The latest information about immigration, permits and visas can be obtained from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Tel. 01-602 8202; ; www.irlsgov.ie/justice).
Non-Irish citizens (known officially as ‘aliens’) arriving from EEA countries are free to enter Ireland; there are nevertheless certain formalities which must be observed. If you arrive in Ireland from the UK, you’re exempt from immigration control at the port of entry into Ireland, but you may not stay longer than one month without obtaining permission to remain.
The Irish Republic and Great Britain are part of a ‘Common Travel Area’, which means that foreigners travelling to Ireland via the UK must meet British immigration requirements and will then be free to enter Ireland. If you’re a British citizen arriving in Ireland from Britain, you don’t require a passport, although it’s advisable to take some form of identity with you in case you’re required to complete any formalities (e.g. when hiring a car). All other nationals require a valid passport (or national identity card) and in some cases a visa. If you’re taking your car with you, ensure that you have its registration document, an insurance certificate valid for Ireland and your driving licence, and that the car has a nationality sticker on the back.
If you’re a non-EU national and arrive in Ireland from outside the EU, you must go through immigration for non-EU citizens. Non-EU citizens are required to complete immigration registration cards, which are provided on aircraft and ferries (e.g. from France) in order to be granted leave to land. Some people may wish to get a stamp in their passport as confirmation of their date of entry.
If you’re a non-EU national coming to Ireland to work, study or live, you may be asked to show documentary evidence. Immigration officials may also ask non-EU visitors to produce a return ticket, proof of accommodation, a health insurance certificate and evidence of sufficient financial resources, e.g. cash, travellers’ cheques and credit cards. The onus is on visitors to show that they’re genuine and that they don’t intend to breach Irish immigration laws. Immigration officials aren’t required to prove that you’ll break the law and can refuse you entry on the grounds of suspicion only.