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

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

 

Volunteering in Ireland

The immigration permission and application system described on this page is based on the Immigration policy for Volunteering in Ireland published 30 April, 2018. The Department of Justice reserves the right to amend or suspend this policy at any time. The information below is intended as a guide only, the policy document Volunteering in Ireland outlines all of the relevant criteria for eligibility for this programme.

This Scheme applies to both Visa Required and Non Visa Required nationals. You must apply before you travel to Ireland. Do not apply under this Scheme if your intended stay in Ireland is for less than 3 months.

What does this Scheme allow me to do?

Permission to remain in Ireland as a volunteer allows you to work in Ireland in a volunteering role with an eligible organisation for up to 2 years (with an option to extend for a third year), subject to the conditions below.

The initial permitted period of residence under this Scheme is 1 year (12 months) and the maximum is 2 years (24 months). You may, for example, spend 24 consecutive months in the State or break the period into two separate lots of 12 months each, separated by time.

Permission to be a volunteer in Ireland allows you to:

  • Work in a volunteering role with an eligible organisation
  • Your role must match the criteria for volunteering described below
  • The organisation must match the criteria for eligibility described below
  • Stay in Ireland for 1 year initially, up to of 2 years (with an option to apply for an extension for a third year)
  • Apply to change the organisation you volunteer for once in any 12 month period
  • Travel abroad for short periods (e.g. holidays and attending conferences) and return to Ireland.

With this permission you cannot:

  • Do paid work of any kind
  • Bring any family members with you to Ireland
  • Apply to change your immigration status while in the State
  • Change sponsors more than once in any 12-month permission period while in the State under this Scheme
  • Rely on public services or claim any state benefits e.g. health services, education
  • Spend more than two years on aggregate volunteering in the State

You are eligible to apply under this Scheme if you:

  • Are aged 18 or older
  • Are a non EU/EEA and non-Swiss citizen
  • Have been offered volunteering work by an eligible organisation
  • Can be fully supported financially for the entire duration of your stay by the organisation that is inviting you to Ireland
  • Are qualified and able to do the activities expected of you
  • Are of good character and good standing, e.g. you can provide a police clearance certificate or equivalent not more than 3 months old
  • Are cleared to work with children and vulnerable adults (if necessary for your role), e.g. you can provide a child clearance certificate from An Garda Síochána (this can be obtained by your sponsor prior to your arrival in Ireland)
  • Have medical insurance from a company authorised by the Health Insurance Authority of Ireland to cover you for the duration of your stay

The work you do as a volunteer must be a structured activity that is undertaken in an approved sector, including (but not limited to):

  • Arts, heritage, culture
  • Out of school education and youth services
  • Religious and faith-based support activities
  • Health support services
  • Sport and physical recreation
  • Welfare and work for the community good

For no financial gain by you and for the benefit of society, while also bringing benefits to you as a volunteer

Who can I work for?

You must be invited to Ireland by an eligible organisation. An eligible organisation may be either:

  • A non-governmental, not-for-profit, voluntary or charitable body that is already established and active in the State and listed on the Charities Regulator’s Public Register of Charities or
  • A sports organisation that is already established and active in the State and whose national governing body is recognised by Sport Ireland

The eligible organisation that invites you to Ireland is your ‘sponsor’. Your sponsor has important obligations and is responsible for you in several ways. Sponsorship also means that the eligible organisation undertakes

  • to cooperate with the immigration authorities to ensure that the volunteer leaves the State on the expiry of his or her permission, or
  • if directed to do so by immigration authorities, by withdrawing the sponsorship.

Failure to cooperate with immigration authorities in this regard will impact on future sponsorship by that eligible organisation.

Before you apply, your sponsor must send you a sponsorship letter and supporting documents. You must submit these documents as part of your application. You will not be granted permission if you do not have sponsorship from an eligible organisation, or if you are sponsored by an organisation that does not match the criteria above.

How do I apply?

You can check if you are visa required or not, using our nationality checker.

To apply under this Scheme, you must before you travel to Ireland, apply for a visa or preclearance.

You can apply for a Long Stay (D) visa or Preclearance up to 3 months before your date of travel to Ireland.

You must apply for a visa or preclearance from your home country or a country where you are a legal resident. Proof of residence outside the State may be requested, and the applicant must remain outside the State while their application is being processed.

