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UK border control and EU travellers from Ireland

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 704 ✭✭✭ Kewreeuss


    I’ve been reading about the UK Border Controls being nasty to people coming in from the EU.
    I realise that this may be just teething problems and things will settle down, and also that we haven’t been doing a lot of travelling this past while, but a couple of EU friends who are married to Irish people are a bit paranoid now about travelling to London.
    Has anyone heard of EU passport holders travelling from Dublin to UK having problems?


Comments

  • #2


    The UK Border Force doesn't carry out regular checks on travellers arriving in the UK from Ireland, so unless this practice changes a non-Irish EU citizen entering the UK from Ireland is unlikely to have any contact at all with UK Border Force. So no opportunity for nastiness.

    Might be more of an issue if you are returning from some long-distance trip to Ireland, and transitting via Heathrow. In this scenario an Irish-bound citizen of, say, France would "land" (i.e. pass through immigration control) at Heathrow before boarding the onward flight to Ireland. There should be no issue if they are connecting immediately for Ireland - they just show their boarding card for the Dublin flight in a couple of hours and should be waved through. But if the Border Force officer has reason to suspect, or decides to suspect, that you may intend to remain in the UK then, yeah, he could grill you about your intentions, whether you have the required visa, etc. But I would think that if you're a passenger in transit to Ireland with tickets to prove it the risk of this is extremely small.

    It's a risk you can avoid altogether by transiting in a city that's not in the UK. And, gratuitous Border Force nastiness aside, there are plenty of reasons not to transit at Heathrow if you can possibly avoid it.


  • #2


    Do you need a passport to go from Republic of Ireland to northern Ireland? I’m assuming g you don’t but just want to be sure.


  • #2


    poisonated wrote: »
    Do you need a passport to go from Republic of Ireland to northern Ireland? I’m assuming g you don’t but just want to be sure.
    No, you don't.


  • #2


    I have vague memories of the not-distant past where Gardai and PSNI would do random spot checks on buses and trains between Dundalk and Newry - looking for non-EU citizens who required a UK entry VISA


    Whilst the CTA exists between Ireland and the UK, it is only applicable to citizens of either Ireland or the UK. Strictly speaking, a citizen of any other country should have a passport on them to legally travel between Ireland and the UK (even if it's unlikely to be ever looked for) and should also ensure that they meet any requirements for a UK visa.


  • #2


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    No, you don't.

    But you do need proof of ID and if your ID or passport is not Irish issue, you can become subject to any checks the UKBF care to perform, so it amounts to the same thing.


  • #2


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    But you do need proof of ID and if your ID or passport is not Irish issue, you can become subject to any checks the UKBF care to perform, so it amounts to the same thing.
    Peregrinus wrote: »
    No, you don't.

    Just to be pedantic - if you are not an Irish or UK citizen then you are legally required to have a valid travel document (which in nearly all cases amounts to at minimum a passport) to enter either Ireland or the United Kingdom, and that includes when crossing the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    The reality is that you are incredibly unlikely to ever be challenged to produce this when crossing the ROI-NI border, but the legal requirement remains.


    From https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/060fdf-northern-ireland/#travelling
    Travelling and Visas
    Irish and British citizens continue to enjoy the right to travel freely throughout Ireland and the UK in the same manner as before.

    There is no requirement for Irish and British citizens to carry passports when travelling within the Common Travel Area.
    ...................................

    For journeys on and across the island of Ireland, British and Irish citizens do not require any travel documents.

    Immigration requirements, as appropriate, will continue to apply to non-Irish and non-British citizens in both jurisdictions. Non-EU/EEA nationals should be in possession of a valid travel document and, if required, an Irish entry visa or transit visa for the State. Further information can be found on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration website.


  • #2


    So that is how someone I know did London-Dublin-London when they forgot their passport in the office! It was aerlingus though not Ryanair.


  • #2


    Kewreeuss wrote: »
    So that is how someone I know did London-Dublin-London when they forgot their passport in the office! It was aerlingus though not Ryanair.

    Aer Lingus used to accept drivers' license as proof of ID on Ireland-UK flights. The only obligation on the airlines for Ireland-UK travel was to establish proof of ID.

    On arrival into UK airports, arrivals from Ireland don't go through passport control and are routed the same as UK domestic arrivals. That doesn't change the legal reality that any passenger who isn't an Irish or UK citizen is legally obliged to have valid travel documents in their possession - the CTA applies to Irish and UK citizens only.


  • #2


    Aer Lingus still do accept driving licences and even work ID cards or other photo ID on CTA flights.


  • #2


    UK immigration controls used to be operated exclusively at the border, with little or no in-country controls. One of the advantages of being an island country is that this is relatively easy to do.

    But there has been a change in the past few years, with more and more in-country controls. As the UK has a Tory government, these are largely privatised - for example you are increasingly likely to be required to demonstrate your visa status by a new employer, in order to take up a job.

    This is likely to become more and more the case. Because of the CTA UK border controls are easily evaded by anyone in, or who has access to, Ireland. In the past this wasn't a big problem, because Ireland and the UK maintained broadly the same visa requirements for third country nationals, so if you could enter Ireland you were likely also to be entitled to enter the UK, and vice versa. With Brexit, this is no longer true. For these and other reasons, the UK is going to rely more and more on in-country controls.

