Short stay tourist visa

A short stay tourist visa allows you to travel to Ireland for tourism or study for up to 90 days, subject to the conditions described below. All short stay visas are also called 'C' visas.

Check if you need a visa and plan your journey before you apply.

1. About this visa

A short stay 'C' visit (tourist) visa allows you to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days for:

  • Tourism
  • Study, eg a short term English language course

This visa does not allow you to:

  • Do work (paid or unpaid) of any kind
  • Use any publicly funded services, eg a public hospital

To do something other than tourism or short term study - eg to work, do business, visit family or friends - apply for a different visa. Read the general assessment criteria for all short stay 'C' visas.

Note: A visa allows you to travel to Ireland. It does not give you permission to enter the country. An immigration officer at border control can refuse you entry even if you have a visa.

2. Who needs to apply

You need a visa if you travel using a passport or travel document issued by a country that is 'visa required'.

Each individual traveller (adults & children) must apply for a separate visa. There are no family visas.

Applications for a child (aged under 18) should be made by their parent or legal guardian. Extra conditions for children also apply.

Note: You should not purchase travel tickets before you receive a decision on your visa application.

How to apply

You must apply for a visa from your home country or a country where you are a legal resident. Prepare your application 3 months before you travel.

Your application has 3 parts:

  1. Submit a visa application online
  2. Pay the visa application fee
  3. Send your passport, proof of fee payment & other documents for processing
  4. In some cases, you may need to provide biometric information (described below)

You will be given instructions about where to send your documents (and where to provide biometric information) when you apply.

If your application is successful, an Irish visa sticker will be placed into your passport/travel document and returned to you. In general, you can expect a decision about 8 weeks after your documents are received.

Important: Do not include false or misleading information or documents in your application. If you do, your application may be refused. You can also be denied a right of appeal and blocked from getting an Irish visa for 5 years.

3. Special visa programmes

Travel to Ireland using a UK visa

You may visit Ireland without applying for an Irish visa if you have an eligible UK (short stay) visitor visa and travel using a passport from an approved country.

Read how this works under the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme.

Travel between Ireland & UK for Chinese & Indian nationals

You may visit Ireland and the United Kingdom using a single Irish or UK visa if you travel using a Chinese or Indian passport.

Read how this works under the British-Irish Visa Scheme.

Travel to Ireland on a school group trip from EU/EEA or Switzerland

You may not need an Irish visa if you are a high school (second level) student who is legally resident in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland and you want to come here as part of a school group trip.

Read how this works under the School Student Visa Waiver Decision.

4. Submit your visa application online

AVATS is the online visa application system. To apply for a visa, answer all questions in AVATS fully and honestly.

Apply for an Irish visa online via AVATS

Short stay tourist visa

To visit Ireland for tourism or study for less than 90 days, select the following options in AVATS:

  • Visa type: 'Short Stay (C)'
  • Reason for travel: 'Visit Tourist'
  • Journey type: 'Single' or 'Multiple' (as appropriate for you)
  • Note: Multiple entry visas are approved in limited circumstances only

Get answers to common questions when applying for a visa in AVATS.

Application summary

When finished, you will be shown a web page with important summary information, including your:

  • Visa Application Transaction Number: Keep a note of this number. You will need it to check progress on your application or when contacting us.
  • Application Summary Sheet: Print, sign and date this sheet and send it to your nominated processing office (as below), along with your passport and other documents.
  • Processing office: The office that will process your application is shown on your summary sheet. Your processing office may be the Dublin Visa Office, an international Visa Office or an Irish Embassy or Consulate worldwide, depending on where you apply from.

5. Pay the visa application fee

Pay the visa application fee before you send your documents for processing (as described below).

You must include proof that you have paid the fee when submitting your documents.

Contact your processing office to find out how to pay. Payment methods may differ between offices.

