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THE JUSTICE MINISTER will today sign a joint visa waiver programme that will make it easier for Chinese tourists to come to Ireland. Frances Fitzgerald will sign the agreement with the British Home Secretary Theresa May in London today. The plan will see visitors from China and India only needing one visa for Ireland and the UK, allowing tourists to more easily come to both countries on a single holiday.

The deal will see tourists able to apply for travel visas to Ireland at any one of the UK?s 200 application centres worldwide. The programme is part of a wave of closer economic co-operation between the two countries, as recommended by a report in July. Under the deal, Ireland will collect biometric data, as required by the UK border authorities.