What are the types of Irish visa?
If you wish to come to Ireland and you are from a non-EEA country, you will be required to apply for a visa in advance of your visit.
The visa application process can be complex and the requirements, fees, waiting times, and required documents will vary based on the specific category suited to your circumstances.
Like most countries, Irish visa applications are not straightforward. They can be complex, requiring significant amounts of information to be submitted and any errors on your application can result in costly delays.
Within the long stay category, applicants may apply for business, work, student, spouse, family, and retirement visas.
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Short stay Irish visas
Please see below for a full list of short stay Irish visas and information on who should apply for each type. It is important to note that each category contains its own restrictions and conditions of entry.
|Visa category||Who is this visa for?|
|SHORT STAY VISAS|
|Tourist visa||Allows tourism or study for up to 90 days|
|Business visa||Entry for purpose of business (90 days) or work (14 days or fewer)|
|Family or friends visa||Allows visits to family or friends for up to 90 days|
|Conference or event visa||Attend a conference, symposium, or event and stay up to 90 days|
|Employment visa||With approval from the Atypical Working Scheme Division, allows for short-term employment|
|Exam visa||Sit an exam required as part of your employment or course of study|
|Internship (paid)||Some forms of paid internships|
|Internship (unpaid)||Some forms of unpaid internships|
|Join ship visa||Visa category for seafarers to join a ship leaving the country|
|Marriage visa||Allows for travel to marry an Irish-based partner|
|Medical treatment visa||Entry for medical treatment|
|Performance or tournament visa||Allows for individuals to stage a performance or take part in some competitions|
|Training visa||Entry for short training courses|
|Non-EEA and non-Swiss travelling with EU/Swiss family||For relevant family members|
Overview of short stay Irish visas
There are a number of visa types within the short stay category. All of these visas are issued for 90 days or less. There are restrictions attached to each visa and you should take care to abide by the conditions of entry.
This visa allows visitors to travel to Ireland and stay for up to 90 days for the purposes of tourism and some short-term study courses.
You are not permitted to undertake work (either paid or unpaid) or use publicly funded services.
Depending on your country of origin and nationality, you may be able to use the Tourist visa to move between Ireland and the UK.
You may travel to Ireland for up to 90 days for some permitted business activities relating to your employment.
The activities include attending meetings, negotiating or signing agreements or contracts, or working in some forms for 14 days or fewer.
You may not work for longer than 15 days or rely on Irish public services (e.g., hospitals).
This visa category has been designed for non-Irish residents who have family or friends living in Ireland.
The purpose of the visa is to allow individuals to visit for up to 90 days.
As well as adhering to all conditions of short stay visas, it is also a requirement to demonstrate that you have strong ties to your country of origin and will not overstay your visa.
If you wish to come to Ireland to marry your partner (or enter into a civil partnership), you may be eligible to apply for a marriage visa.
There are specific eligibility criteria for who may apply for this visa. Before applying, you must first have received acknowledgement from the Registrar of Civil Marriages in Ireland confirming that you have submitted an official notification of intention to marry.
Your partner must be an Irish citizen or have valid settlement status. You are not permitted to stay longer than 90 days, but you can apply for a Spouse visa.
Long stay Irish visas
Below is a list of the types of visa that allow eligible applicants to come to Ireland for a period of longer than 90 days.
|LONG STAY VISAS|
|Study visa||For individuals planning a course of study longer than three months|
|Join a family member visa||Allows for those wanting to live with a family member in Ireland for longer than three months|
|Join your UK family member in Ireland||For non-EEA nationals to join their UK national family member in Ireland|
|Employment visa||Allows for work in Ireland after obtaining an employment permit|
|Employment (researcher) visa||Those coming to Ireland to carry out research under a ‘hosting agreement’|
|Employment (Van der Elst) visa||Allows for non-EEA nationals employed by a company in a EU country|
|Minister of religion visa||Enables qualifying religious personnel to enter and work for up to three years|
|Volunteer visa||Allows eligible volunteers to work for up to two years|
|Non-EEA and non-Swiss travelling with EU/Swiss family||For relevant family members|
Overview of long stay Irish visas
Long-stay visas have been designed for individuals who wish to come to Ireland for longer than 90 days. This category of visa encompasses student, family, partner, employment, and other forms of visa.
Some applicants may be able to use time spent in Ireland on a long stay visa as part of their application for Irish citizenship.
