As the saying goes, good things come in small packages, and that's certainly the case for the Emerald Isle. Breathtaking landscapes and charming cities that welcome you in like a long-lost friend – no matter how long your trip is, you'll leave planning your next vacation to Ireland.
The last thing you need upon arrival is visa confusion. Here’s how to check if you need a visa before setting off on your Irish adventure.
Note that this article covers visa requirements for the Republic of Ireland. The entry requirements for Northern Ireland fall under the UK guidelines.
What you need to know about visas in Ireland
If you’re a UK national or a European Economic Area (EEA) national, you don’t need a visa to visit (or work in) the Republic of Ireland. UK visitors can travel with their photo identification, while EU citizens can use their national identity cards. However, some airlines require you to have your passport – check the requirements before you book your flights.
Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA, among other countries, can visit the Republic for up to 90 days without a visa. A full list of visa-free countries is available here. Your passport must be valid until your return date.
If you require a visa, you can apply for a Short Stay “C” Visa. You will need to apply online while still in your home country – the Irish government advises applying three months before you are due to depart. The cost is €60 for a single-entry visa or €100 for a multiple-entry visa. Both are valid for 90 days.
Whether or not you need a visa, tourists from outside the UK or EEA are allowed to stay only 90 days in Ireland. As a rule, extensions are only granted in exceptional circumstances, and almost never to continue tourist activities. Should you need such an extension, contact the Garda National Immigration Bureau.
Visitors from outside the UK and EEA are not allowed to work while visiting Ireland. But a working holiday visa – where you live and work in the country for up to one year – might be an option, for citizens of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and the USA. Full details are available here.
Can I travel to Northern Ireland with an Irish visa?
You will not pass a physical border or passport control if traveling between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, you should be aware that the entry requirements for Northern Ireland fall under the UK visa rules and you may be requested to show evidence of a UK visa if you travel to Northern Ireland. If your return or ongoing journey leaves from a destination in Northern Ireland, you will have to go through passport control which is managed by the UK Home Office.
Can I go to Ireland with a UK visa?
In many cases, you cannot visit the Republic of Ireland on a UK visa, and you will need to apply for a separate Irish one (if required). However, some nationalities are entitled to travel to Ireland on a UK visa under the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme. Check if you’re eligible here.
Citizens of China and India can travel freely between the UK and Ireland under a visa issued by either country under the British-Irish Visa Scheme.