UK tourist visas will allow entry to Ireland for nationals of 14 countries

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Starting on 1 July 2011 and continuing until October 2012, a UK tourist visa will allow entry to Ireland for nationals of India and China, as well as for nationals of 12 other countries in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The move will coincide with the 2012 Olympics in London, when a large influx of visitors is expected into the UK. Ireland is hoping to capitalize on the extra-tourism revenue that the Olypmics are expected to bring.

Ireland's Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter said that removing barriers to entry for nationals of the fourteen countries would help boost Ireland's ailing economy.

"It will have real and tangible benefits for the nationals of the 14 or so countries (who currently require a visa to come here) participating in the scheme and it will provide a much needed shot in the arm for the hard pressed tourist industry," Shatter said.

The Irish government will also not charge the 60 Euro per-person visa application charge if you already have a UK tourist visa.

"For example, for a family of four, say from India, which travels to London for the Olympics next year and which would like to have a 'side-trip' to Ireland, participation in this Programme will result in a saving of 240 Euros to them," Irish immigration authorities said in a statement.

The fourteen countries included in this programme are India, China, Russia, Belarus, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.