Update 1 February 2021.
- The acceptance of new Irish visa/preclearance applications has been temporarily suspended.
- Certain emergency/priority cases will continue to be processed provided travel is deemed to be essential.
- Effective from 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving into Ireland (except those arriving from Northern Ireland) are required to have a negative/‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.
- Passengers who arrive in an Irish Airport or Sea Port without evidence of a negative/‘not detected’ test result commit an offence and may be subject to prosecution, punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.
- Applicants should be aware that, by law, those travelling to Ireland will be required to fill out a form called the 'Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form'.
- Those travelling will be expected to serve a 14 day period of self-isolation upon arrival to Ireland.
As part of Government efforts to tackle the pandemic, the Irish Minister for Justice, Ms. Helen McEntee TD, has signed an order that will impose new visa requirements and associated safety measures which came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 27th January 2021.
A decision has been taken to temporarily cease accepting new visa/preclearance applications. This is effective from close of business 29th of January 2021. Increasing travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Irish Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential. It is currently against the law for any person (regardless of nationality or passport) to travel within Ireland for non-essential purposes and people can be fined for doing so. Enforcement of this has been strongly increased over that last few days.
The situation will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.
While it will still be possible to apply for an Irish visa/preclearance online in the normal manner, these temporary measures mean that applicants will not be able to complete their application process and we apologise for any inconvenience this might cause. Please note that any application made online will remain valid until such time as restrictions are lifted.
Please continue to monitor our website for further updates as this situation continues to evolve.
Travelling to Ireland
New pre-departure testing requirements from 16 January 2021 for all passengers travelling to Ireland.
Effective from 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving into Ireland (except those arriving from Northern Ireland) are required to have a negative/‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.
Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry, and will be required to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at points of entry to the State.
Passengers who arrive in an Irish Airport or Sea Port without evidence of a negative/‘not detected’ test result commit an offence and may be subject to prosecution, punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.
International Transport Workers, including workers in aviation, maritime and road haulage sectors are exempt from this requirement where they are travelling in the course of performing their duties.
Children aged 6 and under are also exempt from the testing requirement, although they are advised to restrict movements for 14 days.
Passengers who arrive in Ireland solely for the purpose of travelling onwards to another state and do not leave the airport are also not required to provide evidence of a test.
If a citizen has a genuine humanitarian emergency requiring urgent travel, they should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate immediately for advice and consular assistance before commencing their journey.
Applicants should be aware that, by law, those travelling to Ireland will be required to fill out a form called the 'Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form'. This form (which should be completed before you travel) may be used by Irish health authorities to contact you to verify your location in Ireland. It will also help contact tracers to contact you if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus on your flight.
Applicants should also be aware that people can face a fine of up to €2,500 or six months in prison, or both, if you do not:
- Fill in and submit the form to a relevant person.
- Provide genuine and valid information.
- Provide further information when requested.
Update your residence details if these change within 14 days of your arrival.
It remains the position that we are not accepting any short stay visa applications, except for cases that fall under the Emergency/Priority criteria. The Emergency/Priority list as of 1 February 2021 is as follows:
- 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;
- patients travelling for imperative medical reasons;
- pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis and Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study;
- persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons;
- 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;
- journalists, when performing their duties.
(*Please note that where an applicant and Irish national have been living abroad, and Ireland is not their habitual residence, these cases will be processed in the normal manner. Exceptions will be made in cases where an Irish national is returning to provide medical/health services, or family members are being repatriated as part of a consular arrangement.)
If you believe your application falls under one of these categories, please contact email@example.com so that we can guide you through the application process and advise you how to submit your documentation.
A 'Frequently Asked Questions' (FAQ) document about the impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and International Protection in Ireland has also been published and can be found here.
For our customers based in China, please visit https://www.vfsglobal.cn/ireland/china/ for further updates.
For our customers based in Mongolia, please visit https://www.vfsglobal.com/ireland/mongolia/ for further updates.
For the most up to date information on the coronavirus in Ireland, please visit https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/travel.html