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Covid-19 Update May 10, 2021

Covid-19 Update May 10, 2021

Updated Information on Travel to Ireland

There is a Government Advisory in operation against all non-essential international travel. Travel restrictions are in place to protect public health and to mitigate the risk of new variants of COVID-19 entering the country. 

 

Mandatory Hotel Quarantine requirements apply to all persons who have been in a designated state in the 14-days prior to entering Ireland. The USA was removed from this list on Friday, May 28th with immediate effect.

 

All passengers arriving into Ireland are required to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. All passengers are also required to have a negative / ‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test (only this kind of test is acceptable) taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland. Antigen or other test types do not meet the requirements. Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry, and to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at points of entry to the State. Children aged six and under are exempt from this requirement.

 

If you are travelling from or via a designated state you must also pre-book and pre-pay for a place in a designated facility for mandatory hotel quarantine. Arrivals from designated states are subject to mandatory hotel quarantine. It is important to note that the list of designated states will be subject to change at short notice and passengers are required to check the list before travelling to Ireland, to be sure of their obligations.

 

Arriving in Ireland from non-designated states:

 

  • a 14-day quarantine period must be undertaken at the address specified on the Passenger Locator Form   
  • passengers who travel from another country to Ireland, and arrive via Northern Ireland, must also observe the mandatory quarantine regime
  • you may only leave your place of residence during the quarantine period for unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature to protect a person’s health or welfare, or to leave the State
  • you can end your period of quarantine if you receive written confirmation of a negative or ‘not detected’ RT-PCR test result taken no less than 5 days after arrival. 
  • You must retain the written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days

 

If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine you are committing an offence.

 

Updated information on these measures will be made available on the gov.ie website, the website of the Irish  Immigration Service Delivery, and on this Department’s country specific travel pages.

 

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 www.cdc.gov and the website of your state health department for the most up-to-date requirements.

PASSPORTS - IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION ABOUT ONLINE PROCESSING:

The Consulate is no longer mailing or accepting passport application forms. The Passport Service is now directing all Irish citizens to use the online system to complete their passport application. 

As of April 29th, the Passport Service has expanded services offered through the online passport application system and is operational for all applicant types in the United States.

The expanded online service will now include: 

First time applicants - Adults, minors, and renewals/replacements over 5 years outdated

The online system already offers services for:

Renewing a passport that expired within the last 5 years

Renewing a passport to change your name

Replacing a passport that is lost/stolen/damaged/visa pages are full

To access the online system, please visit: www.dfa.ie/passportonline

VISAS

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

These measures are designed to support public health restrictions on movement, including into and out of Ireland. The strong advice therefore is that everyone, regardless of their nationality or visa/preclearance status, or where they started from, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to, should not travel to Ireland.

Please note that all passengers arriving into Ireland from designated states after 4am on the morning of Friday 26 March are now required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility, and to pre-pay for their stay. Further information can be found here.

In addition, with effect from 29 January 2021, the Department of Justice has taken the decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa/preclearance applications globally.

In the meantime, only certain emergency cases will be processed. Further information is available on the website of Immigration Service Delivery.

The following categories have been added to the list of Priority/Emergency cases and processing of these categories resumes immediately:-

  1. Long-stay Join Family Members including:
  • all Long Stay D Visa join family applications (includes Third country national family members of Irish national
  • Preclearance applications for: De Facto Partner of an Irish National; De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Non EEA Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland.
  1. People travelling for business/employment purposes and granted an employment permit by Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment to meet an enterprise’s key business
  2. Persons exercising free movement under the EU Directive.

It remains the position that we are not accepting any short stay visa applications, except for cases that fall under the Emergency/Priority criteria set out below. The suspension of short stay and other long stay categories such as English Language Study applications will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.

The Priority/Emergency cases that will continue to be accepted and processed include the following:

  • People travelling for business/employment purposes and granted an employment permit by Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment to meet an enterprise’s key business (* See Clarification);
  • Patients travelling for imperative medical reasons;
  • Transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting;
  • Pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis and Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study;
  • Join Family applications;
  • Preclearance applications from De Facto Partner of an Irish National, De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland;
  • Persons travelling for imperative family* or business reasons;
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive;
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and police officers, and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
  • Passengers in transit;
  • Seafarers;
  • Journalists, when performing their duties.

(Clarification) This includes the following categories previously listed:

  • Workers or self-employed persons exercising critical occupations including healthcare workers, frontier and posted workers as well as seasonal workers as referred to in the Guidelines concerning the exercise of the free movement of workers during the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • Transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting.

* Applicants seeking to travel for imperative family reasons are assessed on an individual basis and are largely confined to emergency cases that may arise in a family situation. Applications will be determined by examining the circumstances and supporting documentation of each case on an individual basis. While we appreciate how difficult it is to be separated from a loved one or to miss a family occasion or milestone, unfortunately these do not constitute an imperative family reason for a short stay visa application at this time due to public health concerns.

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.

WORKING HOLIDAY AUTHORISATION

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 resumed following the lifting of the level 5 restriction on December 2nd. 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/

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