Notice: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated 01 March 2021
In the interest of public safety, the Consulate's public office is open for emergency appointments only. Officers are working remotely and are prioritising these cases of genuine emergency.
If you need emergency assistance, please contact the officer on duty at +1 617 267 9330 and leave a message. The answering machine is monitored regularly and an officer will contact you as soon as possible.
If you have a non-emergency query, please contact us here
The notice below contains the following sections:
- Passport Services
- Visa Services
- Latest Offical Travel Advice
- Local Information
1. Passport Services:
Passport application processing through the Consulate is currently suspended.
The move to Level 5 of the National Framework of Living with Covid-19 means that routine first time passport applications and renewals that do not qualify for online service, are not being processed at this time.
As of 1st February, 2021, passport applications received at the Consulate will not undergo processing checks, and will be returned to the applicant by regular US postal service.
APS2E passport application forms will not be distributed at this time. If you have contacted us to requested a passport application form, please contact us again when normal passport service resumes.
Please continue to monitor our website at www.dfa.ie/boston which will be updated to announce when normal service resumes.
If you have previously submitted a passport application to us, your documents are being stored at the Consulate, and your application will continue to process when normal operations resume.
Status updates on your passport application, or the receipt of your documents, is not available.
Thank you for your patience as we work to resume normal operations and address COVID-19 related processing delays.
Passport Online Service (Renewals)
All adult and children passports MUST be renewed using the online service at http://www.dfa.ie/passportonline/.
You qualify for the online service as long as your existing Irish passport has expired five years or less.
NOTE: The passport office will no longer process paper applications from those who are eligible to apply for their passports online. All paper applications received at the Consulate which fall under this category will be returned to the sender via US Postal Service.
2. Visa Services:
As part of a wide range of travel measures announced on the 26 January, and in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, visa-free travel to Ireland for nationals of South Africa and all countries in South America has been suspended from midnight on the 27th January. Nationals of these countries will require to be in possession of an entry visa or transit visa, as appropriate, for travel to Ireland regardless of where they reside or the purpose of their travel to Ireland. See Government press release here.
In addition, with effect from 29 January 2021, the Department of Justice has temporarily ceased accepting new visa/ preclearance applications globally.
Increasing travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Irish Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential.
It is currently against the law for any person (regardless of nationality or passport) to travel within Ireland for non-essential purposes and people can be fined for doing so. Enforcement of this has been strongly increased over the last few days.
These measures are designed to support our public health restrictions on movement, including into and out of Ireland.
The strong advice is that everyone, regardless of their nationality, visa/preclearance status, or the origin of travel, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to or within Ireland, should not travel to Ireland.
The situation will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.
We intend to resume accepting visa applications as soon as safety concerns abate.
In the meantime, only certain emergency cases will be processed. Further information is available on the website of Immigration Service Delivery.
For emergency visa applications, please contact us directly so that we can guide you through the application process and advise you how to submit your documentation.
3. Latest Official Travel Advice:
The Government of Ireland continues to recommend against all non-essential international travel, including to the United States.
Irish citizens, and others, are free to travel from the US to Ireland on any scheduled flights from a US airport and transatlantic flights continue to operate, albeit in reduced numbers and from a reduced number of airports. Flights continue to operate directly to Dublin from Boston (Logan).
You should book or make changes to your existing bookings directly with your airline. You should check regularly with your airline’s website for status updates and for any additional information they may require before you can board.
We strongly recommend that you do not travel to an airport without a confirmed booking.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
- From 16 January 2021, all passengers travelling to Ireland are required to show a negative result of a pre-departure PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the state. Please note "rapid"/antigen tests will NOT be accepted
- You should be aware that the Irish Government continues to recommend against any non-essential travel to Ireland at present. The US government also advises against most non-essential international travel currently, including to Ireland.
- Ireland has implemented the EU ‘Traffic Light System’ whereby restrictions are based on the location of the passenger during the 14 days prior to arrival. In general, you are requested to restrict your movements for 14 days if you arrive into Ireland from another country. This applies to all travellers entering the State, including Irish citizens coming home and people with no symptoms. Restricting your movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. Ireland’s Health Service Executive has provided guidance on how to restrict movements on their website.
