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“Over 200,000 Indians Applied for Irish Visas in First Four Months of This Year”

DUBLIN: Is Ireland becoming a ‘mini India’? Recent parliamentary figures show that nearly 200,000 Indians applied for Irish visas in the first four months of this year. According to the Justice Minister’s parliamentary reply, India continues to dominate visitor visas, student visas, and work visas.

Employment Visas

Approximately 40,000 individuals sought employment in Ireland. In April 2024 alone, 48% of employment visa applications were from India, totaling 39,609 from January 1 to April 30, 2024. This places India at the top of the list. Most applicants have already arrived in Ireland, and it is anticipated that 90% will secure employment by August. If this trend continues, Indian visa applicants could reach record levels by the end of the year. The Philippines follows in second place with 9,746 (12%) applicants, and Pakistan is third with 5,104 (6.3%) applicants.

Student Visas

India also leads in student visa applications. Up to April 30, 28% of all student visa applications came from Indian students, totaling 44,686. These students are expected to arrive in Ireland in September and October. China follows closely with 24,344 (15%) applications, and the Russian Federation is third with 19,362 (12%) applications.

Visitor Visas

India dominates visitor visa applications as well, with 122,303 applications, representing 23% of the total. Most applicants are family members of Indians already working in Ireland. China is in second place with 63,475 (12%) applicants, and the Russian Federation is third with 45,727 (8.7%) applications.

Historical Ties

The friendship between India and Ireland dates back to the time of Jawaharlal Nehru. Ireland declared itself a sovereign republic on April 18, 1949. Just ten days later, Ireland’s first national guest of honour was the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, who visited with his sister, Vijayalakshmi Pandit. Nehru received a warm welcome from the Irish people, from the President’s palace to the Curragh Race Course grounds in County Kildare. In the same year, V.K. Krishna Menon was appointed as the ambassador to Ireland, and by 1951, the Indian embassy had begun its operations in Ireland.

Strengthening Relations

Decades of diplomatic friendship and the tradition of service by Indian nurses and doctors in Ireland have encouraged the Irish government to invite more Indians to various sectors. The most significant shift in India-Ireland relations is the current move by the Irish government to integrate more Indians into diverse fields, further solidifying the bond between the two nations.

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