PDA

View Full Version : Increased security on UK-Ireland routes?


MarkD
18th Jul 2004, 20:09
Seems like the UK are intent on checking that Ireland are holding up their end on the common travel area:

http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1217473&issue_id=11159

IRISH people are being randomly stopped at Dublin Airport and are being subjected to questioning by immigration officers from the UK, it has been learned.

(snip)

(snip) UK immigration officers have been questioning Irish citizens arriving at Dublin Airport as part of what the Department of Justice here calls a "joint operation" to protect the "common travel area" from illegal immigrants.

The joint British-Irish operations at the airport have been sanctioned by the Minister for Justice

(snip)

An Irish businessmen objected to being questioned by British officials at Dublin Airport 10 days ago, after he was referred to them by gardai.

The businessman was referred to the UK's immigration officials when he failed to produce visual identification while going through passport control after arriving on a Ryanair flight from London.

The British official admitted to the businessman that he was from the British immigration service, and said he was on a "training course" at the airport.

But the Department of Justice has told the the Sunday Independent that the series of joint British-Irish operations have been established "to preserve the common travel area as it currently exists for the benefit of Irish and British citizens."

A common travel area is in existence between Ireland and the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).

There is no formal agreement between Ireland and UK regarding the common travel area, and it is not provided for in legislation.

(snip)

Sources in the Department of Justice deny that the joint operation has been established because of a lack of confidence by the UK authorities on Irish border controls.

Department sources say the joint approach is "to combat trafficking and to monitor the extent to which the various travel routes are being abused".

The common travel area did not have immigration controls prior to 1997, but since then spot-checks have been introduced.

The Irish businessman, who holds both Irish and US passports, was stopped at passport control by a garda member. As his passports were in a briefcase - which he did not want to open - he produced a US driving licence when asked for identification. This did not have his picture.

He told the Garda that he did not require visual identification to travel between Ireland and Britain. At that stage he was handed over to two UK immigration officers.

The man was subsequently let through passport control after he disputed their authority to question him on Irish soil and asked under what section of Irish law they were operating.

The Department of Justice has defended its role in bringing UK immigration officers to Ireland, saying it is part of its mission to "protect" the common travel area which allows Irish and British citizens to travel freely between the two jurisdictions.

"The common travel area is being abused on a widespread basis by persons who are neither Irish or British citizens, to travel from one jurisdiction to the other without proper documentation," said the Department of Justice in reply to questions.

(snip)

However, Labour's Justice spokesman Joe Costello described the practice as "highly irregular" and said he would have concerns about having foreign officials operating in Irish ports and airports.

(snip)

He added: "It is our jurisdiction. It should not be the norm that any other nationals from another jurisdiction should be operating as if they were Irish officials."

The Fine Gael Justice spokesman, TD Jim O'Keeffe, said that he did not think that it was appropriate for officials from outside the country to be dealing directly with Irish citizens.

"My reaction to the story is that I would understand how that businessman felt and I would feel that there should not be interrogation by British officialdom on Irish soil."

The Department of Justice did not specify under what section of Irish immigration laws British immigration inspectors could operate in Ireland, or whether visual ID was now necessary to travel between Ireland and Britain.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Article edited to preserve bandwidth per mod statement
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seems to me if the punter mentioned had been upfront with the Guards he wouldn't have had to talk to the UK people - imagine telling US TSA "I don't want to open my briefcase" ????

eastern wiseguy
18th Jul 2004, 20:32
Labour's Justice spokesman Joe Costello described the practice as "highly irregular" and said he would have concerns about having foreign officials operating in Irish ports and airports.

Fine Gael Justice spokesman, TD Jim O'Keeffe, said that he did not think that it was appropriate for officials from outside the country to be dealing directly with Irish citizens


so how does that stack up with the US dealing with immigration at both SNN and DUB ...or is it because they are from the UK :confused:

MarkD
18th Jul 2004, 20:37
good point well made.

DistantRumble
18th Jul 2004, 20:59
In fact the SNN and DUB US imm thing is a pre-immigration clearance and is only for USA bound flights; this saves an amazing amount of hassle at the other end


unless you're going to the US you won't see them; all in all a good thing.


However, since if you're coming in on Ryanair you arrive at Terminal B .. no matter where you're coming from you'll end up mixed up with everyone else heading for Immigration ...


