You need a visa for Ireland

You need a Lay Volunteer Visa to come to Ireland to do voluntary work, eg for a charity, non-profit or voluntary organisation.

Your exact preparations depend on your plans and personal circumstances. Some of the most important are described below. Read this information carefully to make sure you have everything you need.

You are from a visa required country and you wish to work as a volunteer in Ireland for more than 3 months. Change your answers

 

Before you travel

Apply for a Lay Volunteer Visa

You must apply for and receive a long stay Lay Volunteer Visa before you travel. All long stay visas are also called 'D' visas.

There are several special conditions for coming to Ireland as a volunteer.

When you travel

Prepare for border control

You will need to prove that you have a valid reason for entering Ireland to an immigration officer at border control.

To do so, you will need your passport, visa and several other documents.

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

After you enter

Apply for permission to stay & register with immigration

After you enter the country, you must apply for permission to stay in Ireland and register with immigration before the date shown by the stamp in your passport.

If you don't get permission and register in time, you may have to leave the country.

During your stay

Bringing your family to Ireland

In general, you cannot bring your family with you to Ireland as a volunteer.

However, your family members can apply for their own visas independently if they wish.

Travel to Northern Ireland & United Kingdom

You cannot travel to Northern Ireland using an Irish visa. You need a visa issued by the United Kingdom.

If you travel from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland and then wish to return to the Republic, you must have a Re-entry Visa (explained below).

Leaving & returning to Ireland

If you plan to leave Ireland for a short period and then come back again, you must apply for a Re-entry Visa.

You must hold a valid Certificate of Registration (also called a 'GNIB card') to apply for a Re-entry Visa.

If you leave without a Re-entry Visa, you will not be allowed back into the country. You will have to apply again for a full visa.

How to apply

When to apply

You should apply for a visa 3 months before you travel. There are several special conditions to be a volunteer in Ireland.

You may need extra time to prepare documents to support your application, eg proof of finances.

How to apply

You must apply from your home country or a country where you are a legal resident:

  1. Read detailed instructions for the Lay Volunteer Visa
  2. Submit your visa application online
  3. Send your passport and other documents for processing

You will be given instructions where to send your documents when you apply online.

Visa costs

Extra charges may apply for some applications, eg consular fees.

Other costs

To register with immigration (after you arrive in Ireland):

Help & information

Visas

Visa Division
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
Department of Justice and Equality
13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
Ireland
D02 XK70

Email: visamail@justice.ie

Registration

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
Department of Justice and Equality
13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
Ireland
D02 XK70

Email: burghquayregoffice@justice.ie (if you live in Dublin)
Email: gnib_dv@garda.ie (if you live outside Dublin)

 

Contact

If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 20 January 2017

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