News15 December 2020
On this page, you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about services at the Embassy such as passport and visas, and information on travel to Ireland and France and the present time.
1. Restrictions in France
2. Visiting the Embassy
5. Travel to France
6. Travel to Ireland
1. Restrictions in France
Q. What restrictions are currently in place in France and how long will they last?
As of 17th October, France has re-entered a state of Public Health Emergency. As such, there are a range of restrictions in place throughout the country and you are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities. From 15th December, a curfew will be in place between 8pm-6pm. During curfew hours, you should not leave your home, except if required to do so for professional or emergency reasons. You will need to complete and carry a declaration, or 'attestations derogatoires'. This curfrew will not apply the evening of 24th December. These declarations (including in English) and full information is available on the Ministry of the Interior website. Failure to comply with the curfew will result in a fine of €135 and of €1500 for a repeat offence.
Remote working should be applied full-time where possible. Restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres, museums and gyms remain closed. Delivery and takeaway service will continue, but with limited opening hours. You are permitted to go out during the day without an attestation. Masks are required in all public spaces and gatherings are not permitted in public places.
Full information on restrictions is available in English, on the Government website. These measures will be in place until at least 20th January, with further re-openings contingent on the improvement in health conditions.
International and inter-regional travel for EU citizens is permitted from 15th December. Information on Foreign Travel is available on our Travel Advice page and in the 'Travel to France' section below.
2. Visiting the Embassy
Q: Can I come to the Embassy during opening hours?
A: In line with the French government's confinement restrictions, the Embassy team are currently operating under hybrid working. Consular Services are still fully available for Irish citizens and the Embassy's public offices are accessible by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am-12pm. Appointments can be made by phone (+33 1 44 17 67 00) or email (email@example.com) and do let us know if you urgently require assistance outside these hours. We ask that all applications for consular services and relevant documentation to be submitted to us by post or email to allow them to be processed promptly.
Q: What health and safety measures do you have in place at the Embassy?
A: We are applying the advice of the French and Irish governments to ensure a safe environment for our staff and visitors. We are exercising social distancing and all visitors to the Embassy are required to wear their own mask to enter the building. Hand sanitiser is available on-site.
Q: How can I apply for my passport?
A:All passport applications by French residents, whether they are first-time passports or renewals for both children and adults should be made through the Passport Online service.
If you are residing in Monaco or French overseas territories, you must renew your passport online, but first-time applications must be made through the Embassy using a paper form. These are the only applications that will be accepted via paper application going forward, all other applications should be made online. Please check with us that before sending a paper application to confirm elligibilty, or else your application and documentation may be returned.
If you are in France or Monaco and your passport has been lost or stolen and you need to return to Ireland, you may qualify for a one-way Emergency Travel Document to return to Ireland. Please contact Embassy or closest Honorary Consul if you require this service.
Q: What is the status of my passport application, and when will my passport be ready?
A: If you have applied for your passport online, you will have been given a tracking number to check the status of your application. If you have any queries regarding your online passport application, please contact the Passport Service's Customer Support Hub via phone or webchat and have your tracking number ready. Please note, the Embassy cannot provide status updates or information regarding applications made online.
The suspension of processing at the Passport Office in Ireland and reduced staffing at the Embassy has extended processing timelines of paper passport applications. Please note that under the Passport Service Policy. the witnessing of a paper application cannot take place more than 6 months before the final approval stage of the passport application process. This is to protect the integrity and security of the passport service. If your application passes this threshold, we will return your application, your original documentation and process a refund. We will contact you once your passport is ready or if there are any issues with your application.
Q: My passport has been issued, when will I receive it?
A: If your application was submitted to the Embassy via paper application, we will contact you by telephone or email to let you know when your passport and original documents are being sent by registered post to your address.
If your application was made online, you will be able to track your passport with the postal service, using the tracking number you were given when you applied.
Q: What is the status of my application for Foreign Birth Registration?
A: The processing of Foreign Birth Registrations resumed on 1st December, following Ireland's move to Level 3 on the National Framework for Living with COVID-19.
Applications that have been sent to the FBR team have been securely held and will now be processed in strict date order. At present, due to the complex nature of the Foreign Birth Registration it takes between 12 to 18 months to process a completed Foreign Birth Registration application.
Any queries regarding the status or processing of a Foreign Birth Registration should be directed to the FBR web chat
Q: Are you accepting new visa applications?
A: We are currently accepting applications for Long Stay 'D' visas, and for certain emergency or priority categories for Short Stay C Visas. To check if your application falls in the Emergency/Priority category, please check the INIS website. Processing of short stay 'C' visa applications outside this category is currently suspended. Please note that decisions on long-stay D visa applications for English language study courses will remain on hold until after Ireland exits Level 5 restrictions, as the sector is currently operating all language courses virtually.
We ask all applicants to submit visa applications to us by post.
Q: Has my visa been approved? When will I receive it and will I be able to travel?
A: If you have applied for a visa, you will be informed if and when it is approved. If you have made an application online, it will remain valid until normal service resumes. However, if your travel dates have passed, you may wish to withdraw your application and resubmit a new application with new supporting documents at a later date. You should not book travel to Ireland until after you have received your passport and visa from the Embassy.
