Immigration Service Delivery has launched a new website available at www.irishimmigration.ie

From July 28, 2021, this website will no longer be updated.

 

Visas updates & announcements

Notice | COVID-19 Visa Arrangements

15 June 2021

The Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys TD has today announced the lifting of the temporary entry and transit visa restrictions for nationals of South Africa, Brazil and other South American countries that came into effect on 28 January 2021.

The lifting of the temporary restrictions will come into effect from Wednesday 16 June 2021.

The move to lift temporary restrictions is in line with the Government’s Resilience and Recovery Plan for Living with COVID-19.

From 16 June 2021 passport holders of the following countries can now travel to Ireland without applying for an entry or transit visa in advance of departure:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Guyana
  • Paragua
  • South Africa
  • Uruguay

Nationals of these countries should note that, even though they are no longer required to be in possession of an entry visa to travel to the State, they are required to meet the conditions of entry that attach to their particular purpose of stay in Ireland. They will have to satisfy an Immigration Officer on arrival that they meet these conditions of entry.

People who do not satisfy the conditions of entry or people who have previously been unlawfully present in the State, or have otherwise failed to comply with Irish immigration requirements, run the risk of being refused entry to the State at the border. The conditions of entry may include a requirement to have obtained a pre-clearance for certain purposes of stay. You can check here to see if you require a pre-clearance which must be obtained before travelling to Ireland.

Nationals of the countries listed below required a visa to travel to Ireland prior to the signing of the visa order in January and it remains the position that they require an entry visa in advance of travelling to the State. However, the requirement for those nationals to have a transit visa has now been removed:

  • Colombia (transit visa no longer required – this country was already subject to an entry visa requirement and this requirement remains in place)
  • Ecuador (transit visa no longer required – this country was already subject to an entry visa requirement and this requirement remains in place)
  • Peru (transit visa no longer required – this country was already subject to an entry visa requirement and this requirement remains in place)
  • Suriname (transit visa no longer required – this country was already subject to an entry visa requirement and this requirement remains in place)

If you are unsure as to whether you require a visa/preclearance to enter Ireland you can check here by entering your nationality.

Other arrangements in relation to Visa/Preclearance processing and issuance remain as stated in the web notice dated 01 June 2021.

Notice | COVID-19 Visa Arrangements

29 January 2021 (Updated 01 June 2021)

As part of Government efforts to tackle the pandemic, the Minister for Justice  signed an order that imposed new visa requirements on passport holders from a number of South American countries and South Africa. This order and the associated measures came into effect at midnight on  27 January 2021.

On that date, we also took the decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa/preclearance applications with the exception of the Priority/Emergency case types listed below, which we have continued to accept in the intervening period.

We can now confirm that we are accepting all long stay visa and preclearance applications, effective immediately.

We can also confirm that, as per the web notice of 21 May last, we have added the following categories to the list of Priority/Emergency cases and will resume processing of these categories immediately:-

  1. Long-stay Join Family Members including:
  • all Long Stay D Visa join family applications (includes Third country national family members of Irish nationals)
  • Preclearance applications for: De Facto Partner of an Irish National; De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Non EEA Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland.
  1. People travelling for business/employment purposes and granted an employment permit by Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment to meet an enterprise’s key business ‘.
  2. Persons exercising free movement under the EU Directive. (NOTE - persons in this category should apply for a short stay C visa which will permit you to enter and reside in the State for up to 3 months. In the event that you wish to remain in the State for more than 3 months as a family member of an EU citizen exercising their free movement rights, you must apply (when in the State) for a Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen).

It remains the position that we are not accepting any short stay visa applications, except for cases that fall under the Emergency/Priority criteria set out below. The suspension of short stay applications will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.

We have and will continue to process applications received and on hand. However, for successful applications, unless your application meets the Emergency/Priority criteria set out below, a visa or preclearance approval letter will not issue until such time as restrictions have been lifted. You will be notified if your application is successful. Refusal letters for unsuccessful applications on hand will continue to be issued.

We continue to accept and process appeals. However, for successful appeals, unless your appeal meets the Emergency/Priority criteria set out below, a visa or preclearance approval letter will not issue until such time as these restrictions have been lifted (we will notify you that your appeal was successful). Refusal letters for unsuccessful appeals will continue to be issued.

Current travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential.

The Priority/Emergency cases that will continue to be accepted and processed include the following:

  • All long stay Employment applications, supported by a work permit or Atypical permission;
  • patients travelling for imperative medical reasons;
  • transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting;
  • pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis and Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study;
  • Join Family applications;
  • Preclearance applications from De Facto Partner of an Irish National, De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland;
  • persons travelling for imperative family* or business reasons;
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive;
  • diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and police officers, and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
  • passengers in transit;
  • seafarers;
  • journalists, when performing their duties.