IMPORTANT: You will not be permitted entry to the State for the purpose of being a Volunteer by an Immigration Officer at the Border, nor will you be registered in the State unless you can produce the appropriate preclearance approval letter or a long stay ‘D’ Volunteer Visa.

A Preclearance letter and visa allows you to travel to Ireland only for a specific purpose. They do not give you permission to enter the country or to stay here. An Immigration Officer at border control can refuse you entry even if you have a preclearance letter /long stay visa.

  • Non Visa Required nationals will apply for a preclearance letter of approval.
  • Visa Required nationals will apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa. Some visa required nationals will be required to provide biometrics as part of their application.

Your application has 3 parts:

 

  1. APPLICATION FORM:

Fill in the online application form here. This will generate an application summary form and declaration at the end which must be printed, signed and dated.

When you are filling in your information on the online application form

If you are a visa required national,

  • You will need to select visa/preclearance type as ‘Long Stay (D)’
  • Journey Type as ‘Multiple’
  • And ‘Visa –Volunteer’ as your reason for travel at the link above.

If you are a non-visa required national

  • You will need to select visa/preclearance type as ‘Long Stay (D)’
  • Journey Type as ‘Multiple’
  • And ‘Preclearance –Volunteer’ as your reason for travel at the link above.

Do not provide false or misleading information on the application form. Doing so can result in you being prevented from making further visa/preclearance applications for a period of up to 5 years.

 

  1. ORGANISE YOUR DOCUMENTS AND PAY FEE

You must organise your supporting documents and pay the visa/preclearance application fee.  Different offices accept fees in different ways. The summary application form will tell you to which office you need to pay your fee.

 

  1. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

To complete the process, you must submit your passport & supporting documents for processing. Where you submit your application depends on where you are living. The summary application form will direct you to the relevant office.

It is very important that you submit your documents and fee to the correct office within 30 days of completing the online application form.

What supporting documents are required?

Before you gather your supporting documents you must read the important information on documents available below.

This will give you guidelines on supporting documents, including information on translations and rules.

If you find that you cannot submit a document requested below, you should provide an explanation as to why you cannot provide it, and any other documents for consideration by the Visa Officer.

Important information on supporting documents for all visa/ preclearance applications.  

You should also read all information on the website of the Office where you will be sending your application.

Do not include false or misleading information or documents on the application form or in your application submission. If you do, your application will be refused. In some circumstances, you may not be allowed to appeal the decision and may be prevented from applying for an Irish visa/preclearance for 5 years.

Documents must be original unless otherwise stated and the Visa /Preclearance Officer reserves the right to request additional/original documents where it is deemed necessary.

Any State issued official documents, such as Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates, Divorce Certificates that were issued by a State outside of the EEA or Switzerland, must be attested/apostilled as genuine by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the State that issued the document, in order that it can be accepted as evidence for Irish preclearance and visa purposes. Such documents are required to be translated into English or Irish, if necessary. Translations done outside the EEA or Switzerland must also be attested/apostilled as genuine, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country in which the translation occurs. Translations done in the EEA or Switzerland do not need to be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Any State issued official documents, such as Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates, Divorce Certificates that were issued by a State within the EEA or Switzerland do not require to be attested as genuine from Member States. A translation of these documents is not required where a multilingual standard form (MSF) is also provided. Such MSF forms are available from Member States on request. If an MSF is not provided by you then those documents are required to be translated into English or Irish, if necessary in order that it can be accepted as evidence for Irish preclearance and visa purposes.  Translations done outside the EEA or Switzerland must also be attested/apostilled as genuine, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country in which the translation occurs. Translations done in the EEA or Switzerland do not need to be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We will also accept the Extract of a European marriage certificate, issued in accordance with the “Convention on the issue of multilingual extracts from civil status records“, as proof of a marriage within the EEA or Switzerland.

Supplying any or all of the documents or information requested does not guarantee the grant of a visa/preclearance. It is your responsibility to satisfy us that any visa/ preclearance should be granted. There is no right to a visa/preclearance.

Where ‘evidence’ is stated, we require documentary evidence. 

Document rules are outlined below and documents submitted must adhere to these rules or the application may be refused. 

You should expect verification checks to be made in respect of the information and documents you supply.

Document required from the applicant and Document Rules.

