Ireland should join visa information sharing system - Troy

Ireland should reconsider signing up to the EU's Visa Information System (VIS) that allows states to share data on visa applicants.

That's according to Deputy Robert Troy who has called on the government to think about signing up to the Visa Information System (VIS), a system that allows Schengen area states to exchange biographic and biometric (finger prints and photographs) data on visa applicants. The Schengen area comprises every EU country except Ireland and Cyprus.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Deputy Troy, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee outlined why Ireland has not joined the VIS.

"The Schengen Area encompasses most EU countries, except for Cyprus and Ireland.

"Bulgaria and Romania will join the Schengen area as of 31 March 2024.

"The non-EU States Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein also have joined the Schengen area.

"Ireland is in a separate Common Travel Area with the UK, the operation of which is not compatible with membership of the Schengen Area Border Code. As a consequence, Ireland does not participate in the Visa Information System.”

Deputy Troy says that Ireland needs to be part of a wider data sharing system to help the immigration and security services work more efficiently.

"It makes sense for Ireland to partake in this system given the changing migration and security challenges. The system protects travellers, helps asylum applications, improves security and fights abuses."