When making their applications, we ask applicants to keep in mind that processing times still apply. Due  to local pandemic measures Visa Offices and Missions might be operating restricted hours. Furthermore, the addition to the list of visa required countries introduced on 28 January will add considerable processing demands on visa services in these countries which may cause delays in processing times and decisions issuing. We will do our best to keep these delays to a minimum. You can find out the current processing time for your visa application type by checking the website of the visa office or Embassy to which you sent  it. Once a decision is made on your application you will be contacted to notify you of same. Therefore, we would ask that you not contact the visa office or Embassy seeking updates on your application to ensure that resources can be concentrated on processing applications.

* Applicants seeking to travel for imperative family reasons are assessed on an individual basis and are largely confined to emergency cases that may arise in a family situation. Applications will be determined by examining the circumstances and supporting documentation of each case on an individual basis. While we appreciate how difficult it is to be separated from a loved one or to miss a family occasion or milestone, unfortunately these do not constitute an imperative family reason for a short stay visa application at this time due to public health concerns.

If you are seeking to make a short stay visa application and believe that your application falls into one of these Emergency/Priority categories, you can apply on-line in the usual way. Before proceeding with your on-line application, you should check with your local Irish Embassy/Honorary Consulate/Visa Office to confirm that your application meets the Priority/Emergency criteria. Once you’ve completed the on-line application, you should follow the instructions given on the summary page as to where you should submit your application.

Please note, the capacity of individual Embassies and Consulates abroad to accept visa applications will be dependent on public health restrictions that are in place in each location. Please check the website of the relevant Embassy or Consulate for further details.

If you are unsure as to whether you require a visa/preclearance to enter Ireland you can check here by entering your nationality.

These measures are designed to support our public health restrictions on movement, including into and out of Ireland. The strong advice therefore is that everyone, regardless of their nationality or visa/preclearance status, or where they started from, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to, should not travel to Ireland.

Please note that all passengers arriving into Ireland from designated states after 4am on the morning of Friday 26 March are now required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility, and to pre-pay for their stay. Further information can be found here.

As of midnight 27 January 2021, in addition to countries who were visa required prior to that date, passport holders of the following countries are now also required to apply for an entry visa or transit visa, as appropriate, before travelling to Ireland:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • Ecuador (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • South Africa
  • Suriname (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • Uruguay

Notice | Brexit - Important notice for non-EEA family members of UK nationals seeking to move to Ireland after 31 December 2020

23 December 2020

With effect from 11pm on 31 December 2020 following the end of the Brexit transition period, all non-EEA family members of UK nationals seeking to join, or accompany, their UK national family member in Ireland will need to apply (depending on nationality) through a preclearance or visa scheme from outside the State. 

The Preclearance Scheme only applies when a UK national has come to live in Ireland after 31 December 2020. If a UK national is living in Ireland on or before that date they and their eligible non-EEA family members will be a beneficiary under the Withdrawal Agreement. 

Details of the preclearance and visa schemes, can be found here: Joining your UK national family member in Ireland and Policy Document - Brexit Scheme for Non-EEA Family Members of British Citizens seeking Immigration Permission in the State.

Applications will be required from visa required and non-visa required nationals and will be assessed under the relevant policy document. All applications must be made from outside of Ireland and applicants must remain outside the State while their application is being processed. 

Visa required nationals

You will only have to make a visa application under the relevant scheme. Your visa, if your application is successful, will outline your reason for travel to Ireland.

Non Visa required nationals

You will need to apply for preclearance, and if your application is successful, you will receive an approval letter from the preclearance unit which must be presented to an Immigration Officer at the port of entry.

Please note that you will be unable to apply for a visa or preclearance until after 11pm on 31 December 2020 through the Online Visa Preclearance Application Facility.

Notice | New application process for Preclearance applicants

20 November 2020

As of 21/11/2020, preclearance procedures are changing for the following existing schemes:

All preclearance application forms will move to the online application system AVATS. Instructions on how to apply and use the application system, will be provided on the relevant webpage for each scheme above.

Applications for both visa required and non-visa required nationals will continued to be assessed under the relevant policies. All applications must be made from outside of Ireland and applicants must remain outside the State while their application is being processed.

Visa required nationals

The requirement for you to apply through two procedures (preclearance and visa) will be changed. You will no longer apply for a letter of preclearance. You will only have to make a visa application under the relevant scheme. Your visa, if your application is successful, will outline your reason for travel to Ireland. 

Non Visa required Nationals.