 

  1. Application Summary Form  

This is the summary application form which you must print. It contains a declaration that must be signed and dated by the applicant. If the person applying for a visa/preclearance is under the age of 18 years, their parent or legal guardian must sign the form.

 

  1. 2 x passport sized photographs 

Information in relation to photographs including some dos and don’ts and full rules can be can be found at [Rules for Photographs.]

 

  1. Passports
  • You are required to submit your current passport with a visa/preclearance application.
  • For short stay visas (up to 90 days), your current passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you plan to leave Ireland.
  • For long stay visas (over 90 days) it must be valid for at least 12 months from your proposed date of entry.
  • For Preclearance (over 90 days) it must be valid for at least 12 months from your proposed date of entry.
  • If you have held previous passports, you must also submit a good quality colour copy of all pages of these passports. (All pages includes blank pages.)
  • If you are unable to provide copies of your previous passports, a written explanation must be provided along with any relevant police reports for consideration.
  • If you have changed your name in the past, for example by marriage or for any other reason, you must provide full details to us.

 

  1. Evidence of Fee payment

First you must read the information on visa fees/preclearance fees. Some applicants do not have to pay the application fee.

Please include, with your application, proof that the application fee has been paid – for example a copy of the transfer receipt from your bank.

The fees for visas are:

  • Single entry €60
  • Multi entry €100
  • Transit €25

 

The visa fee is a non-refundable administration fee which covers the cost of processing your application. This fee cannot be refunded even if your application is refused or withdrawn.

You may be required to pay additional charges e.g. relating to the submission of your documents. The website of the Office to which you must submit your documents will have details about additional charges and any local payment options. Details of the relevant office will be available to you once you complete the online application.

Information on Visa fee exemptions

Some visa applicants are exempt from the requirement to pay the visa fee. Check below if the visa fee does not apply to you.

Nationalities exempt from visa fees

  • Bosnia
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Ecuador
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • North Macedonia
  • Peru
  • Serbia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

 

Family members of Irish Citizens

Family members of Irish Citizens who are exempt from visa fees (on production of the required documents)

  • Spouse
  • Widow/widower (subject to death certificate)
  • Child (under 18 years)
  • Adopted child (under 18 years - subject to adoption papers)

 

Beneficiaries of the Free Movement Directive (Directive 2004/38/EC)

Beneficiaries of the Free Movement Directive (Directive 2004/38/EC) - ‘qualifying family members’ of EU/EEA /Swiss Citizens are exempt from visa fees.

  • Spouse
  • Child ( under 21 years)
  • Child (under 21 years) of the spouse
  • Adopted child (subject to adoption papers)
  • Dependent parent
  • Dependent parent of the spouse
  • Other dependent family members in the direct ascending line ( e.g. grandparent) or descending line (e.g. grandchild)
  • Other dependent family members of the spouse in the direct ascending (e.g. grandparent) or descending line ( e.g. grandchild)

 

Nationals of the countries included in the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme

Nationals of the countries included in the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme who are long term legal residents in the UK or Schengen area.

 

Nationalities

Eastern Europe

Middle East

Asia

Belarus

Bahrain

India

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Kuwait

Kazakhstan

Montenegro

Oman

People’s Republic of China

Russian Federation

Qatar

Thailand

Serbia

Saudi Arabia

Uzbekistan

Turkey

 

 

Ukraine

 

 

Information on the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme can be accessed by clicking here.

 

Other persons who are exempt from visa fees

  • Holders of diplomatic, service, official passports (who are coming to Ireland in an official capacity – e.g. they are not coming to Ireland for a holiday)
  • Programme Refugees (within the meaning of the Refugee Act 1996 and the International Protection Act 2015)

Please note all references to 'spouse' also apply to a civil partner - a person who has contracted a registered partnership, or is a party to a class of legal relationship specified under the relevant legislation. You can access the relevant legislation by Clicking Here 

Is there a Preclearance Fee?

A non-refundable fee of €60 applies to preclearance and must be paid in full at the time of the Preclearance application.

The Preclearance fee is a non-refundable administration fee which covers the cost of processing your application. This fee cannot be refunded even if your application is refused or withdrawn.

You may be required to pay additional charges e.g. relating to the submission of your documents. The website of the Office to which you must submit your documents will have details about additional charges and any local payment options. Details of the relevant office will be available to you once you complete the online application.

