Short Stay 'C' Visas
If you are looking to visit Ireland for up to 90 days, you may need to apply for a form of visa. In Irish immigration law there is a specific category for short-term visas, know as Short Stay ‘C’ visas.
If you are a citizen of a visa-required country, you will need to apply for a short stay visa to visit Ireland. The specific visa you need to apply for depends on the reason for your entry into Ireland.
Do I need to apply for a short stay c visa?
If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country, or if you’re a citizen of Switzerland, you will not need to apply for a visa to enter Ireland and you will not need to register for permission to enter when you arrive. Ireland is a part of the European Single Market, which is an arrangement enabling free movement of people within these areas.
Also, citizens of certain other countries will not need to apply for a visa if they are only staying in Ireland for a period of up to 90 days. It is important to note that citizens of these particular countries will still need to register for permission to enter in order to be permitted entry into the country, in contrast to citizens of Switzerland or a country in the EU/EEA.
If you are a citizen of a country which does not fall into any of these categories, you will need to apply for a form of short stay visa if you want to travel to Ireland.
What are the different types of Short Stay C Visas?
The Tourist Visa is for those who wish to travel to Ireland for a period of up to 90 days for the purposes of tourism. You can also apply for a tourist visa if you want to study a short-term course at a recognised institution, such as an English language course.
This is for activities related to your job. It allows you to attend meetings and to negotiate or sign agreements or contracts. You are permitted to work for up to 14 days with the Business Visa.
Family or friends visa
The Short Stay Family/Friends Visa can be applied for if you want to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days to visit family or friends who are Irish residents.
Conference or event visa
The Conference or Event Visa allows you to travel to Ireland to attend a conference or other related event in the fields of business or academia.
Employment (Atypical Working Scheme) visa
With the Employment (Atypical Working Scheme) visa, you can take up short term employment in Ireland if you have been given approval from the Atypical Working Scheme Division.
The Exam Visa enables you to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days for the purposes of sitting an exam which is necessary for your current employment or course of study.
You will not be given an exam visa if your exam is not deemed to be necessary.
If you are required to undertake an internship as part of your studies, you can apply for the Internship Visa.
Join Ship visa
This visa is designed for those wish to come to Ireland to work as a seafarer on a ship which is departing from Ireland.
You can apply for the Marriage Visa after you have received an acknowledgement from the Registrar which confirms the date of your receipt of notification of your intention to marry/enter into a civil partnership.
Medical treatment visa
A Medical Treatment Visa enables you to come to Ireland for a medical procedure in a private hospital, under certain conditions.
Performance or Tournament visa
With this visa, you can come to Ireland for up to 90 days to stage a performance, such as a music or theatre performance, or to take part in a competitive tournament such as a sporting event.
The Training Visa enables you to enter the country to attend a training course. Your training course must be arranged, and paid for, by a company you work for, or an organisation which you belong to.
Visa for non-EU/EEA & non-Swiss citizen travelling with EU/EEA/Swiss family
If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national and wish to travel to Ireland to accompany an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who is moving to or residing in Ireland, you will be eligible for this visa.
What requirements do I need to fulfil to be eligible for a short stay visa in Ireland?
The specific requirements which you need to fulfil depends on the particular short stay visa you are applying for.
Still, regardless of the particular short stay visa you are applying for, there are are a few universal points which immigration officials will assess in your short stay visa application.
- Whether you will leave Ireland within the 90-day period
- Whether you have proof of onward travel from Ireland
- That you have enough money to sustain you during your time in Ireland (or that the person sponsoring you does), meaning you will not require access to Irish public funds
- That you won’t breach the Common Travel Area by seeking to enter the UK via Ireland without a UK visa
- A consideration of your immigration history, including whether you have made any serious breaches of Irish or UK immigration law
- Whether you have a history of any serious crimes
Any attempt to mislead the Department of Justice & Equality through the submission of false documentation will result in your application being refused, and possible further ramifications.
In some cases, you could be banned from applying for an Irish visa for five years if you are found to have deliberately mislead the Department of Justice & Equality.
Short stay visa application process
If you need to apply for a short stay visa, the first step is to establish which particular short stay visa you need to apply for.
You will need to apply for your visa before you travel to Ireland, It is recommended to prepare and complete your application at least three months before the proposed date of your travel.