Current fees are:

  • €60: Single entry - Short stay 'C' visa
  • €100: Multiple entry - Short stay 'C' visa
  • Extra charges may apply for some applications, eg consular fees
  • Some applicants do not pay visa fees

The visa fee covers the administrative cost of processing your application. It cannot be refunded even if your application is withdrawn or refused.

6. Send your visa documents for processing

You must send the documents listed below to your nominated processing office within 30 days of making an application via AVATS. Your application will not be processed until everything is received.

Prepare your documents carefully. They contain information we need to make a decision about you. It is your responsibility to satisfy us that a visa should be granted.

+ Click here to read important rules for documents

Documents must be original

We do not accept photocopies (except where stated).

Letters must be original

Letters from companies, universities, schools, colleges, etc, must be on official headed paper and show the organisation's:

  • Full name
  • Full postal address
  • Telephone number
  • Website address
  • Email address (Yahoo and Hotmail email addresses are not accepted)
  • A contact person's name and title/position
  • Written signature of an authorised representative (electronic signature is not accepted)

Documents must be translated & certified

You must provide a full certified English translation of any documents not in the English language. Send us both the original documents and the certified translations.

Read a longer description about how to make a certified translation of a document.

Return of your documents

Documents such as Marriage, Birth or Death Certificates will be returned to you.

Other documents such as bank statements or letters of invitation may not be returned.

Include a list with your application if there are documents that you want to have returned. We will send them back to you after your application is processed. Otherwise, make a photocopy of any documents you wish to keep for your own records.


Your application may be refused if you do not submit all documents. Even if you submit everything required, there is no guarantee that a visa will be granted.

i. Application summary sheet

Print, sign and date the Application Summary Sheet (from AVATS) and include it with your application documents.

ii. Application letter

Type or write a letter explaining why you want to come to Ireland. Sign and date the letter and submit it with your documents.

Your letter must include your full name and postal address, and the:

  • Reason you want to come to Ireland
  • Dates you plan to arrive and leave

Your letter must also include a commitment from you that you will:

  • Obey the conditions of your visa in full
  • Not use any publicly funded services in Ireland (eg a public hospital) or become a burden on the Irish State
  • Leave Ireland before your immigration permission expires

iii. Vacation (or study) plan

Type or write a description of your planned vacation (or study trip) to Ireland, including where you will stay.

Accommodation

Include confirmations (printed emails or letters) of your accommodation plan, such as:

  • Hotels, guesthouses, hostels, B&Bs, AirBnBs, campsites, etc.
  • Shared or free accommodation, eg couchsurfing
  • Any other type of accommodation
  • Confirmations must show the dates you intend to stay at each place

Study

If you plan to study during your stay, include information about your study plan, such as:

  • The name, address, phone number, website and email of the place you are studying, eg school, college, institution
  • The name of the course you are attending and how long it will last
  • Proof you have reserved a place on the course, eg confirmation email or letter

Travel & medical insurance

If your application for a visa is approved, you must get travel/medical insurance before you travel. You will not be allowed to enter Ireland without it.

In some cases, you may be asked to submit proof that you have travel/medical insurance before a visa is granted.

iv. Proof of fee payment

Include proof that you have paid the visa application fee.

Proof of payment may differ between processing offices. Contact your processing office for information about proof of payment.

If you are exempt from the visa fee, you must include documents that prove your exemption. Contact your processing office for information on proof of exemption.

v. Passport

You must submit:

  • Your current passport
  • A photocopy of each page from any previous passports you have (if available)

Your current passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you plan to leave Ireland.

If you travel to Ireland via another country

If you plan to travel to Ireland via another country, check if you need a visa for that country.

If you need a visa for that country, apply for their visa before you apply for an Irish visa.

Your application for an Irish visa will be refused if the correct visa for that country is not in your passport when you apply for an Irish visa.

If you are not a citizen of the country you are applying from

You must submit proof you have permission to be in the country you are applying from, if you are not a citizen, eg a photocopy of your residence card.