    So, do you need a passport to cross the RoI/NI border? No, and this is not likely to change. But while in the UK, are you likely to need to demonstrate your migration status? Yes, more and more likely, especially if you want to do anything suggestive of staying there like take a job, rent a flat, open a bank account, enroll at a GP practice or enroll your child at school. This is true regardless of whether you entered the UK by crossing the land border with Ireland or by some other route.


  • #2


    Just seeing this now. Thanks for the replies. I’m in Belfast and I don’t have my passport. Oops


  • #2


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    No, you don't.

    A non-Irish/non-U.K. person would be well advised to carry their passport on a day trip from Ireland to NI in the event that they hve any encounter with the law.


  • #2


    Marcusm wrote: »
    A non-Irish/non-U.K. person would be well advised to carry their passport on a day trip from Ireland to NI in the event that they have any encounter with the law.
    Well, not necessarily. What they may need to demonstrate, if asked, is their right to be in the UK. But of course, depending on the circumstances, their passport may not demonstrate that they have a right to be in the UK. On the contrary, it might suggest that they don't. It depends on a number of factors, the most obvious one of which is; what country is their passport from?

    But it's important to keep this in perspective. A non-Irish, non-UK person could in theory need to demonstrate their migration status in Ireland. Do we advise those people to carry their passports with them when they are out and about in Ireland?

    Given the UK's hostile environment policy*, the chances of being called upon to demonstrate your migration status because you "look/sound foreign" are perhaps greater in the UK than in Ireland. But I don't think Belfast is a hotspot of, um, hostile environmentalism. All-in-all, I don't think the likelihood of being challenged to demonstrate your migration status on a day-trip to Belfast is an order of magnitude greater than it would have been if you had spent that day in Dublin.

    * [The UK government no longer uses the term "hostile environment" to describe its policy, but the laws, rules, policies and practices which it refers to are all still in operation.]


  • #2


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Well, not necessarily. What they may need to demonstrate, if asked, is their right to be in the UK. But of course, depending on the circumstances, their passport may not demonstrate that they have a right to be in the UK. On the contrary, it might suggest that they don't. It depends on a number of factors, the most obvious one of which is; what country is their passport from?

    But it's important to keep this in perspective. A non-Irish, non-UK person could in theory need to demonstrate their migration status in Ireland. Do we advise those people to carry their passports with them when they are out and about in Ireland?

    Given the UK's hostile environment policy*, the chances of being called upon to demonstrate your migration status because you "look/sound foreign" are perhaps greater in the UK than in Ireland. But I don't think Belfast is a hotspot of, um, hostile environmentalism. All-in-all, I don't think the likelihood of being challenged to demonstrate your migration status on a day-trip to Belfast is an order of magnitude greater than it would have been if you had spent that day in Dublin.

    * [The UK government no longer uses the term "hostile environment" to describe its policy, but the laws, rules, policies and practices which it refers to are all still in operation.]
    Non UK, non EU citizens in Ireland should be in possession of a GNIB ID card with the correct "stamp". This presumably negates the need to carry their passports around.


  • #2


    murphaph wrote: »
    Non UK, non EU citizens in Ireland should be in possession of a GNIB ID card with the correct "stamp". This presumably negates the need to carry their passports around.
    Only if they are long-term residents. The holders of a wide range of passports can stay in Ireland for up to 90 days; they don't get GNIB cards and they are not required or expected routinely to carry their passports around.


  • #2


    blackwhite wrote: »
    I have vague memories of the not-distant past where Gardai and PSNI would do random spot checks on buses and trains between Dundalk and Newry - looking for non-EU citizens who required a UK entry VISA
    I've only ever seen Gardai doing border checks. I asked someone about this, and according to this person who lives 3km inside the Irish border, the PSNI don't do routine checks (Dundalk to Newry). Those kinda checks would be a lot more sensitive on the NI side.

    Apparently they mainly target public transport.

    I have often wondered how they pick out passengers for suspicion, except by profiling? If you got a bus from Newry to Dundalk, and you are white with an Irish accent, how are you differentiated from an Asian person who says they, also, are Irish?


  • #2


    I've only ever seen Gardai doing border checks. I asked someone about this, and according to this person who lives 3km inside the Irish border, the PSNI don't do routine checks (Dundalk to Newry). Those kinda checks would be a lot more sensitive on the NI side.
    This.

    The Guards also don't do routine immigration checks on people crossing the NI/IRL border, but they do do, or at least have from time to time done, random checks.


  • #2


    Border forces on both sides still carry out random checks on buses and trains, mostly in Newry and Dundalk. I have never heard of them checking private cars though.

    Non-EU nationals need to carry a passport in almost all cases, plus their residence permit for either UK or Ireland if they are a resident in either country. This is because a person cannot be a resident in both countries at the same time, therefore they can only use their residence permit for the country they live in, and need to use the passport for the other country.

