Complete guide to obtaining a tourist visa to visit Ireland, the required documents, application procedures, eligibility, and FAQs
An Ireland tourist visa is one of Ireland’s short-stay visas (C visa), which is also referred to as an Ireland visit visa. It is a pre-entry clearance which allows the holder to travel to Ireland, where they can go through Border Control and request permission to enter the country as a tourist or visitor.
The Ireland tourist visa is only valid for a maximum of 90 days, but it can be less. It is the Immigration Officer who decides how long you are allowed to stay in Ireland.
So, getting an Irish tourist visa is not enough in itself to allow you to enter and stay in Ireland. It is the Immigration Officer at Ireland Border Control who ultimately decides whether to grant you permission to enter and stay in the country.
If you are a foreign national who is subject to Ireland visas and you want to visit Ireland as a tourist, the Ireland Tourist Visa is the type of Irish visa you have to apply for.
Do I Need to Apply for a Tourist Visa for Ireland?
Whether or not you need an Ireland Tourist Visa depends on your country. So, depending on what country you are a citizen of, you could fall under one of the three categories below:
No Ireland Tourist Visa required
Ireland is a part of the European Union, therefore, if you are a citizen of one of the countries included in the EU and EEA agreements or from Switzerland, then you can travel to Ireland without applying for a visa.
In addition, because of the EU Right of Movement, you do not need to register and ask for permission to stay from the Ireland Border Control either.
No Ireland Tourist Visa required but you are subject to Border Control
There are certain countries that are not in the EU or the EEA, but who have been granted visa-free travel to Ireland for its citizens. If you are from one of those countries, then you do not have to apply for an Ireland Tourist visa to travel to Ireland.
However, you do have to request permission to stay from the Immigration Officers at Border Control.
Both Ireland Tourist Visa and Border Control are required
There is a list of countries whose citizens have to apply for a visa if they want to travel to Ireland. After getting the visa, they also have to get permission to stay from the Immigration Officers at Border Control.
Ireland Tourist Visa Application
The Ireland Tourist Visa application is done online. After completing the online application, you have to print the application form and submit it along with your passport and the Ireland tourist visa documents at a visa application center/office.
To obtain a Tourist visa for Ireland you must go through the following steps:
- File the online application form.
- Find out where to submit the application.
- Collect the documents.
- Pay the fees.
- Submit biometrics.
Ireland Tourist Visa online application form
You can complete the Ireland tourist visa application form online, at the Irish Online Application facility, AVATS. When you start the application, you have to select the type of visa you need. As a tourist, you must select “Short Stay Visa” and “Tourist/Visit”.
Then you move on to the other questions which you must answer truthfully. Any misleading information will lead to your visa being rejected, and you may be banned from applying for an Ireland visa for five years.
Once you complete the Ireland tourist visa application form, a summary of the form will show up, which you must print. It will give you information on where you have to submit the printed application form along with your passport and required documents.
Where should I submit the application?
The location and method of submitting your Ireland tourist visa documents changes depending on the country. For example, it could be:
- The Dublin Visa Office.
- An International Visa Application Agency.
- An Irish Embassy or Consulate in your country.
You may have to submit the application in person (if it is at an Irish embassy or consulate) or mail it at the Dublin Visa Office.
Submitting the Ireland Tourist Visa documents
If you want to receive an Ireland tourist visa, you have to meet certain requirements and convince the visa and immigration officers you are fit to enter Ireland. You have to submit your documents within 30 days of starting your online application.
In order to submit the documents, you have to gather them along with your original passport and the printed application form summary and place them in a large, strong envelope.
For example, you must have:
- A valid passport and visa.
- A letter stating the reason for your travel to Ireland (ie. for tourism purposes), which you must sign.
- A letter of invitation from a family member or friend in Ireland, if you have a host.
- Proof of accommodation, such as a hotel booking or letter from your host stating they will accommodate you.
- Proof you can support yourself financially, or that your host can provide for you.
- Evidence of air ticket reservation.
- Proof that you will return to your home country after the Ireland tourist visa ends, such as family ties, a work contract, ongoing studies, ownership of property etc.
- Proof you have no criminal records.
- Details of any previous visas even rejected ones.
Pay the fees
In addition, you also have to pay an Ireland tourist visa processing fee. For a single entry tourist visa for Ireland, you must pay €80, while the cost of multiple-entry tourist visas is €100.
You have to contact the visa application center/office where you are submitting your documents to inquire whether you have to submit your biometric information as well.
Ireland Tourist Visa Processing time
The Ireland tourist visa is processed in about eight weeks.
However, the processing time for any Ireland visa depends on a number of factors, such as the office which is handling your application, the time of year ( ie. on holiday season, it may take longer), as well as your specific case. If you have any missing or incorrect documents, the Ireland tourist visa processing time may be delayed, so be sure to apply well in advance of your intended date of travel.
How Long Can I Stay in Ireland?
Anyone who comes to Ireland as a tourist or visitor can only stay for up to 90 days. This also includes EU/EEA nationals and non-EU/EEA nationals who are exempt from holding an Ireland visa.
As a non-EU/EEA national, if you want to stay for longer than 90 days, you have to apply for an Ireland Long Stay Visa and get a Residence Permit.
EU/EEA nationals do not need a visa or residence permit for long-term stays in Ireland, but they need to have enough resources to fund their stay or find a job in Ireland.
Can I Re-Enter Ireland With a Valid Tourist Visa?
There are two types of Ireland tourist visas:
- single-entry, and
With an Ireland single-entry tourist visa, you are allowed to only enter the country once. After you leave, you cannot re-enter, even if you still have remaining days on your visa.
An Ireland multiple-entry tourist visa allows you to enter and leave Ireland as many times as you want, as long as your Irish visa is still valid. However, a multiple-entry visa is only issued in specific cases, such as if you have previously received Ireland visas or need to make short, frequent trips, such as for business.
Quick Facts About Ireland Tourism
Small though it may be, there’s a lot to see in Ireland if you don’t mind the rainy weather.
Starting from the bustling and picturesque city streets to its museums and historical monuments, to one of its 30,000 castles, or the breathtaking natural landscapes which gave it the epithet “Emerald Isle”, you would hardly get bored while visiting Ireland.
Ireland is a small country, but it is still one of the most famous countries in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. Only in 2018, over 11.2 million people traveled to Ireland as tourists, many of them in an Ireland Tourist Visa.