You must also show you have at least 3 months' permission to remain in that country after the date you plan to leave Ireland.

vi. Photographs

Include 2 passport-sized colour photographs of the visa applicant.

Write the following in BLOCK CAPITALS on the back of each photo:

  • Applicant name
  • Visa Application Transaction Number from AVATS

Each photograph must meet the following rules for visa photographs.

vii. Finance plan

You must show that you have enough finance (money) to support yourself fully in Ireland.

Note: There is no minimum amount of finance for approving or refusing a visa application. The visa officer will decide if you have enough based on your own circumstances.

If you are paying for your own vacation or studies

Include an up-to-date bank statement with your documents. The bank statement must:

  • Be original and be on headed bank paper, ie an internet print-out is not acceptable
  • Show your name and address
  • Show the bank account number and account type, eg checking/current account, savings/deposit account
  • Show money paid in and out of the account over the last 6 months
  • Include a written explanation of any large movements in or out of your account

If you submit a bank statement from a savings/deposit account, you must include an original letter from your bank (on headed paper) that confirms you can withdraw money from it.

If a friend or family member in Ireland is helping to pay for your vacation

Type or write an estimate of how much your friend/family member will spend (in Euro) and what they will pay for (if appropriate), eg cost of airline tickets in Euro.

Your friend/family member must also show that they can afford these costs. This applies to any friends/family members who will help to pay for your vacation, including Irish citizens.

To do so, you must ask them to send you the following original documents and include them with your application:

  • An up-to-date bank statement, following the same rules as described above
  • If they are employed, they must provide:
    • Their 3 most recent payslips
    • Their most recent P60 (tax document)
    • A letter from their employer that confirms they are employed

You must also include your own personal bank statement, following the same rules as described above.

If someone else (a third party) is helping to pay for your vacation or studies

Type or write a description that explains how and why your vacation is being paid for by a third party. You must include the third party's:

  • Full name and address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (if available)
  • Website (if appropriate)

You must also include:

  • Proof of the relationship between you and the third party, eg copies of letters, emails, photographs together, etc.
  • Your own personal bank statement, following the same rules as described above

viii. Proof you will return home

You must include proof that you will leave Ireland when your vacation or studies end.

To do so, you must show that you have a strong obligation to return home (ie to your country of residence) for economic, social or family reasons.

Work

If you have a job at home, you must show that you have an obligation to return to it. To do so, you should provide:

  • Your 3 most recent original payslips
  • A letter from your employer that states:
    • How long you have been employed there
    • The dates you are on vacation
    • The date you will be returning to work in that job

Education or study

If you are a student at home, you must show that you have an obligation to return to continue your studies. To do so, you should provide:

  • A letter from your school or college that states:
    • The course you are studying
    • How many years you have been a student there
    • How many years/semesters you have left there

The letter should also state that your school/college expects you return to your studies after your vacation or study trip to Ireland.

Family

If you have a family at home, you must prove that you will return to them.

To do so, type or write a description of your family, including:

  • Your family status, eg married, co-habiting, separated, divorced, bereaved, etc.
  • Any children or dependents, eg elderly parents

If you are married and your spouse is not coming to Ireland with you, you should include your original Marriage Certificate with your application.

If you have children aged under 18 and they are not coming to Ireland with you, you should include their original Birth Certificates with your application.

Property

If you own or rent property in your country of residence, type or write a description of it and include it with your application.

You should also include other documents as proof, eg your original tenancy/rental agreement or a photocopy of your property title deed.

ix. Visa refusals

If you were ever refused a visa by any country, type or write a description about it.

You must also include the original letter sent to you by the authorities that refused your application.

Note: Your application for an Irish visa will be refused if you do not include information about past visa refusals.

x. Applications for young people & children (aged under 18)

Visa applications for young people & children (aged under 18) should be made by their parent or legal guardian.

