USA and the UK
- Who needs a visa to enter Ireland?
- Who is eligible for the Irish Visitor Visa?
- What is the application process for the Irish Visitor Visa?
- What supporting documents do I need to submit?
- What is the Short Stay Visa Waiver Program?
- Can I work on the Irish Visitor Visa?
- How long is the Irish Visitor Visa valid for?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs a visa to enter Ireland?
With beautiful landscapes and a friendly atmosphere, Ireland is an attractive tourist destination. Ireland welcomes visitors from around the world but, if you are a visa-required national from a non-EEA country, you will need to obtain a Visitor/Tourist Visa to be able to enter the country. If you arrive in Ireland without a valid Irish visa, you will be refused entry by the immigration officer at border control.
The Irish Visitor Visa, also called the Tourist Visa, is intended for foreign citizens who want to come to Ireland for the purpose of tourism or who want to complete a short-term English language course. If your application is successful, you will have the right to travel to Ireland and remain there for up to 90 days.
Who is eligible for the Irish Visitor Visa?
Citizens of EU/EEA countries do not have to meet any specific requirements or apply for a visa to be able to visit Ireland. However, non-EEA citizens who are from a visa-required country will need to meet a number of eligibility requirements in order to be able to obtain an Irish Visitor/Tourist Visa. These include:
- The applicant must have a passport valid for at least 6 months past the intended date of travel to Ireland
- The applicant must be coming to Ireland for the purpose of tourism
- The applicant must have sufficient funds to cover their living expenses and travel during their visit to Ireland
- The applicant must be able to provide evidence of having booked accommodation in Ireland
- The applicant must be able to prove that they have the intention to leave Ireland once their visa expires
- The applicant must be able to provide information and the contact details of any family members who are currently living in Ireland and the EU
- The applicant must be able to provide information about any previous visits to Ireland
Visa applicants will need to complete all sections of the visa application form and sign it themselves. If the applicant is younger than 18 years of age, the application form can be signed by their parents. For minors to be able to visit Ireland on their own, however, both parents need to give their consent for the trip.
What is the application process for the Irish Visitor Visa?
There are four steps in the application process for the Irish Visitor Visa.
- The visa applicant will need to complete and submit the online application form. In this online form, applicants will be asked to explain their reasons for visiting Ireland. Once submitted, the applicant will be shown a web page along with their application summary sheet. The application summary sheet will communicate to the applicant what required documentation will need to be submitted and the visa office where it should be sent. In addition, the visa applicant will also receive a Visa Application Transaction Number. This number identifies each Irish visa application and will be needed to check the progress of each visa application.
- The applicant will then be asked to pay the visa application fee. Prices will range from €60 for a single entry visa to €100 for a multiple-entry visa. Make sure to keep the receipt of any visa fees paid as you will have to submit it together with other required evidence.
- After paying the visa fee, you can start compiling the necessary supporting documentation that will prove your eligibility for the Irish Visitor Visa. The exact documents you have to prepare will vary depending on your individual circumstances so it is advisable to consult an immigration lawyer prior to sending them for processing.
- Finally, once you have put together a complete portfolio of evidence, you have to send all the supporting documents for processing to the designated visa office. Normally, documents are sent to the Dublin Visa office, an international visa application agency, or the Irish Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence. Where to send the documents will be communicated to the applicant on the application summary sheet.
What supporting documents do I need to submit?
As part of the application for the Irish Visitor/Tourist Visa, you will need to submit the following supporting documents:
- Signed and dated application summary sheet
- Application letter detailing the reason for your visit to Ireland
- Your valid passport
- Photocopies of any previous passports
- Two passport-size photographs in color
- Details of your accommodation in Ireland
- A letter from a referee in Ireland
- A statement in which you pledge not to breach Irish law and the conditions of your visa
- A statement in which you pledge not to become a burden on the state
- Evidence of having ties in your home country that will make you return there after your visa expires.
