eurostar train from Lille straight into London St Pancras

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