Ireland visa

Ireland visa

Traveling to Ireland

Ireland is an attractive destination for many types of travelers from tourists to students and businesspersons. While there are many nationalities that can enter Ireland visa-free, others will need to obtain an Irish visa before arriving at the border. 

The need for an Ireland visa is based on the applicant’s nationality and the country that issued their travel document (passport). Foreign nationals from more than 90 countries can travel to Ireland visa-free and stay for up to 90 days. Foreign nationals, not eligible to enter Ireland visa-free, should apply for an Ireland visa prior to traveling.

Different types of Ireland visas have different validity periods. Short-stay visas are valid for up to 90 days while the validity for a student visa is based on the length of the study program, for example.

Ireland visa types

There are several types of Irish visas that can be obtained by nationals who require a visa. The following visa types are available for eligible applicants:

  1. Short Stay Visas
    • Short-stay visas allow travelers to come to Ireland for short trips related to tourism, business, visiting friends and family, or attending an event.
  2. Long Stay Visas
    • Long-stay visas are intended for travelers who wish to study, live, work, volunteer, or join a family member in Ireland for longer periods of time. Religious ministers and non-EU citizens traveling with a family member can apply for specific visa types.
  3. Re-entry Visas
    • Re-entry visas are for anyone who holds an Irish Residence Permit and wants to leave Ireland for a short period of time.
  4. Transit Visas
    • Some foreign nationals will need to obtain a visa to transit through an Irish airport.
  5. Multiple Entry Visas
    • Multiple entry visas allow the holder to make several short trips to and from Ireland within a specific time period. These are typically only issued for specific cases.

Ireland visa requirements

All applicants for an Irish visa must submit the required documents. These documents may vary depending on the purpose of the trip and the visa type they are applying for. 

The following are the basic documents that almost all applicants will be asked to submit with their visa application:

Valid passport

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the intended date of departure from Ireland.

  • The applicant must provide photocopies of all previous passports still in their possession. 
  • They must also include a letter of explanation if they plan to travel to Ireland from another country or travel to another country after their time in Ireland that is not their country of residence.

Application summary documents

After completing the online application form through Ireland’s AVATS portal, the applicant will be able to access the application summary sheets. These must be printed, signed, dated, and submitted along with the other required documents.

Application letter

Applicants must include a typed or handwritten letter explaining why they intend to travel to Ireland. It should be signed, dated, and submitted with the other application documents.

Invitation letter (if applicable)

If planning to visit a family member or friend in Ireland, applicants should submit a letter (typed or written) of invitation from that individual. It should be signed and dated by the inviter and included along with the other application documents.

Holiday or study plan

  • Applicants should include a description (typed or written) of their planned stay in Ireland with their application documents. This should include what kinds of events, activities, or study courses they intend to partake in and where they plan to stay.
  • For study plans, the document should include details about the educational institution including the study course title, the dates of the course, and other relevant information. 

Passport photographs

The applicant must include two passport-sized, color photographs in their application. On the reverse side of each one, the applicant must sign their name (in their native script or language) and write their Visa Application Transaction Number from the AVATS portal, and meet the guidelines for acceptable photographs.

Proof of subsistence

Applicants must provide documentation proving they are capable of supporting themselves financially for the duration of their stay in Ireland.

Visa refusals (if applicable)

If the applicant has previously been denied a visa or preclearance, they must inform the Irish immigration authorities in writing. They must also provide any original letters of refusal with their other application documents. Deportation refused entry, and any instance of being officially asked to leave a country should also be disclosed.

Proof of visa fee payment (if applicable)

Some applicants may need to include a document proving they paid the visa application fee or explaining why they are exempt from paying the visa fee. For more information about whether or not to include proof of payment, applicants can contact their application office.

Some additional requirements may be asked of the applicant during the visa application process or when they arrive at the Irish border such as medical or travel insurance. Short-stay visas will require documents that show the applicant’s intent to return to their home country. Transit visa applications require a complete travel itinerary and an onward ticket be included in the application. Additional documents will depend on the purpose of the trip to Ireland and the visa type. 

All applicants must provide translations of any official documents they submit into English or Irish. Both the original and translated documents must be sent with the other application materials.

Ireland visa application steps

Applying for a visa to Ireland is a straightforward process that can be accomplished by following a few basic steps. 

The basic steps to apply for an Irish visa are as follows:

  1. Access the online portal

    Applicants should log on to AVATS, the online application portal for Ireland. They should select the visa type, the reason for travel, and the journey type (single or multiple) that is applicable to them.

  2. Submit the visa application form online

    The application should be completed accurately and in full. Once complete, applicants will receive three important pieces of information: the Visa Application Transaction Number (VATN), the application summary sheets, and the location of the application office where they should send all materials for processing. Applicants should keep the VATN accessible and print out and sign the application summary sheets.

  3. Pay the visa fee

    Payment methods and currencies will differ between offices and countries. Some applicants may be exempt from paying the visa fee.

  4. Gather all required documents

    Applicants must gather and complete all required documents depending on the visa type and any other unique aspects of their situation.

  5. Send documents and passport for processing

    The applicant should send all documents and their valid passport to the address of the application office provided to them after completing their application in the AVATS portal.

Processing times will vary depending on the visa type and where the application was submitted. If the application is approved, the applicant will receive their passport with an Irish visa stuck inside. 

Applicants of some nationalities may be asked to give biometric information before their application can be processed. Irish authorities will contact the applicant if they require any additional documents or steps.

Where to apply for Ireland visa

Ireland visa applications can be completed online through the AVATS portal and submitted for processing at a relevant application office. The address for the correct application office will be sent to the applicant upon completing their application form online. The address could be for the Dublin visa office, an international visa office, or an Irish embassy or consulate abroad. Within 30 days of creating the application on AVATS, the applicant must send all documents to the appropriate application office.

Ireland visa processing time

Most visas are processed within 8 weeks, but it may take longer depending on the visa type and the complexity of the case.

Ireland visa FAQ

What is an Ireland visa?

An Ireland visa is a document that allows eligible nationalities to visit, study, and work in Ireland legally. Various types of visas are available for a number of different cases. Single and multiple-entry visas can be obtained for Ireland.

How much does a visa for Ireland cost?

Short-stay visas to Ireland typically cost between EUR 60 for a single-entry visa and EUR 100 for a multiple-entry visa. Transit visas cost EUR 25. Additional fees may apply depending on the unique case.

Where can I apply for an Irish visa?

Applicants will create and submit their applications online through the AVATS application processing portal. Documents and passports must be submitted to an application office in Ireland or an Irish embassy or consulate abroad. 

What is the processing time for an Irish visa?

Most visas are scheduled to take around 8 weeks to process, this is not guaranteed. Processing times for Irish visas are subject to change depending on the complexity of the case and the applicant’s nationality.

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