Skip to main content

Notice 11 January 2022| Suspension of visa phone helpline/Contacting the Visa Office

COVID-19 - Visa Arrangements

Due to the considerable amount of work on hand the visa phone helpline will not operate from 13 January 2022 until 11 February 2022. The suspension will be reviewed at the end of this period. We apologise for any inconvenience but this will allow us to process and issue decisions quicker. There are a number of alternative options available to you;

Notice 10 January 2022| Processing time - C visas

C visas are currently taking approx. 4 weeks to process from date of receipt in this office. Please note we do not respond to status requests, you will be contacted when a decision is made.

Notice 22 December 2021 | COVID-19 - Visa Arrangements

Please note that there may be further changes to the criteria below at short notice.

  • With effect from 00.01 on Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, nationals of Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho and South Africa are no longer entry visa required and nationals of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa are no longer transit visa required.
  • If you are unsure as to whether you require a visa/preclearance to enter Ireland you can check here.
  • Latest travel information can be found on the Irish Government and Embassy websites

Notice 13 September 2021 | Short stay visa processing to resume

  • The resumption of short stay entry visa processing will resume from Monday, 13 September 2021.
  • The Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme has resumed with effect from 27 October 2021. Click here for further information.


See below information on visas provided in response to multiple different requests for information received by this office;  

  • Please read the immigration notice on the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) website in response to the situation in Afghanistan. This notice details visa information and various options possibly open to you.  
  • If you are currently residing outside of Afghanistan, please contact the local Irish Embassy or Consulate for advice on applying for an Irish visa. 
  • Please note visa applications submitted to this office are only considered under the relevant criteria set out in Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification. Eligible family members are generally dependent family including spouses, civil partners and children under the age of 18. This office does not accept/process requests for Humanitarian visas or applications for Refugee status in Ireland.  
  • The Afghan Admission Programme has opened for applications, further information can be found here.
  • Elderly Dependents - if you are an elderly dependent of a family member living in Ireland, or if you wish to apply to bring an elderly dependent to live with you in Ireland, Stamp 0 permission is required, prior to applying for a visa. Further information is available here
  • Any queries concerning the Irish Refugee Protection Programme should be made to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth at: 
  • Visa applications cannot be accepted by email.   
  • Visa applications, appropriate to this office, submitted without the necessary documentation will not be processed. 
  • If an application is submitted to this office, not appropriate to this office, the application will not be accepted and you will be informed to arrange collection.

Visas for Ireland

If you wish to enter Ireland, you may need a visa. In Ireland, Immigration Service Delivery, an agency within the Department of Justice, is primarily responsible for dealing with immigration and visa matters.

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.

Visa Office, Embassy of Ireland Abu Dhabi

There is a dedicated Visa Office in Abu Dhabi which deals with visa applications made in United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia. The Visa Office also deals with certain categories of visa applications made in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Visa applications are only accepted by this office from visa required persons resident in the above countries. Persons on temporary visas are not permitted to submit an application and should submit an application in their country of residence.


For visa required nationals resident in the UAE & Kuwait please visit VFS UAE or VFS Kuwait for further information.

Local Visa Processing Offices

Contact details for your local visa processing office can be found here.


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.

Submitting your application

You need to:

  1. Complete the online application form
  2. Gather your supporting documentation, passport photograph and fee
  3. Compile your application, which must include
    • The online summary sheet signed by you, with photo affixed to the top-left corner
    • Current passport and any previous passports (or copies of previous passports if originals unavailable
    • All required supporting documents
  4. The online application system will automatically request you to submit your documentation to your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate. You must submit your application to the location requested by AVATS.

Contact by phone and email

The Visa Office takes calls between 9:00am – 13:00pm daily at +971- 2 4958 201.

Visa queries by phone will not be responded to outside these hours.

Email: Contact Us

Processing Times

In order to ensure that all visa applicants receive fair and equal treatment, applications are dealt with in the order that they are received.

This office endeavours to deal with all applications in the fastest possible time. Incomplete applications, lack of documentation, or submission of non-translated documents results in delays for everyone.

You should submit your application as far in advance of your proposed travel date as possible. However, do not submit your application more than 13 weeks prior to a proposed travel date.

Indicative processing times for your particular country of residence can be found under the section ‘Application Details by Country’. These can vary depending on the country where you reside. You should read carefully the instructions and processing times under your own country of residence.

We advise applicants not to pay for airline or other travel tickets without having been issued with a visa.

You should check current processing times with your local Irish Embassy, Consulate, or Visa Office at the time of application.

In exceptional cases, where it can be demonstrated that extenuating circumstances exist, applications may be processed ahead of schedule.

All supporting documentation (bank statements, letters of employment/study, car/property ownership certificates, marriage certificates, birth certificates etc.) should be submitted in English or accompanied by a notarised translation. Failure to translate your documents into English may result in your visa application being refused. It is not sufficient to send in copies of your documents. All documentation submitted must be original and verifiable (e.g.) employment/study details, accommodation bookings must have correct contact details on each document. If this Office is unable to verify the information supplied this may result in your visa being refused.