He must have done something to annoy the Irish immig lads on the desks...

Platinum206
19th Jul 2004, 01:34
Distant Rumble;

Quote:
"However, since if you're coming in on Ryanair you arrive at Terminal B .. no matter where you're coming from you'll end up mixed up with everyone else heading for Immigration ... "

When you arrive at Dublin airport on a Ryanair flight, you in fact arrive at Pier A, and not Pier B as you mentioned (I'll assume you meant pier and not terminal, as most are very aware of the fact Dublin has ony one terminal, for now, but let's not get started on that!)

Immigration control in Pier A is the same as Pier B as many of the flights arriving here are not only from the UK but from mainland europe etc, if less in quantity than those.

I must agree with you however on the issue of US Immigration in DUB. This is an entierly different ball game than the above mentioned incident. This is a god-send to pax travelling to the US as all 'paperwork' has been pre-checked, and hence upon entry into the US after a long flight it is not necessary to stand in an endless line waiting to be called!

P206

birdbrain
19th Jul 2004, 07:40
Although I have not traveled with RYR in a long time I was under the impression that they will not allow one to board without picture ID. So whats this guy trying to hide if he refuses to show it to the Gardai (Irish Police ).
Did the Gardai (or Irish Immigration) not bring him in for questioning after he spat the dummy with the other guys ??
Perhaps his passport got lost among all the €500 notes he had packed in his briefcase :oh: ...... !!!!

Spoke to a bloke who did not avail of US imm. service @ SNN en-route to Chicago, on arrival in US imm promptly put him on the next plane home... overstayed his previous visa welcome, mustve assumed they would slap his wrist and let him through -seeing as he'd travelled that far, but, alas they are not so sympathetic. Because of his attempted deception his card is marked and he cannot even get a visa now.... his American dream remains shattered.. !!!

Globaliser
19th Jul 2004, 08:00
The common travel area is pretty one-sided anyway.

If you're a non-EU national travelling from the UK to Ireland, you have to produce passport, fill in landing card and get seen by Irish immigration and stamped.

However, on the way back in to the UK, you never see an immigration officer at all as you are routed around UK immigration control directly into baggage reclaim.

IIRC, all pre-clearance (whether US at Irish airports, US at Canadian airports, US at UK airports as has been done in the past, UK at Czech airports, or others) is all done by express inter-government agreement so no issue arises there.

MayorQuimby
19th Jul 2004, 10:10
Basil,

Fine, just flag him up for an interview on arrival.

Not helpful - It's an issue of sensitivity.

I would have reacted just as this guy did. Arriving back to one's own sovereign soil, one doesn't expect to be questioned by officials from another state. I imagine you might see red if a French official attempted to interview you after arriving back to the UK from somewhere.

As I understand it, the guy was let through when he questioned under what section of Irish law they were operating (which appeared to be a bit adhoc).

cormacshaw
19th Jul 2004, 23:15
There is no formal agreement between Ireland and UK regarding the common travel area, and it is not provided for in legislation.

(snip)

The man was subsequently let through passport control after he disputed their authority to question him on Irish soil and asked under what section of Irish law they were operating.

Interesting about the status of the common travel area, I always assumed there was a relevant piece of paper somewhere. Whatever about the usefulness and sensibility of this operation, one has to query whether a half decent legal type couldn't plough through the prosecution's case if the did 'catch' someone.

So whats this guy trying to hide if he refuses to show [picture ID] to the Gardai (Irish Police ).

Assuming as is most likely that he didn't have anything to hide, i suppose he was just miffed at being picked (apparently to him at any rate) at random and being held up from getting home. Most people would be. Of course, the clever way of getting back to your business is to comply with a harmless request and not make a song and dance about it. I have to agree with a previous poster though that once I was presented in front of foreign officials while entering my own country, I'd definitely be asking what was going on.

The fact that this 'arrangement' had not apparently been made publicly known beforehand is bound to contribute to the sense of indignation that inevitably surfaced in the heat of the moment. Compare this to the high compliance with the widely advertised and clearly explained measures taken to prevent the spread of foot & mouth disease a couple of years back.

SNNEI
19th Jul 2004, 23:28
Yes, I have to say I would have reacted the same as the gentlemen in question. They could at least have been honest with him, and he was completely correct in challenging their authority to question him, because they had none.