The application process follows the same steps described above, with some extra conditions (as below) to protect children's safety.

+ Click here for extra conditions for young people & children aged under 18

How to apply

If you are applying for one child:
  • Make an online visa application in the child's name and submit application documents (on behalf of the child) following the process described above
If you are applying for yourself and a child:
  • Submit a separate online visa application and separate application documents for you and the child
  • If your plans are the same, you may use a photocopy of the same application letter, vacation plan and finance plan for the child
  • If your plans are different, you must provide separate documents
If you are applying for more than one child:
  • Submit a separate online visa application and separate application documents for each child. Include the original application letter, vacation plan and finance plan in one child's application
  • If each child's plans are the same, you may use a photocopy of the same application letter, vacation plan and finance plan for each other child
  • If their plans are different, you must provide separate documents for each

Extra application conditions for children

For a child travelling with both parents or legal guardians, include:
  • The child's original Birth Certificate with their application documents
For a child travelling with one parent or legal guardian only, include:
  • An original letter of consent signed by the child's other parent/legal guardian
  • A photocopy of the other parent/legal guardian's passport or national identity card that clearly shows their signature
  • If you applying for more than one child, include a separate original letter & photocopy of the parent's passport/identity card with each child's application
For a child travelling with an adult who is not their parent or legal guardian, include:
  • An original letter of consent signed by both of the child's parents/legal guardians
  • A parental letter of consent is needed even if the child is travelling with an older family member, eg a brother or sister aged over 18
  • If you are applying for more than one child, include a separate original letter with each child's application
For a child travelling alone (ie without a parent or any other adult), include:
  • An original letter of consent signed by both of the child's parents/legal guardians
  • If you are applying for more than one child, include a separate original letter of parental consent with each child's application

Special conditions for children with one parent only

If you are applying for a child where a parent is deceased:
  • You must include the original Death Certificate of the deceased parent
  • If you applying for more than one child, include the original Death Certificate in one application and a photocopy in each other application
If you are applying for a child where one parent has sole custody:
  • You must include the original Court Order that granted sole custody to the parent concerned
  • If you applying for more than one child, include a separate Court Order for each individual child (as appropriate)

Submit your documents

When you are satisfied that you have prepared your application documents, put them in a single envelope and send them to your processing office.

If you are making a visa application for yourself and another person (eg a child), you may send them together. To send them together:

  • Place each person's application documents into separate envelopes
  • Write the name and Visa Application Transaction Number of each applicant on each envelope
  • Place each envelope into a larger envelope send it to the processing office

Be sure to pay the correct postage for large packages.

7. After you apply

When we receive your application, we will check that you have included:

  • A signed and dated Application Summary Form
  • Proof of payment of the visa application fee
  • All other documents listed above

When reviewing your application we may contact you to ask for more information. We may also:

  • Send your passport/travel document for official authentication
  • Contact An Garda Síochána (Irish police) for information about you
  • Contact government departments or other agencies for information about you, eg INTERPOL

Biometric information

In some cases, we may ask you to provide biometric information. This allows us to record a copy of your fingerprints and/or a special digital photograph of your face.

You must provide biometric information if you apply from:

  • China
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Nigeria
  • More countries will be added over time

Your processing office will contact you if you need to provide biometric information and explain what to do.

8. Visa decisions

Visa applications are processed in the order they are received. Processing and decision times differ between processing offices and may vary during the year, eg at holiday periods.

In general, you can expect a decision for a short stay 'C' visit (tourist) visa about 8 weeks after your documents are received.

Note: Your application may take longer if documents are missing, need to be verified or because of personal circumstances, eg if you have a criminal conviction, etc.

Check your visa decision

Dublin Visa Office

If you send your application to the Dublin Visa Office:

All other offices

If you send your application to an international Visa Office, Irish Embassy or Consulate, contact that office for an update on your application.