In simple terms, the visa application process follows this procedure:
- Create your visa application online through the AVATS system
- Pay the visa application fee
- Compile all your documents together
- Send your documents, passport and any other necessary documentation for processing
You must send your full application, including all the relevant documentation, within 30 days of creating the application online.
If your visa application is successful, you must ensure that you take all relevant documentation (including the visa) with you to Ireland.
Which documents do I need to include in my short stay visa application?
The documents which need to be provided depends on the short stay visa you are applying for.
Still, there are a number of documents which you will almost certainly need to provide with any short stay visa application including:
- Application summary sheet from the online application
- An application letter explaining why you want to travel to Ireland
- Your passport and a photocopy of each page from previous passports, if possible
- Two passport-sized colour photographs with your signature and Visa Application Tracking Number on the back of each of them
- Information on your accommodation plan in Ireland
- Information on your financial plan whilst in Ireland
- Proof that you will return home from Ireland
The documents must also be in accordance with official guidelines set by the Department of Justice & Equality, which are:
- Documents must be provided in their original form. Photocopies are not accepted, except where stated
- Any letters from companies, schools, universities and colleges must be on official headed paper
- Documents which are not in English or Irish must be fully translated by a certified translator. You need to provide both the original documents and the translated ones
For expert guidance on the documents which you will need to provide in your visa application, please do not hesitate to contact us on (+353) 061 518 025.
What is the application fee for an Irish short stay visa application?
Once you have completed your summary sheet, you will need to pay the application fee.
- €60 for a single-entry short stay C visa
- €100 for a multi entry short stay C visa
Do note that there could be extra charges with the application, such as consular fees. You will also need to take into account the cost of professional translation of any of your documents.
What happens after I have submitted my short stay C visa application?
After you have submitted your application, immigration officials will examine your application and check through your documentary evidence. Irish immigration may also contact other domestic government departments as well as international agencies for information about you if they deem it to be necessary.
When will I receive a decision on my short stay visa application?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this as each individual case is entirely different. Also, processing times vary among different application offices, and there could be delays in the processing of your application during holiday periods.
It is imperative that you include all required documents in your application. Failure to provide all the required documents will result in your application being delayed.
The Department for Justice & Equality states that you can expect a decision on your application within eight weeks of your application being received.
Once your application has been processed, your passport, marriage/birth/death certificates (and any documents which you have requested to be returned) will all be returned to you by post, or you can make arrangements for them to be collected at a designated location, such as an Irish embassy or consulate.
If your application is approved, your Irish visa will be stamped in your passport, indicating your right to travel to Ireland.
If your visa application is rejected, you will be sent a ‘letter of refusal’ which explains why your application was not accepted.
What do I need to do when I arrive in Ireland?
Technically, an Irish visa does not guarantee that you will be permitted entry to Ireland – it simply permits you to travel to Ireland freely.
When you arrive in Ireland, you will need to report to an immigration officer at border control.
You will need to show your passport, visa and other relevant documents. You ought to bring photocopies of documents from your application including your application summary sheet, application letter and proof of your financial situation.
If the immigration officer is satisfied with your documents, you will be given official permission to enter, and a landing stamp will be placed in your passport.
On the other hand, you could be refused entry into the country if the immigration officer has any concerns with your proposed entry.
Can I extend my short stay visa?
You cannot extend short stay visas in Ireland unless there are unforeseen, very exceptional circumstances. Ordinarily, you must leave the country no later than 90 days after your date of entry into the country.
You will need to apply for a form of long visa after you have left Ireland in order to stay for longer than 90 days.
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No, you will not need to apply for a Short Stay ‘C’ Visa in this situation. However, citizens of certain countries will need to apply for a transit visa.
The Business Visa, Employment (Atypical Working Scheme) Visa, Internship Visa, Join Ship Visa, Performance or Tournament Visa and Training Visa all permit a certain level of employment. However, there are conditions attached to the employment rules with these visas.
All of the other short stay visas do not permit any kind of employment whilst you are in Ireland.
For full information on all these visas, including the requirements, please contact us on (+353) 061 518 025.
If you want to stay in Ireland for longer than 90 days and you have already been given permission to enter, you will still need to leave Ireland before the 90 days expire. Once you are outside of Ireland, you can then apply for a form of Long Stay ‘D’ Visa or permit, which, if accepted, will enable you to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days.