US Entry Requirements
ESTA is a mandatory electronic travel authorisation that all nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must obtain prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States under the VWP. Ireland is a Visa Waiver Program country.
To apply for an ESTA, travellers should register through the Department of Homeland Security
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.
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.
The ESTA website has further information
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 has been issuing machine readable passports since 1993. 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.
Ireland commenced issuing ePassports in 2006. ePassports include an integrated computer chip capable of storing the biographic information of the holder. You can identify an ePassport by looking for the rectangular logo at the bottom of the passport’s front cover.
Machine readable passports issued before 16 October 2006 are still valid for travel to the US until their date of expiry.
Irish Emergency Travel Certificates and temporary (green) passports are not ePassports. If you need to travel to the United States and you have an ETC or a temporary passport you will need to apply to the nearest US Embassy for a US visa.
Further information on entry requirements for the US can be found through the US Embassy in Ireland
US citizens do not require visas for Ireland. Permission for US citizens to enter Ireland is given by the immigration officer at the port of entry.
Citizens of other countries should check whether they may be required to apply for a visa to enter Ireland.
For further information on Irish immigration requirements, please visit the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).