CONSULATE UPDATES & COVID-19 TRAVEL ADVICE
Update November 18, 2020
Irish public health advice is to avoid non-essential overseas travel to/from Ireland. If you must travel to Ireland, you need to fill out a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form online before you travel. To fill out the form and for further info and advice go to https://gov.ie/locatorform
For US travellers, please note that the US Department of State also continues to advise against all but essential travel. If you must travel to Ireland, you must restrict your movements for 14 days after arrival. Information on Restricting Your Movements: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-with-someone-who-has-coronavirus.html
Consulate General of Chicago Office
The Chicago Consulate is fully operational, however the public office is closed until further notice. For all enquiries, please email us through the 'contact us' section or call our office between the hours of 10 am - 1 pm CST at +1 312 337 2700 Mon-Fri. Outside these hours, emergency services for Irish citizens only are available by calling the emergency number +1-312 330 7823. Please leave a voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible if it is deemed an emergency.
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 Chicago (ORD).
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:
- 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.
Passport application processing through the Consulate is currently suspended due to Level 5 restrictions under Ireland’s National Framework on Living with COVID-19, which entered into force on 22 October and which are to remain in place for at least the next six weeks. If you have previously submitted a passport application to the Consulate, your documents are being held and your application will be processed once normal operations resume. If you have contacted us to request a paper passport application form, you will be sent one once normal operations resume.
Citizens seeking to renew existing passports (as distinct from those applying for an Irish passport for the first time) may still submit an application through the Irish Passport Online service. Applications submitted online will be the first processed when the Passport Office resumes full operations, after level 5 restrictions have been lifted.
In the event of a genuine emergency, where a passport is required to travel for bereavement or urgent medical treatment, citizens should contact the Consulate directly.
The Consulate is currently accepting applications for long stay (D) visas. All application materials, including original passports and fees, must be sent to the Consulate by post. Applications for short stay (C) visas are suspended until further notice, excluding cases of emergency. This policy is in place until further notice.
Please do not submit a visa application without contacting the Consulate first.
Information on visa services during COVID-19, including the criteria for Emergency/Priority visas, can be found here: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/COVID-19-updates-and-announcements
Working Holiday Authoisation
The processing of Working Holiday Authorisations is temporarily suspended until further notice.
Foreign Birth Registrations / Citizenship
The processing of Foreign Birth Registrations or FBRs (through which Irish citizenship can be claimed by persons with a grandparent born on the island of Ireland) has also paused, following the introduction of level 5 restrictions in Ireland.
Applications that have been sent to the FBR team have been securely held and will now be processed in strict date order. At present, due to the complex nature of the FBR it takes between 12 to 18 months to process a completed FBR application.
Please note that the Consulate has no role in the processing of FBR applications. As such, we are unable to advise on the eligibility of an applicant, on the content of applications or the status of existing applications. https://www.dfa.ie/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth/