Irish citizens are entitled to enter Ireland. If you are a national of the European Union (EU), of one of the other EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or of Switzerland you may be prevented from entering Ireland only in very restricted circumstances – see ‘EEA and Swiss nationals’ below.
Non-EEA nationals need permission to enter Ireland. Whether or not you are required to have a visa to enter Ireland, the same rules about permission to enter apply to non-EEA nationals. When you arrive in Ireland, you must report to an immigration officer. If you are allowed to enter Ireland, the immigration officer may give you permission to remain in Ireland for up to 3 months – see ‘Non-EEA nationals’ below.
On 1 November 2011 the European Communities (Communication of Passenger Data) Regulations 2011 requesting airlines to provide Advance Passenger Information (API) transposed Council Directive 2004/82/EC of 29 April, 2004 into law. This measure applies to all inbound flights to Ireland from outside the EU and is aimed at improving border control and combating illegal immigration.
If you are an EEA or Swiss national, you may be refused permission to enter Ireland only if:
You do not have to register with the immigration authorities as EEA and Swiss nationals have specific rights to live and work in Ireland.
If you are a national of any other country, you must get permission to enter when you arrive in Ireland.
The immigration officer may refuse for any one of a number of reasons. For example, permission may be refused if the immigration officer has reason to believe that:
If you are refused permission to enter you must be given the reasons in writing.
You may be given permission to enter but with conditions attached. For example, you may be allowed stay for a stated period only.
The immigration officer may grant you a visitor permission which allows you to stay for a maximum of 3 months. In certain unforeseen circumstances, this visitor permission may be extended.
If you wish to stay in Ireland for longer than this you must apply for permission to remain by registering with your local immigration office. In Dublin this is in the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), and outside Dublin it is the local garda district headquarters – see ‘Where to apply’ below. You can read more in our document, Registration of non-EEA nationals in Ireland.
However, visa-required nationals who have entered Ireland on a C visa cannot extend their permission to remain. They must leave and apply for a D visa from outside Ireland if they wish to return.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.