 

  1. Medical insurance

You must provide evidence of medical insurance with your preclearance or visa application that satisfies the criteria outlined below:

You must be covered by private medical insurance, from a company authorised by the Health Insurance Authority for the duration of your time in the State. Your sponsor may include you in their group insurance scheme. Travel insurance may suffice but only during the first year of your stay provided it covers you:

  • For the full period before you arrange private medical insurance
  • At a minimum of €25,000 for accident and €25,000 for illness and disease and
  • For any period of hospitalisation
  • In addition, it is advisable that applicants have insurance to cover repatriation in the event of serious illness or unforeseen events.

 

  1. Up to date 6 months bank statements

Bank statements must be on headed bank paper (You may use a printed internet statement but it must be officially certified by your bank. This means that every page must be notarised by the bank and the statement must be accompanied by a letter from the bank. We will not accept uncertified internet statements)

They must show:

  • The full name of the owner of the account
  • Address
  • The bank account number and account type
  • Money paid in and out of the account over the last six (6) months immediately prior to the application. (i.e. income and expenditure) and
  • If you are also sending a bank statement from a deposit/savings account, you must
    • include a letter from your bank confirming that you can take money from that account.

 

Details on requirements for letters from a Business, Company or other Organisation:

All letters from a business, company or other organisation should be on official headed paper and give full contact details so that they can be checked. The contact details must include a full postal address, name of contact, position in the organisation, telephone number (landline), website, and email address (email addresses such as  Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail are not accepted).

Please note that handwritten entries or details on a bank statement are not accepted.

 

  1. A Letter of Application

Your letter of application must include the following

  • Your full name, postal address and application number.
  • Your reason for travelling to Ireland, and how long you plan to stay.
  • A description of the type of volunteer work you propose to undertake in Ireland, and the locations of this work. You must tell us what you will do in each location.
  • Details of your qualifications and previous work/volunteer history and how you are qualified to do this work.
  • The date you started living at your current address, and any previous addresses you have resided at in the previous 3 years, including the amount of time in each location.
  • You must provide details of any passports you hold issued by any other country outside the nationality you are applying under.
  • Details of your family members residing in Ireland or in any other EU/EEA State (including the United Kingdom). (Name, nationality, date of birth, relationship to you, and registration number in Ireland if applicable).
  • That you will obey the conditions of any permission which may be granted to you, and not rely on State funds or resources while you are in Ireland.

 

  1. Accommodation Plan

You must provide evidence of where you will stay in Ireland. If your accommodation is being provided by your sponsor, your sponsor must provide full details of the type of accommodation you will stay in.

If you are sourcing accommodation yourself, you must tell us how you will do this, how you will pay for it and where you will stay while searching for accommodation.

 

  1. Qualifications/ Work Experience

Evidence of your qualifications and/or work/volunteer experience must be provided. 

  • Clear colour copies of qualifications should be supplied.
  • Letters from previous employers with details of job title, duties, and dates of employment/volunteering should be submitted.
  • Please note that a CV/resume is not considered evidence of work/volunteer experience.

 

  1. Information on your family

If you are married/in a civil partnership or have children, you must provide

  • Evidence of their current location
  • If they intend on travelling to Ireland and
  • Birth/Marriage/Civil partnership certificates.

 

  1. Police Clearance

You must submit a Police Clearance Certificate (not more than three months old, to also include a criminal records check) from your country of current residence and any country you have resided in, in the 3 years prior to your application.

This must be issued by the police force of that country and must include a full check of that country’s national and local records.

Criminal record checks conducted by private companies will not be accepted.

  1. Other Requirements (if applicable)
  • Biometrics (visa required nationals) Additional information here
  • If you are resident in a country outside of the country which issued your passport or travel document you must submit
    •  a full colour copy of your residence permission (If you have a residence card you must photocopy both sides),
  • Documentation on Previous Visa Refusals, Other immigration Issues (including deportation, overstaying) and Criminal Convictions

 

For all visa/preclearance applications, if you have been refused a visa/preclearance in the past for any country, you must provide details to us. The original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country must be provided with your application.

In addition if you have:

  • Been deported from any country;
  • Been refused entry to any country; or
  • Been otherwise required to leave any country (including overstaying in any country)

You must provide original documentation issued by the authorities of that country with your application and a full explanation for consideration.

