Visas for Ireland
If you want to enter Ireland, you may need a visa. We will guide you through the application process.
Please note that while visas are a form of pre-entry clearance, the Immigration Officer at the point of entry to Ireland has the authority to grant or deny admission, including to travellers holding a visa.
Make sure to apply in good time (see "How to apply" tab below). To be fair to all applicants, applications are processed according to the date on which they are received. If you book a visit to Ireland at short notice, be aware that your visa may not be approved in time.
It takes approximately 6 weeks for a visit visa to be processed, 4 weeks for applications from spouses of EU citizens and 3 weeks for business visas. If you are hoping to receive your visa before the holidays, make sure that you have applied in good time.
Further information regarding visas for Ireland can be found on the INIS website
- Do I need a visa and what type of visa do I need?
- How to Apply
- Types of Visa & Documentation
- Photos & Fees
- Visa Appeals
- On Arrival in Ireland
Do I need a visa and what type of visa do I need?
Whether you need a visa to travel to Ireland depends mostly on your nationality, though there are a number of exemptions (see below). To find out whether you need a visa, and what type of visa you need, enter your nationality, and the length and purpose of your visit to Ireland, at the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). Click here to enter your nationality and visit details. Remember to return to this page to complete your visa application. Please note that Schengen visas are not valid for travel to Ireland, and that you cannot travel to Northern Ireland on an Irish visa. To visit Northern Ireland you must have a UK visa.
Exemptions to the requirement to have a visa for short stay visits to Ireland
1. Holders of travel documents issued by Germany ("blue documents") in accordance with Article 28 of the Geneva Convention. In order for the holder of an Article 28 travel document to be exempt from a visa requirement for short stay visits to Ireland, the travel document must be issued by a European state which is a contracting party to the European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees. A list of these states is available here. If your travel document was issued by a state which is not on this list, you will need to apply for a visa before you can visit Ireland. For the attention of airlines: click at the following link to view a sample of Germany's "blue" Convention travel document at the European Union Public Register of Authentic Travel and Identity Documents Online (PRADO). Click here to download and print a statement from the Embassy Visa Section addressed to airlines regarding the Blue Travel Document.
2. Non-EU/EEA second level students who are officially resident in Germany and who are travelling to Ireland as part of an official school group excursion - European Council Decision (94/795/JHA).
If you are a non-EU or EEA second level student who is resident in Germany and who is travelling to Ireland as part of a group school excursion you may be exempt from the requirement to be in possession of a visa in order to travel to Ireland. This exemption arises from the implementation of the European Council Decision (94/795/JHA) on a joint action adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3(2)(b) of the Treaty on European Union concerning travel facilities for school pupils from Non-EU Member Countries resident in a Member State. In order to avail of this exemption an application form must be completed and stamped in advance of the visit and presented to the Irish Immigration authorities upon arrival. Click here to download the application form (instructions on the form).
3. Holders of German residence cards which clearly states in English "Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen". If you are married to an EU citizen, and under Article 10 of European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/38/EC the German authorities have issued you with a residence card which clearly states in English on the bottom of the card "Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen", you do not need a visa to travel to Ireland for visits of 90 days or less. This exemption only applies to individuals who have been issued with a residence card which clearly states "Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen". Spouses of EU citizens, who are from visa-required countries and who have been issued with a differently-worded German residence card, require a visa to visit Ireland, even if they have permanent residence in Germany. Further information is available by contacting the German authority which issued your card. A sample of Germany's Article 10 residence cardis available on the PRADO website.
4. The British Irish Visa Waiver Scheme: BIVS visas are only issued at Irish and British diplomatic missions in China (People's Republic) and India. You cannot obtain a BIVS-endorsed visa at the Embassy of Ireland in Berlin. If you already hold a BIVS-endorsed visa which was issued in China or India, you will find further information on the BIVS at the INIS website.
5. The Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme: If you already hold a valid UK visa, and you are from one of the countries listed below only, and your visit to Ireland ends before your UK visa expires, you may be able to travel from the UK to Ireland without needing an Irish visa. Click here for further information.
Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme Qualifying Nationalities
Bosnia and Herzegovina
People's Republic of China*
|Turkey||United Arab Emirates|
*Notes: In the case of China, nationals of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are already on the list of those nationals who do not require a visa to travel to Ireland. In the case of nationals from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, the United Kingdom (UK) Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) cannot be used to travel to Ireland from a third country. The EVW is only valid for a single journey and the passenger has to specify the exact flight he or she will be getting to the UK. With an EVW the traveller can fly to the UK and directly onto Ireland within the allowed time period, without an Irish visa; but only if they fly directly from the UK to Ireland.
