Visa requirements for entering Ireland
If you are travelling to Ireland and you are not a citizen of the UK or a country in the European Economic Area (the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), you may need to apply for a visa.
An Irish visa is a certificate placed on your passport or travel document that allows you to travel to Ireland. You still have to present your passport and documents to immigration control when you arrive at the airport or port, and an immigration officer may still refuse you entry to Ireland.
If you are travelling with children, you have to apply for a visa for your children too.
You may also have to register with immigration authorities.
Visas and COVID-19
New visa rules are in place for travellers from some southern African countries. Citizens of the following countries need an entry and transit visa for Ireland from midnight 26 November 2021:
- Eswatini (Swaziland)
- South Africa
Only Visa applications in the following categories will be processed for citizens of the above countries:
- Visas to join EU or EEA family members
- People with a valid residence permission in Ireland, including permissions that were extended automatically because of COVID-19
- Family members of Irish citizens
- Citizens of the above countries, who were not in any of those countries in the 14 days before they intend to travel to Ireland
- Diplomats and people with diplomatic immunity
Do I need a visa?
You do not need a visa to land in Ireland if you:
- Are a citizen of the EU or the EEA (the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein)
- Hold a travel document issued by an EEA member country. The travel document must have been issued under Article 28 of the Geneva Convention 1951 (refugees) or the New York Convention of 1951 (stateless persons).
- Have a residence card issued by an EEA country because you are the family member of an EEA citizen.
- Are a citizen of a country listed in the table below.
|Antigua & Barbuda||Hong Kong (Special Admin. Region)||San Marino|
|Belize||Macau (Special Admin. Region)||South Korea|
|Canada||Nauru||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Costa Rica||Nicaragua||United Arab Emirates|
|Dominica||Panama||United Kingdom & Colonies|
|El Salvador||Paraguay||United States of America|
|Fiji||Saint Kitts & Nevis||Uruguay|
|Guatemala||Saint Vincent & the Grenadines||Vatican City|
If you are moving to Ireland to live with your Irish partner, a spouse or partner who holds a Critical Skills Employment Permit, or your UK spouse or partner, you have to apply for preclearance even if you are from one of the countries listed above (this does not apply to citizens of Switzerland or the UK). See ‘Do I need preclearance’ below.
If you have a short stay visa for the UK and are an Indian or Chinese citizen, you can travel to Ireland without a visa. See ‘Visa waivers for UK visa holders’ below.
Family members of EU citizens
If you are coming to Ireland to join or accompany your EEA family member, you must apply for a visa if you are from a country that is not in the list above. If you are already living in another EEA country and have a residence card because you are an EEA family member, you do not need a visa to travel to Ireland.
If you plan to stay in Ireland for more than 3 months you must apply for residence after your arrival.
Types of visa
The type of visa you need depends on the purpose and length of your stay in Ireland.
Short stay visas
If you want to come to Ireland for less than 3 months, you should apply for a short stay ‘C’ visa. You should apply for this type of visa if you want to come to Ireland as a tourist or to visit someone, for a business meeting, or to attend a short course.
You cannot stay for longer than 3 months on a ‘C’ visa. You must leave Ireland and apply for another visa if you want to return.
Long stay visas
If you want to come to Ireland for more than 3 months, for example to study, for work or to settle permanently in Ireland with family members who live in Ireland, then you can apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa.
If you are granted a long stay ‘D’ visa and wish to remain in the State for longer than 3 months you must register and get an Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
You can read more information about different types of visa available on the ISD website.
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 – including travel to Northern Ireland.
If you have a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) you do not need a re-entry visa when traveling to and from Ireland. If your IRP expired on or after 20 March 2020, but your residence has been extended automatically because of COVID-19, and you plan to travel over the Christmas period, you should print off and carry the Travel Confirmation Notice. You can use the Travel Confirmation Notice until 15 January 2022. After this, you need to have a valid IRP to re-enter Ireland.
Non-EEA nationals aged under 16 do not have to register for an IRP and still have to apply for a re-entry or multiple-entry visa. This is free of charge. You do not need a re-entry visa to re-enter Ireland between 15 November 2021 and 15 January 2022.
If you are travelling through Ireland on your way to another country, you may 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||Moldova|
Visa waivers for UK visa holders
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. The countries included in the scheme are:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
- Saudi Arabia
Citizens of India and China, who have a short stay UK visa can travel to Ireland under the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) without a separate Irish visa. You can also use your Irish visa to travel to the UK. Your visa must be endorsed with ‘BIVS’.
Do I need preclearance?
If you do not need a visa to come to Ireland, you may still have to apply for preclearance. Preclearance is permission to enter Ireland to apply to reside for certain reasons. You have to apply for preclearance if you want to come to Ireland:
- To volunteer
- As a minister of religion
- As the de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit or Hosting Agreement holder
- As the de facto partner of an Irish citizen
- As the family member of a UK citizen
A de facto partnership is when you are in a relationship with someone that is like a marriage.
You can apply for pre-clearance online. If you are approved, and you intend to stay in Ireland for more than 3 months, you have to register for an Irish Residence Permit after you arrive in Ireland.
How to apply for a visa or preclearance
Biometric data: All visa applicants residing in Nigeria must provide biometric data. Applicants residing in Pakistan, India and China must provide fingerprints.
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 ‘Further information and contacts’ below.
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.
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 still need a visa but do not have to pay the visa fee.
Further information and contacts
Information about visas is available from your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.