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Whether going to Ireland on holiday or business, nationals of certain countries will need to acquire the relevant visa. To ensure a smooth transition, it's important that travellers take some time to familiarise themselves with the various visas for Ireland, and find out what is needed to enter the Republic legally.
Tourist visas for Ireland
Although Ireland is part of the EU, it is not part of the Schengen Area, meaning that Schengen visas cannot be used to enter the country. Travellers who are nationals of certain countries, including those in the EU and the USA, among others, do not need a visa to enter Ireland.
Citizens of some countries who hold a UK visa can enter the Republic of Ireland without an Irish visa as part of a Visa Waiver Programme. This includes a number of countries in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. There are specific requirements, however, and expats should confirm these with their respective Irish embassy or consulate.
Short-term holiday visas for Ireland are generally valid for up to 90 days,
Business visas for Ireland
Expats travelling to Ireland to attend business meetings or conferences will also require a Short Stay Visa. The list of nationals that need a visa is the same as that for tourist visas.
In addition to the general documents needed for a tourist visa, business visa applications need to include an invitation from the Irish host company, a letter of confirmation from the applicant’s employer and proof of where the applicant will be staying in Ireland.
Residence visas for Ireland
Expats who are not from the European Economic Area or Switzerland and who want to stay in Ireland for longer than three months will need to get a Long Stay Visa. This applies to expats who intend to work, study or stay with family in Ireland.
In addition to the relevant visa and travel documents required, applicants may need to prove they have enough funds to support themselves for the duration of their proposed stay.
Once the Long Stay Visa is granted, applicants will have to apply for permission to stay and register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). In this case, it is also necessary to apply for a residency permit.
Expats looking to work in the country will need to first apply for an Irish employment permit with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI), then an entrance visa, if necessary, and finally register with the INIS.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.