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Visas for Ireland

You may need a visa to enter Ireland. All the information you need is set out below. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigrations Service (INIS) is responsible for immigration and visa matters. You will find detailed information on visas, as well as responses to Frequently Asked Visa Questions on the INIS website.

The granting of a visa is a form of pre-entry clearance which does not grant permissions to enter Ireland. Immigration Officers at the port of entry have the authority to grant or deny admission. Visa holders are subject to normal immigration controls. Always carry with you copies of the documents submitted with your visa application for possible inspection by Immigration Officers. The dates on your visa indicate the timeframe during which you may seek to enter Ireland and do not grant permission to remain in Ireland.

Can I apply at the Embassy in Abuja?

The Embassy Visa Office processes applications from residents of Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal. If you are resident in another country you must apply directly to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) in Ireland. You will find detailed via advice on the INIS website and answers to the most common visa queries under Frequently Asked Questions.

Applications are not submitted directly to the Embassy. Instead you apply online and then submit your application, supporting documentation, photos, fee and passport to the Visa Facilitation Services Global (VFS) offices in Abuja, Lagos or Accra.

In the tabs below, we will guide you through the application process. If you have a query which is not answered here, please use the "Contact Us" form above. If you have already applied for a visa, don't forget to include your 8-digit visa reference number, full name and passport number. You can find the visa reference number on the first page of your visa summary sheet. It contains 8 numbers and no letters.

 

Who needs a visa to enter Ireland?

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

The Embassy Visa Office processes applications from residents of Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal. Citizens of these three countries require a visa to enter Ireland. You must already have your visa before you board a flight to Ireland.

The website of the Irish naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) lists the countries whose nationals are visa required.

Please note that there are certain limited cases where a visa is not required. Further information on these categories is available from the INIS website.

 

How to apply in Nigeria?

Nigerian citizens require a visa to enter Ireland.

Apply for your visa

You will need to:

  1. Consult the Information Note which has been prepared to assist you in completing your online visa application. The note is also available in French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.
  2. Complete the online application form (questionnaire) - print it off, sign it and keep note of your 8-digit visa reference.
  3. Gather your supporting documentation and submit these, along with your passport, photographs, fees and signed online application summary to the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) offices in Abuja or Lagos.

Submitting your visa application

Resident of Nigeria can submit their applications at the VFS offices in Abuja or Lagos. Applicants must attend in person but it is not necessary to make an appointment.

Fingerprints will be taken at the VFS office for all applicants aged 6 years and over. The child's parent or guardian should be present when the child's fingerprints are taken. If the parent/guardian is unable to attend please let us know in advance using the Contact Us tab above and we will give you instructions.

VFS forwards application to the Embassy Visa Office which will process and issue visas, as appropriate. Application decisions and original documentation will be returned directly to the applicants by the Embassy; therefore applicants are requested to submit a prepaid envelope along with their application. These are available at the VFS offices.

The VFS offices in Abuja and Lagos are open from 8am to 3pm Monday to Friday. For queries contact VFS on 09 870 1519 or by email. The VFS website has further information.

Applicants in Abuja can submit their applications to the Ireland Visa Application Centre, 38 Lobito Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja. The centre is open from 8am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Applicants in Lagos should submit their applications to the Ireland Visa Application Centre, Manor Hall, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way (opposite the Treasure Garden Estate, 3rd Roundabout, Lekki-Epe Expressway), Lekki Phase I, Lagos.

The Embassy's visa information line is 09 462 0612 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 12pm). You can also enquire about the status of your application by using the "Contact Us" tab above. Don't forget to include your 8-digit visa reference number, name and passport number if you are enquiring about a visa application. We are closed to the public on Friday.

How long does it take?

Visa applications are processed in the fastest possible time following their arrival at the Embassy Visa Office. To avoid delays, we strongly recommend that you apply at least 8 weeks prior to your date of travel, and that all supporting documentation is included with your application. Applications lodged in the VFS Lagos office may take longer, given transfer times from Lagos to Abuja. Visas relating to a long term or permanent stay in Ireland, such as Join Family visas, require more in-depth consideration. In this case, we recommend applying at least 12 weeks prior to your proposed dates of travel.

