Tourists and Immigration

Download 71 Kb.
Hajmi71 Kb.

Tourists and Immigration

  • Visas and Border Control under Irish and EU Law - Should Ireland join the Schengen Zone for the sake of Tourism?

Marc McDonald

  • School of Hospitality Management and Tourism
  • Dublin Institute of Technology


  • Law governing visas and border controls is relevant tourism because …
  • The subject is increasing in importance because there are:
    • More travellers
    • More immigrants masquerading as tourists
    • More security risks in travel since 9/11 in US


  • In response governments in Ireland, UK, EU and elsewhere are updating their immigration laws and introducing new security initiatives
  • Its even entering popular consciousness with new reality TV programmes
  • These initiatives add obstacles and to tourist travel
  • UNWTO established in 2008 a special working committee to look at the area


  • Law governing visas and border controls on travel into Ireland
  • Travel inside and into Schengen Zone
  • Travel between Ireland and UK
  • Should Ireland join Schengen Zone?

Travel into Ireland

  • State power to control entry/exit rooted in Constitution
  • Conditions of entry:
    • Valid travel document
    • Visa if required
    • Border controls on entry/exit
  • Limits on use of state power based on human rights protections

Irish Visas

  • A visa is … its purpose is ...
  • Ireland decides who needs a visa, creates its own application procedures, issues its own visas and does not accept anyone else’s
  • Currently, no specific Irish visa legislation, but note Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008

Tourist Visas

  • No specific tourist visa
  • Visas are awkward to get
  • Demanding on visa applicants
  • Involve precise form-filling, intrusive questioning, delays/queuing, expense
  • Visa system difficult to administer - how effective is it anyway?
  • Even so, Ireland (like other states) is reluctant to give up what looks like a useful deterrent against illegal immigration …

Alternatives to Visas for Tourists

  • Technological developments
  • Machine-readable, biometric passports and visas, automated entry gates
  • API, PNR, electronic travel authorisation
  • New possibilities mainly assess security risks, not tourist bona fides i.e. risk of illegal immigration
  • Removing visa requirement would mean placing greater emphasis on entry border controls and internal police controls

Irish Border Controls

  • Generally non-nationals must arrive at authorised air/sea port, except when crossing land frontier with NI
  • Airlines must channel to immigration officer
  • Tourist must present to request permission to enter
  • Legislation (Immigration Act) stipulates grounds of refusal

Irish Border Controls

  • To gain entry tourist must:
    • Posses valid travel document
      • Distinction between EC and non-EC tourists
    • Show visa if required
    • Be able to substantiate tourism purpose if requested
    • Not be a security, health, public policy risk
  • No mandatory checks and importance for tourists
  • No exit checks

Tourist Travel and the EU

  • EU/EC law governs tourist travel inside and into EU, not national law
  • EC law is relevant because of travel implications of EU citizenship and common market freedoms
  • EC impact on travel involves two basic distinctions:
    • Between tourists crossing EU’s internal and external borders
    • Between EU citizens and non-EU citizens

Travel inside the EU

  • EU citizen’s right of free movement depends only on possession of valid passport/official ID
  • No stamps, no questions about …
  • Refusals of EU citizens still allowed under EU law but must serve vital public policy, involve no nationality discrimination and act/work proportionately

Abolishing Internal Border Controls in EU

  • Always seen as part of EC project but started as a non-EU initiative and since moved inside EU/EC legal framework - Schengen Initiative
  • Intended to facilitate cross-border travel, including tourist movement
  • UK and Ireland refusal to join means EU is now split into Schengen Zone and non-Schengen Zone
  • Schengen Initiative means more than removing internal border controls

Other Elements of Schengen

  • Common visa policy
  • Common external borders policy
  • Common security systems to back up operation of common visa/border policies – Schengen Information System (SIS and VIS)
  • External dimension of Schengen – forcing non-EU states to adjust their visa policies for citizens of accession states

EU Visa Policy

  • One visa issued by any Schengen state authorises tourist entry in all Schengen Zone
  • Common list of non–EU states whose nationals need/do not need a Schengen visa
  • Common visa format and procedures for issuing Schengen visas …
  • EU visa laws operate in addition to local laws controlling outbound tourism e.g. China
  • EU visa policy only applies to short-stays (90 days in 6 months)
  • Stays beyond this remain subject to national laws and bi-lateral agreements

EU External Border Controls

  • Detailed, prescriptive and mandatory legal framework
  • Requiring ‘thorough’ checks (entry/exit) - questioning and verification … impact on tourism
  • Mandatory separate lanes at airports for flights crossing EU external borders

EU External …

  • Recent security initiatives:
  • API
  • Proposed UK introduction of API in CTA
  • Current Spanish use of EU API law
  • Data protection and privacy concerns

Tourism Impacts on Ireland of remaining outside Schengen

  • Tourists from Schengen Zone subjected to Irish border controls
  • Irish tourists travelling to Schengen Zone subjected to Schengen border controls
  • Non-EC tourists coming from Schengen Zone need extra Irish visa
  • Non EC tourists entering Schengen Zone from Ireland need Schengen visa

Ireland and UK – the Common Travel Area (CTA)

  • CTA not based on any formal bi-lateral agreement
  • Historically understood to mean (mainly) control-free and passport-free travel between both states
  • With informal alignment of visa and border control policies
  • In Ireland CTA only truly operated on land frontier crossing with NI


  • Dublin airport has no separate lanes for CTA travellers and while (in theory) they do not need to show a passport, they must produce some ID to prove they do not need to show a passport!
  • UK and Irish proposals for ‘e-borders’
  • End of CTA? If it ever existed?

Should Ireland join the Schengen Zone for the sake of Tourism?

  • So far Ireland has remained outside Schengen mainly because entry would mean imposing the full set of EU external border controls on travel across the land frontier with NI
  • Politically (against the background of the NI peace process) Irish government does not wish to create further barriers to north/south cooperation etc.

Should …

  • Strong case needed to convince Irish government to alter its position
  • No sign of EU pressure even though …
  • Any tourism–related reasons? Potential benefits of:
    • removing internal checks on intra-EU travellers
    • recognising/issuing Schengen visas
    • No EC checks for out-bound tourists

Should …

  • But no one has tried to quantify:
    • past losses from being outside Schengen
    • future benefits from being inside Schengen
  • Also, little/no pressure from in/out-bound tourism industry for joining Schengen
  • Volume of illegal migration across land frontier with NI?
  • Travel and tourism with Schengen Zone becoming more important than with CTA area?

Should …

  • How ‘untouchable’ is the Schengen obligation to operate external border controls on land frontier with NI?
  • Any ways round it? Softening it?
  • So far, not much evidence of Irish government exploring softening measures
  • Seeking (longish/experimental) transitional derogation?

Should …

  • Possible special border zone derogation/softening along lines of existing Schengen law for ‘local border traffic’
  • Persuading UK to join/adhere to/be approved by Schengen external border controls, while retaining internal border checks


  • Tourist travel is affected by immigration law
  • Border controls hinder movement and full border controls hinder travel more
  • Insisting on visas and not recognising anyone else’s also hinders travel
  • Ireland does not take part in a major EU initiative designed to facilitate cross-border travel which obviously benefits tourists


  • Participation in Schengen should make in-bound and out-bound Irish tourist travel easier
  • The major impediment to joining Schengen is the obligation to treat the land frontier with NI as an EU external border
  • Need for further research to determine impacts
  • Irish government has not been pro-active in determining whether there might be any way around this

Download 71 Kb.

Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:

Ma'lumotlar bazasi mualliflik huquqi bilan himoyalangan © 2020
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling