Documentation and other requirements when leaving Ireland
If you are leaving Ireland, you may be travelling for reasons of work, study, holiday or retirement abroad. Whatever it is you intend to do, you will need to take with you certain documentation (for example, proof of your citizenship, identity, address in Ireland). It is always easier to get hold of these documents while you are still in Ireland than retrospectively to seek these items when you move abroad.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has developed a free smartphone app called TravelWise which has travel advice and consular information on 200 countries. The app is available from the Apple and Android stores.
Documents to bring with you
It is always highly recommended that you bring your passport with you, even if you are travelling to the UK and your passport is not a requirement for travel. In fact, given Ireland is not a member of the Schengen Agreement, you will find that you are required to carry your passport when travelling to most other countries. If you need information about applying for an Irish passport you can find this information elsewhere on this site.
In addition to your passport, other useful documents include:
- Your birth certificate
- Your driving licence and/or international driving permit
- Your student card
- Any visas or work permits you may need
- European Health Insurance Card and/or other documents relating to health insurance
- Your curriculum vitae
- Any relevant certificates from education or training courses you have completed
- References for work
- Emergency contact information
- Contact names and numbers of your family/friends/next-of-kin in Ireland
Before you travel, it can be useful to make photocopies of the most important of these documents. Carry the photocopies separately so that you will have some form of identification in the event that they are stolen.
If you are going to remote areas where you will be far from an Irish embassy, leave two passport photographs and two signatures, ideally on a passport application form, with friends in Ireland or near an Irish embassy. If your passport is lost or stolen this could speed up the process of replacing it.
If you are travelling in countries where there are a lot of restrictions, it can be useful to bring a number of passport photographs with you, for use on additional visas and permits.
When you are abroad, you may need to use Irish documents, for example, a birth certificate, either for personal or business reasons. You may be asked to have them authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Authenticating a document means verifying that a signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine. Another type of authentication is an apostille stamp which is an international certification. It authenticates or legally certifies a document and it may be required by countries that have acceded to the Hague Convention.
Since 16 February 2019, EU citizens moving to another EU country no longer need to get a stamp to prove that their public documents are authentic. This means that birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates issued by the General Register Office (GRO) and the certificate of freedom to marry issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs are accepted by authorities in other EU states as authentic.
To reduce the need for translation within the EU, multilingual standard forms are also available on request from the GRO for birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates.
You can find more information about authenticating documents.
If you are planning to travel to a country for which you need a visa, you may be asked to provide fingerprints as part of your visa application. To get a certificate of your fingerprints you should contact your local Garda station to find out which Garda stations provide this service. It involves taking your fingerprints and giving you a card with a set of your fingerprints and stamped by the Garda station.
Emergency contact details
The Department of Foreign Affairs recommends that you make a note of the contact details of the nearest Irish embassy or consulate while you are abroad in case you need to contact them urgently. You are also advised to leave your own contact details with someone at home who can pass them to the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the event of an emergency.
You can also register your contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Irish citizens travelling or living overseas are encouraged to register their contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Registration is voluntary, but it will allow the Department to provide assistance, if necessary and possible.