You will continue to apply for preclearance, and if your application is successful, you will receive an approval letter from the preclearance unit which must be presented to an Immigration Officer at the port of entry.

Transition Period

We will continue to accept applications submitted under the previous application procedures up to 31 December 2020, in order to ensure that those applications which may have been submitted on or near the commencement date of the new application procedures, are processed.

Notice | Visa Services

25 September 2020 (updated on 14 and 21 October 2020)

When we announced a limited resumption of visa services from Monday 22nd June, during the initial resumption phase, we stated that we would only be accepting Long Stay “D” visa applications, including Study, as well as those identified under our current criteria as Emergency/Priority visas. We also stated as part of that announcement that, while we would be accepting long stay visa applications, we would not be recommencing the issuance of non-Emergency/Priority visas until such time as Public Health advice allowed. We can now confirm that we have also recommenced issuing decisions on certain long-stay visas which include categories such as Third level study at primary degree and postgraduate level, Employment and Join Family.

You should note that while we continue to accept applications for English Languages studies, decisions on applications will remain on hold in light of the move to Level 5 COVID restrictions and pending further consideration by the relevant authorities.

It remains the position that we are not accepting any short stay visa applications, except for cases that fall under the Emergency/Priority criteria. However, we have expanded the list of exemptions which fall under Emergency/Priority to include those specific categories of travellers, identified as having an essential function or need in the EU Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 of 30 June 2020. The updated list of exemptions deemed to fall into the Emergency/Priority cohort is as follows:

  • Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals;
  • Immediate family members of Irish citizens (who are returning to their ordinary place of residence in Ireland);
  • Persons legally resident in the State;
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive;
  • Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary;
  • Frontier workers;
  • Seasonal workers in agriculture;
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
  • Passengers in transit;
  • Passengers travelling for critical family reasons;
  • Seafarers;
  • Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study;
  • Highly qualified third-country workers if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad.

 

There are still restrictions in place in many countries, so in locations where it hasn’t been possible to resume services as of yet, we intend to resume accepting visa applications as soon as is possible. Again any resumption of services is subject to current health and safety advice in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Please see previous notices of 21 March 2020, 25 June 2020 and 10 July 2020.

For up to date information in your location, you should go to the local Irish Embassy/Mission website for that location

Notice | Resumption of processing of re-entry visa applications

10 July 2020

Normal processing of re-entry visa applications will re-commence on 20th July 2020.

 

Facility for those with urgent travel needs.

In advance of re-commencing processing of all applications, and to facilitate applicants, the following procedure will apply for those with an urgent need to travel:

 

  1. If you had a valid IRP card, please submit any re-entry visa applications by Registered Post as normal.  All applications will be queued for processing. Due to the volume of applications expected, the processing time will be 15-20 working days. Please do not make travel arrangements until your documents have been returned.
  2. If you need to renew your Irish Residence Card (IRP) and are residing in Dublin you may now, in circumstances where there is a requirement for urgent travel, apply for renewal of your IRP card using the on-line registration system https://inisonline.jahs.ie.  Please also include with your postal submission for IRP renewal, any Re-entry Visa applications in respect of dependent children under the age of 16 and all supporting documentation (please note that a GP letter, rather than a school signature will suffice in respect of each child until further notice).  Application forms for Minor(s) & Stamp 6 permission holders can be found here - Re-Entry Visas.

Important: On the outside of the envelope, please write the Stamp number you are applying for plus Re-entry Visa.  Lack of clear indication may delay the processing of your application.

 

  1. If you need to renew your Irish Residence Card (IRP) and are residing outside Dublin you must continue to renew your IRP card through your local Registration Offices. To facilitate those needing to travel and reduce processing time, rather than requiring an IRP card we will accept evidence of your having applied for and renewed your registration.

 

**Please note that On-line Registration Renewals and Re-entry Visa Applications are strictly postal services only.  Due to ongoing covid-19 restrictions, staff will not deal directly with the public under any circumstances.**

Resumption of Visa Services

25 June 2020

We have started a limited resumption of visa services from Monday 22nd June. During this initial resumption phase, we will only be accepting Long Stay “D” visa applications, including Study, as well as those identified under our current criteria as Emergency/Priority visas. It remains the position that we are not issuing short stay visas for non-essential travel.

There are still restrictions in place in many countries, so in locations where it isn’t possible to resume from the 22nd June, we intend to resume accepting visa applications as soon as is possible thereafter. Any resumption of services is subject to current health and safety advice in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic.

*Please see previous notice of 21 March 2020.

For up to date information in your location, you should go to the local Irish Embassy/Mission website for that location.

