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Common Travel Area: UK-RoI travel


seabhcan

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Think you don't need a passport to travel between the UK and Ireland? If you ask Aer Lingus, the Irish Embassy in London or the government they say you don't. If you travel from Ireland to the UK you'll never be asked for a passport.

But if you try to return you risk arrest.

I was detained in Cork airport because I flew from Heathrow with a photo-ID only. Aer Lingus let me on the plane.

Initially I assumed the Garda was just off his rocker. but I researched it and found out that there is a dispute between the GNIB and the government on the issue. The GNIB reserve the right to demand passports from all people entering the state, while the government continues to advise the airlines and travellers that only photo-ID is needed.

Ireland and the UK have an arrangement called the Common Travel Area which is supposed to allow Irish or British citizens to travel without passports. Britain respects the arrangement, and flights from the Republic land at the domestic sections of UK airports. No-one asks for a passport. The arrangement doesn't apply to non-UK or Irish citizens. But this is ignored in the UK.

I had a question asked in the Dail of McDowell last March. He answered that while Irish and UK citizens don't need a passport to enter the state, they do need to prove their nationality. The only acceptable proof is a passport. (What a wonderful example of McDowell legalese fudge!) To date the government websites have not been updated - they still say only photo-ID is required.

Why the confusion? Why the mystery?

I found that out too. In the Amsterdam Treaty, Ireland got an opt out from the Schengen Treaty only while the Common Travel Area exists. If the EU got wind of the fact that the CTA has been quietly done away with, Ireland would be legally obliged to join Schengen.
 

QuizMaster

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Try travelling with minors. Even on an internal flight you need a passport.

Imagine if we had to join Schengen and the UK didn't! Passports would be required to cross our border!
 

Aindriu

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You only need a valid Irish or UK photocard driving licence. Full licence only so. Provisionals cannot be used.

I have never used a passport for travel between IRL/UK.
 

Rebel CNC

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Very strange - came into Cork twice recently with photo-id and no passport without a problem.
 

QuizMaster

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Is this a case of the photograph of your face not being bright enough, so to speak?
 

seabhcan

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Rebel CNC said:
Very strange - came into Cork twice recently with photo-id and no passport without a problem.
Its up to the mood of the Garda on the day. I was talking to a Senator who was flying with a UK MP to Kerry airport. The MP didn't bring a passport. The Garda on duty took a dislike to the MP and nearly refused him entry.
 

setanta

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Always travel between Ireland and Britain with a passport.

Down with the CTA, roll on Schengen.
 

seabhcan

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Another detail I discovered: Normally the airline has an obligation to ensure that passengers have the correct documentation for their destination. They can be fined for mistakes.

Except there is a specific exemption in both the Irish and British laws for people flying within the CTA.

I wrote a complaint to Aer Lingus about the bad advice they gave. They told me to F-off.
 
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seabhcan said:
Rebel CNC said:
Very strange - came into Cork twice recently with photo-id and no passport without a problem.
Its up to the mood of the Garda on the day. I was talking to a Senator who was flying with a UK MP to Kerry airport. The MP didn't bring a passport. The Garda on duty took a dislike to the MP and nearly refused him entry.
Have a colleague who used to fly couple of times a year to see Kerry Foods.

On one occasion guy in front was stopped by a Garda who demanded his passport and was met with "who the F*** do you think you are demanding I produce a passport to enter my own country", passengers sniggered and Garda tried to stop the guy but he kept walking.

Garda started getting nasty with next person and after that a little old lady asked him "you going to be nasty to me because you weren't man enough to deal with the first man", choking of laughter all round and after that a red face Garda just kept directing people through.
 

Paul R

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Aug 29, 2007
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QuizMaster said:
Imagine if we had to join Schengen and the UK didn't! Passports would be required to cross our border!
So? We don't get upset about needing passports to enter France, for example, so why should we get upset about needing them to enter another foreign state (i.e. the UK)?
 

drbob1972

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May 1, 2007
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setanta said:
Always travel between Ireland and Britain with a passport.

