The Irish government is to unveil an executive order to stop Irish citizens from claiming a visa exemption for themselves or their immediate family members when visiting the US.
The Government said it will be implementing the move on the first day of President Donald Trump’s US visit.
The order will take effect from Wednesday.
It will not apply to any visitors, such as tourists and citizens of the United Kingdom and Canada, who will be able to apply for an exemption on their own.
Irish citizens will still be able travel to the US with an Irish visa.
However, the new executive order will make it illegal for Irish citizens to visit the US for five years if they have a family member, spouse or child living in the country.
This means that Irish citizens could be banned from visiting the USA if they want to visit relatives and close friends there, which would be a significant blow to the Irish tourism industry.
“It’s very clear that we are not the only country in the world with the Irish people being barred from coming to the United States.
There are other countries where it is the same,” said Conor Keane, a member of the Irish Embassy in Washington.”
We’ve had other countries that have had similar bans and it has been very, very detrimental to Irish tourism.”
In addition to preventing visitors from the US from claiming an exemption, the order also states that anyone claiming an Irish passport or a temporary visa exemption will have to take a “comprehensive security examination” before being allowed to enter the US, or face fines.
“I think it is a good start, and I think it’s good for the Irish and the country to get the word out to Irish people that they can come and stay in the United State of America if they so wish,” Mr Keane said.
“But it’s not good enough.
We’re going to have to do something very, quite aggressive, to make sure that Irish people are aware that this is not going to be allowed to continue.”
The order was announced on Thursday.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny welcomed the move.
“Ireland is in the process of implementing an executive decree to address the visa exemption regime in the US,” he said.
“We are very keen to ensure that the Irish citizens and Irish-Americans are treated equally.”