Who needs a visa to come to Ireland?


Visitors from EEA countries (including British dependent territories) don’t need a visa to visit Ireland.

Neither do visitors from Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Vatican City.

All other nationalities require at least a ‘short-visit’ visa (valid for a maximum of 90 days) to visit Ireland. Most visitors require a full passport, although EEA and Swiss nationals can enter Ireland with a national identity card only.

If you require a visa, you should apply to the Irish embassy or consulate in your country of permanent residence and you may be required to attend an interview. If there’s no Irish embassy or consulate in your country of residence, you may apply to any Irish embassy or consulate, or direct to the Visa Office in Dublin. You’ll need to submit your passport, which must be valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure from Ireland. You’ll also need to send three passport-size photographs and documents relevant to your intended visit, e.g. an invitation from an Irish company or conference organiser if you’re visiting on business; a letter of registration from a school or college if visiting for educational purposes; or confirmation of a hotel booking or a letter of reference from an Irish resident who will accommodate you if you’re planning a holiday. Children under 16 who are accompanying a parent or guardian don’t require a visa to enter Ireland, provided that they have their own passports or are named on those of a parent or guardian.

If you need a visa to enter Ireland and attempt to enter without one, you’ll be refused entry. However, note that the granting of a visa doesn’t necessarily give you permission to enter the country either; Irish immigration officials have the authority to deny you admission. You should therefore ensure that you take with you the originals or copies of all documents submitted with your visa application. You’ll also need a visa each time you enter Ireland, even if you travel to the UK. This also applies if you have permission to reside in Ireland, when you may apply for a re-entry visa at the Visa Office in Dublin (Tel. 01-478 0822).

The visa fee varies depending on your country of residence – your local Irish embassy or consulate will inform you, although, if you’re married to an EU citizen, there’s no fee.

You should allow at least three weeks (five weeks if you apply by post) for your visa application to be processed, although certain applications are decided quickly, e.g. those of government officials, ‘well-travelled’ business people, and those with residence rights in Ireland or another EU country or with valid visas for other EU states. For an additional fee you can have your application speeded up. There’s also an appeals process for those whose visa applications are refused, which is handled by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Tel. 01-602 8202).

An Irish visa doesn’t grant permission to stay in Ireland for any set period. The date of validity shown on the visa indicates only the date by which it must be presented to immigration. The length of stay is decided by immigration officers at the port of entry, who grant ‘permission to remain’ for up to three months by way of a stamp in your passport. You’ll need to produce a valid passport and evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependants. Students need confirmation of registration with a school or college and evidence that the necessary fees have been paid. Employees and the self-employed must present a work permit or confirmation from the DETE that a work permit will be issued.

Employment Visas

Non-EEA nationals who require a visa and who intend to take up employment in Ireland will also need an employment visa. Once you’ve been granted a work permit, you must apply for an employment visa to the Irish embassy or consulate in your country of residence or, if there isn’t one, to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Visa Office, 69–71 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
 (Tel. 01-478 0822).

Student Visas

Non-EEA nationals coming to Ireland to study must apply for a ‘C’ study visa if their course lasts less than three months or a ‘D’ study visa if more than three months, and should ensure that their passports are valid for at least six months after the end of their course. Copies of previous passports should also be supplied.

The course provider (e.g. college or university) should provide a letter confirming a the student has been accepted on a privately funded course entailing at least 15 hours’ study and should specify the subject to be studied and provide evidence that the course fees (including accommodation costs) have been paid in full.

Students must also give details of their accommodation and provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and to cover any emergencies that might arise without recourse to state assistance. They must have private medical cover as well as being insured by the course provider, but are entitled to public health services in Ireland if the course lasts more than a year.

Students are also required to disclose details of any relatives (including first cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and grandparents) already residing in Ireland or another EU country. If you need to leave Ireland during your period of study, you must obtain a re-entry visa.

Further reading

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