Documentation/photocopies

All documentation submitted in support of your visa application must be original and verifiable (e.g. employment/study details, accommodation bookings must have correct details on each document). The Embassy requires a complete set of photocopies of all documents submitted with your application. This includes a full copy of pages of your passport (pages 1-32). Original documents should be separated from photocopies. Photocopies should be clearly legible. Please note this requirement carefully to ensure that your application is not rejected.

Ensure that bank statements are easy to read and not contained in envelopes or folders. The Embassy does not accept any microfinance statements, mortgage statements or statements from thrift and savings societies.

All supporting documentation (bank statements, letters of employment/study, car/property ownership certificates, marriage certificates, birth certificates etc.) should be in English. If original documents are not in English they must be accompanied by a notarised translation. Failure to translate your documents into English may result in your visa application being refused. If the Visa Office is unable to verify the information supplied this may result in your visa being refused.

If necessary, additional documentation/information may be requested by the Visa Officer. The onus is on you, the applicant, to ensure that your application is fully complete before submitting it for consideration. Incomplete applications may be refused.

Prior visa refusals

If you have been refused a visa for any country, details of this must be given. You should include a copy of the letter issued to you by the authorities of the country which refused your visa. If this letter is not in English, a notarised translation must be provided. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused and may result in a 5-year visa ban. Any future applications may also be refused.

Fraud

The Embassy applies a zero tolerance policy with respect to fraudulent applications. An application containing a deception such as a forged document, a document containing false information or information withheld from an application (such as a previous visa refusal) may result in your application being refused without the prospect of appeal. If the application was submitted as part of a group, all applications in that group maybe refused without appeal. Where applications are rejected on the grounds of a deception, a 5-year ban may also be applied.

Notification

You will be notified by the Embassy as soon as a decision has been taken on your application.

Applications from residents of Ghana, Chad and Senegal

Citizens of Ghana and Senegal require a visa to enter Ireland.

Apply for your visa

You will need to:

  1. Consult the Information Note which has been prepared to assist you in completing your online visa application. The note is also available in French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.
  2. Complete the online application form (questionnaire) - print it off, sign it and keep note of your 8-digit visa reference.
  3. If you live in Ghana, gather your supporting documentation and submit these, along with your passport, photographs, fees and signed online application summary to the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) offices in Accra.
  4. If you live in Senegal you may also apply at the VFS office in Accra or you can courier your application directly to us in Abuja.

Ghana

After completing the online application, residents of Ghana should submit their application, fees, photos and supporting documents to: Ireland Visa Application Centre, VFS, Plot 29, 9 Kakramadu Road (next to the Goethe Institute), Cantonments, Accra. The VFS offices in Accra is open from 8am to 2pm Monday to Friday. For queries contact +233 302 768417/+233 302 769018 or email VFS.

Applicants residing in Senegal

After completing your online application, you can either lodge the application at the VFS office in Accra (Ghana), or send the application directly to us in Abuja (Nigeria) by courier or post. We strongly recommend that you use a courier service as your passports and original documentation may be more secure and delivery can be tracked. Please ensure that you include a pre-paid courier or postal envelope so that we can return your passport and original documentation to you along with the visa decision. Visa fees are payable in a Euro bank draft made payable to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The bank draft should be included with your application. The Embassy is not responsible for material lost by post or courier.

Questions on your application

You can contact the Embassy Visa Office from 10am to 12pm Monday to Thursday on +234 (0) 9 462 0612 or by emailing us at the "Contact Us" tab above. We are closed to the public on Fridays. Don't forget to include your 8-digit visa reference (from the online application summary sheet), your full name and your passport number.

How long does it take?