You must also provide official documentation of any criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.

Failure to do so will result in your application being refused.

Failure to disclose this information, where applicable, will result in your application being refused.

  

Documents required from your sponsor

  1.  Letter of sponsorship

The letter of sponsorship must include the full contact details for the organisation, the name and phone number of a contact within the organisation, the charity number and tax number of the organisation.

It must also state:

  • your intended role in the State,
  • why you are needed for the stated volunteer position,
  • how you are suitably qualified to volunteer in this role,
  • that you have a clean police record,
  • that child protection policies and procedures in line with Children First Guidance are implemented in the organisation,
  • that you will not rely on State funds and resources while in Ireland, and
  • how they intend to support you in the State, with a full breakdown of all payments to you. The breakdown of payments to you, must include the amount of indirect payments to you (for example, rent/bills) and direct payments (for example an allowance). It must also include a list of the day to day expenses you will incur and who will be covering these expenses ( for example, travel, meals, phone, utilities)
  • If your sponsor is a sport/physical recreation organisation they must provide the national governing body of the organisation and confirmation that the national governing body is recognised by Sport Ireland.

 

  1. Garda Vetting

Your sponsor will have to provide confirmation that they have obtained Garda Síochána vetting for you if you will be working in a role involving children and/or vulnerable adults. A Garda Vetting certificate will need to be submitted as part of your application.

If Garda Vetting is not submitted, then there must be a clear written undertaking from the sponsoring organisation, in the sponsorship letter accompanying the application, that you will have no involvement with children or vulnerable adults during the course of your work in Ireland.

 

  1. Finances

Your sponsoring organisation will have to provide a full 6 months bank statement

Bank statements must be on headed bank paper (You may use a printed internet statement but it must be officially certified by your bank. This means that every page must be notarised by the bank and the statement must be accompanied by a letter from the bank. We will not accept uncertified internet statements)

They must show:

  • The full name of the owner of the account
  • Address
  • The bank account number and account type
  • Money paid in and out of the account over the last six (6) months immediately prior to the application. (i.e. income and expenditure) and
  • If you are also sending a bank statement from a deposit/savings account, you must
    • include a letter from your bank confirming that you can take money from that account.

 

Details on requirements for letters from a Business, Company or other Organisation:

All letters from a business, company or other organisation should be on official headed paper and give full contact details so that they can be checked. The contact details must include a full postal address, name of contact, position in the organisation, telephone number (landline), website, and email address (email addresses such as  Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail are not accepted).

 

Please note that handwritten entries or details on a bank statement are not accepted.

  • Audited accounts of the sponsor should be available if required by the immigration authorities

You must be financially supported by the sponsoring organisation within Ireland, financial support from sources outside the State will not be accepted as part of this scheme.

What happens after I apply?

After we receive your application and documents, we will check that you have:

  • Selected the correct reason for travel on your application form
  • Attached supporting documentation
  • Paid the application fee

Applications are generally processed in the order they are received.

Please note that the onus is on the applicant to supply the relevant documentation to us and to satisfy the processing officer that the Visa or Preclearance sought should be granted.

The current processing times for Visas and Preclearance are updated each Tuesday.

My application has been approved, what happens now?

Non Visa Required Nationals:

We will notify you if your application is approved, and will send you a Preclearance letter of approval. It is important that you check your details on this letter for any errors. Your Preclearance letter is an important document. You will need it to present to an Immigration Officer at border control and, if granted entry, for Immigration Registration.

The Preclearance letter is valid for 6 months. If you do not use it to travel to Ireland within the validity period on the letter, you must restart the process and submit a new application.

Do not travel to Ireland with an expired Preclearance letter of approval.

It is also recommended that you have clear evidence of your medical insurance cover with you when you arrive at the border.

Visa Required Nationals:

We will notify you if your application is approved and a Long Stay D visa (Volunteer) will be placed in your passport by the relevant office. You will need this to travel to Ireland. You will need it to show it to an Immigration Officer at border control and, if granted entry, for Immigration Registration. It is important that you check your visa for any errors.

Your visa will be valid for 6 months. If you do not use your visa during the validity period, you must submit a new application from the beginning.

You will not be permitted to travel to Ireland unless your visa is valid.

