Ireland’s re-entry visa system will be abolished starting May 13, 2019.

Visa-required nationals who live in Ireland and wish to travel to and from the country are currently obliged to apply for a re-entry visa before they travel. Under the new rule, these individuals will no longer have to hold a visa if they have registered for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card, reports.

The website for Ireland’s Department of Justice and Equality states: “If you are from a visa required country, and have a valid IRP card or GNIB card, you will no longer require a visa to leave and return to Ireland on or after 13 May 2019. You will be able to show your passport and IRP or GNIB card to prove to airlines and immigration officials that you have a right to travel to Ireland. You will be exempt from the requirement to hold a visa.”

Read More: Will you need a visa to visit Ireland in 2021?

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, announced the change last week.

"Visa required nationals will now be able to use their Irish residence permit or GNIB card to prove to airlines and immigration officials that they have a right to travel to Ireland.

Credit: iStock/Getty Images

Credit: iStock/Getty Images

"This will save over 40,000 people annually both time and money. I am committed to improving customer service in the immigration service and today’s decision is the first of a series of improvements which I intend to announce over the coming year."

According to the Irish government website, ”improvements in security in the Irish registration certificate, the Irish Residence Permit, has made it possible to eliminate the need for re-entry visas, without compromising the safety and security of the visa or immigration system. The IRP card is in the standard EU format for residence permits, and is recognized by airlines.”

The existing system will remain in place until May 13, and visa-required nationals will continue to need a valid visa or re-entry visa to travel to Ireland.

Read More: 10,700 Canadian working visas available to Irish people for 2019

Visa-required nationals who do not hold an IRP/GNIB card will continue to require a valid visa, which must be applied for from outside the State.

Non-EEA nationals under 16 years of age are not issued with an IRP/GNIB card. Their parents or guardians will be able to apply for a re-entry visa for them, to ensure that they can travel in and out of Ireland.

More information can be found here.