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Visas for Ireland

If you wish to enter Ireland, you may need a visa. We will guide you through the application process.

In Ireland, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service is primarily responsible for dealing with immigration and visa matters, and you should refer to their website for detailed information.

If you’re a citizen of a non-EU country, whether you need a visa or not, you will be subject to immigration control when you enter Ireland.

Who needs a Visa?

A person in possession of a Hong Kong SAR or British National Overseas (BNO) passport does not require an entry visa to Ireland. Like all overseas visitors to Ireland, if your intended stay is 90 days or more in duration, you must register with An Garda Síochána (police) within ninety days of your arrival in the state. More information.

If you do not hold a Hong Kong SAR or British National Overseas (BNO) passport, please consult the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service to see if you require an entry visa to visit Ireland.

A person in possession of a Hong Kong Document/Certificate of Identity requires an entry visa for the state.

Visitors from China and India can now avail of the ‘British Irish Visa Scheme’ (BIVS), which allows short term travel between the UK and Ireland on the basis of a single visa. More information, including the categories of visas to which this scheme applies, can be found on the website of the Irish Embassy in Beijing.

Visitors from 15 other countries can avail of the Short Stay Waiver Programme, which allows for short-term travel to Ireland where they have entered the UK on foot of a UK ‘C’ General visa. More information, including the nationalities and categories of visas to which this scheme applies, can be found on the INIS site.

For more information on whether you need a visa to travel to Ireland please consult the INIS website.

     

How to Apply

Review the requirements for your visa

Check what documents are required for your visa category on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

How to complete your online application

Online applications can be made through the AVATS website.

The page may take some time to load. Please be patient. Once the page has loaded click, “Apply Now” at the top left of the page to begin the application process.

All questions within the online application are in English and must be answered in English, however, guidance is available about the application process in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.

Submitting your documents

You will then be required to attend the Visa Application Centre to provide biometrics, pay the appropriate visa and service charge fee and/or submit supporting documents. Please follow the appropriate links, information and instructions which will be provided on completion of the online visa application form.

Contact Detail for the Ireland Visa Application Centre:

Website: http://www.vfsglobalirelandvisa.com/hongkong/

Call Centre: +86(0) 20-29106151

Email: info.irhk@vfshelpline.com

The Visa Application Centre will notify you when your visa has been issued.

 

What sort of Visa do I need?

A comprehensive list of the different visa types that are available, and the documentation required in respect of each, is available from the INIS website

For ease of reference, separate links for some of the most common visa types are set out below.

Travelling to Ireland as a tourist

If you are a Visa-required national and you would like to visit Ireland for a short period (90 days or less) you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Visit/Holiday Visa applications from INIS

For further information on tourism in Ireland please visit the website of Tourism Ireland

Travelling to Ireland as a Family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens seeking to apply under Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive)

Please refer to INIS for details and comprehensive information regarding these types of applications.

Travelling to Ireland on business

Business Meeting

If you are a Visa-required national and coming to Ireland for a business meeting you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Business Visa applications on INIS

Conference

If you are a Visa-required national and coming to Ireland for a conference, you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Conference Visa applications on INIS

Starting a Business in Ireland

If you are a Visa-required national and you wish to set up a business in Ireland, you will require Business Permission from the Department of Justice and Equality, prior to applying for your visa. Find more information on the INIS website

Studying in Ireland

If you require an entry visa for Ireland and would like to study here, you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Study Visa applications on INIS

For further information on studying in Ireland:

Visa Fees

Fees

Visa application fees are non-refundable, whether or not your visa is granted:

Single Journey – good for a single journey to the State HKD 740 
Multiple Journey – good for multiple entries to the State  HKD 1,160 
Working Holiday Authorisation  No charge 

Visa Appeals

My application has been refused

If your application has been refused and you still want to travel to Ireland, you can:

  • Appeal the decision or
  • Make a new application

If you decide to make a new application, your previous application history may be taken into account.

Appealing the decision

You'll be sent a letter outlining the reasons for refusal. If you believe the decision is wrong, you can make an appeal within two months of receiving the refusal notice.

How do I make an appeal?

Your appeal must be made in writing to the address specified in the letter you have received. Appeals may only be lodged by you (or your guardian if a minor) and must be signed by you. Faxed or emailed appeals will not be considered.

You should:

  • Address each refusal reason in your appeal
  • Supply clear and relevant evidence in your appeal to support your application
  • Include any further information or documentation with your appeal letter
  • Be aware that provision of the additional information/documentation doesn't guarantee approval

The review

The Appeals Officer will review your application, taking account of any additional information or documentation that you have supplied.

On examination and review the original decision may be reversed. The Appeals Officer will notify you in writing when the decision is made and in general, a decision should issue within 4-6 weeks.

Is there a charge?

There is no charge for lodging an appeal.

On Arrival in Ireland

Immigration control

An Irish visa is not an entry permission. It's a document giving you permission to present at a port of entry to ask to be admitted to Ireland.

All non-EEA citizens, whether they need a visa or not, will be subject to ordinary immigration controls at the port of entry.

Additional documents

As well as your visa, an Immigration Officer may ask to see additional information such as:

  • Accommodation bookings
  • Return flights
  • Contacts in Ireland

Length of stay

The Immigration Officer at the port of entry will decide your length of stay by stamping your passport; which will reflect the purpose of your journey and the amount of time you are allowed to stay in the State.

The validity period shown on your visa indicates the dates between which you must travel to Ireland. These dates are NOT the dates between which you're permitted to remain in Ireland.

Staying over three months

If you need a visa to enter Ireland and you want to stay longer than 90 days, apply for a 'D' type visa before you travel. Permission to enter on the basis of a 'C' type visa will not give you permission to remain beyond a 90 day period.

Registration

If you're a non-EEA national and you want to stay longer than three months in Ireland, you must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and apply for permission to remain in Ireland.

Conditions of your visa

Under Irish law, you're not allowed to engage in any activity or to remain in Ireland for any purpose other than that for which your visa or permission to remain was granted.

Overstaying your visa

If you stay in Ireland longer than your permission to remain permits, you could be liable for prosecution and/or deportation.

Change of activity

If you want to undertake any activity in Ireland other than that for which your visa was granted you must leave the country and apply for a new visa. You can’t return to Ireland while you're waiting for a decision on your new application.

Remember...

If you’re a citizen of a non-EU country, whether you need a visa or not, you will be subject to immigration control when you enter Ireland.