Updated guidance on travelling between the Common Travel Area

6 Sep 2021 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 6 Sep 2021

The Home Office has updated their guidance for Irish citizens travelling to the UK from Ireland or the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man).

The guidance confirms there are no changes to travel across the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The updated requirements are as follows:

  • From 1st October 2021, most people travelling to the UK via Ireland who are not British or Irish citizens will need to show a valid passport on arrival when required by a Border Force Officer. The document must be valid for the whole time individuals are in the UK.
  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will only be able to continue to present an ID card if they have a pending valid application to the EU Settlement Scheme (except those joining as a family member of a relevant sponsor), a valid EU Settlement Scheme family permit, or otherwise have protected rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements.
  • Those who have equivalent immigration permission granted by the Crown Dependencies or a valid pending application to one of the Crown Dependencies’ EU Settlement Schemes will also be able to present an ID card, in line with our broader approach to recognising leave granted by, and time spent in, one another’s jurisdictions.
  • British and Irish citizens on journeys from Ireland will be able to use other types of document to confirm their identity and nationality if they are asked by a Border Force Officer – this does not have to be a passport or passport card, but they may use one if they wish. Individuals may have other documents such as a verifiable copy of the individual’s original passport or passport card, or their expired passport or passport card, provided that the document satisfactorily confirms their nationality and identity. However, this is not a definitive list, and Border Force will assess each case on its individual merits.
  • People travelling from one of the Crown Dependencies will not be required to show a passport when encountered by a Border Force Officer. They will instead be required to present a document confirming their identity. They will also need to satisfy Border Force whether they require immigration permission, and if so that they hold such permission. This does not have to be on the basis of a passport. Individuals may have other ways to prove their status, for example a valid Biometric Residence Permit, evidence of existing digital status, or confirmation of existing status from the Crown Dependencies.
  • British citizens in possession of Gibraltar Identity Cards will also still be able to present those cards when travelling from another part of the CTA if they are asked for a document by Border Force
  • Irish citizens in possession of an Irish passport card will still be able to use these cards when travelling from another part of the CTA if they are asked for a document by a Border Force Officer. They will also be able to use an Irish passport card when travelling to the UK from outside the CTA.

Those who cannot provide the required documents or satisfy Border Force of their status may be refused entry and expected to leave the UK. 

The guidance can also be viewed in full on the GOV.UK website.

shauna.oneill@nicva.org's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Communications Officer

[email protected]

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