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Visas for Ireland

Malawian citizens must get a valid visa to travel to Ireland. If you are a citizen of another country, check if you need a visa for Ireland.

In Ireland, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) is primarily responsible for dealing with immigration and visa matters and you will find more detailed visa advice on their site.

If you plan to visit the United Kingdom or other countries in Europe, you must obtain separate visas from the relevant countries. Please note that Irish visas are not valid for travel to Northern Ireland.


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.

Whether you need a visa to enter Ireland depends on what country you're from.

S.I. No 473 of 2014 groups countries into five different categories (schedules).

Please see Schedule 1, which is a list of countries that DO NOT NEED a visa. If your country is NOT listed you must apply for a visa before you travel to Ireland.


Note: A Schengen visa or UK visa is not valid for travel to Ireland. Note: For exceptions to this, please see Schedules 2, 3 and 4 below


If you’re a citizen of a non-EEA country, whether you need a visa or not, you will be subject to immigration control when you enter Ireland.

Schedule 1 - Countries that do not need a visa

You DO NOT NEED an entry visa for Ireland if you are a passport holder of one of these countries:



Saint Kitts and Nevis

Antigua and Barbuda


Saint Lucia


Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines






San Marino









Slovak Republic






Solomon Islands



South Africa



South Korea








Macau (Special Administrative Region)





Costa Rica








Trinidad and Tobago

Czech Republic





United Arab Emirates


Netherlands, The

United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies

El Salvador

New Zealand

United States of America









Vatican City

















Convention travel documents

If you hold Convention travel documents issued by an EEA state, please refer to Section 3. (b) (i) of S.I. No 473 of 2014 (short-stay visits only). 

Schedule 2 - Diplomatic Passport waiver programme

A holder of a diplomatic passport issued by a State or territorial entity specified below is not required to have a visa to enter Ireland

People’s Republic of China
United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Schedule 3 - Visa waiver programme

If you’re a citizen of one of these countries and you meet Visa Waiver Programme requirements, you may be able to travel on to Ireland from the UK without the need to obtain a separate Irish visa.

If not, you’ll need to apply for an entry visa before you travel to Ireland.







Bosnia and Herzegovina

People’s Republic of China






Russian Federation



Saudi Arabia


NOTE: This also applies to nationals of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who have entered the United Kingdom on foot of a C-visit Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW)


Schedule 4 - British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)

United Kingdom visitors who are – nationals of a state or territorial entity specified in Schedule 4, AND holders of a visa issued by the competent authorities of the United Kingdom that is endorsed by those authorities with the letters “BIVS”

India People’s Republic of China

Schedule 5 - Transit Visas

If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you will need to apply for a transit visa:









Sri Lanka

Democratic Republic of the Congo







Moldova, Republic of


  * Requirement for a transit visa waived for Ethiopian nationals transiting through the State via Dublin Airport to/from the USA and Canada.

Applicants must first complete the online application form at

The printed summary sheet from your online application and hard copies of documents must then be brought, in person, to the Embassy in order for the application to be processed. When your application is lodged for processing, you will be given an invoice with instructions on how to pay for your visa application.

Consular Hours at the Embassy of Ireland are strictly 8.00 AM-10.30 a.m. (Monday – Friday)

Necessary items include:

  1. Visa Application Summary sheet- signed and dated. This sheet is generated through your online application and must be printed and signed.
  2. Two passport size photos, signed on the reverse by the applicant, with a plain, white background.
  3. Passport valid for at least six months
  4. Clear explanation of purpose of trip and explicit proof of the applicant's intention to observe the conditions of the visa and to return to Malawi (social/economic/family ties etc)
  5. Invitation letter from host/sponsor.  (Please note: invitations by students studying in Ireland are not accepted).
  6. Sponsor's bank statement for past six months
  7. Visit visas: If self-funding, applicant's bank statement for past six months with proof that applicant has habitual access to at least €3,000 (or equivalent). Large deposits should be explained in the letter explaining the purpose of the trip (see point 4)
  8. Hotel booking or letter from host confirming accommodation.
  9. Host must provide his/her permission to reside in Ireland (if a non-EEA national), Passport Bio data page/I.D., residential address, and must clearly state his/her relationship to applicant (evidence of relationship may be requested)
  10. Letter from employer in Malawi supporting the trip. The letter should clearly state the applicant's job title and length of service and detail the purpose and duration of travel
  11. Pay slips for the last three months
  12. If self-employed, proof of business
  13. If Child Under 18 years of age: Birth Certificate, Affidavit of consent from parent(s) not travelling with child and their I.D.s certified by Lawyer;  school permission; Marriage Certificate of Parents (where applicable)
  14. For Student Visa Applications: school's proof of Registration; acceptance letter; proof of fee payment; medical insurance cover; accommodation; Original and their Certified copies of school certificates; Letter from Sponsor on student's upkeep/fees; financial statements of the applicant or their sponsor showing habitual access to at least €7,000.
  15. Return air ticket/itinerary and travel insurance

 Not all of this documentation may be relevant to a specific application but equally, more documentation may be necessary depending on the nature of the application.

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

Business meeting

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:

  • Single Entry Visa - €60
  • Multiple Entry Visa - €100
  • Transit Visa  - €25  

Visa processing fees must be paid in Malawi Kwacha at the exchange rate set by the bank at the beginning of each month. You will need to take the invoice that you receive from the Embassy and bring it to any First Capital Bank branch to pay the visa application fee. Find your nearest First Capital Bank branch here. Payment may be made by cash or cheque.

Please note that the visa will not be processed until payment is made. Once an application is accepted for processing the payment cannot be refunded.

No fee required

Some applicants don't have to pay a fee for their visa. These include visa-required spouses and certain family members of EEA citizens (including Irish nationals). You must provide proof of the relationship with the application. Holders of EU family cards are also exempt from payment.

In addition, applicants from the countries listed below don't have to pay a fee:

Bosnia and Herzegovina Kyrgyzstan Sri Lanka 
Cote d'Ivoire Montenegro  Tunisia 
Ecuador  Morocco  Uganda 
Indonesia Peru  Zambia 
Jamaica  Republic of Macedonia   
Kosovo Serbia   

Note - The fee is waived for applications for short stay visas from nationals of the countries included in the Visa Waiver Programme who are resident in the Schengen area. See schedule 2 of the Who needs a Visa tab for a list of countries who qualify for this waiver. This includes the following countries:

Bahrain Montenegro  Serbia 
Belarus  Oman  Thailand 
Bosnia and Herzegovina  People's Republic of China  Turkey 
Ukraine  Kuwait  Saudi Arabia 
India  Qatar United Arab Emirates 
Kazakhstan  Russian Federation  Uzbekistan 

More information about visa fees can be found on the INIS website.

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.

You should:

  • 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 review

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.

Immigration control

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.

Additional documents

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.