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Visas for tourists visiting Ireland

Information

Citizens of certain countries must apply for an entry visa before they travel to Ireland. Information on those who do not need an entry visa is available in our document: Visa requirements for entering Ireland.

If you require a visit/holiday visa and do not have one when you arrive in Ireland, you will not be allowed to enter the country. A visit/holiday visa is for a short-term stay and will not exceed a maximum of 90 days.

If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, you do not require a visit/holiday visa to travel to Ireland. (The members of the EEA are the 28 countries of the European Union (EU), together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). There is information for non-EEA nationals applying for a short-stay visa to accompany or join an EU citizen family member in Ireland on the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS) website.

Since July 2011 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 13 October 2014, under a new British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS), visitors from China and India 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.

Documentation required for all visa applications

The following information describes the minimum documentation that you must provide with any visa application. If any of this documentation is missing your application will be refused.

All documents must be in English. If any document is in another language, you must provide a notarised translation as well as the original document.

For the particular documentation needed for a tourist visa, see information headed 'Travelling to Ireland as a tourist', below.

  • You must complete all sections of the application form.
  • You must sign the form yourself. The only exception is for children under 18 - the parent(s) may sign in this case.
  • If a child (under 18 years of age) is travelling alone, both parents/guardians must have given consent. If the child is travelling with one parent, the consent of the other parent is required. Where only one parent has total custody and access rights, you must provide official evidence of this.
  • You must have a passport which is valid for a period lasting at least 6 months after the date you propose to leave Ireland.
  • You must be able to prove that you can support yourself for the duration of your stay in Ireland. A detailed bank statement, covering the 6 months before you apply for the visa, and showing sufficient funds, is required.
  • You must provide details of any members of your family who are in Ireland or any other EU country.
  • You must also give details of any previous applications that you have made for a visa to enter Ireland.

Travelling to Ireland as a tourist

If you will be visiting Ireland for a short period (less than 3 months) and you require a visa, you must present the following documents with your completed and signed visa application form:

  • Full details of the reason for your visit - for example to see friends or family.
  • If you plan to stay in a hotel, you will need written confirmation of the hotel booking containing the dates of your proposed stay.
  • A letter from a reference in Ireland inviting you to come to Ireland. The letter should include contact details for the reference, proposed dates for your stay and details of where you will be staying during your visit.
  • Written undertakings from both yourself and your reference, confirming that you will observe the conditions of your visa, that you will not become a burden on the State, and that you will leave the State on the expiration of your permission to remain.
  • Details of your relationship to your reference, or how you are known to each other, along with supporting evidence of this.
  • If your reference is not an Irish citizen, evidence of their permission to remain in Ireland. (That is, a copy of their Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card and copy of their passport showing immigration stamps)
  • Evidence of how you intend to finance your trip and support yourself for the duration of your visit, allowing for any unforeseen events such as illness. A detailed bank statement, covering a 6 month period immediately prior to your visa application, and showing sufficient funds to cover all costs, is required.
  • Evidence that you are obliged to return to your country of residence. This evidence can take the form of a letter from your employer detailing when you are expected to return to work or a letter from a college specifying the date on which your course of study re-commences. If you do not work or study, a letter from a person in authority may be sufficient.

There is more information on the documentation required for a visit/holiday visa on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of the Department of Justice and Equality.

Permission to land

Even if you do not require a visa to enter Ireland, all non-EEA nationals, including those with visas, must obtain permission to enter the State by reporting to an Immigration Officer at the port of entry. The length of time you will be allowed to stay in Ireland is determined by the Immigration Officer but will never exceed a maximum of 90 days.

You should have supporting documentation relating to the pupose of your visit on your person when coming through immigration. You can read more in our document on permission to land in Ireland.

What do I do if I want to leave for a short while?

The visiting/holiday visa issued to you allows you to enter the State once. If you have wish to leave for a short while and then return you must apply for a re-entry visa. (See 'How to apply' below for information on how to apply for a re-entry visa.)

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa (if required) for the country you intend travelling to. Please note that you must obtain a visa from the UK authorities before travelling to Northern Ireland (Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone). Information on applying for a visa to visit the UK if you are currently in Ireland is available on the UK Border Agency website.

What do I do after my arrival if I wish to stay in Ireland for longer than 3 months?

Visit/holiday visas are only granted for short term stays and never exceed 90 days. It is not possible to extend your stay beyond 90 days. You must leave the State on or before the date which has been stamped on your passport by the Immigration Officer when you entered.

Rules

Information on those who do not need a visa to visit Ireland is available in our document: Visa requirements for entering Ireland. You do not require a visa if you are from an EU/EEA member state.

Rates

Standard non-refundable visa application processing fees are:

Single-journey visa: €60

Multiple-journey visa: €100

Certain applicants are not required to pay a fee. They include visa-required spouses and certain family members of EU/EEA citizens. 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'.

How to apply

You must apply for a visa online. There is information on how to complete an online application in English (pdf) as well as in Arabic (pdf), Chinese (pdf), Russian (pdf), French (pdf), Turkish (pdf), Hindi (pdf) and Urdu (pdf).

Details of what documents you will need and the photographic requirements are on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website.

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 on the INIS website.

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service recommends that you should allow at least 8 weeks for your visa application to be processed.

Detailed information on the application procedures is available on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

Applying for a re-entry visas

Before applying for a re-entry visa you must register with the local immigration officer for the district in which you are staying (Garda National Immigration Bureau if staying in Dublin). You can read more about registration in our document on Registration of non-EEA nationals in Ireland.

Sent your completed Re-Entry Visa Application Form (pdf), along with all required documentation, by registered post to the:

Re-entry Visa Processing Office,
Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service,
13-14 Burgh Quay,
Dublin 2.

Apply for your re-entry visa well in advance of your proposed dates of travel. Postal applications for re-entry visas will be processed within 4 days of receipt and your re-entry visa will be returned to you by registered post.

You can also apply in person for a re-entry visa at the above address within certain hours. You will need to have a completed application form and all required documentation with you.

There is more information on applying for a re-entry visa, as well as information on photographic requirements on the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service website.

Where To Apply

If you require a visa in order to visit Ireland, your application must be made online.

Irish embassies and consulates

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

Garda National Immigration Bureau

13/14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
Ireland

Opening Hours:Mon to Thurs inclusive: 8am to 9pm, Friday 8am to 6pm
Tel:+353 1 666 9100
Homepage: http://www.garda.ie/Controller.aspx?Page=31
Email: gnib_dv@garda.ie

Page updated: 24 October 2014

Language

Gaeilge

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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.