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Question

179. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to establish a visa waiver programme for diplomatic passport holders from Georgia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40990/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The requirements for which countries are visa required to come to Ireland are kept under regular review in consultation with my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. As indicated previously, there are no plans to implement the change referred to by the Deputy.
My Department is pursuing a strategy of greater co-ordination and co-operation on visa issues with the United Kingdom in the context of the Common Travel Area (CTA). This is exemplified by the operation of the British Irish Visa Scheme in China and India which allows for travel to and around Ireland and the UK on a single visa.
As part of this greater co-operation, the matter of alignment of those States whose citizens are visa required is also being kept under review. The greater the extent of alignment between the two jurisdictions, the greater the opportunity to increase the numbers of tourism and business visits to the CTA. At present, both Ireland and the UK require all citizens of Georgia to be in possession of a visa for travel to their jurisdiction and thus it remains the position that any proposals for change will need to be considered in this context.