I have also noted the increased checking of documents, and indeed I had to show my passport at SNN on arrival back from LHR last week. I also noticed Foreign nationals being questioned in an appalingly rude way by the officials at SNN.

Why are Irish officials not capable of doing the Job? Surely we can protect the common travel area considering it is our obligation to do so anyway? Having said that, if it was deemed necessary to have UK officials at IE airports (or indeed Irish ones at British airports) then put a proper procedure in place, and I would have no problem with it.

Better still, scrap this nonsense and go into Schengen!

Flame
21st Jul 2004, 22:55
A few cents from me folks, for what its worth on this topic....

Firstly, going through US Pre-Clearence immigration at DUB, or SNN to me is a waste of time. On my travels to the US from Ireland, arriving in either JFK, ORD, BOs or LAX, the lines at Immigration in all these cities almost always are very short and never appear, to me anyway, as being too long. I always have to wait ages at the customs lines, where the white piece of paper is inspected by no less than 3 officers at different times before exiting the customs hall at LAX in particular.

All US Driving licenses have photographs on them

In relation to the CTA....The CTA between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, means that Citizens of either country can travel between both countires without the need to present a passport to Immigration Officials in either country. This provision applies ONLY to citizens of both countries, all others are required to carry either a passport or Government issued Identity Card.

Remember, Immigration Officers (Gardai / Irish Police) cannot tell by looking at Pax, what their Nationality is. If this "Business Man" produced an American drivers licence as proof of ID, then in my opinion, it was reasonable to assume that he was a US citizen and therefore would be required to produce a passsport on entering Ireland.

As for the CTA being one sided...this appears to be true, but the fact of the matter is, that Irish Immigration are allowing Citizens of the UK and Ireland to take full advantage of the CTA while trying their best to make sure that all others are checked, H.M's Immigration are happy enough not checking any pax arriving from Ireland

Finally, it is my opinion, that any UK official questioning ANY pax arriving in Ireland is very serious, and I doubt very much if they have any powers at all to engage in this activity. If I arrived in Dublin and an official from any other jurisdiction started asking me questions, I would refuse to answer any at all unless they were put to me by a representative from Irish Immigration

mini
22nd Jul 2004, 18:17
I believe that this practice has been abandoned, once it hit the press the Ministry of Justice washed their hands of it as it had no grounds in Irish legislation - probably a ham fisted attempt at co-operation dreamed up by some grey haired senior "Gard" from a different era...

I personally have had no problems with immigration in DUB but having spent pub time with one official (married to a friend) I have no trouble believing the hassle and abuse stories regarding their treatment of people who are obviously non national. The individual I encountered was a blatant racist. I read an excellent book on the life of an immigration official based I think at LHR, facinating insight into the other side of the story - called "something" Shoes.

As for the guy who was the subject of this post - more luck to him. He was probably looking for a confrontation, given the document he chose to produce and his obviously informed response, but the powers that be need to be kept in check from time to time, that's what makes a democracy worth living in.

Globaliser
23rd Jul 2004, 13:16
Flame: In relation to the CTA....The CTA between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, means that Citizens of either country can travel between both countires without the need to present a passport to Immigration Officials in either country. This provision applies ONLY to citizens of both countries, all others are required to carry either a passport or Government issued Identity Card.

...

As for the CTA being one sided...this appears to be true, but the fact of the matter is, that Irish Immigration are allowing Citizens of the UK and Ireland to take full advantage of the CTA while trying their best to make sure that all others are checked, H.M's Immigration are happy enough not checking any pax arriving from IrelandIt is one-sided by law, not mere practice. In the UK, the CTA applies to everyone, not just UK and Irish citizens. The UK's immigration law provides:-Arrival in and departure from the United Kingdom on a local journey from or to any of the Islands (that is to say, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) or the Republic of Ireland shall not be subject to control under this Act, nor shall a person require leave to enter the United Kingdom on so arriving, except in so far as any of those places is for any purpose excluded from this subsection under the powers conferred by this Act; and in this Act the United Kingdom and those places, or such of them as are not so excluded, are collectively referred to as “the common travel area”. (Section 1(3) of the Immigration Act 1971)

This is why there is no UK inbound immigration check for passengers arriving from Ireland - this Act says that there will not be one. It therefore came as a surprise to me to find that "other" citizens were required by Irish law to hold a passport and submit to immigration checks on arriving in Ireland from the UK.

mini
23rd Jul 2004, 20:01
Globaliser, spot on.