It is also recommended that you have clear evidence of your medical insurance cover with you when you arrive at the border.

Travelling to and arriving in Ireland

If your application is approved, once you receive your visa/preclearance letter, please check that all details on the visa/preclearance letter are correct.

If you have any questions in relation to the requirements and /or limitations of the visa sticker/preclearance letter please contact the Visa/Preclearance Office which processed your application.

The dates of validity shown on the visa sticker/ preclearance letter indicate the dates between which you can travel to Ireland. The visa/preclearance letter must be presented to an Immigration Officer at a port of entry between those dates. After the end date the visa/preclearance letter is no longer valid and you will be required to apply for another visa/preclearance.

You should carry (for example) your letter of invitation / accommodation booking / school letter of acceptance and / or other relevant documents, including medical insurance in your carry-on bag for presentation to an Immigration Officer at the port of entry.

The visa/preclearance letter does not allow you to enter Ireland. It does not allow you to live in Ireland. When you arrive at a port in Ireland an Immigration Officer can grant or deny you permission to enter Ireland.

For more information about what happens at the port of entry please see here.

If you were granted a long stay visa or you were granted a preclearance letter of approval, and are staying in Ireland for longer than 90 days you will be required to register with the immigration authorities. The Immigration Officer will give you a date by which you will have to register. If you do not register by that date, you will be required to leave Ireland.

For information on registering with the immigration authorities please see here

A person wishing to undertake any activity in Ireland other than that for which his/her visa/preclearance letter was granted must leave the State and apply for a new visa/ preclearance.

For example, if you come to Ireland for a holiday you cannot then take up employment in Ireland. To do so you must first leave the State.

An applicant may not return to Ireland while awaiting a decision on his/her new application and any previous visa/preclearance letter issued will be cancelled while the new application is being considered.

A person who remains in the State longer than the permitted period as granted by the immigration officer at the airport or other port of entry may become liable for prosecution and/or subject to deportation.

My application has been refused can I appeal?

We will notify you by letter if your application is refused. This letter will outline the reasons why your application was refused.

The refusal letter will also tell you if you are permitted to appeal the decision. In some cases you may not be permitted to appeal (for example if you provide false or misleading information in your application). You may also be prevented from making another Irish visa/preclearance application for up to five years. If you receive a refusal letter, it will state clearly in your letter if you have a right of appeal or not.

The appeal process is free of charge.

You can request an appeal of this decision by responding to the refusal reasons with extra supporting documents if required.

This appeal must be received by us within 8 weeks of the date of the refusal letter.

An appeal must be submitted in writing, fully addressing all of the reasons for the refusal. Appeals received by email or fax will not be processed.

There is no processing fee for an appeal.

How to appeal your visa/Preclearance decision

Type or write a 'letter of appeal' that states that you wish to appeal a visa/preclearance decision. The letter must include your:

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Personal email address
  • Visa/Preclearance Application Transaction Number

In the letter explain in detail why you believe the decision should be changed.

When doing so you should refer to the reasons the application was refused (as stated in the letter of refusal). Add any new information you believe is important.

Sign and date the letter and include it with your appeal.

Other necessary documents

Include any other documents you believe are important for your appeal.

Any documents you submit must follow the rules outlined below, otherwise they cannot be considered.

If you find that you cannot submit a document requested below, you should provide an explanation as to why you cannot provide it, and any other documents for consideration by the visa/Preclearance Officer.

Passport

Your letter of refusal will tell you if you need to include your original passport with your appeal.

Do not include your passport unless instructed to do so in the letter of refusal.

Appeal a visa/preclearance decision for someone else, e.g. your child, another applicant

Follow these steps to appeal a decision for your child or if you have been authorised to appeal on behalf of someone else. There are no restrictions on the number of visa/preclearance applicants you can appeal for.

If you are appealing for 2 or more people, you must include a separate 'letter of authorisation' and 'letter of appeal' for each person (as described below).

Letter of authorisation (from the original visa/preclearance applicant)

To appeal a visa/preclearance decision on behalf of someone else, ask them to type or write a 'letter of authorisation' that contains the information below.

(You do not need a letter of authorisation to appeal for your child if they are aged under 18.)

The letter must state that the original visa/preclearance applicant is authorising you to act on their behalf for all matters and correspondence relating to the appeal of their visa/preclearance decision.

