Tourist Visa Application
If you are planning to visit Ireland, you may need to apply for a tourist visa. This Short Stay ‘C’ Visa allows you to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days.
This visa can be used if you plan to visit Ireland for standard tourism purposes, or if you want to go to Ireland to study a short-term English language course.
Here at the Immigration Advice Service, we can help you with the full tourist visa application process.
Who needs a Tourist Visa to visit Ireland?
If you are a citizen of a country which is in the EU/EEA, or a citizen of Switzerland, you will not need to apply for a visa if you are travelling to Ireland for up to 90 days.
Citizens of countries who do not have an agreement with Ireland for visa-free travel will need to apply for a Tourist Visa to travel to Ireland for tourism purposes. You must apply for a tourist visa in your home country, or the country where you are legally resident.
The tourist visa is designed for short-term visits of up to 90 days. Unless there are very exceptional circumstances, you will not be able to extend the tourist visa, and you are required to leave Ireland within 90 days of the date of your permitted entry.
This visa does not allow you to do any work in Ireland (whether it is paid or unpaid) and you will also not be able to use any public services.
The tourist visa is the ideal option if you would like to visit Ireland as a tourist, exploring our magnificent country. It can also be applied for if you would like to study a short-term course at a recognised institution in Ireland, such as an English language course.
The application process for a tourist visa is as follows:
- Complete an online application for the tourist visa
- Pay the visa application fee
- Compile all required documents
- Send all the necessary documents, including the online application summary sheet, to the specific application office shown on the summary sheet
Am I eligible for a tourist visa?
Before you begin your tourist visa application, it is important to establish whether you are eligible for a tourist visa.
The most fundamental conditions which you must meet to be eligible for a tourist visa (and any short stay visa) are as follows:
- You must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your proposed leave from Ireland
- You need to be able to demonstrate that you can support yourself financially for the duration of your stay in Ireland, and not become a financial burden on the state. You will need to provide a detailed bank statement, which covers a period of six months before you apply for a visa, showing that you have sufficient funds
- You must be able to provide details of any previous applications you have made for an Irish visa
In addition to these conditions, you will need to adhere to the following rules and requirements:
- You need to complete all sections of the tourist visa application form
- You must sign the application form yourself. The exception is for an application for a child who is under 18, in which case the parent can sign
- You must provide details of any family members who are currently living in Ireland, or in a country within the EU
- If a child who is under 18 is travelling to Ireland by themselves, both parents/guardians must have given their consent for the visit. If the child is travelling with one parent, consent of the other parent is required
Also, when you make a tourist visa application, the Department of Justice & Equality will consider your immigration history as well as any criminal record.
What documents do I need to provide with the tourist visa application?
As part of the tourist visa application process, you will need to provide a number of documents with your completed application form. The specific documents which you will need to provide depends on your particular circumstances.
Still, the following documents will need to be provided with all tourist visa applications:
- Application summary sheet
- Full details of the reason for your visit to Ireland
- Your passport and, if possible, a photocopy of each page from previous passports
- Two passport-sized colour photographs with your signature and Visa Application Tracking Number on the back of both of them
- A letter provided by a reference in Ireland, inviting you to come to Ireland
- Details of your relationship with your reference. If the reference is not an Irish citizen, you must be able to provide evidence of their permission to remain in Ireland
- If you are going to be staying at a hotel, you will need to provide a document showing the details of your booking
- Written confirmation from both yourself and your reference which confirms that you will not fall foul of any visa conditions, will not become a burden on the state and will leave the state within 90 days of the date of your permission to enter
- Evidence showing that you are obliged to return to your home country. The evidence could be a letter from your employer indicating your proposed return date to work, or from a college which specifies the date a course is due to begin or re-commence
The documents must fall in accordance with the following rules:
- Documents need to be provided in their original form. Photocopies will not be accepted
- Any letters from companies and educational establishments must be on official headed paper
- Documents which are not in English or Irish must be fully translated by a translator who is certified. You will need to provide both the original documents and the translated ones in your application
Here at the IAS we have an unrivalled level of experience in Irish immigration law, and we can provide expert guidance on the required documentation for tourist visa applications. Please do not hesitate to contact us on (+353) 061 518 025 for any help you might need.
What is the tourist visa application fee?