Why, for example, can I travel from the UK via NI into the ROI encountering no checks, yet if I travel by air I'm subject to immigration controls?

neil_uk
24th Jul 2004, 10:33
Why, for example, can I travel from the UK via NI into the ROI encountering no checks, yet if I travel by air I'm subject to immigration controls?

I always thought this was because UK-arrivals into DUB are mixed with other arrivals. This is different to say LHR where there are gates 80-90 with no passport control or STN where Irish arrivals are brought to one side and boarding cards are checked.

If you drive over the border into RoI then I don't think there's any doubt that you came from the UK/NI. It does seem that the spirit of the CTA has been lost in DUB.

MarkD
24th Jul 2004, 22:04
Will probably have to wait for T2 for that coz overcrowding at existing DUB stuff...

Flame
24th Jul 2004, 22:40
Globaliser;

Am I correct in saying that your quote refers to a definition of the "Area" that the CTA refers to, but no mention of nationalities..??

My understanding is that in Irish Law it refers only to citizens of the United Kingdon and the Republic of Ireland, E.G... a person from a country requiring a Visa to enter the RoI still needs the Visa whether they are coming direct into the RoI or via the U.K

If your statement is correct, then a person not requiring a Visa to enter the RoI, but needing one for the U.K could come first to the RoI , then travel to the UK, thus getting around the regulations in the U.K

Mini;
There are periodic checks at the border between the RoI and Nth Ireland on traffic and also on the train service between Dublin and Belfast

As for PAX at DUB being mixed up coming from the U.K and mainlland Europe, this is very very true. I have watched on numerous occasions Imigration Officials at DUB almost tearing their hair out trying to deal with PAX arriving from the CTA and Europe at teh same time, I have seen PAX from the US arrive at Pier B and Pier B being mixed with PAX from the CTA and at Pier A the situation is a complete disaster.

Aer Rianta (airport operator) supply the facilities for Immigration officers to do their job. Aer Rianta ought to be ashamed of themselves, I reckon they would never allow their own employees to work in such conditions

Globaliser
26th Jul 2004, 15:57
Flame: Globaliser;

Am I correct in saying that your quote refers to a definition of the "Area" that the CTA refers to, but no mention of nationalities..??

My understanding is that in Irish Law it refers only to citizens of the United Kingdon and the Republic of Ireland, E.G... a person from a country requiring a Visa to enter the RoI still needs the Visa whether they are coming direct into the RoI or via the U.K

If your statement is correct, then a person not requiring a Visa to enter the RoI, but needing one for the U.K could come first to the RoI , then travel to the UK, thus getting around the regulations in the U.K That's correct - the CTA definition has no specific mention of nationalities.

However, there are a number of qualifications to the rule for passengers arriving from the Republic. For example, if you are of a nationality that must hold a visa for every trip to the UK, then you have to obtain leave to enter. There is no legal way around the rules, but the obligation is nevertheless on the passenger to see an immigration officer; there is no routine check.

This rule does not apply if you are of a nationality that only needs a visa for certain types of trip but not others - eg Americans need no visas for visits to the UK but must have a visa if they are moving to the UK with a British spouse. There are automatic provisions about the time limits on your stay - but again, if that American wants to work, he will have to see an immigration officer to have the automatic time limit and conditions varied.

The last time that my GF was subjected to the non-EU queue at ORK, inbound from LHR, I asked the immigration officer what the Irish law is. He said that only Irish and UK citizens are entitled to travel between the UK and Ireland without passports. I have since done some research and discovered that this was introduced into Irish immigration practice by the Aliens (Amendment) No 3 Order 1997. So this is the Irish legislation backing what is now a rather lopsided CTA.

christep
27th Jul 2004, 04:43
If indeed the rule is that only British and Irish Citizens may enter Ireland without passing through immigration then someone should tell the person who designed the signage at DUB. Last time I was there I arrived with my girlfriend who is a British National, but not a British Citizen. I checked carefully that the sign stated that British Nationals could bypass Irish immigration, and we both did so (I am a British Citizen, and therefore also a British National).