The onus is on you, the applicant, to ensure that your application is fully complete before submitting it for consideration. You should note that if you submit an incomplete application, it may result in your application being refused.

If you have been refused a visa for any country, details of this must be given. Submit a copy of the letter issued to you by the authorities of that country, including a notarised translation if not in English. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused.

Please note that if you provide false, fraudulent or misleading information or documentation, your application will be refused. You may also lose the right to appeal the decision. Any future applications made by you may also be refused.

If deemed necessary, additional documentation/information may be requested by the Deciding Officer upon detailed examination of the application.


If you submit false or misleading information in support of your application, you may become liable for prosecution and/or deportation.


The following checklists outline the requirements of the most common types of visa applications:

Short Stay

Long Stay

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:


There are certain documents that must accompany an application. This will depend on the type of visa applied for. A list of minimum document requirements for each type of visa is available on the INIS Website.

All documents must be clear and legible.

Please keep copies of all documents submitted with your application.

All documents submitted must be in English. Where they are in any other language, a notarised translation of same must be submitted also.

Original documents should be submitted. You should keep copies of all original documents submitted as some documents may not be returned to you. If you wish to have original documents returned you must supply a photocopy and a letter requesting same. The honorary consulate, embassy or visa office may be in a position to return some original documents to you immediately after submitting your application. This is at the discretion of the visa officer or official who receives your application.

The Irish Visa Office in Abu Dhabi will not return original documents unless provided with a letter listing the documents required and that you have provided photocopies of these documents. Original documents such as marriage/birth certificates can be returned to you. However, bank statements, letters of invitation etc will not be returned. If there are specific documents that you wish to have returned to you, please submit a list of these with your application. Where the visa office has not received any instruction or request for the return of ‘original’ documents they will remain on the file and will not be returned.

Under no circumstances will the visa office return ‘copies’ of documents. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate copies before submitting your application to us.

Applicants should note that the irish visa office in Abu Dhabi is under no obligation to contact you, or your contact/host in Ireland, to seek further information or documentation. The onus is on you to provide all the required documentation at the time of the submission of your application. The onus is on the applicant the applicant to satisfy the visa officer that a visa should be granted. It is up to the applicant to supply the necessary information to help the visa officer reach that decision. The visa officer has the right to ask you for additional documents or information at any time.


Applications submitted that do not include all the required documentation , or are accompanied by poor quality, illegible or non-translated documents, may not be accepted for processing.

If you submit an application that is unsigned or does not have the required supporting documentation the visa office may refuse your application for those reasons alone.

Failure to provide translated documents will lead to your application being refused.

The provision of all the documentation listed in no way guarantees that a visa will be granted.

The provision of false, fraudulent or misleading information will result in the refusal of your application and no appeal will be permitted. It will also seriously affect any future applications you submit for an irish visa.


The cost of returning original documents must be borne by the applicant. The visa office is not responsible for the cost of courier charges to return original documents or passports to an applicant or their reference.

If you wish a 3rd party to collect a passport on your behalf from the visa office in Abu Dhabi you must provide details of the person nominated to collect it. You must also provide a signed letter of authority authorising that person to collect.


In addition to your valid passport, you must provide a full copy of your passport when submitting your visa application to the visa office, embassy or honorary consulate. The visa office will not be responsible for photocopying your passport. If you present your application without a copy of your passport to the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi we may ask you to return with a copy before accepting your application. Applications submitted without ‘full’ copies of your passport will not be processed.

Do not send your original passport to the Irish Visa Office in Abu Dhabi if you are submitting your application through an Honorary Consulate or another Embassy. Only submit your original passport to Abu Dhabi if you are submitting an application directly to the Visa Office at Embassy Abu Dhabi.

If you are not submitting your application via an Honorary Consulate or Embassy and you are required to send your application by courier you should send your original passport. This only applies to applications submitted from Kuwait and Qatar.

Applications from Algeria and Libya should not submit their original passports to the Irish Visa Office in Abu Dhabi, only full copies of the passport.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure from Ireland or 12 months if applying for a d long stay visa. WE CANNOT ACCEPT YOUR VISA APPLICATION IF YOUR PASSPORT IS NOT VALID FOR THIS MINIMUM PERIOD.

If your passport is relatively new you should provide your previous passport showing any previous visas for any other country, and your previous travel history. A copy of these should also be provided.

Standard non-refundable visa application processing fees are:

Single journey


Multiple journey




Other charges

You may also have to pay communications charges.

More information

Contact your local Embassy or Consulate for more details on fees and payment methods.

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.

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



Sri Lanka

Cote d'Ivoire










Republic of Macedonia





Other charges

You may be charged an administration or communications fee if you’re apply from some of these countries.

Due to Data Protection legislation and confidentiality regulations staff at the Visa Office cannot give details of visa decisions by telephone.
Due to Data Protection legislation and confidentiality regulations staff at the Visa Office ‘cannot’ deal with queries relating to the status of a visa application.