How to Apply
Before you apply
1. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date you leave Ireland, and that your German residence card is valid for at least 3 months after the date you leave Ireland. Otherwise we may not be able to issue you with a visa. Your passport should also contain at least 2 completely blank pages and should be in good condition (i.e. no ripped pages).
2. Make sure you are legally resident in Germany. We only issue visas for individuals who are legally resident in Germany. If you are not legally resident in Germany, apply to the Irish embassy which is accredited to your country of residence.
3. Check which visa you need. Most of the applications we receive are for Short Stay (C category) visas which are valid for visits of 90 days or less. If you intend to move to Ireland, or to visit for longer than 90 days, you will require a Long Stay (D category) visa. Click on type of visa to find out which type of visa you need (visit, employment, study etc.).
4. Make sure to apply on time. Allow 10 working days for business and conference visas, 4 weeks for visas for the spouses of EU citizens and 6-8 weeks for all other short stay visas and at least 12 weeks for study visas. If you do not submit all the relevant documentation, it will take longer to process your visa. Be aware that certain categories of long stay visa applications must be referred to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service for decision, and will therefore take longer.
5. Be aware that it is generally not possible for us to issue a multiple entry visa unless you have already held, and used, two previous single entry visas for Ireland.
How to apply
1. Complete your online application (you will need to enter your passport and previous Irish visas details into the online application). Once you have completed your online application, print and sign the visa summary sheet. Write down your 8-digit visa reference number in case you need to email us about your application.
2. Collect your supporting documents. Make sure to include a full photocopy of any document that you would like us to return. The embassy accepts photocopied bank statements but reserves the right to request the original statement at a later stage.
3. Your completed application will consist of: your signed visa summary sheet, 2 passport photos* taken in the last 6 months, your supporting documents, proof of fee payment, your passport* and your German residence card*. Previous passports should be included where possible.
4. Send your completed application to: Visa Office, Embassy of Ireland, Jägerstrasse 51, 10117 Berlin. We strongly recommend that you send passports, residence cards and other important documents by registered post. Do not send cash with your application. You can also drop your application off in person at the embassy between 09.30 and 12.30 from Monday to Friday. You do not need to make an appointment during these times. Due to the high volume of visa applications processed at the embassy, applications will not be proccessed at the point of drop-off. Please note that neither credit card nor cash payments are accepted for visa applications at the embassy (see photos and fees section).
5. Once we have received your complete application and fee (where relevant), it will take approximately: 10 working days to process a business visa, 4 weeks to process a visa for the qualifying family member of an EU citizen, 6-8 weeks to process other short stay visas and at least 13 weeks to process study visa applications. These processing periods are indicative and processing times will be shorter or longer depending on the time of the year and the volume of applications we receive. If you do not submit all the relevant documentation, it is likely to take longer to process your visa. Be aware that certain categories of long stay (D) visa applications are referred to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service for decision, and could therefore take longer.
6. Due to the large number of applications we receive, it is not possible to confirm receipt of your application or to give you updates while your visa is being processed. We ask that you do not contact us within three weeks of submitting a visa application (or within 10 days in the case of business visa applications). We will contact you by email if we need further information (make sure to check your emails, including your spam folder).
Passport photos - We require two passport photos which were taken in the last 6 months and which comply with INIS photo requirements. Please print your name and your 8-digit visa application number on the back of your photos.
Your passport - If you need to travel urgently, or you need to retain your passport while your application is processed, send us proof of urgent travel plus a full photocopy of each page of your passport (including all blank pages), and transfer additional €5 postage fee. The embassy will return your passport once it has been checked against the photocopy.
Your German residence permit - If you need to retain your German residence card while your application is processed you can send us a notarised photocopy of the front and back of the residence permit. The photocopies must be legible. If your residence card expires within 3 months of the date you will leave Ireland, please include a letter from the German authorities confirming that your residence permit will be renewed when your current residence permit expires.
What sort of Visa do I need?
A comprehensive list of the different visa types that are available, and the documentation required in respect of each, is available from the INIS website.
For ease of reference, separate links for some of the most common visa types are set out below.
Travelling to Ireland as a tourist
If you are a visa-required national and you would like to visit Ireland for a short period (90 days or less) you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Visit/Holiday Visa applications from INIS.
For further information on tourism in Ireland please visit the website of Tourism Ireland.
Travelling to Ireland as a Family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens seeking to apply under Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive)
Please refer to INIS for details and comprehensive information regarding this type of application.
