Before you get all excited about your holiday, of course you need to make sure you deal with any required paperwork - to save any awkwardness down the line.
Not all visitors need a visa to enter Ireland for a holiday (see below), however it's essential to bring your passport. It's wise to consult your travel agent or airline before you actually book your journey as well. Most importantly, as is always the case with red tape, visa requirements are subject to change at any time - those planning on visiting Ireland should call the embassy/consulate for up-to-date information well in advance of worrying about what to pack.
A Brief Introduction
- People from certain countries need a valid Irish entry visa before arriving in the State (by air, sea or land).
People from a small number of countries also need a transit visa when arriving in Ireland on their way to another country (see below). A transit visa does not permit you to leave the port or airport.
Visa Waiver Programme: A new holiday and other short-stay Visa Waiver Programme (pdf) has been set up for 16 countries whose nationals currently require a visa to visit Ireland. This Programme (which started on 1 July 2011) allows visitors from those countries, who have a short-term UK visa, to come to Ireland without the need for a separate Irish visa. The Programme will end on 31 October 2016.
From autumn 2014, under a new British Irish Visa Scheme, visitors from China and India will be able to travel freely within the Common Travel Area, (that is, Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland), using either an Irish or UK visa. The Scheme will operate through a reciprocal visa arrangement, whereby Ireland and the UK recognise short-stay visas issued by the other for travel to their jurisdiction. The British Irish Visa Scheme will replace the Irish Visa Waiver Programme.
Please consult Citizens Information's helpful 'Visa requirements for entering Ireland' for information (the following is an overview of what you'll find on their website in detail).
Do I Need A Visa?
You do not need a visa to land in Ireland if you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below (includes EEA member states). The members of the EEA are the 28 countries of the European Union (EU), together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
|Antigua & Barbuda||Guyana||Romania|
|Argentina||Honduras||Saint Kitts & Nevis|
Hong Kong (Special Admin. Region),
see additional info)
|Austria||Hungary||Saint Vincent & the Grenadines|
|Chile||Macau (Special Admin. Region)||Swaziland|
|Denmark||Mexico||Trinidad & Tobago|
|El Salvador||Nauru||United Kingdom & Colonies|
|Estonia||Netherlands||United States of America|
If you are not a citizen of one of the countries listed above, you will need a visa when you travel to Ireland. See 'How To Apply' below for more information.
If you are coming to Ireland from another EU country as a dependant of an EU national, and you are not a citizen of the EEA or of one of the countries listed above, you will need a visa when you first travel to Ireland. If you plan to stay for more than 3 months, you should register with the immigration authorities and apply for a residence card. If you receive a residence card, you will not need a re-entry visa for travel into Ireland in future.
You also do not need a visa to land in Ireland if:
Article 28 of the Geneva Convention: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany,
Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland.
â You hold either a valid residence card 4 EU FAM or a valid permanent residence card 4 EU FAM
issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau
â You are a family member of an EU citizen and you hold a document called "Residence card of a family
member of a Union citizen" as referred to in article 10 of Directive 2004/38/EC (pdf).
What About Transit Visas Or Re-Entry?
If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, you will need a valid Irish transit visa when landing in the State:
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Iraq||Sri Lanka|
Re-entry: The first visa issued to you is valid for a single entry to the State. If you wish to leave the State for a short period of time you must apply for a re-entry visa. This includes travel to Northern Ireland when you will need a re-entry visa to re-enter the State. Before you can get a re-entry visa you must be registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).
If you apply for a single-journey visa, this will only be valid for one entry to the State within 90 days from the date of issue. If you apply for a multi-entry visa it will be valid from the date of issue until the expiry date on your GNIB card, or the expiry date of your passport, whichever is earliest. This will allow you to leave and re-enter the State any number of times while your visa is valid.
How Do I Apply?
Visas: you must apply for a visa online unless you are resident in Ireland and applying for a re-entry visa (see below). You should apply at least 8 weeks before you plan to come to Ireland. Further details are on the INIS website.
Appeals: If you are refused a visa you can appeal the decision by writing to the Visa Appeals Officer at the INIS Visa Section - see 'Where Do I Apply' below.
Biometric data: The Irish Government has started collecting biometric data from certain visa applicants. From March 2010 all visa applicants aged 6 years and over residing in Nigeria must provide fingerprints. You can find information about biometric data here.
Re-entry visas: Before making any travel arrangements you must apply to the Visa Office of INIS using the re-entry visa application form (pdf).
What Does It Cost And Where Do I Apply?
The standard non-refundable visa application processing fees are:
There may also be communications charges in some cases. Information about these charges, and on the fee in your local currency, is available from your local Irish embassy or consulate.
Do all applicants have to pay the fee? Some applicants are not required to pay a fee. This includes visa-required spouses and certain family members of EEA citizens (including Irish nationals) provided that proof of the relationship is provided with the application. In addition, applicants from some countries are not required to pay a fee. As this changes from time to time, you should check with your local Irish embassy or consulate, or with the Visa Office:
Where to apply: Irish embassies and consulates
Department of Justice and Equality,
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2