- Persons who feel unwell or experience symptoms of COVID-19 while in Ireland should self-isolate and contact their General Practitioner or HSE Live on 1850 24 1850 immediately as per the Health Service Executive guidance. For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 or 112.
- From midnight on 29th November, the request to restrict movements for 14 days may not apply to passengers entering Ireland from red regions, (which currently includes the United States), following receipt of a negative/not-detected result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken a minimum of five days after arrival in Ireland. Test results can take a few days; passengers are requested to continue to restrict their movements until they have the negative result. The PCR COVID-19 test is currently the only test type considered acceptable by public health authorities in Ireland in relation to international travel. Testing provision under Ireland’s framework for international travel will not be provided through the public health system, but will be met by the private commercial sector testing supply and paid for by passengers.
- You will need to check any re-entry requirements for the United States. You may be required to obtain a test before returning to the United States; Please check https://www.cdc.gov and the website of your state health department for the most up-to-date requirements.
- The links below on Cork and Dublin airports websites give details of the current companies providing PCR tests.
- The general request to restrict movements does not apply to persons travelling for an essential need or function as defined by Paragraph 19 of the EU Council Recommendation on Travel for an Essential Purpose.
- It is the responsibility of each individual to determine if their circumstances fall into one of the categories in Paragraph 19 of the EU Council Recommendation on travel for an essential need or function.
- For up-to-date information on what to do if you are travelling to Ireland at this time, please see the Irish Government website https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/75d92-covid-19-travel-advice/
- To ensure that this is being observed, all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements.
- Further advice for people who have recently returned from abroad is available from the HSE. Please heed this restriction carefully in order to protect yourself and others. Please also download the new tracker app which will help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ireland.
For our latest travel advice on the United States please see here. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest info (@IrelandBoston)
4. Latest Local Information:
Irish citizens can access localised up-to-date information for the New England Consular Area through the authorities listed below:
Please refer to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) website for further updates, including on travel restrictions to the US.
Follow medical advice to protect yourself from COVID-19 Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
Keep up-to-date with the Department’s travel advice for over 200 countries by:
- Visiting our Travel Advice
- Following our @DFATravelWise Twitter account
- Health-related info is also available here and here.
U.S. Travel Restrictions:
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak the US has implemented special entry restrictions for their territory.
As detailed in the US President's Proclamation of 14 March, from 11.59 EST Monday 16 March, entry into the US will be restricted for those travelling from Ireland and the UK. Non-US nationals, including Irish nationals, who have visited or resided in Ireland or the UK for any period in the 14 days prior to their travel to the US will be denied entry, unless they are legal permanent residents of the US (i.e. green card holders), or are the spouse or child of a US national or permanent resident, or the sibling of same providing both are under 21 years of age.
This extends the coverage of measures the US President announced in Proclamation of Friday 13 March, restricting the entry to the USA of non-US nationals who had visited or resided in Schengen Area countries over the same period, and Proclamations published on 31 January and 29 February, respectively restricting travel from China and Iran.
Non-US nationals with legal permanent residence in the US (i.e. Green Card holders) and their immediate family, as well as the immediate family (spouse and children) of US nationals, are not restricted from entering the US. However, if travelling from a restricted country they will now be required to enter the US through one of thirteen designated airports and will undergo additional screening on arrival. Further information can be found here. From 26 January 2021, U.S. Authorities require all passengers travelling to the U.S. to obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test no more than three days before departure.
In addition to federal restrictions, there are a number of restrictive measures in place at the state and city level. If you are an Irish citizen residing in the US or planning to travel to the country we ask that you refer to the nearest Irish consulate and the local health authority for the most up to date advice.
Seeking Consular Assistance from the Consulate General of Ireland, Boston:
If you are in need of emergency assistance, you can contact the officer on duty at: +1 617 267 9330 and leave a message.
The mailbox and answering machine are both monitored regularly and an officer will contact you as soon as possible.
Please stay safe and reach out to us if you need us. For further updates check Twitter @IrelandBoston