Travelling to Ireland on business
If you are a visa-required national and coming to Ireland for a business meeting you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Business Visa applications on INIS.
If you are a visa-required national and coming to Ireland for a conference, you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Conference Visa applications on INIS.
Starting a business in Ireland
If you are a visa-required national and you wish to set up a business in Ireland, you will require Business Permission from the Department of Justice and Equality, prior to applying for your visa. Find more information on the INIS website.
Studying in Ireland
If you require an entry visa for Ireland and would like to study there, you will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Study Visa applications on INIS.
For further information on studying in Ireland:
Photos & Fees
We require 2 passport photos taken in the last 6 months which comply with INIS photo requirements. Please print your name and your 8-digit visa application number on the back of the photos. Your application number will look sometime like 34508975.
|Single Journey Visa:||€65.00*|
|Multi Journey Visa**:||€105.00*|
|Return of passport during visa processing||An additional €5.00 registered post fee is payable|
*A €5.00 registered postal charge has been included in the above fees. If you are collecting your passport/visa from the embassy deduct €5.00 from the fee payable. If you wish us to return your passport while your visa is being processed, an additional registered post fee of €5.00 should be paid.
No visa fee required
The following individuals are exempt from paying a visa fee (the €5.00 registered post fee still applies):
- Qualifying family members* of EU/EEA citizens, including Irish citizens (documenary evidence of the relationship and, where relevant, the dependency, must be provided);
- Nationals of the following states: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Morocco, Peru, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
*Note: Permitted family members are not fee exempt.
Paying your fee
The embassy does not accept credit or debit cards and accepts only euro cheques drawn on a German bank account. From June 2018 onwards, the Embassy will no longer accept cash payments for visa applications sbmitted in person.
Transfer your fee to the embassy bank account (details below) and include a printed confirmation of your fee transfer with your completed application.
|Account name||Botschaft von Irland|
|IBAN||DE65 1004 0000 0266 2328 00|
My application has been refused
If your application has been refused and you still want to travel to Ireland, you can:
- Appeal the decision or
- Make a new application
If you decide to make a new application, your previous application history may be taken into account.
Appealing the decision
You'll be sent a letter outlining the reasons for refusal. If you believe the decision is wrong, you can make an appeal within two months of receiving the refusal notice.
How do I make an appeal?
Your appeal must be made in writing to the address specified in the letter you have received. Appeals may only be lodged by you (or your guardian if a minor) and must be signed by you. Faxed or emailed appeals will not be considered.
- Address each refusal reason in your appeal
- Supply clear and relevant evidence in your appeal to support your application
- Include any further information or documentation with your appeal letter
- Be aware that provision of the additional information/documentation doesn't guarantee approval
The Appeals Officer will review your application, taking account of any additional information or documentation that you have supplied.
On examination and review the original decision may be reversed. The Appeals Officer will notify you in writing when the decision is made and in general, a decision should issue within 4-6 weeks.
Is there a charge?
There is no charge for lodging an appeal.
On Arrival in Ireland
An Irish visa is not an entry permission. It's a document giving you permission to present at a port of entry to ask to be admitted to Ireland.
All non-EEA citizens, whether they need a visa or not, will be subject to ordinary immigration controls at the port of entry.
As well as your visa, an Immigration Officer may ask to see additional information such as:
- Accommodation bookings
- Return flights
- Contacts in Ireland
Length of stay
The Immigration Officer at the port of entry will decide your length of stay by stamping your passport; which will reflect the purpose of your journey and the amount of time you are allowed to stay in the State.
The validity period shown on your visa indicates the dates between which you must travel to Ireland. These dates are NOT the dates between which you're permitted to remain in Ireland.
Staying over three months
If you need a visa to enter Ireland and you want to stay longer than 90 days, apply for a 'D' type visa before you travel. Permission to enter on the basis of a 'C' type visa will not give you permission to remain beyond a 90 day period.
If you're a non-EEA national and you want to stay longer than three months in Ireland, you must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and apply for permission to remain in Ireland.
Conditions of your visa
Under Irish law, you're not allowed to engage in any activity or to remain in Ireland for any purpose other than that for which your visa or permission to remain was granted.
Overstaying your visa
If you stay in Ireland longer than your permission to remain permits, you could be liable for prosecution and/or deportation.
Change of activity
If you want to undertake any activity in Ireland other than that for which your visa was granted you must leave the country and apply for a new visa. You can’t return to Ireland while you're waiting for a decision on your new application.
If you’re a citizen of a non-EU country, whether you need a visa or not, you will be subject to immigration control when you enter Ireland.