Visas for Ireland
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is warning of the existence of a fraudulent telephone phishing visa scam purporting to come from this Department seeking personal information and requesting significant cash amounts to process visas. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not seek funds additional to the typical fee when processing visas. You will find advice on phishing scams on the website of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. If you are a victim of such a crime report it to your local Garda Station and the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. January 2018
If you want to enter Ireland, you may need a visa. Find out more about getting a visa to come to Ireland.
In Ireland, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) is primarily responsible for dealing with immigration and visa matters.
Whether you need a visa to enter Ireland depends on what country you're from, see Schedule 1.
S.I. No 473 of 2014 groups countries into five different categories (schedules).
Note: A Schengen visa or UK visa is not valid for travel to Ireland. For exceptions to this, please see Schedules 2 and 3 below.
If you're a citizen of a non-EEA country, whether you need a visa or not, you will be subject to immigration control when you enter Ireland.
Schedule 1 - Check if you need an Irish visa
Find out what you need to enter Ireland based on your nationality on the INIS website.
Convention travel documents
Schedule 2 - Visa waiver programme
Check if you meet Visa Waiver Programme requirements on the INIS website, if so you may be able to travel on to Ireland from the UK without the need to obtain a separate Irish visa.
If not, you'll need to apply for an entry visa before you travel to Ireland.
Schedule 3 - British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)
Check if you are eligible for this Scheme on the INIS website.
Schedule 4 - Transit Visas
Check if you will need to apply for a transit visa on the INIS website.
Submitting your application
Please ensure you have completed the correct application form and supplied all the required documentation. A full list of the different application forms and the necessary documents can be found on the INIS website.
The processing times for visa applications vary depending on the visa type and the Office to which the application is lodged. Visa applications are considered in as speedy a manner as possible but timeframes for decision can be dependent on a number of factors including, the number of applications received and the resources available to process them at any one time.
While the vast majority of applications are dealt with within a much shorter timeframe it is recommended that applicants allow as much time as possible when applying for a visa. Just in case further enquiries have to be made, we advise you to apply for your visa 8 weeks before the date you plan to travel.
NOTE: Applicants planning on a long term or permanent stay in Ireland, such as, in the case of joint family visa applications, should be aware that they will require more in-depth consideration than short-stay visa applications and it is recommended applicants make their applications 12 weeks prior to their proposed dates of travel.
You need to:
1. Complete the online application form (Guidance is available in several languages)
2. Gather your supporting documentation, passport photograph and fee
3. The online application system will automatically request you to submit your documentation to one of the following:
- Your appropriate Irish Embassy or Consulate
- The dedicated Visa Offices in Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Beijing, London, Moscow and New Delhi & Ankara
- Direct to INIS, Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland
If you submit false or misleading information in support of your application, it will result in the refusal of your visa application and may have a negative impact on any future applications made.
How long does it take?
If you’re applying for a business visa and it’s being processed in an Irish Embassy or Consulate, you should have a decision within 10 working days, provided all your documentation is in order.
Some categories of visa (eg Study, Visit or Join Family visas) can take longer, depending on the time of the year.
Tracking your application
Track your application by contacting the Embassy or Consulate to which it was submitted, quoting the reference number from your application.
If you sent your application to Dublin, you should contact INIS directly.
If you applied at an Embassy or Consulate, they will contact you once a decision has been made.
If you applied directly to INIS in Dublin, or if your application was referred to INIS for a decision, you can check the INIS Visa Decision Weekly Listing using your reference number.
Need more information?
Visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website to find out what you need to know before you apply for a visa
If you’re in Ireland and want to apply for a re-entry visa or have other queries, contact the INIS Visa Section
Tel: +44 0906 66 10 197 (calls cost £1.50 per minute at all times. This number is not available to residents of Ireland or Northern Ireland)
Email: Submit your Query here
Opening hours: 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday
Tel: 1900 776 5000 or 1800 735 5888 (calls cost $2.90 per minute at all times – you can pay by credit card)
Opening hours: 8.30am EST to 8.30pm EST, Monday to Friday (except Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday)
Visa and Documentation
What sort of Visa do I need?
A comprehensive list of the different visa types that are available, and the documentation required in respect of each, is available from the INIS website.
For ease of reference, separate links for some of the most common visa types are set out below.
Travelling to Ireland as a tourist
If you are a Visa-required national and you would like to visit Ireland for a short period (90 days or less) you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Visit/Holiday Visa applications from INIS.
For further information on tourism in Ireland please visit the website of Tourism Ireland.
Travelling to Ireland as a Family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens seeking to apply under Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive)
Please refer to INIS for details and comprehensive information regarding these types of applications.
Travelling to Ireland on business
If you are a Visa-required national and coming to Ireland for a business meeting you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Business Visa applications on INIS.
If you are a Visa-required national and coming to Ireland for a conference, you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Conference Visa applications on INIS.
Starting a Business in Ireland
If you are a Visa-required national and you wish to set up a business in Ireland, you will require Business Permission from the Department of Justice and Equality, prior to applying for your visa. Find more information on the INIS website.
Studying in Ireland
If you require an entry visa for Ireland and would like to study here, you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Study Visa applications on INIS.
For further information on studying in Ireland:
- Immigration Regime for Full Time Non-EEA Students
- Irish Council for International Students
- Immigration and Visas - A guide for international students
Standard visa fees
Standard non-refundable visa application processing fees are:
You may also have to pay communications charges.
Contact your local Embassy or Consulate for more details on fees and payment methods.
No fee required
Some applicants don’t have to pay a fee for their visa. These include visa-required spouses and certain family members of EEA citizens (including Irish nationals). You must provide proof of the relationship with the application.
In addition, applicants from the countries listed below don’t have to pay a fee:
Republic of Macedonia
You may be charged an administration or communications fee if you’re apply from some of these countries.
My application has been refused
If your application has been refused and you still want to travel to Ireland, you can:
- Appeal the decision or
- Make a new application
If you decide to make a new application, your previous application history may be taken into account.
Appealing the decision
You'll be sent a letter outlining the reasons for refusal. You can appeal this decision within two months of receiving the refusal notice. You will find further information on how to make an appeal on INIS.
A visa is a form of pre-entry clearance which allows for travel to Ireland. It does not guarantee permission to enter Ireland. Permission to enter Ireland is granted by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry.
All non-EEA citizens, whether they need a visa or not, will be subject to ordinary immigration controls at the port of entry.
As well as your visa, an Immigration Officer may ask to see additional information such as:
- Accommodation bookings
- Return flights
- Contacts in Ireland
Length of stay
The Immigration Officer at the port of entry will decide your length of stay by stamping your passport; which will reflect the purpose of your journey and the amount of time you are allowed to stay in the State.
The validity period shown on your visa indicates the dates between which you must travel to Ireland. These dates are NOT the dates between which you’re permitted to remain in Ireland.
Staying over three months
If you need a visa to enter Ireland and you want to stay longer than 90 days, apply for a 'D' type visa before you travel. Permission to enter on the basis of a 'C' type visa will not give you permission to remain beyond a 90 day period.
If you’re a non-EEA national and you want to stay longer than three months in Ireland, you must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and apply for permission to remain in Ireland.
Conditions of your visa
Under Irish law, you’re not allowed to engage in any activity or to remain in Ireland for any purpose other than that for which your visa or permission to remain was granted.
Overstaying your visa
If you stay in Ireland longer than your permission to remain permits, you could be liable for prosecution and/or deportation.
Change of activity
If you want to undertake any activity in Ireland other than that for which your visa was granted you must leave the county and apply for a new visa. You can’t return to Ireland while you’re waiting for a decision on your new application.