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Spotlight on EMEA Series – Ireland

Ministers in Ireland are purportedly discussing an end to the visa free entry of South African nationals into Ireland.  The move comes amidst concerns that people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwean nationals have been travelling on South African passports in a bid to circumvent immigration rules.


Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris was quoted as saying that this was a “relatively recent phenomenon” that required more action.


Currently, including Ireland, South African nationals can travel to around 108 countries visa free.  This may be set to change in Ireland and the current proposals may lead to issues for businesses in Ireland who will be impacted particularly in the electrical engineering sector where there is a specific shortage of required skills.  Many companies had invested in recruitment in Ireland drawing on talent from outside of the EU including South African nationals.


This is a fairly quick turnaround considering that the visa free policy for South Africans was introduced in 2022 for Ireland but Ministers have been clear that the issue now needs revisiting.


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