The letter must include the original visa/preclearance applicant's:

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Visa/Preclearance Application Transaction Number, ie from the visa/preclearance application in their name

The letter must also include your (i.e. the authorised person's):

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Date of birth (you must be aged 18 or older)

The visa/preclearance applicant must sign and date the letter.

You must include the original letter of authorisation with the visa appeal.

Letter of appeal

Type or write a 'letter of appeal' that states that you (i.e. the authorised person or parent) wish to appeal a visa/preclearance decision on behalf of another applicant.

The letter must include the original visa/preclearance applicant's:

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Personal email address, if available (do not include this for a child aged under 18)
  • Visa/Preclearance Application Transaction Number, ie for the application you wish to appeal

The letter must also include your:

  • Full name
  • Postal address
  • Personal email address
  • Relationship to the original visa/preclearance applicant, e.g. parent, visa sponsor, family, friend, solicitor or legal representative, etc

In the letter explain in detail why you believe the decision should be changed.

When doing so you should refer to the reasons the application was refused (as stated in the letter of refusal). Add any new information you believe is important.

Sign and date the letter and include it with the appeal.

Other necessary documents

Include any other documents you believe are important for the appeal.

Any documents you submit must follow the rules for documents for all visa/preclearance applications , otherwise they cannot be considered.

Passport

You (i.e. the authorised person or parent) must include a colour photocopy of the photograph page of your passport or national identity card with the appeal.

In some cases you may need to include the visa/preclearance applicant's original passport with the appeal. The letter of refusal will tell you if you need to include the passport.

Do not include the passport unless instructed to do so in the letter of refusal.

Submit the appeal

When you are satisfied you have prepared the appeal, put everything into a strong padded envelope and send it to the 'Visa Appeals Officer' or the ‘Preclearance Appeals Officer’ at the office address stated in the letter of refusal.

If you are sending appeals for more than 1 person to the same address, you may send them together. To send together:

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

You must submit appeals by post only. We cannot accept faxes or emails.

Be sure to pay the correct postage for large packages.

After you appeal

We process visa/preclearance appeals in the order we receive them. We make every effort to process appeals as soon as possible and we advise the applicant of the outcome when the decision is made. Processing times can differ between offices and may also vary during the year, for example during peak periods. 

We may take more time processing the appeal if we need to do a detailed assessment of family rights under the Constitution of Ireland or the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Appeals Directed to the Dublin Visa/Preclearance Office

If your appeal is being processed in the Dublin Visa/Preclearance Office, the following page, which we update each Tuesday, can be visited to keep up to date for current processing times here.

Visa Appeal Decisions

If your appeal is successful

We will send a notification to you stating that the original visa decision has been reversed.

The notification will also explain what to do next to get your visa.

Your documents will then be returned to you by post or arranged for collection, as explained in 'return of documents' below.

If your appeal is unsuccessful

We will send you another 'letter of refusal' stating that the original visa decision remains in place and that your appeal has been refused.

Your documents will then be returned to you by post or arranged for collection, as explained in 'return of documents' below.

Preclearance Appeal Decisions

If your appeal is successful

If your appeal is successful, you will be issued with a Preclearance Letter of Approval.  Your Preclearance letter is an important document and should be treated as such.

You will need it for

  • Border Control (Please note that all non EEA nationals are subject to the provisions of the Immigration Act 2004)
  • And, if you are granted entry into Ireland, for Immigration Registration (extending your permission to remain).

The Preclearance letter is valid for 6 months. If you do not use it within this validity period (to arrive at border control), you must restart the application process and submit a new application.

If your appeal is unsuccessful

Where the decision is upheld at appeal, you will receive a letter or email outlining the reasons for the refusal.

Please Note:

You cannot appeal a visa/preclearance decision again. Only 1 appeal per application is permitted.

However, you may submit and pay for (if appropriate) a new visa/preclearance application if you wish.

A decision has been made on my Visa/Preclearance application.  How do I get my passport and documents back?

Visas:

If your application has been approved, an Irish visa will be placed into a blank page of your passport/travel document.

Where your application has been refused you will receive a letter or email outlining the reasons for the refusal.

Your passport/travel document and certain original documents (for example marriage/birth/death certificates) will then be returned by post or arrangements will be made for you to collect your documents.