Visa applications are processed in the fastest possible time following their arrival at the Embassy Visa Office. To avoid delays, we strongly recommend that you apply at least 8 weeks prior to your date of travel, and that all supporting documentation is included with your application. Applications lodged in the VFS Lagos office may take longer, given transfer times from Lagos to Abuja. Visas relating to a long term or permanent stay in Ireland, such as Join Family visas, require more in-depth consideration. In this case, we recommend applying at least 12 weeks prior to your proposed dates of travel.

Documentation/photocopies

All documentation submitted in support of your visa application must be original and verifiable (e.g. employment/study details, accommodation bookings must have correct details on each document). The Embassy requires a complete set of photocopies of all documents submitted with your application. This includes a full copy of all pages of your passport (pages 1-32). Original documents should be separated from photocopies. Photocopies should be clearly legible. Please note this requirement carefully to ensure that your application is not rejected.

Ensure that bank statements are easy to read and are not contained in envelopes or folders. The Embassy does not accept any microfinance statements, mortgage statements or statements from thrift and saving societies.

All supporting documentation (bank statements, letters of employment/study, car/property ownership certificates, marriage certificates, birth certificates etc.) should be in English. If original documents are not in English they must be accompanied by a notarised translation. Failure to translate your documents into English may result in your visa application being refused. If the Visa Office is unable to verify the information supplied this may result in your visa being refused.

If necessary, additional documentation/information may be requested by the Visa Officer. The onus is on you, the applicant, to ensure that your application is fully complete before submitting it for consideration. Incomplete applications may be refused.

Prior visa refusals

If you have been refused a visa for any country, details of this must be given. You should include a copy of the letter issued to you by the authorities of the country which refused your visa. If this letter is not in English, a notarised translation must be provided. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused and may result in a 5-year visa ban. Any future applications may also be refused.

Fraud

The Embassy applies a zero tolerance policy with respect to fraudulent applications. An application containing a deception, such as a forged document, a document containing false information, or information withheld from an application (such as previous visa refusal) may result in your application being refused without the prospect of appeal. If the application was submitted as part of a group, all applications in that group may be refused without appeal. Where applications are rejected on the grounds of a deception, a 5-year visa ban may also be applied.

Notification

You will be notified by the Embassy as soon as a decision has been taken on your application.

 

Types of Visa and Documentation

What sort of visa do I need?

Visit the INIS website to find out which documents must accompany your application for the following types of visas:

Short stay visas

  • Visit visa (tourist visa for a visit of 90 days or less)
  • Visit visa (spouse/partner of an EU national)
  • Visit visa (child of an EU national/child of spouse of EU national)
  • Business visa
  • Conference visa
  • Exam/interview visa
  • Performance visa

Long stay visas

  • Employment visa
  • Join spouse (work permit)
  • Student visa
  • Starting a business in Ireland - please note that you will require Business Permission from the Department of Justice & Equality prior to applying for your visa

A comprehensive list of the different types of visa and the documentation required in each case is available from the INIS website.

If you are applying  for a business visa which is being processed at the Embassy Visa Office you should have a decision within 10 days of our receiving your application, provided that all documentation is in order.

 

Visa Fees

For applications submitted in Nigeria and Ghana through the VFS offices, visa fees are payable in the local currency equivalent of €60 euro for a single entry visa or €100 euro for a multi-entry visa. In the case of applications sent to us by courier from Senegal, the fees should be paid by a euro bank draft made payable to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Please note that:

  1. Visa fees are non-refundable
  2. VFS charges its own visa processing fee in addition to the amounts indicated above.

Persons who are exempt from visa fees

Holders of diplomatic, service and official passports

Programme refugees (within the meaning of the Refugee Act 1999)

Visa-required spouses and family members of EEA citizens (including Irish nationals) and also beneficiaries of Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive).

Applicants from: Bosnia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Morocco, Peru, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

 

Visa Appeals

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

Your visa decision will have been contained in a letter outlining the reasons for the 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 parent/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.

There is no charge for lodging an appeal.

On Arrival in Ireland

Immigration control

An Irish visa is not an entry permission. It is 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 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.