If your application is approved

An Irish visa sticker will be placed into a blank page of your passport/travel document.

Your passport/travel document and visa application documents will then be returned to you by post or arranged for collection at an international Visa Office, Irish Embassy or Consulate.

Visas for children (aged under 18)

An Irish visa issued to a child will show if the child is travelling alone (unaccompanied) or with an adult (accompanied).

If the child is accompanied, the person(s) named on the child's visa must be with them for their entire journey. If not, the child will not be allowed to travel.

Read a longer description of Irish visas issued to children and the conditions that apply.

If your application is refused

You will be sent a 'letter of refusal' that explains why your application was not approved.

Your passport/travel document and visa application documents will then be returned to you by post or arranged for collection at an international Visa Office, Irish Embassy or Consulate.

Appeal a visa decision

You can appeal a negative visa decision at no cost. To do so, you must submit an appeal within 2 months of the date on your letter of refusal.

9. When you travel

An Irish visa allows you to travel to Ireland. It does not give you permission to enter the country.

You can be refused entry even if you have a visa.

Border control

When you arrive at border control, you must prove that you have a valid reason for entering Ireland to the immigration officer.

To do so you will need your passport, visa and other documents. For example, you should bring copies of documents from your vacation (or travel) plan with you when you travel.

In some cases, you may be asked to provide biometric information, eg fingerprints.

Read a longer description about what to expect at border control.

+ Click here for suggested documents to present at border control

Passport & visa

  • Valid passport with Irish visa

Application summary sheet

  • A photocopy of your application summary sheet from AVATS

Travel plan confirmations (printed emails or letters), for example:

  • Reservations for bus or train journeys in Ireland
  • Reservations for tourist activities, events or tours
  • Any other documents that help describe your travel plans

Study plan confirmations (printed emails or letters), for example:

  • Name, address, phone number, website and email of the place you are studying, eg school, college, institution
  • Name of the course you are attending and how long it will last
  • Proof you have reserved a place on the course, eg reservation confirmation email

Accommodation plan confirmations (printed emails or letters), for example:

  • Hotels, guesthouses, hostels, B&Bs, AirBnBs, campsites, etc.
  • Shared or free accommodation, eg, couchsurfing
  • Any other type of accommodation
  • Confirmations must show the dates you intend to stay at each place

Travel/medical insurance

  • An original insurance certificate (or confirmation document) that indicates you have travel/medical insurance adequate to cover you when in Ireland.

Border control conditions for children (aged under 18)

A child should have copies of documents used in their visa application when travelling, eg parental letter of consent.

This allows the immigration officer to make a decision and protects the safety of the child. (See x. Applications for children above.)

If a child arrives at border control with an adult, the immigration officer will ask for proof of the relationship between the child and the adult(s) they are travelling with and/or any adult(s) meeting them after they cross the border.

If a child arrives at border control alone, the immigration officer may ask for proof of the relationship between the child and any adult(s) meeting them after they cross the border.

Read a longer description of the travel conditions for children under 18.


If you cannot satisfy the immigration officer, you will not be allowed into Ireland.

If you are given permission to enter, the officer will place a 'landing stamp' in your passport.

The landing stamp shows the reason for your visit (eg tourist) and how long you can stay, up to a maximum of 90 days.

Leaving Ireland & returning home

The time period you are permitted to stay in Ireland is shown on the landing stamp in your passport.

You must leave the country before your permission expires. It is against the law to remain here without permission.

There are no visa exit checks on the way out and your passport will not be stamped.

Extend a stay for unforeseen circumstances

In rare and exceptional circumstances, you may apply to extend your permission to stay in Ireland.

To apply for an extension, the circumstances of your visit must change in an unforeseen way after you arrive in the country.

An extension will not be granted for tourism, to attend an event or any non-emergency or foreseeable reason.

You must be in Ireland to apply and submit an application before your existing permission expires.

 

Contact

If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 22 February 2017

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