Flame
27th Jul 2004, 04:56
"I checked carefully that the sign stated that British Nationals could bypass Irish immigration"

Christep...with all due respect, but none of the Immigration signs at Dublin airport say that, Signs are marked "EU Citizens" & "Non-EU Citzens"

But even at that, I do admit that the signage at Dublin is very poor and gives the impression that it was put together by a 5 year old, who ever is in charge of Immigration at Dublin should get a kick in the pants and bring the Immigration areas and signage into this century. The immigration area at Pier A is a disgrace, Pier B looks like a second world airport and Pier C ic too small when TransAtlantic flights arrive each morning circa 1000 and PAX are mixed with European and UK flights

christep
27th Jul 2004, 07:04
Well in that case they have changed since I was there (which I will admit was over a year ago). At that time the signage encountered when arriving on EI from LHR said "Nationals of EU Countries" (of something very like that). Obviously someone spotted that "National"!="Citizen".

patdavies
27th Jul 2004, 09:17
Nationals does not equal citizens

Apart from the legal differences between these two, the UK is a monarchy not a republic - therefore we are subjects not citizens.

Globaliser
27th Jul 2004, 12:34
I can't speak for the signs at Dublin airport, although I may have the "pleasure" of seeing them at the end of August.

However, according to my trusty book, the Aliens (Amendment) (No 3) Order 1997 means that "aliens" do not have the privilege of entering Ireland without passports. "Aliens" are defined by the Aliens (Amendment) (No 2) Order 1999 as those who are not citizens of Saorstat Eireann or British citizens.

As christep rightly observes, "British citizens" is a subset of the wider group of "British nationals" (the ambit of which is not clearly defined anyway), so his British national non-British citizen girlfriend was getting away with it!

However, pace patdavies, "British citizens" do exist (as do "British overseas territories citizens" and "British Overseas citizens") - see the British Nationality Act 1981, as amended by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002.

SNNEI
28th Jul 2004, 16:17
To clarify the Dublin airport situation...

Pier A arrivals are mixed.

Pier B has separate corridors for "Domestic and UK passengers" and all others.

Pier C also has separate corridors for pax arrving from Ireland/UK and everywhere else.

It is only Pier A where they are mixed.

Still, this raises the question that if most airport facilities here were designed such that Irish-UK flights had separate "lanes" for arriving pax, why are some passengers now being checked?
I always remember never being looked at when flying between UK and Ireland.. there was not even an inspection counter! You just went straight through to baggage claim. What has changed all of a sudden?

Having a common travel area should imply that the inspections are done at first point of arrival into the common travel area, rather like the schengen situation.. the passport controller at Schiphol, or wherever, is admitting the passenger into all the Schengen states, not just the Netherlands, and there are no further border inspections.

Therefore, a UK border inspector admits a passenger into not just the UK but into Ireland as well and vice versa.

If they cannot manage the situation in that fashion without all this haphazzard nonsense, they should simply scrap the common travel area!

Flame
29th Jul 2004, 04:16
SNNEI;

Instead of clarifying the situation at DUB, you have added some mud to the water, allow me to "Clarify exactly" the current situation at DUB, as of yesterday......

Pier A ..... PAX from Domestic, UK (CTA) and European flights are all mixed and funnelled into being examined by 3 Immigration positions

Pier B ..... Pax from Domestic, UK (CTA), European, Transatlantic, Sth Africa, and non-EU flights are all mixed on arrival into 6 Immigration positions. The seperate corridors for Domestic & UK PAX being discontinued approx 3 months ago

Pier C .... Exactly the same as Pier B situation, but never appears to have more than 4/5 Immigration officials working

"Therefore, a UK border inspector admits a passenger into not just the UK but into Ireland as well and vice versa"....Totally true

"If they cannot manage the situation in that fashion without all this haphazzard nonsense, they should simply scrap the common travel area!"....I could not agree with you more

Flame
2nd Sep 2004, 23:13
Hey Guys;

Seems like the same thing is going on at Dublin again...Checks at Dublin Airport for PAX travelling, while they were walking to Pier B at the duty free

Saw Immigration officers with "Garda" High Vis jackets and "other gentlemen" with them who had English accents and temp. ID's on them