Down with the CTA, roll on Schengen.
i tend to agree, the sooner there is a single consistent policy for traveling throughout the EU the better, still won't happen until the UK want it to
 

The Trinity Politick

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Just bring the damn passport
 

Aindriu

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The Trinity Politick said:
Just bring the damn passport
Hmmm. Interestingly, the French, Dutch and Belgians can travel between each other's countries by using their national ID card. So if we had them - as the UK is going to do - we also could travel on them without passports.
 

zakalwe

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Aindriu said:
The Trinity Politick said:
Just bring the damn passport
Hmmm. Interestingly, the French, Dutch and Belgians can travel between each other's countries by using their national ID card. So if we had them - as the UK is going to do - we also could travel on them without passports.
:shock2:

...and become a police state like france, holland and belgium????
before you know it the nazi stormtroopers will be kicking in your door dragging away the undesirables for processing!

:roll:
 

QuizMaster

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Paul R said:
QuizMaster said:
Imagine if we had to join Schengen and the UK didn't! Passports would be required to cross our border!
So? We don't get upset about needing passports to enter France, for example, so why should we get upset about needing them to enter another foreign state (i.e. the UK)?
Because it would add hours to my daily commute.
Muff is a dive. I don't want to spend half my working life there filling out documentation.
 

MichaelR

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The CTA is a rather strange system anyway, Theoretically it only applies to UK and Irish citizens, but without a passprot how can anyone find out who is a UK or Irish citizen and who is not?

I am a Russian citizen, but the two times I flied from Ireland into the UK, I never was asked for a passport. I even tried asking for an immigration officer to check my passport, saying that I am a non-Eu citizen; I was waved on by security. So I could easily enter the UK illegally if I wanted to; but to enter legally I have to be either in quick transit or with an UK visa...

Would it not be more consistent to create a Schengen-like system where, in a normal situation, everyone legally in one country could enter the other? Those who like doing illegal stuff are free to do it right now; but everyone else is inconvenienced (including citizens who encounter semi-random passport checks like those on this thread).
 

seabhcan

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Aindriu said:
The Trinity Politick said:
Just bring the damn passport
Hmmm. Interestingly, the French, Dutch and Belgians can travel between each other's countries by using their national ID card. So if we had them - as the UK is going to do - we also could travel on them without passports.
Actually - all EU citizens who have a national ID can travel to Ireland using it too. I even know a few Irish people who have French ID cards (they used to give them to long term residents, but they've stopped now) and they can fly into Ireland using it instead of a passport.

To The Trinity Politick - I have absolutely no problem using my passport. My problem is that the airlines will lie to their passengers and tell them passports aren't needed. That the government will lie to people. And that passengers, including both Irish people and UK tourists, are being exposed to legal risks because of this bad advice.

And all this is being done because the Government won't either join Schengen or set up a rational system that the Gardai can work with.

I'm fairly sure I only got away with it because I'm so obviously Irish. What about the dark skinned UK citizen tourist who follows Aer Lingus' advice and arrives in Ireland for a holiday. He'll be off to jail until he proves he's English. I'm sure it has happened.

There was an article in the Irish Times last week about the number of people deported from Ireland to the UK. The article commented that most didn't intend to breach immigration laws - they just didn't know what they were. This must be doing wonders for the tourism industry.

MichaelR said:
Would it not be more consistent to create a Schengen-like system where, in a normal situation, everyone legally in one country could enter the other
Yes - that would make a lot more sense. We could even just join the Schengen system itself. To hell with the UK - they'll never come around to it. It took them 110 years to decimalise their currency. Ireland shouldn't wait for them to do stuff first.

Prevet Michael. Bui nraditsa Irlandiya?
 

Aindriu

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There was an article in the Irish Times last week about the number of people deported from Ireland to the UK. The article commented that most didn't intend to breach immigration laws - they just didn't know what they were. This must be doing wonders for the tourism industry.
Can you elaborate on this or provide as link? Everyone I know who regularly travel to and from the UK on business have never had a problem with travelling without a passport. They just use their driving licence.
 
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