Preclearance:

If your application has been approved, you will be issued with a Preclearance Letter of Approval.  Your Preclearance letter is an important document and should be treated as such.

You will need it for:

  • Border Control (Please note that all non EEA nationals are subject to the provisions of the Immigration Act 2004)
  • And, if you are granted entry into Ireland, for Immigration Registration (extending your permission to remain).

The Preclearance letter is valid for 6 months. If you do not use it within this validity period (to arrive at border control), you must restart the application process and submit a new application.

Where your application has been refused you will receive a letter or email outlining the reasons for the refusal.

Visa/Preclearance Applications directed to the Visa Office in Dublin

If your application was sent directly to the Visa/Preclearance Office in Dublin

You must:

  1. Provide an Irish or UK postal address - this can be a friend or relative (please note that passports are sent by registered post to addresses in the Ireland or the UK only); or
  2. Arrange for a courier company to collect (at your expense) from Visa/ Preclearance Office, 6-7 Hanover Street, Dublin 2, D02 W320. A courier company may request a contact phone number for the Irish Immigration Service. The number to be used is +353 1 616 7700. The courier company must provide your full name and visa/preclearance transaction number when they come to our office to collect documents on your behalf.

 

 

Visa Required Nationals

If your appeal is approved, a Long Stay D visa (Volunteer) will be placed in your passport by the relevant office as described above. If your appeal is refused, we will send you a letter outlining the reasons. You cannot request another appeal. Do not attempt to come to Ireland without a visa as you will not be allowed enter the country.

Non Visa Required Nationals

If your appeal is approved, we will send you a preclearance letter as described above. If your appeal is refused, we will send you a letter outlining the reasons. You cannot request another appeal. Do not attempt to come to Ireland without preclearance approval as you will not be allowed enter the country.

If your appeal is refused, you cannot request another appeal. Only one appeal is permitted per application. In most cases you can make a fresh application.

I have travelled to Ireland with preclearance approval or on a long stay ‘D’ Volunteer visa, and I am now in Ireland. What happens next?

Immigration permission and registration

After you enter the country, you must visit a registration office before your landing stamp expires to:

  • Extend your permission to stay for longer than 90 days (i.e. as a Volunteer) and to
  • Register your details with Immigration

If your visit is successful, you will be given immigration permission to stay as a Volunteer for an initial 12 month period based on immigration stamp number 3.

Read how to extend your permission and register for the first time.

 

Renew your immigration permission

You must visit a registration office to renew your permission and registration about 6 weeks before they expire. Immigration policy for Volunteers allows you to renew once, up to a maximum of 2 years.

I have been in Ireland for 2 years under the Volunteer Scheme. How can I extend my stay?

You may be eligible for one extension of the standard two (2) year period of a further one (1) year. Such a request can only be for the service with your then current sponsor and will be considered only if your sponsor can demonstrate a genuine need of your service.

Ask your sponsor to write you a new sponsorship letter explaining why they want you to stay and include the proof of application fee payment. This can only be paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). See details of how to make this payment on the below document.

Document icon

Renewal application payment instruction - Volunteers (.pdf 239KB)

 

Send the new sponsorship letter plus the same documents you would normally use to renew your permission/registration by post to:

Unit 2, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division,
Immigration Service Delivery,
Department of Justice,
13/14 Burgh Quay,
D02XK70,
Dublin 2,
Ireland

 

I want to change my sponsoring organisation, how to I do this?

To change to another Volunteer position in a different organisation, you must:

Ask your sponsor to write you a new sponsorship letter explaining why they want you to stay and include the proof of application fee payment. This can only be paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). See details of how to make this payment on the below document.

Document icon

Renewal application payment instruction - Volunteers (.pdf 239KB)

 

Send the new sponsorship letter and additional documents by post to:

Unit 2, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division,
Immigration Service Delivery,
Department of Justice,
13/14 Burgh Quay,
D02XK70,
Dublin 2,
Ireland

It costs €50 to apply to change your sponsor. Please check with Residence Division, regarding method of payment, when making the application

You will not gain extra time to stay in Ireland if you re-apply. You can only work as a Volunteer in Ireland for a normal maximum of 2 years total, no matter how many times you apply. If you choose you can break the normal 2 year period of permission/registration into separate periods e.g. 2 separate periods of 1 year.

Updated:10 June 2021