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UK nationals don’t need a passport to visit the Republic, but are advised to carry one (or some other form of photo identification) to prove that they are a UK national. It’s also necessary to have a passport or photo ID when changing travellers cheques or hiring a car. European Economic Area (EEA) citizens (that is, citizens of EU states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) can enter Ireland with either a passport or a national ID card.

Visitors from outside the EEA will need a passport, which should remain valid for at least six months after their intended arrival.

For EEA nationals and citizens of most Western countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, no visa is required to visit either the Republic or Northern Ireland, but citizens of India, China and many African countries do need a visa for the Republic. Full visa requirements for visiting the Republic are available online at www.dfa.ie ; for Northern Ireland’s visa requirements see www.ukvisas.gov.uk.

EEA nationals can stay for as long as they like, but other visitors can usually remain for up to three months in the Republic and up to six months in the North. To stay longer in the Republic, contact the local garda (police) station or the Garda National Immigration Bureau (01-666 9100; www.garda.ie/angarda/gnib.html ; 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2). To stay longer in Northern Ireland contact the Home Office (0870-606 7766; www.homeoffice.gov.uk ; Immigration & Nationality Directorate, Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Rd, Croydon CR9 2BY, UK).

Citizens of member states of the EEA do not need a work visa to work in the Republic. Non-EEA nationals are allowed to work for up to one year in the Republic, if they have a specific job to come to and their employer has obtained permission from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Although you don’t need an onward or return ticket to enter Ireland, it could help if there’s any doubt that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Ireland.