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COVID-19 - Travel Information and Embassy Services

Updated 19 April 2021

From late April, Passport Online, our online passport application service, is open to all Irish citizens resident in the United States. Consequently, the Embassy no longer sends nor accepts paper based passport applications from US-based applicants. We will continue to provide them to first time applicants based in the Caribbean Islands. Passport renewals from anywhere in the world, including the Caribbean Islands, must be completed using Passport Online. Applicants whose last passport was issued more than 15 years ago must apply as a first-time applicant. Further details are set out below.

Travel to Ireland 

The Government of Ireland continues to advise against all non-essential international travel, including to the United States. The US government also advises against most non-essential international travel currently, including to Ireland.

Passengers arriving into Ireland from all countries, including the US, are required to show a negative result of a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in the State. Checks are made at ports of entry with mandatory quarantine at a designated facility required for passengers who arrive in breach of the pre-departure negative/'not detected' PCR requirement.

Travel to Ireland from specific designated States is also subject to mandatory hotel quarantine. As of 15 April, the United States is a designated state. In practice, this means that passengers arriving into Ireland that have been present in the US, or transited through it, over the previous 14 days will be subject to a period of mandatory hotel quarantine. However, there are important exemptions from this requirement. Notably, if you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer; Moderna; J&J; or AstraZeneca) and have documentation proving this (e.g. the CDC Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card for those vaccinated in the US) then you do not have to complete mandatory hotel quarantine when you come to Ireland. Details of what constitutes 'fully vaccinated' for the purposes of this exemption and other elements of the system are set out here.

Fully vaccinated travellers who are exempt from mandatory hotel quarantine are treated in the same way as someone arriving in Ireland from a non-designated state – that is, they are required to quarantine at home for 14 days, which may be reduced if a second RT-PCR test is taken at least day 5 days after arrival and a negative/’not detected’ result is received. Written confirmation of the test result should be retained for at least 14 days.

To ensure that home quarantining is being observed, all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

Please check the Irish Government Advice Page for further up-to-date information on COVID 19 travel restrictions.

Passports / Irish Citizenship

From late April, our Passport Online system will be open to all Irish citizens - including children and first-time applicants - applying from the US. As of now, the Embassy no longer sends or accepts paper application forms from US-based applicants. The Embassy will continue to provide paper application forms to applicants based in the Caribbean Islands: Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands (US), Virgin Islands (British).

Passport Online - https://www.dfa.ie/passportonline/ - is a faster and simpler way to apply for your passport. Once you upload a photograph, it takes about 10 minutes to complete the online application and pay with a credit card. If you are an adult renewing your passport with the same information, you normally won’t need to submit any supporting documents. If you are a first time applicant, renewing for a child or changing the information on your passport, Passport Online will e-mail you a list of documents which you need to submit directly to the Passport Service in Ireland. When your passport is printed, it will be sent back to you directly at the postal address you provide.

If you wish to apply for an Irish passport for the first time, please check your entitlements. If your connection to Ireland is through a grandparent born in Ireland (i.e. if your parent was not born in Ireland), you must first be entered on the Register of Foreign Births and have received your Foreign Birth Registration certificate. This is an online application process centralised in Dublin.

The processing of Foreign Birth Registrations is currently paused in line with the move to Level 5 of the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. If you have submitted supporting documentation to the FBR hub, it will be held securely until it reopens. If you have not submitted supporting documents, please wait until Ireland has returned to level 3 or lower on the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. Details are available here. The Embassy has no involvement in the FBR process and thus is not in a position to advise on individual queries.

Visas

The Government of Ireland continues to advise against all non-essential international travel. This applies regardless of a person’s nationality, visa/preclearance status, or origin of travel.

The acceptance of all new visa/preclearance applications globally, with the exception of certain emergency cases, was suspended as of 29th of January 2021.

Priority/Emergency cases, as defined on the Immigration Service Delivery website, are still being processed. However, please check these criteria carefully and contact us to ensure you fall under this category before sending in any documents.

We intend to resume accepting applications as soon as safety concerns abate.

US citizens do not require a visa for study in Ireland. However, you must register with the immigration authorities on arrival. If your university is delivering your course of study online only for the next semester, you should not travel to Ireland at this time.

The processing of Working Holiday Authorisations is also suspended until further notice.

On 26 January the Government announced the introduction of additional, short-term restrictions. These will include mandatory quarantine measures applying to all international arrivals and the suspension of visa-free travel to Ireland (with limited exemptions) for nationals of South Africa and all countries in South America. Nationals of these countries will require to be in possession of an entry visa or transit visa, as appropriate, for travel to Ireland regardless of where they reside or the purpose of their travel to Ireland. Updated information on these measures will be made available on the gov.ie website, the website of the Irish Immigration and Naturalisation Service, and on this Department’s country specific travel pages.

For more information, please refer to the Visas section of our website.

Other Services

Other consular services are not available, except in cases of genuine emergency. Again, if you have a need for consular assistance which you feel is an emergency, we would ask that you contact us, as per the above.