COVID-19 VISA Arrangements

21 March 2020

As part of the combined efforts to tackle COVID-19 and to ensure customer safety, we have taken the decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa applications. This is effective from close of business 20th of March 2020. Increasing travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless essential. The situation will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming days.

While it will still be possible to apply for an Irish visa online in the normal manner, these temporary measures mean that applicants will not be able to complete their application process and we apologise for any inconvenience this might cause. Please note that any application made online will remain valid until such time as restrictions are lifted.

We intend to resume accepting applications as soon as safety concerns abate. Certain Priority/Emergency cases will continue to be processed and these include the following:

  • Emergency visa (e.g. Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals);
  • Immediate family members of Irish citizens (who are returning to their ordinary place of residence in Ireland);
  • Persons legally resident in the State;
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive;
  • Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary;
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions.

If your application falls into one of these categories, you can apply on-line in the usual way. Once you’ve completed the on-line application, you should follow the instructions given on the summary page as to where you should submit your application.

*Please see updated notice of 25 June 2020.

If you have any questions, please consult the Frequently Asked Question document before contacting Visa Division.

Abolition of adult re-entry visas

16 April 2019

Visa required nationals who hold a valid IRP/GNIB card will no longer need a re-entry visa to travel to Ireland from 13 May 2019. Their IRP/GNIB card and passport will be sufficient. This brings Ireland in line with other EU Member States.

Read the Ministers press release...

Lifting of visa requirement likely to benefit trade and tourism

22 January 2018

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charlie Flanagan T.D., today [22nd January, 2018] announced the lifting of the visa requirement for citizens of the UAE travelling to Ireland with effect from the 31st January and has signed an Order to give effect to this decision.

Read full press release

Notice | Beware of possible fraud via email

22 September 2016

A number of INIS customers have been approached via email by a person claiming to be from a legal and immigration company in Ireland.

"Employment Eligibility Clearance & Security Bond"

They claim that they have a client company with an offer of employment in Ireland and ask for money to pay for an "International Employment Eligibility Clearance and Security Bond".

They also ask for a passport photo, CV and copy of the victim's passport bio-data page. An application form is attached seeking personal information and employment details.

It is claimed that this information is sought by the "Judiciary of the Republic of Ireland" to establish employment eligibility and security clearance.

Fraud

This application form is false. Both the legal and Immigration company and the client company do not exist.

This is an attempted fraud.

Customers are asked to be alert and suspicious of any such offers seeking payment. If someone demands payment of any monies, contact INIS or An Garda Síochána immediately.

See full contact details for INIS

Short stay visa changes for children under 18

3 December 2015

From 7 December 2015 Short Stay 'C' visa documents issued for children must show if they are travelling with a named adult or are unaccompanied.

If the adult named on the child's visa is not present with the child when boarding an aircraft, the child will not be allowed to travel.

Read more about Short Stay 'C' visa documents for children

New visa requirements for Malawian nationals

24 November 2015

From 30 November 2014 nationals of Malawi must apply for a visa before travelling to Ireland.

Malawian nationals who have immigration permission and a valid Certificate of Registration (GNIB card) who left Ireland before 30 November 2014 and will return after 30 November 2014 must apply for a visa before travelling.

If this applies to you and you did not obtain a Re-Entry Visa before you left, you must apply online for an Irish visa. Your application will be sent to the Embassy of Ireland in Malawi for processing.

Malawian nationals who are lawfully resident in Ireland and who wish to travel after 30 November 2014 should apply for a Re-entry Visa before travelling.

Check visa requirements for travel to Ireland

Minister Fitzgerald and UK Home Secretary launch British-Irish Visa Scheme

6 October 2014

The British-Irish Visa Scheme will allow nationals requiring a short stay visa to travel freely within the Common Travel Area using a single visa issued by either Ireland or the UK.

This will mean that tourists, business visitors and other eligible visitors will be able to visit both the UK and Ireland on a single visa. This includes moving freely between north and south of the island of Ireland.

Read more about the launch of the British-Irish Visa Scheme

New visa requirements for Venezuelan nationals

19 June 2014

From 24 June 2014 nationals of Venezuela must apply for a visa before travelling to Ireland.

Venezuelan nationals who have immigration permission and a valid Certificate of Registration (GNIB card) who left the country before 24 June 2014 and will return after 24 June 2014 must apply for a visa before travelling.

If this applies to you and you did not obtain a Re-Entry visa before you left Ireland you must apply online for an Irish visa. Your application will be sent to the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico for processing.

Venezuelan nationals who are lawfully resident in Ireland and who wish to travel after 24 June 2014 should apply for a Re-entry Visa before travelling.

Check visa requirements for travel to Ireland

 

Contact

If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 15 June 2021