Visa requirements for entering Ireland
If you are travelling to Ireland and you are not a citizen of the UK, Switzerland, 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.
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) or Switzerland
- Have a residence card issued by an EEA country or Switzerland because you are the family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen living in a country outside of the EEA/Swiss family member’s home country (for example, you live in Germany with your French spouse)
- Have a UK short-stay visa and qualify for the short-stay visa waiver or the British-Irish Visa Scheme (see ‘Visa waivers for UK visa holders’ below)
- Are a school student who lives in an EU/EEA country and you are travelling as part of a school trip (see ‘School Student Visa Waiver’ below)
- Are a citizen of a country listed in the table below.
|Antigua & Barbuda
|Hong Kong (Special Admin. Region)
|Macau (Special Admin. Region)
|Trinidad & Tobago
|United Arab Emirates
|United Kingdom (see note below)
|United States of America
|Saint Kitts & Nevis
|Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Note Visa free travel also applies to the following types of British nationality:
- British national (overseas)
- British overseas territories citizen (previously called ‘British dependent territories citizenship)
- British overseas citizen
Visa free travel does not apply to people who have a British passport as a ‘British protected person'.
If you are moving to Ireland to live with your Irish de facto 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.
Travelling with a refugee travel document
If you have a refugee travel document issued by a country outside Ireland, you must apply for a visa to enter Ireland. Visa free travel for travel document holders is suspended until further notice.
Family members of EEA/Swiss 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 or Switzerland because you are the family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen who is exercising their free movement rights, 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.
Re-entry multiple entry visas
The first visa issued to you is valid for a single entry to the State. If you leave Ireland, you must apply for another visa to travel to Ireland again.
If you have had single entry visas in the past and you have obeyed the conditions of those visas, you can apply for a multiple entry visa. You can also apply if you need to come to Ireland frequently for business. A multiple entry visa allows you to travel to Ireland on more than one occasion during the period that the visa is valid.
Re-entry visas for people who live in Ireland
If you have a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP), you no longer need a re-entry visa to re-enter Ireland when traveling abroad. Children under 16 do not get an IRP. They can return to Ireland without a re-entry visa if they are travelling with parents or guardians. The parents or guardians must have an IRP.
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
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’.
School Student Visa Waiver
School students who are citizens of a country that would normally need a visa to enter Ireland can apply for a waiver if they live in an EU or EEA country and are travelling as part of a school trip.
The principal of the school must complete an application form and present this form to immigration upon arrival.
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 orpreclearance
Biometric data: All visa applicants residing in Nigeria must provide biometric data. Applicants residing in Pakistan, India and China must provide fingerprints.
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.
Further information and contacts
Information about visas is available from your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.