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Visa requirements for entering Ireland

Introduction

People from certain countries need a valid Irish entry visa before arriving in the State, whether by air, sea or land. An Irish visa is a certificate placed on your passport or travel document to indicate that you are authorised to land in the State subject to any other conditions of landing being fulfilled. This means that you will still be subject to immigration control at the point of entry to the State even if you have a visa. You may also need to register with the immigration authorities.

Who needs an entry visa?

No visa required

You do not need a visa to land in Ireland if you are a citizen of the EEA or of one of the countries listed in the table in 'Further information' below. The list of countries whose citizens do not require a visa to enter Ireland is defined in the Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2014 (SI 473/2014).

Who else can land in Ireland without a visa?

You do not need a visa to land in Ireland if:

Visa required

You will need a visa if you are a citizen of one of the countries whose nationals require a visa to enter Ireland. You can find detailed information on the application procedures on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). It is advisable to consult their website before applying for your visa, to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information. You can read this list of frequently asked questions about visas.

Family member of EU national: 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.

Types of visa

If you wish to visit Ireland for a period of less than 3 months, for example, on holidays, to pursue a short course of studies or for business meetings, then you can apply for a short stay ‘C’ visa for either a single entry or multiple entries. The maximum stay allowed under a short stay ‘C’ visa is 90 days. If you enter the State on a ‘C’ visa you cannot have your permission to remain in the State extended. You must leave and reapply from outside the State if you want to return.

If you wish to travel to Ireland for more than 3 months, for example to pursue a course of study, for work or to settle permanently in Ireland with family members who are already resident in Ireland, then you can apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa for a single entry. If you are granted a long stay ‘D’ visa and wish to remain in the State for longer than 3 months, or beyond the period of leave granted to you by an Immigration Officer at an Irish port of entry you will be required to register and obtain a residence permit.

You can read more information about the different types of visas, including tourist visas, business visas and student visas.

Transit visas

People from a small number of countries also need a transit visa when arriving in Ireland on their way to another country. A transit visa does not permit you to leave the port or airport. If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, you will need a valid Irish transit visa when landing in the State:

Countries that require an Irish transit visa
Afghanistan Iraq
Albania Lebanon
Cuba Moldova
Democratic Republic of the Congo Nigeria
Eritrea Somalia
Ethiopia Sri Lanka
Ghana Zimbabwe
Iran

Visa waivers

The Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme allows nationals of countries such as India, China and the Russian Federation, 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.

Since 28 October 2014, under a new British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS), visitors from China can travel freely within the Common Travel Area, (that is, Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland), using either an Irish or UK short-stay visa endorsed with 'BIVS'. The Scheme operates 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.

Re-entry visas

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).

Rates

The standard non-refundable visa application processing fees are:

Entry and re-entry visas

A single journey visa costs €60 and will be valid for one entry to the State up to a maximum of 90 days from the date of issue.

A multi journey visa costs €100 and will be valid for multiple entries to the State up to a maximum of 5 years from the date of issue.

A transit visa costs €25.

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.

Who does not 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 - see 'Where to apply'.   

As part of the Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme that nationals of the countries covered by the Programme who are long-term legal residents of the UK or the Schengen area will not have to pay the visa fee.

How to apply

Visas

You must apply for a visa online unless you are resident in Ireland and applying for a re-entry visa - see below. There is information on how to complete an online application in English (pdf) as well as in Arabic (pdf), Chinese (pdf), Russian (pdf), Hindi (pdf), French (pdf), Turkish (pdf) and Urdu (pdf).

You should apply at least 8 weeks before you plan to come to Ireland. Details of the photographic requirements and current processing times are on the INIS website.

Biometric data: All visa applicants residing in Nigeria must provide biometric data. Applicants residing in Pakistan and China must provide fingerprints. You can find information about biometric data on the INIS website.

Minors: From 13 October 2014, the Irish visa sticker issued to a minor (aged under 18) will identify whether they are travelling with a parent, guardian or other adult or are travelling unaccompanied.

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 to apply' below.

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).

Where to apply

Information about visas is available from your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.

Visa Office

Department of Justice and Equality
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
Ireland

Homepage: http://www.inis.gov.ie/
Email: visamail@justice.ie

Further information

Countries whose citizens are not required to be in possession of a valid Irish visa
Andorra Guatemala Poland
Antigua & Barbuda Guyana Portugal
Argentina Honduras Romania
Australia Hong Kong (Special Admin. Region)
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Austria Hungary Saint Lucia
Bahamas Iceland Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Barbados Israel Samoa
Belgium Italy San Marino
Belize Japan Seychelles
Bolivia Kiribati Singapore
Botswana Latvia Slovak Republic
Brazil Lesotho Slovenia
Brunei Liechtenstein Solomon Islands
Bulgaria Lithuania South Africa
Canada Luxembourg South Korea
Chile Macau (Special Admin. Region) Spain
Costa Rica Malawi Swaziland
Croatia Malaysia Sweden
Cyprus Maldives Switzerland
Czech Republic Malta Taiwan
Denmark Tonga
Dominica Mexico Trinidad & Tobago
El Salvador Monaco Tuvalu
Estonia Nauru United Kingdom & Colonies
Fiji Netherlands United States of America
Finland New Zealand Uruguay
France Nicaragua Vanuatu
Germany Norway Vatican City
Greece Panama
Grenada Paraguay
Page updated: 11 December 2014

Language

Gaeilge

Related Documents

Contact Us

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.