The current fees for tourist visa applications are as follows:
- €60 for a single-journey visa
- €100 for a multiple-journey visa
You cannot be reimbursed for the visa application if your application is rejected.
As well as this standard fee, you will need to take into account the costs of any professional translation of your documents.
What happens after I have completed and sent my tourist visa application?
The Department of Justice & Equality will consider your application, examining all the documentation which has been provided.
It is important to provide all the required documentation in its proper form. Failure to do so will result in a delayed decision on your application, and possibly an automatic rejection.
Specifically, Irish immigration officials will check that your application includes signed and dated application summary sheets, that you have paid the application fee and that you have provided all necessary documentation.
Irish immigration officials might contact the Irish police or other government and international departments and agencies if they feel it is necessary.
If your tourist visa application is approved, your passport will be stamped with the tourist visa. If your visa application is refused, a letter of refusal will be sent to you, outlining the reasons for the rejection.
Your passport and marriage/birth/death certificates will be returned to you by post. It is also possible to request for other documents to be sent back to you in your tourist visa application.
If you prefer, you can make arrangements for your documents to be sent to an Irish embassy or consulate.
How long will it take to receive a decision?
As each case is entirely different, it is impossible for us to give a definitive answer to this question. Currently, the Department of Justice & Equality has a turnaround time of eight weeks from the date the application was received.
Processing times are likely to be slower during busy times and holiday periods. Also, keep in mind that processing times vary based on the particular visa application office.
What do I need to do when I arrive in Ireland?
It is crucial to understand that even if your visa application was accepted, you are not guaranteed entry into Ireland. Ultimately, a Tourist Visa will grant you permission to travel to Ireland, but not permission to enter.
When you arrive in Ireland, you need to report to immigration officials. You are required to provide your passport, visa and all other relevant documents. In order to make this process as smooth as possible, it is highly recommended that you bring photocopies of your application documents which you can show to border control when you arrive in Ireland.
The immigration official will make a decision based on the information you provide. If they are happy with your information and documentary evidence, you will be given official permission to enter and your passport will be stamped.
If you would like any guidance or advice on the border control process, please do not hesitate to call us on (+353) 061 518 025.
Who does the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme apply to?
The Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme enables citizens of certain countries under specific circumstances (who would otherwise require a visa) to travel to Ireland without the need to apply for a short stay/tourist visa.
If you have been issued with a short-stay UK visa and your visit to Ireland will end before your UK visa expires, you could be eligible for this scheme.
Citizens of the following countries who meet the requirements above will be eligible for the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
- People’s Republic of China
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Both the Tourist Visa and the Family or Friends Visa are Short Stay ‘C’ visas. Technically speaking, if your proposed visit to Ireland is solely based on visiting family and friends, you should apply for the Family or Friends Visa.
Just like the tourist visa, the family or friends visa permits entry into Ireland for up to 90 days. Also, the requirements for this visa are very similar to the tourist visa. For full information about the family or friends visa, including the full requirements, please contact us on (+353) 061 518 025.
Whilst it’s not required by law, we highly recommend employing the services of an experienced immigration law firm.
Here at the Immigration Advice Service, we can guide you assist you through the entire application process for a tourist visa, wherever you are located.
Our team of highly experienced immigration law specialists will ensure that your application meets the required standards, maximising your chances of a successful application.
We can also offer full guidance on the permission to enter process when you arrive in Ireland.
If you have been offered an employment position for no more than 90 days and you are from a country which doesn’t have a visa agreement with Ireland, you will need to apply for a visa. However, you should not apply for a tourist visa in this situation.
Generally speaking, the visa you need to apply for is the Employment (Atypical Working Scheme) visa. Depending on the nature of your work, you may need to apply for a different visa such as the Performance or Tournament visa, or the Join Ship visa.
For information on the visa which you will need to apply for, you can contact us on (+353) 061 518 025.
The tourist visa allows you to stay in Ireland for up to 90 days, but in almost all cases it cannot be extended. If you would like to stay in Ireland for a longer period of time, you will need to leave the country and apply for a form of long stay ‘D’ visa.
Under very exceptional, unforeseen circumstances an extension to the tourist visa might be granted.
As with short stay ‘C’ visas, even if your long stay visa is accepted, you will still need to report to Irish immigration officials when you arrive in Ireland. You will also need to apply for an official Irish Residency Permit if you enter Ireland under a long stay visa.