Registration

If you are a non-EEA national and you want to stay longer than three months in Ireland, you must have the correct visa (not a tourist visa) and 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 are not permitted 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 cannot return to Ireland while you're waiting for a decision on your new application.

 

 

Frequently asked questions

Does an Irish visa allow me to travel to Northern Ireland?

No. If you wish to travel to Northern Ireland, you will require a UK visa. You may also require a multi-entry visa for Ireland depending on your visit.

Northern Ireland consists of the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone. If your main destination is Northern Ireland, but you will arrive and depart from Ireland, then you should first apply for a UK visa and afterwards a multi-entry Irish visa.

I hold a valid UK Visa. Do I need an Irish visa to travel to Ireland?

Ireland and the UK have different visa requirements. You should first Check if you need a visa for Ireland. In general, a valid UK visa does not allow travel to Ireland. For exceptions to this, please click here.

I live in Northern Ireland and hold a valid UK visa. Do I need an Irish visa to enter Ireland even on a short trip?

Yes. You must show Immigration Officials at border crossings that you have a valid Irish visa.

I am legally resident in Northern Ireland, where can I apply for an Irish visa?

Apply online. For information on applying for a visa, please click here. Your application will be processed by the Visa Office, Embassy of Ireland, London.

Schengen Acquis

I hold a valid Schengen visa. Do I need a separate Irish visa to come to Dublin/Cork/Galway/Limerick?

Yes, Ireland is not part of the Schengen Acquis.

Spouse/civil partner of Irish national

I am an Irish national. My spouse/civil partner is a visa required national. Do they need a visa to visit/live in Ireland?

Yes. For information on applying for a visa and the various types of visas please click here.

Applying for an Irish visa outside of country of residence

I will be travelling to, or already am in, another country on a short visit before travelling to Ireland. Can I apply for my Irish visa in the Irish Embassy/Consulate/Visa Office there?

No (unless the next question applies to you). Visa applications should be made in your country of resident. If however, there are valid reasons or extenuating circumstances which prevented you from doing so prior to your departure, you should discuss the matter with staff at the nearest Irish Embassy, Consulate, or Visa Office.

I am the immediate family member of a national of an EU Member State. I will be travelling to, or I am already in, another country on a short visit before travelling to Ireland. Can I apply for my Irish visa in the Irish Embassy/Consulate there?

Yes. Your application may be submitted to any Embassy/Consulate however, the staff there do not have to process the application, and may refer the application to the INIS in Dublin, for processing.

Accelerated processing

Can my application be processed more quickly?

In order to ensure that all visa applicants receive fair and equal treatment, applications are dealt with in the order that they are received. In exceptional cases, where it can be demonstrated that extenuating circumstances exist, applications may be processed ahead of schedule. Use the "Contact Us" tab to explain your circumstances to us and we will advise you.

Children

Does my child need a separate visa to travel with me?

Yes. Each child must have a visa in their own name. This applies even if the child is included on your passport. A separate Online Visa Application must be completed for each child and the relevant fee paid. The fee for a visa is the same for adults and children.

E-Mails claiming to be from an office of the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service or the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

I have received an email that claims to be from an office of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service or the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I have concerns that it may be a visa scam. Is it genuine?

No. If you receive a request alleging to come from an INIS office or a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Embassy of Ireland in Nigeria requesting bank details or money, please use the "Contact Us" tab to forward all details to us and we will investigate promptly.

Criminal record

I have a criminal record. May I apply for a visa?

Yes. Full details of your criminal record must be provided with your application. However, please note that a history of serious crimes, serious breaches of immigration law or presentation of false documentation or making of false statements in support of an application can, of themselves, be reasons for refusal of a visa for which an appeal may not be allowed. This is the norm in many countries.

Refusal of my visa application

My visa has been refused and I am waiting on a refund from the university/college. Can the INIS help?

The refund of fees is a civil matter i.e. a private matter between you and the university/college. The Irish and Immigration & Naturalisation Service has no involvement in such matters. However, the Irish Council for International Students may be able to assist. Please visit the ICOSIRL for further information.

Remember...

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.