Once a decision on your application has been made it will be communicated to you by the Visa Office, Honorary Consulate or Embassy depending on where you submitted your application.

Should a visa application be refused the Visa Office or Consulate/Embassy where you made your application will send you a letter outlining the reasons for the refusal.

Visa applications will be processed in the fastest possible time following their arrival in the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi. The processing times for all visa applications vary depending on the volume of applications lodged, and the time it takes for an application to reach the Visa Office by courier if outside the UAE. Asking about the status of an application will not result in your application being processed more quickly.


Callers to the Visa Office asking about the status of an application will be referred to the Weekly Decisions Report section of this website where decisions are uploaded each week. You will require your AVATS reference number to check this.

Under no circumstances will the visa office discuss with an applicant the reasons for a refused visa application once the refusal letter has issued. The reasons for refusal are detailed in the letter. You have the right to appeal a refused visa application to the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi within 2 months of receiving the refusal letter. You must submit your appeal directly to the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi and not the Consulate or Embassy where you submitted your initial application. If a refusal letter issues for an appeal under no circumstances can we discuss further the application. It is open to you to submit a new visa application at any time should your appeal be turned down. Any queries on decisions made by the Visa Office (refused applications or refused appeals) must be sent in writing or by email


Please note that E-mail is our preferred mode of communication.

You can email the Visa Office in relation to your visa application at our Contact Us page . We will respond to visa queries within 48 hours.
Information on Irish general visa requirements can be obtained by calling +971 2 4958201. This number is open for queries from 9.00am until 1.00 pm, Sunday – Thursday only. In case the visa help line is busy you should leave your name, visa reference number and telephone contact number so that we can respond to the query. You can leave a message outside of these times and we will respond to your query within 48 hours.

Status Enquiries

Please do not contact this office to enquire about the status of your application as this is available on-line once the decision has been made. A report detailing all decisions for the previous week is posted each Monday to this site. Once a decision is made on an application it is communicated to you ‘without delay’ by the Visa Office, Consulate or Embassy where you lodged your application.

If my application has been turned down, how do I appeal the decision?

Please allow at least 6-8 weeks for an appeal to be processed and Join Family appeals can take up to 3-4 months to be processed. The visa reference number must be quoted on all appeal correspondence along with your name and nationality. You should submit your appeal by courier or in person ‘directly’ to the Abu Dhabi Visa office and ‘not’ to the Consulate or Embassy in your country. Do not contact the Visa Office for updates on the status of an appeal. You will be informed in writing of the outcome of your appeal.

If you are refused a visa you may appeal this decision in writing only to the Visa Appeals Officer at:
Visa Appeals Officer
Embassy of Ireland
Al Yasat Street off 6th Street
Al Bateen
Abu Dhabi
P.O. Box 61581, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

The appeal should fully address all of the reasons for which your application was refused. These reasons will have been set out in the refusal letter you received. You must submit a ‘signed’ letter of appeal addressing the refusal reasons in the refusal letter. You should provide any additional information or documentation you think is relevant in addressing the reasons for refusing your visa application. Where supporting documentation for the particular category of application was not provided you should provide that also. Provision of such additional documentation will be considered but does not guarantee approval of the application.

You may only appeal the original decision once. You may, however, lodge a new visa application at a later stage.

Please note that it is ‘not’ possible to accept an appeal from a 3rd party. You must personally submit the appeal and sign the letter of appeal. We ‘do not’ accept appeals by email. Faxed or emailed appeals will not be considered. No appeal will be allowed if you are found to have given false or misleading information in any part of your application.

Is there a time limit?

Yes, you should submit your appeal within 2 months of the refusal date. Your appeal must be received at the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi within 2 months of the date of the refusal letter. Appeals received after 2 months from the date of refusal will not be accepted. It is your responsibility to ensure your appeal is received at the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi within this timeframe.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for an appeal against refusal of a visa.

What happens when I make my appeal?

On receipt of the appeal the Appeals Officer will review the application again, taking account of any further comments you have made in the grounds of appeal and of any supporting documentation. On examination and review the original decision may be reversed. If the Appeals Officer does not alter the decision, you will be notified in writing.

How long will my appeal take?

Appeals take 6-8 weeks from receipt at Embassy of Ireland - Abu Dhabi and Join Family appeals can take up to 3-4 months.


You should submit your appeal by courier or in person ‘directly’ to the Abu Dhabi Visa office and ‘not’ to the Consulate or Embassy in your country. If you do submit your appeal to a consulate or Embassy you may be asked to pay the full courier costs and/or any administrative charges associated with sending the appeal. The Embassy or Consulate will not be responsible for the cost or delivery of your appeal papers to the Abu Dhabi Visa Office. Neither will they offer you any assistance with regard what documents or information you should send with an appeal to Abu Dhabi. You should follow the procedures on this website on how to submit your appeal to the Abu Dhabi Visa Office.


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.