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Travel between the USA and Ireland?

Irish entry requirements for US citizens

U.S. passports should be valid for the duration of your stay in Ireland. Please note that entry to Ireland is at the discretion of the immigration authorities. If your passport is expiring we would advise to renew before your trip.

U.S. passport holders can stay in Ireland for a maximum of 90 days without a visa. If U.S. passport holders plan to stay longer in Ireland, a visa will be required.

US Entry Requirements

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

ESTA is an electronic travel authorisation that all nationals of VWP countries must obtain prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States under the VWP. This travel authorisation has been mandatory since January 2009.

Visa Waiver travellers should register through the Department of Homeland Security website at the following address: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

A fee will be charged for each new or renewed ESTA. All payments for electronic travel authorisation applications must be made by credit card or debit card when applying for or renewing an ESTA. The ESTA system currently accepts only the following credit/debit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover. Your application will not be submitted for processing until all payment information is received.

ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, however we would advise you to apply at least 72 hours in advance of travel. Once approved, authorisations are generally valid for multiple entries into the U.S. for up to two years or until the applicant’s passport expires or other specific circumstances give rise to a need to reapply, whichever comes first. Under the new interim final rule, travellers with an approved ESTA will not need to pay the ESTA fees when updating an ESTA application. However, travellers with new passports and re-applying for an ESTA will need to pay the ESTA fees.

An applicant who does not receive authorisation to travel will need to go to their nearest U.S. Diplomatic or Consular Mission and apply for a visa.

An ESTA approval does not determine admissibility into the United States. The final decision for entry to the United States rests with US immigration authorities at the port of entry.

The ESTA programme does not apply to Irish citizens who are holders of a visa for the United States.

For more information on ESTA, please visit http://www.cbp.gov/ESTA

Passport Requirements

Since 16 June 2005 all persons, including children, traveling to the United States have been required to present a machine readable passport to avail of the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme. Otherwise they must obtain a visa, in advance, from their nearest U.S. Diplomatic or Consular Mission.

Ireland is one of the countries that can avail of visa waiver status and has been issuing machine readable passports since 1993. If you have an old style handwritten passport and you wish to travel to the United States, you will need to apply for a visa at your nearest US Embassy/consulate.

A machine readable passport has two lines of text in the form of letters, numbers and chevrons (<<<) at the bottom of the personal information page.

New passports issued by Visa Waiver Program countries after 25 October 2006 must be ePassports, which include an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic information from the data page, as well as other biometric information, such as the required digital photograph of the holder. Ireland commenced issuing ePassports on 16 October, 2006.

You can identify an ePassport by the logo at the bottom of the cover

Machine readable passports issued before 16 October 2006 are still valid for travel to the US until their date of expiry.

Changes to Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Travel for Bearers of Emergency/Temporary Passports

Emergency travel certificates and temporary passports issued by the Passport Office or by our Missions abroad in emergency situations are not ePassports. Since July 1, 2009, the US authorities will only permit entry to their territory on an emergency passport if the traveller has been issued with a Visa.

Irish Emergency Passport

You can recognise an Irish emergency Passport as it has a green cover and contains only 8 pages. It is machine readable and has a digital photograph.

Further information on entry requirements for the US can be found on the US Embassy website.

Other Passport Holders

The information on this page applies only to Irish and U.S. passport holders travelling between the USA and Ireland. All other passport holders, who wish to travel to Ireland, should consult the visa section on our website.

All other passport holders who wish to travel to the United States should consult the U.S. State Department website. Similarly, Irish and U.S. passport holders travelling to other countries should consult the immigration authorities of that country.