Visa requirements for entering Ireland
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.
COVID-19 and visa applications
Our document Immigration and employment permits during COVID-19 has information about how applications for visas are processed during the COVID-19 emergency period.
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) as amended by SI 175/2015, SI 513/2015, SI 502/2016 and SI 264/2017.
Who else can land in Ireland without a visa?
You do not need a visa to land in Ireland if:
- You hold a valid travel document issued in accordance with Article 28 of the Geneva Convention
- You hold either a valid residence card 4 EU FAM or a valid permanent residence card 4 EU FAM issued under the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015
- 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'
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 check 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 a non-EEA national coming to Ireland from another EU country as a dependant of an EU national, and you do not hold a document called "Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen", you may 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.
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:
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Nigeria|
|Ethiopia – see also SI 175/2015 (pdf)||Sri Lanka|
Visa waiver and reciprocal visa arrangement
The Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme allows nationals of a number of Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asian countries who have a short-term UK visa, to come to Ireland without the need for a separate Irish visa. This programme is currently suspended due to COVID-19.
Under the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS), visitors from China can travel freely within the Common Travel Area, (that is, Ireland and the UK, but not the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), using either an Irish or UK short-stay visa endorsed with 'BIVS'. On 9 February 2015 the Scheme was extended to visitors from India. 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 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 may need to 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).
From 13 May, a visa required national with a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card will not need a re-entry visa when traveling to and from Ireland. Your IRP card (or GNIB card) and passport will be accepted.
Any applications for re-entry visas already submitted to INIS will be returned. If you intend to travel and return before 13 May 2019, you will get an in-person appointment and be issued with a re-entry visa free of charge.
Non-EEA nationals aged under 16 are not currently issued with an IRP therefore re-entry visas for minors will be issued free of charge. You should check the INIS website for information on how to apply and current processing times.
Preclearance is when non-EEA nationals get permission to enter Ireland before travelling to Ireland. Preclearance makes the immigration process as straightforward as possible when you arrive at border control and when you register your immigration permission. Only certain categories of both visa and non-visa required non-EEA nationals can apply for preclearance before coming to Ireland. Currently, ministers of religion, volunteers and spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders and non-EEA de facto partners of Irish citizens can apply for preclearance.
If your preclearance application is successful and you are a visa required national, you must then apply for a visa online. However, if you are resident in a country where biometrics are recorded as part of the visa application process, you must make your visa application at the same time as your preclearance application. The countries where biometrics are currently recorded are China, India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
If your preclearance application is successful, you will be granted a letter of approval or preclearance letter. This must be presented to the Immigration Officer at border control when you arrival in Ireland. An Immigration Officer at border control can refuse you entry even if you have a preclearance letter and visa.
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 can change from time to time, you should check with your local Irish embassy or consulate, or with the Visa Office - see 'Where to apply'.
Nationals of the countries covered by the Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme who are long-term legal residents of the UK or the Schengen area will still require a visa but will not have to pay the visa fee.
How to apply
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).
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: Since 13 October 2014, the Irish visa sticker issued to a minor (aged under 18) identifies whether they are travelling with a parent, guardian or other adult or are travelling unaccompanied. This sticker is also on Irish 'C' visas issued to minors from 7 December 2015.
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.
Send your completed Re-Entry Visa Application Form (pdf), along with all required documentation, by registered post to the Re-entry Visa Processing Office – see ‘Where to apply’ below. You should apply well in advance of your proposed dates of travel.
You will find a checklist of required documents on your application form.
Where to apply
Information about visas is available from your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.
|Antigua & Barbuda||Guyana||Portugal|
|Australia||Hong Kong (Special Admin. Region)
||Saint Kitts & Nevis|
|Bahamas||Iceland||Saint Vincent & the Grenadines|
|Chile||Macau (Special Admin. Region)||Spain|
|Dominica||Mexico||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Estonia||Nauru||United Arab Emirates|
|Fiji||Netherlands||United Kingdom & Colonies|
|Finland||New Zealand||United States of America|