Latest Official Travel Advice
Update 15 January:
For travel to Ireland, please note that as of Saturday, 16 January, passengers arriving into Ireland from all countries, including the US, are required to show a negative result of a pre-departure PCR Covid-19 test. This must be taken within 72 hours of arrival in the State.
Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding the plane, and will be required 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.
Passport Office update
Ireland remains in Level Five, the most restrictive level of the National Framework on Living with Covid 19.
During this time, passport processing is impacted. During this period online passport applications can be submitted but will only be processed when restrictions are moved to Level 4.
Paper passport applications can continue to be sent to the Consulate for initial processing and checks, but be aware that these applications will not be further processed by the Passport Office in Ireland until such time as restrictions are moved to Level 3. Your documents will be held securely at the Consulate until this time. Upon return to Level 3 or lower, applications will be dealt with in the order they were received.
Please note that paper applications submitted to the Consulate will not appear in the Passport Office's tracking system until they are picked up for processing once restrictions are moved to Level 3.
The Consulate remains open in line with local public health advice in San Francisco.
We are operating with vastly reduced numbers of staff present in the office.
Having due regard to the above, applicants in our consular region are asked to submit documentation via post only at this time. The Consulate’s public office remains accessible only by appointment where a demonstrable need arises.
For updates please follow us on social media (@IrelandinSF on twitter and Facebook) and please be aware that most passport types are renewable online.
The Government of Ireland continues to recommend against any non-essential travel to Ireland at present (as does the US government). For those who do travel to Ireland please make sure you are reviewing the most recent official guidance which is available here.
In parallel to the approach being taken by the Government of Ireland, the additional restrictions arising from the City and County of San Francisco's placement within California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy mean that the Consulate has reduced operations to essential services only. This includes the issuing of emergency travel documents, visas and provision of consular assistance.
We continue to be available to answer your queries. For the most up-to-date information please see below.
From early December, we had recommenced processing passport applications on foot of the partial reopening of the Passport Office in Ireland. As of Christmas Eve, this has changed. As above, the Passport Office is not currently in operation. If you have previously submitted a passport application to the Consulate, your documents are being held and your application being processed in turn.
Please be aware of ongoing slowdowns in this light, especially with regard to numbers of unprocessed passports remaining to be processed at the passport office.
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. Online applications will be the first processed when the passport office resumes full operations.
In the event of a genuine emergency, where a passport is required to travel for bereavement or urgent medical treatment, please contact us directly.
Foreign Birth Registration/Irish citizenship
Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) applications are not currently being processed. If you have already sent an application for FBR, your application is safe, and will be processed once this service resumes in Ireland.
In line with guidance issued by the state of California and the city of San Francisco, we are operating under the auspices of the public health and social distancing regulations in place locally.
At the present time, our public office remains shut.
Consulate officers remain on call to assist as we have been during the pandemic. We would ask that, if you are in need of emergency assistance, you contact the Consulate through our website "Contact us" form.
Alternatively you can call +1 415 823 7150 and leave a message.
The mailbox and answering machine are both monitored regularly and an officer will contact you as soon as possible.
We continue to discourage people from attending in person unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. We are not open to the public and therefore require all communication with the Consulate to be conducted by post, by phone and by email.
If you feel that you absolutely need to have an in person appointment, please outline in your email or call the reasons for this. We will be happy to advise.
We continue to process visas for those seeking to move to Ireland for long stay (in excess of 90 days) only.
Visas for short stays (less than 90 days) are only being processed on an exceptional basis. Those requiring a short term visa to visit Ireland at this time should contact the Consulate through the “Contact Us” tab on our website.
Working Holiday Authorisations
Applications for Working Holiday Authorisations for US national graduates are not currently being processed.
Other consular services are not available except in cases of genuine emergency.
Again if you have a need for consular assistance which you feel is an emergency, we would ask that you contact us as per the above.
Latest Official Travel Advice
Latest Travel Alert
There is an increased threat of terrorism and extremist violence worldwide and this should be borne in mind by Irish citizens living and working in the USA. The USA has also witnessed a number of mass shootings in recent years.
Protests, in some cases violent, have taken place in major cities across the United States in recent months. Curfews were enforced in many cities as a result. There remains the potential for further protests and curfews. Irish citizens are advised to avoid large gatherings of people, and to follow the advice of the local authorities.
Travel to Ireland
As of Saturday, 16 January, passengers arriving into Ireland from all countries, including the US, are required to show a negative result of a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the State. Checks will be made by the Border Management Unit at Dublin Airport and by An Garda Síochána at other points of entry.
Children aged six and under are exempt from this requirement. The Irish Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland to restrict their movements for 14 days. This includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with others.
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.
Travel to the USA
We continue to advise against all non-essential travel to the USA in response to the outbreak of Covid 19.
We are also urging all Irish visitors to the USA, including those on short-term visas (including J1) who risk losing employment, financial security and access to healthcare to return to Ireland from the USA, as soon as possible. Direct flights continue to operate from Chicago, New York (JFK) and Boston.
Covid 19 in the United States
Cases of Covid 19 have been confirmed in the USA including the region covered by the Consulate General of Ireland in San Francisco.
Irish citizens in our consular region can access localised up-to-date information for the region through the authorities listed below:
As a result of the Covid 19 outbreak the US has implemented special entry restrictions for their territory.
Entry into the US is restricted for those travelling from Ireland, the UK, Schengen Area countries, Brazil, China and Iran.
Non US nationals including Irish nationals who have visited, or are resident in the countries listed above for 14 days or less prior to their travel to the USA will be denied entry, unless they are legal permanent residents of the US, or the spouse or child of a US national.
Non-US nationals with legal permanent residence in the US (e.g. green card holders) and their immediate family, as well as immediate family (spouse and children) of US nationals are not restricted from entering the US. However, if travelling from a restricted country they will now be required to enter the country through one of thirteen designated airports and will undergo additional screening on arrival. Further information can be found here. The US Center for Disease Control have also recommended staying home for 14 days from the time of arrival after international travel. Further information can be found here.
The US Government will not permit entry to the USA of any foreign nationals who have visited China or Iran 14 days or less prior to their travel to the USA.
There are currently no restrictions on flights from the USA to Ireland or the UK. You should check with your airline for any additional information they may require before you can board.
There are also a number of restrictive measures in place at the state or city level. If you are an Irish citizen planning to travel to, or resident in, the US we ask that you refer to us, or to your nearest Irish consulate and the local health authority for the most up to date advice.
For further information related to the Covid 19 pandemic, please see links below for details.
If you are in the USA, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.
Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting Covid 19 is below.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Additional information on Covid 19 can be found via the following links: