Presentation on theme: "Tourists and Immigration"— Presentation transcript:
1 Tourists and Immigration Visas and Border Control under Irish and EU Law - Should Ireland join the Schengen Zone for the sake of Tourism?
2 Marc McDonald School of Hospitality Management and Tourism Dublin Institute of Technology
3 IntroductionLaw governing visas and border controls is relevant tourism because …The subject is increasing in importance because there are:More travellersMore immigrants masquerading as touristsMore security risks in travel since 9/11 in US
4 IntroductionIn response governments in Ireland, UK, EU and elsewhere are updating their immigration laws and introducing new security initiativesIts even entering popular consciousness with new reality TV programmesThese initiatives add obstacles and to tourist travelUNWTO established in 2008 a special working committee to look at the area
5 Focus Law governing visas and border controls on travel into Ireland Travel inside and into Schengen ZoneTravel between Ireland and UKShould Ireland join Schengen Zone?
6 Travel into IrelandState power to control entry/exit rooted in ConstitutionConditions of entry:Valid travel documentVisa if requiredBorder controls on entry/exitLimits on use of state power based on human rights protections
7 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’sCurrently, no specific Irish visa legislation, but note Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008
8 Tourist Visas No specific tourist visa Visas are awkward to get Demanding on visa applicantsInvolve precise form-filling, intrusive questioning, delays/queuing, expenseVisa 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 …
9 Alternatives to Visas for Tourists Technological developmentsMachine-readable, biometric passports and visas, automated entry gatesAPI, PNR, electronic travel authorisationNew possibilities mainly assess security risks, not tourist bona fides i.e. risk of illegal immigrationRemoving visa requirement would mean placing greater emphasis on entry border controls and internal police controls
10 Irish Border ControlsGenerally non-nationals must arrive at authorised air/sea port, except when crossing land frontier with NIAirlines must channel to immigration officerTourist must present to request permission to enterLegislation (Immigration Act) stipulates grounds of refusal
11 Irish Border Controls To gain entry tourist must: Posses valid travel documentDistinction between EC and non-EC touristsShow visa if requiredBe able to substantiate tourism purpose if requestedNot be a security, health, public policy riskNo mandatory checks and importance for touristsNo exit checks
12 Tourist Travel and the EU EU/EC law governs tourist travel inside and into EU, not national lawEC law is relevant because of travel implications of EU citizenship and common market freedomsEC impact on travel involves two basic distinctions:Between tourists crossing EU’s internal and external bordersBetween EU citizens and non-EU citizens
13 Travel inside the EUEU citizen’s right of free movement depends only on possession of valid passport/official IDNo 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
14 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 InitiativeIntended to facilitate cross-border travel, including tourist movementUK and Ireland refusal to join means EU is now split into Schengen Zone and non-Schengen ZoneSchengen Initiative means more than removing internal border controls
15 Other Elements of Schengen Common visa policyCommon external borders policyCommon 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
16 EU Visa PolicyOne visa issued by any Schengen state authorises tourist entry in all Schengen ZoneCommon list of non–EU states whose nationals need/do not need a Schengen visaCommon visa format and procedures for issuing Schengen visas …EU visa laws operate in addition to local laws controlling outbound tourism e.g. ChinaEU visa policy only applies to short-stays (90 days in 6 months)Stays beyond this remain subject to national laws and bi-lateral agreements
17 EU External Border Controls Detailed, prescriptive and mandatory legal frameworkRequiring ‘thorough’ checks (entry/exit) - questioning and verification … impact on tourismMandatory separate lanes at airports for flights crossing EU external borders
18 EU External … Recent security initiatives: API Proposed UK introduction of API in CTACurrent Spanish use of EU API lawData protection and privacy concerns
19 Tourism Impacts on Ireland of remaining outside Schengen Tourists from Schengen Zone subjected to Irish border controlsIrish tourists travelling to Schengen Zone subjected to Schengen border controlsNon-EC tourists coming from Schengen Zone need extra Irish visaNon EC tourists entering Schengen Zone from Ireland need Schengen visa
20 Ireland and UK – the Common Travel Area (CTA) CTA not based on any formal bi-lateral agreementHistorically understood to mean (mainly) control-free and passport-free travel between both statesWith informal alignment of visa and border control policiesIn Ireland CTA only truly operated on land frontier crossing with NI
21 CTADublin 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?
22 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 NIPolitically (against the background of the NI peace process) Irish government does not wish to create further barriers to north/south cooperation etc.
23 Should …Strong case needed to convince Irish government to alter its positionNo sign of EU pressure even though …Any tourism–related reasons? Potential benefits of:removing internal checks on intra-EU travellersrecognising/issuing Schengen visasNo EC checks for out-bound tourists
24 Should … But no one has tried to quantify: past losses from being outside Schengenfuture benefits from being inside SchengenAlso, little/no pressure from in/out-bound tourism industry for joining SchengenVolume of illegal migration across land frontier with NI?Travel and tourism with Schengen Zone becoming more important than with CTA area?
25 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 measuresSeeking (longish/experimental) transitional derogation?
26 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
27 Conclusion Tourist travel is affected by immigration law Border controls hinder movement and full border controls hinder travel moreInsisting on visas and not recognising anyone else’s also hinders travelIreland does not take part in a major EU initiative designed to facilitate cross-border travel which obviously benefits tourists
28 ConclusionParticipation in Schengen should make in-bound and out-bound Irish tourist travel easierThe major impediment to joining Schengen is the obligation to treat the land frontier with NI as an EU external borderNeed for further research to determine impactsIrish government has not been pro-active in determining whether there might be any way around this