All documents have to be submitted in their original form but you will get them back after an immigration officer reviews them. If any of the documents were issued in a language that is not English or Irish, you will have to have them translated by a certified translator.
What is the Short Stay Visa Waiver Program?
Even though most non-EEA nationals have to obtain an Irish Visitor Visa to be able to visit Ireland, citizens of certain countries that are normally visa-required are exempt from this requirement. That is thanks to the Short Stay Visa Waiver Program.
Under this agreement, citizens of certain countries can travel to Ireland for tourist-related purposes without needing a visa. These countries include the following:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
- People’s Republic of China
The Short Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of these countries to visit Ireland without a visa and remain there for up to 90 days.
If you are not sure whether you need a visa to travel to Ireland, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will analyze your circumstances and will tell you in detail what the specific requirements are depending on where you are from.
Can I work on the Irish Visitor Visa?
Unfortunately, if you come to Ireland on a Visitor Visa, you will not be allowed to work. Seeking and engaging in employment would mean breaching the conditions of your visa and could lead to you facing deportation.
The Irish Visitor Visa is intended for those who want to come to Ireland as tourists or who want to take part in a short-term English language course.
If you want to come to Ireland to work, you will need to obtain a separate Irish visa for employment. Talk to our immigration lawyer who can help advise on the right Irish Work permit for you.
How long is the Irish Visitor Visa valid for?
The Irish Visitor/Tourist Visa is a Short Stay ‘C’ Visa, which means it is valid for 90 days. During the application process, you can indicate whether you want to apply for a single-entry or multiple-entry visa. Nevertheless, multiple-entry ones are granted only in exceptional circumstances.
It is not possible to extend your Irish Visitor Visa so after your initial permit expires, you have to leave the country. If you would like to come to Ireland for longer than 90 days, you have to obtain a Long Stay ‘D’ Visa.
How can IAS help?
At IAS we offer professional legal advice and assistance with applying for various visas to Ireland. We have helped many clients obtain their Irish Visitor Visas and we can help you make the visa application process straightforward and stress-free.
Even though hiring an immigration lawyer is not compulsory, it can significantly increase the chances of your visa application being accepted. Your lawyer can review your application before you submit it to make sure that there are no mistakes. They can help you gather extensive evidence confirming your eligibility for your chosen visa and can write a Letter of Representation for you to strengthen your case.
Thanks to the help of your highly-qualified immigration experts, you can make your dreams of visiting Ireland come true.
Give us a call on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how our lawyers can help.
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If your application for an Irish Tourist visa is denied, you will receive a letter from the visa office stating the reasons for the denial and if you are eligible to appeal the process or just start a new visa application (if eligible).
If you wish to appeal, you must do so within 2 months of the date on the letter of refusal. There is no fee for applying for an appeal.
Since Northern Ireland is part of the UK and not the Republic of Ireland, you may need a separate UK visa to enter the country.
Chinese and Indian nationals are eligible to visit both the UK and Ireland under the British-Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) which will allow visitors under a Short-Stay or Visitor/Tourist Visa to travel to and around the Common Travel Area (CTA).
Those with the letters ‘BIVS’ on their visa can therefore travel to both countries without the need to apply for a separate UK visa.
As a citizen of the European Union, you have the right to travel to Ireland and stay there for up to 90 days without having to apply for a visa. When you arrive in Ireland you will have to provide proof of your identity such as a valid passport or national identity card which confirms that you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country. Citizens of Switzerland enjoy the same right and can also come to Ireland for a short visit without a visa.
EU citizens also have the right to look for employment in Ireland without having to obtain an employment permit. If you are successful at finding a job during the visa-free 90 days, you will be able to stay in Ireland longer.
The waiting time for the Irish Visitor Visa varies depending on the complexity of each case. Nevertheless, most applications are processed within 8 weeks. If your application is approved, you will receive a stamp on your passport and you will be allowed to travel to Ireland. If it is unsuccessful, you will be informed about the reasons for the refusal.