This visa is for non-EEA students who wish to come to Ireland for a period of study lasting longer than 90 days.
If you wish to study in Ireland, you must secure your place in a full-time course on an eligible course. You will receive a Stamp 2 to add to your passport.
It is possible to work in Ireland with some forms of Study visa.
For non-EEA individuals who wish to join their Irish family members, this may be an appropriate immigration route.
It is a condition of stay that the Irish family members are either citizens or lawfully resident.
This visa category can include family reunification cases, but is not relevant to EU citizens or applications from refugees or people granted some forms of humanitarian protection.
To apply for an employment visa, you must first obtain an employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.
There are a number of different employment permits that you can apply for, including critical skills employment permits and other work permits.
This visa enables eligible candidates to come to Ireland to undertake certain forms of religious work.
It is usually granted for one year, and up to a maximum of three years. The role must match the criteria for Minister of religion work outlined in the immigration rules.
It is possible to do some forms of voluntary work, study, and bring dependents (if eligible).
Other forms of Irish visas
Although short stay and long stay visas are the most popular visa types in Ireland, there are a number of other visa categories with their own conditions of stay.
|British-Irish visa scheme||Allows for Chinese and Indian nationals to use the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK|
|Retirement visa||Allows individuals with adequate financial savings to retire in Ireland|
|Re-entry visa||For children aged under 16 who do not have GNIB/IRP cards intending to leave and then return|
|Transit visa||Travelling through an Irish airport in transit|
|Multiple-entry and single-entry visas||For eligible applicants demonstrating a need for multiple-entry visas|
|Working holiday programme||Young people from eligible countries can work in Ireland for up to one year|
|De facto partnership||For applicants living in a marriage-like partnership with a long-term Irish partner|
|Child dependent visa||Allows entry for dependents of eligible visa applicants|
|Critical Skills Employment Permit||For highly skilled people undertaking eligible occupations in short supply|
|Immigrant Investor Programme||For eligible investors willing to make large financial investments in return for citizenship|
Overview of other Irish visas
Some other popular forms of Irish visa include the following:
This visa scheme is an agreement between Ireland and the UK which allows Chinese and Indian nationals to travel through the UK and Ireland through the Common Travel Area.
It is for people who wish to travel under a Visitor or Tourist visa and have outlined their intentions to stay for less than 90 days.
A requirement of the visa is that applicants demonstrate that they intend to leave the country after the expiration of their visa.
This visa is for non-EEA citizens who wish to stay in Ireland for the purposes of retirement.
The primary requirement of this visa is showing that you can support yourself throughout your retirement. For this reason, you must show evidence of an individual income of at least €50,000 per year.
If you intend to apply as a couple, you must show a joint income of at least €100,000. If you are considered ‘ordinarily resident’ in Ireland, you may qualify for public healthcare.
A de facto partnership refers to a relationship between two individuals that is akin to marriage. This visa allows the non-EEA partner to join their Irish-based partner.
Applicants must demonstrate that they are in a genuine long-term relationship and are committed to one another. As well as this, they should provide evidence of having cohabited for at least two years.
This employment permit is issued to eligible individuals from outside the EEA who are considered to be highly skilled or can provide evidence they will earn above a minimum threshold for their occupation.
It is easier to apply for family reunification and residency if you are a holder of the critical skills employment permit. You may be able to apply for residency after holding the permit for two years.
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It can be difficult to know where to start with some visa applications. They are often complex and time-consuming and any minor mistakes can result in delays in being able to travel to Ireland.
Qualified and experienced immigration lawyers can help you with your visa application by ensuring that your application has no errors.
As well as this, your lawyer can ensure that you have all the necessary documents to submit with your application.
For more information, contact IAS on (+353) 061 518 025 or use the online chat function to speak to one of our friendly advisers.
There are a number of routes towards living legally in Ireland. If you are an EU or UK citizen, you do not need a visa to live and work in Ireland.
If you are from outside the EEA, you will need to apply for the appropriate category of Irish visa. After holding legal residency in Ireland for at least five years, you may be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship.
The processing times for Irish visas depend on the type of visa that you are applying for.
The length of time it takes to receive a decision on your application will vary, so it is recommended that you give yourself plenty of time to apply before your intended travel date.
It is likely that a short stay application will be processed much faster than a long stay application.