COVID-19 Visa Arrangements
N.B. To avoid any difficulties, applicants are strongly advised to please read the Irish Government’s Covid-19 travel advice at this link before making their journey to Ireland. This advice is updated regularly and changes can be made at very short notice.
29 January 2021 (Updated 06 April 2021).
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 with the exception of the Priority/Emergency case types listed below, which we continue to accept. 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.
It remains the position that we are not accepting any short stay visa applications, except for cases that fall under the following Emergency/Priority criteria:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can guide you through the application process and advise you how best to submit your documentation.
Important: What you have to do before you arrive into Ireland from abroad.
The Irish Government currently advises against all non-essential international travel.
All passengers arriving in Ireland must:
- Complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form- http://www.gov.ie/locatorform/
- Provide evidence that you have a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive into Ireland, or have evidence that you are exempt from this legal requirement - https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b4020-travelling-to-ireland-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/#requirement-for-a-pre-departure-covid-19-rt-pcr-test
- If you are travelling from or via a designated state, then you must also pre-book and pre-pay for a place in a designated facility for mandatory hotel quarantine
- It is an offence not to comply with the above mentioned requirements, and it is punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both - gov.ie - COVID-19 Travel Advice (www.gov.ie)
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 the most up to date information on the coronavirus in Ireland, please visit https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/75d92-covid-19-travel-advice/
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.