Q: What if my travel date has passed, can you please give me the approval automatically for a later date?
A: If your travel dates have passed, you may be required to submit new documentation to support your visa application once normal service resumes. You may wish to withdraw your application and reapply at a later date. We will contact you if you have an existing application made at the Embassy, or you can contact us by email if you have any queries.
5. Travel to France
Q: Can I travel to France? What documents do I need to fill in and what are the formalities?
A: This will depend on where you are travelling from. Those arriving from the European Area i.e. EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, the UK and Vatican city and some other countries as listed on the French Foreign Ministry's website, can enter France without Covid-19 restrictions. All those travelling to France will need to complete and carry a declaration of international travel and a declaration of honour that you are not presenting symptoms of Covid-19 and have not come into contact with any confirmed cases in the last 14 days. These documents are available on the Ministry of the Interior’s website. You will need to present these documents upon boarding and arrival.
If arriving in or transiting through France during curfew hours (8pm-6am), you are required to complete and carry the correct attestation. Inter-regional travel in France is permitted from 15th December.
From 30th October, only French residents are allowed to enter France if travelling from a location outside the European Area (listed above), with some exceptions as outlined on the French Foreign Ministry’s website. Anyone over age 11 arriving from a country outside the European Area must also present proof of a negative PCR test result undertaken within 72 hours of travel. Those who arrive in France without this proof will need to undertake testing upon arrival at the airport. Those travelling from United States, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Panama and a list of other countries outlined on the French Foreign Ministry's website, however, must present proof of a negative PCR test in order to board. If this test at the airport has a positive result, the authorities may impose an isolation period of seven days. All those travelling to France will also need to complete and carry a Declaration of International Travel and a Declaration of Honour that you are not presenting symptoms of Covid-19 and have not come into contact with any confirmed cases in the last 14 days. These documents are available on the Ministry of the Interior’s website. You will need to present these documents upon boarding and arrival.
Travel to Overseas Territories:
Restrictions vary for each territory and you are advised to check the website of the relevant territory’s local authorities for up to date information. For all those over the age of 11, any travel to an overseas territory, regardless of location of origin, requires proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours before boarding. You must also provide an declaration for travel to or from an overseas territory available on the site of the Ministry of the Interior.
If you are arriving into metropolitan France from one of these territories, you are encouraged to take a PCR test or to respect a seven-day isolation period.
The French government will be increasing the availability of antigenic testing at airports for rapid testing upon arrival.
6. Travel to Ireland
Q: Can I move or travel back to Ireland?
A: If you wish to or need to return to Ireland, it is possible to do so. Be aware that all travellers to Ireland are required by law to complete a Passenger Locator Form and are expected to restrict their movements for 14 days on arrival. You will not have to restrict your movements for 14 days if:
- You are travelling from an EU/EEA region categorised as 'Green' by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
- You fall under one of the categories of those travelling for an essential function or need
- You are arriving from an Orange region and you can present proof of a negative PCR test undertaken within 72 hours of travelling upon arrival in Ireland
If you are travelling from a Red region, you are exempt from restricted movements after 5 days if you can produce a negative PCR test taken after a minimum of 5 days after arrival in the State. This provision is also available for arrivals from orange regions who may not have availed of a pre-departure PCR test. Testing related to travel will not be provided through the public health system and the cost is at the traveller's expense. Private companies are operating testing centres for this purpose across the country and you are recommended to book this test in advance. You should restrict your movements until you receive the negative test result.
The ECDC will publish a combined indicator map each week which will show COVID-19 risk levels across the EU and EEA. Regions will be green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of agreed criteria. Please check the ECDC status of your region of origin before travelling as it will determine what protocols you need to undertake upon arrival in Ireland.
If you require assistance on your return to Ireland, organisations such as CrossCare Migrant Project can provide you with advice. Comprehensive information on supports available if you are returning to Ireland during the Covid-19 crisis are also available on citizensinformation.ie.
Q: I have to travel to Ireland for urgent business or family reasons, do I have to restrict my movements? How do I do this?
A: If you can demonstrate proof that you fall under one of the categories of those travelling for an essential function or need, you may not need to restrict your movements. You should also ensure that you are carrying the correct attestation when travelling to/from the airport or ferry port in France when travelling home to Ireland, denoting your essential reason for travel i.e professional, medical, imperative family reason or returning to your primary residence if you are moving back.
Q: What are the restrictions in place in Ireland?
A: On 15 September, the Irish government published Resilience and Recovery 2020 – 2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19. This plan replaces the previous Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. The Plan is a framework for managing COVID-19 over the next 6 months.
The plan sets out 5 levels that correspond to the severity of COVID-19 in a location. It is possible for different levels to be in place in different locations in the country. You can find out more about how the level in each location is decided. We strongly advise that you carefully consult the gov.ie website for the most up-to-date information on the measures currently in place in Ireland. Anyone arriving in Ireland is asked to follow public health advice.
Ireland is currently at Level 3, with inter-county travel only permitted between 18th Dec-6th Jan. Please see the Government's website for information on the current restrictions.
If you are travelling onwards from Ireland into Northern Ireland, check this guidance on requirements in place for travel to Northern Ireland.