    There are very limited scenarios where a person can legally hold residence permits for both countries - for example the investor scheme allows one to hold a residence permit without having to live here.

    For EU nationals, they can use a national ID or a passport at the moment but not for long. After October 2021, UK will no longer recognise national ID cards.

    For Irish nationals, there is no requirement to carry a passport. However, as many people have said, it is highly recommended that they carry one to prove they are entitled to Irish citizenship. If a person is questioned by the border force in either country and did not have an ID, they may be temporarily detained until the border force are satisfied the person is an Irish or UK citizen.

    (And finally yes it’s still mostly based on racial profiling - speaking from dozens of experiences where people of colour or those with accents are the only ones that will be asked to produce an ID. I guess it’s the ‘easy’ way for border force to save a bit of tea break time.)


  • #2


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Well, not necessarily. What they may need to demonstrate, if asked, is their right to be in the UK. But of course, depending on the circumstances, their passport may not demonstrate that they have a right to be in the UK. On the contrary, it might suggest that they don't. It depends on a number of factors, the most obvious one of which is; what country is their passport from?

    But it's important to keep this in perspective. A non-Irish, non-UK person could in theory need to demonstrate their migration status in Ireland. Do we advise those people to carry their passports with them when they are out and about in Ireland?

    Given the UK's hostile environment policy*, the chances of being called upon to demonstrate your migration status because you "look/sound foreign" are perhaps greater in the UK than in Ireland. But I don't think Belfast is a hotspot of, um, hostile environmentalism. All-in-all, I don't think the likelihood of being challenged to demonstrate your migration status on a day-trip to Belfast is an order of magnitude greater than it would have been if you had spent that day in Dublin.

    * [The UK government no longer uses the term "hostile environment" to describe its policy, but the laws, rules, policies and practices which it refers to are all still in operation.]

    I’m going to respectfully disagree with you as a practical matter. A non-Irish, non-U.K. person who is lawfully resident in Ireland who goes on a day trip to NI and who is not a “visa required National” for the U.K. would be well advised to carry proof of that status on any trip to NI as the small risk of being interviewed etc can be mitigated by proof of entitlement to be in the U.K. bearing in mind that they will assert a non-U.K. address, U.K. Border Force is entitled to detain them and this would be a hassle. For example, I know of an Australian who was repatriated from the U.K. while on a connecting flight to Dublin. The person was, in the view of Border Force, carrying out employment in Ireland (not the U.K.) while on a series of tourist visas (an unfortunate admission) with which GNIb had no issue. If someone is detained by Border Force and they cannot prove their entitlement, expect them to be returned home rather than to Ireland if there is even a whiff of non-compliance.


  • #2


    Marcusm wrote: »
    I’m going to respectfully disagree with you as a practical matter. A non-Irish, non-U.K. person who is lawfully resident in Ireland who goes on a day trip to NI and who is not a “visa required National” for the U.K. would be well advised to carry proof of that status on any trip to NI as the small risk of being interviewed etc can be mitigated by proof of entitlement to be in the U.K. bearing in mind that they will assert a non-U.K. address, U.K. Border Force is entitled to detain them and this would be a hassle. For example, I know of an Australian who was repatriated from the U.K. while on a connecting flight to Dublin. The person was, in the view of Border Force, carrying out employment in Ireland (not the U.K.) while on a series of tourist visas (an unfortunate admission) with which GNIb had no issue. If someone is detained by Border Force and they cannot prove their entitlement, expect them to be returned home rather than to Ireland if there is even a whiff of non-compliance.

    Was this part of the 'Hostile Environment' favoured by recent Home Secretaries?


  • #2


    Was this part of the 'Hostile Environment' favoured by recent Home Secretaries?

    No it predated that. Was 2009 iirc so in the dying days of Labour’s open doors. White Australian grad who had overstayed an Irish working holiday type visa by 6 months or more. Border Force took it upon themselves to repatriate her to South Australia! Irish residents have been banged up by PSNI for speeding until they can apply for bail at Magistrates Court for what would be fixed penalty notices for UKresidents. From 20 years living in the U.K., I had little reason to interact with authorities but I always knew to be in the right side. Even a cousin in the Met was dismayed by some of the activities they would hve to get up to.


  • #2


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Only if they are long-term residents. The holders of a wide range of passports can stay in Ireland for up to 90 days; they don't get GNIB cards and they are not required or expected routinely to carry their passports around.
    Ah I thought you were specifically talking about non EU residents in Ireland because tourists should indeed be carrying their passports on them I would have thought.


  • #2


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    But there has been a change in the past few years, with more and more in-country controls. As the UK has a Tory government, these are largely privatised - for example you are increasingly likely to be required to demonstrate your visa status by a new employer, in order to take up a job.

    This isn't a recent thing, nor is it unique. I recently changed job and was required to demonstrate my entitlement to work in Ireland, just as I did when I joined a multi national ten years ago.

    Typically, the companies put the onus on the recruitment agency to confirm this, by obtaining a copy of a passport, visa etc.

    In other countries in Europe, you are requested to provide a copy of your ID card when applying for a job, something we obviously can't do on these islands (but something I firmly believe we should)


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