- What is an Irish Business Visa?
- Eligibility for the Irish Business Visas
- Types of Business Visa
- Short Stay ‘C’ Business Visa
- Long Stay ‘D’ Visa
- Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP)
- Start-Up Entrepreneur Program (STEP)
- Required Documents
- How To Apply from Canada
- Costs and Fees
- Processing Time
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Irish Business Visa?
Irish business visas are travel documents that show you have received permission from the Department of Foreign Affairs at the Irish embassy to enter Ireland for a specific amount of time as a foreign national.
A business visa will allow you to carry out various business activities under specific terms. Some other visas, such as a tourist visa, may allow you to enter the country but do not give you legal permission to work or conduct business. The exact terms of your permission will vary depending on which business visa type you apply for.
Holding a business visa can be helpful whether you frequently visit Ireland for business or if you are just attending to an isolated business matter. Because the rules and guidelines can be complex, many business travellers and companies consult an immigration lawyer to assist them during the visa process.
Eligibility for the Irish Business Visas
There are a number of eligibility requirements you must meet in order to apply for a business visa. You must provide evidence of your professional experience, specific documents, and detailed information to support your visa claim. You must also:
- Be determined to be of good character by the embassy of Ireland
- Display significant ties to your home country
- Prove you have the financial means to support yourself for the duration of your trip.
- Have a valid Canadian passport.
Citizens of Canada are not required to obtain a visa in order to travel to Ireland for short trips. However, they may still be subject to these requirements of eligibility as the immigration service at border control will review all documents, details of your business trip, and itinerary when you enter the country.
If the immigration officer determines that you are not eligible to enter Ireland you can be refused entry. This information may also be reviewed when you apply for a residence permit for stays lasting longer than 90 days, or for work permits. Ultimately, eligibility depends on the type of business visa that you are applying for.
Types of Business Visa
There are several Irish business visas that Canadian citizens and residents can use to enter Ireland for business purposes. They include the following:
- Short Stay ‘C’ Business Visa
- Long Stay ‘D’ Visa
- Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP)
- Start-Up Entrepreneur Program (STEP)
At Total Law, we provide services that cover immigration to or visiting Ireland from Canada. If you are looking to enter the Republic of Ireland for business purposes, we can help you. Also, if you need to enter Northern Ireland, we can also help you obtain a UK visa.
Short Stay ‘C’ Business Visa
A short stay ‘C’ business visa gives you permission to travel to Ireland from a foreign country for up to 90 days for business purposes or work in Ireland for up to two weeks.
With the short stay ‘C’ business visa, you have permission to:
- Travel to Ireland for up to three months for business purposes
- Work in Ireland for up to two weeks.
- Attend business meetings or conferences
- Negotiate business contracts and sign agreements
Short stay ‘C’ business visa holders are not permitted to work paid or unpaid jobs for longer than 14 days. In order to take a paid work placement in Ireland for longer than 14 days, you will need a different type of visa or employment permit.
With this visa, you cannot access Irish public funds or services and should display that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your trip.
Canadians do not require business visas for stays of up to 90 days in Ireland. You can visit Ireland and conduct business without a short stay ‘C’ visa for up to 90 days, although you may need to apply for an employment permit in order to work in Ireland. Canadians and other non-visa-required citizens will still need to present supporting documentation and the purpose of their international travel to an immigration officer at border control when they enter Ireland.
Long Stay ‘D’ Visa
The long-stay ‘D’ visa is for those who plan to conduct business in Ireland for longer than 90 days. When you are applying for a long stay visa for business purposes, you will often need to obtain a work permit. When you reach Ireland, an immigration officer at border control will review your reason for visiting Ireland and determine if the nature of your visit is legitimate. They will stamp your passport with a landing stamp that allows you temporary permission to perform business activities while in the country.
After entering Ireland on the long-stay visa, you will need to register for an Irish Residence Permit before the landing stamp you were given upon entry expires.
Keep in mind that Canadian citizens, along with US citizens, Swiss nationals, and citizens of European countries, are not required to obtain a visa in order to enter Ireland. However, for stays of longer than three months, you must register for permission with the Department of Justice. As a Canadian, you will need to apply for an Irish Residence Permit when conducting business in Ireland for longer than three months.
Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP)
The Immigrant Investor Programme is intended for non-EEA foreign nationals who can dedicate a minimum investment to Ireland.
Although there are several approved channels for investment funding, the application process can be more complex than some other types of visas. Once you submit your application and it is approved, you will receive Stamp 4 from immigration services. This gives you permission to live in Ireland and conduct business activities.
There are four investment options available for the Immigrant Investor Programme. These are:
- Enterprise Investment – to qualify as enterprise investment, a foreign national must invest a minimum of €1 million in a new or existing business in Ireland. This investment must continue for a period of at least three years.
- Investment Fund – this is similar to enterprise investment but is designed for foreign nationals who invest a minimum of €1 million in a small or medium-sized business in Ireland. This investment must continue for a period of at least three years.
- Real Estate Investment Fund – this investment option is for those who invest a minimum of €2 million in an Irish Real Estate Investment Fund. This investment must continue for a period of at least three years.
- Endowments – The endowment option is available for foreign nationals who want to donate at least €500,000 as a charitable contribution. The endowment must benefit a specific community in Ireland to qualify for the Immigrant Investor Programme.
A qualified legal team such as Total Law can help you prepare your application forms and portfolio of supporting documentation according to the most recent guidelines and information.
Start-Up Entrepreneur Program (STEP)
The STEP program is a program designed by the Irish government to promote entrepreneurship in other countries. You can fill out the application forms online for the STEP program if you meet the following requirements:
- You must have a minimum amount of €50,000 in funds available for the start-up.
- You must be determined to be of good character by the visa office. This includes not having criminal convictions or prior visa violations.
- You must have a qualifying business proposal. You must intend to work on the start-up business on a full-time basis and not seek other employment while in Ireland.
Required documents can vary depending on which visa type you apply for and the length of time you intend to stay in Ireland.
Certain types of supporting documentation are shared among all visa requirements. When you go through the application process you will be given a specific list of documents based on the type of visa you apply for.
Missing information or incorrect documents are a common reason for rejection, so take care to review your portfolio of evidence before you submit your application. Required documents may include:
- Full contact details
- Your valid Canadian passport and previous passports
- Proof of private medical insurance
- Financial documents, such as bank statements and paystubs, that prove you have enough money in Canadian dollars to support yourself while in Ireland
- An application letter from your employer, company or a company you will be meeting with on official headed paper
- An itinerary that shows the details of your travel plans and the date you plan to leave Ireland.
Note that documents that are not in the English or Irish language will need to have certified translated copies made and submitted along with your visa application form. You will not typically be required to undergo a health examination.
How To Apply from Canada
You can apply for Irish business visa applications online at the Irish government website. When you fill out the online application, you will be given a complete list of the required documents that you will need to submit for review.
You will need to pay the visa fee at the time of application. The fee can be paid by money order or certified cheque.
For Canadian citizens and other non-visa-required citizens, you can apply for your Irish Residence Permit in person at a local immigration registration office once you are in Ireland. You will need to register for the permit before your landing stamp expires.
Common travel advice is given to visa applicants that they should refrain from booking flight tickets until their visa is approved. However, you can leave Canada to travel to Ireland without a visa for up to 90 days.
Costs and Fees for the Irish Business Visas
The costs and fees for the Irish business visa can vary depending on which type of visa you apply for. Canadians are not required to obtain a visa for short stays, and so in this case will not need to pay a visa application fee. When applying for a visa, you may incur additional costs due to investment funding requirements, expedited services, or services to obtain documents.
- A single entry short stay ‘C’ visa or long stay ‘d’ visa is about 102 CAD.
- A multiple entry short stay ‘C’ visa or long stay ‘d’ visa is about 171 CAD
- The return shipping fee for original documents is about 16 CAD
- The fee for an Irish Residence Permit is about 378 CAD
Applicants will typically receive a decision on a short stay Irish business visa within about 8 weeks when they are processed in the Irish embassy or consulate.
Other visa types, such as STEP can take considerably longer because they need to be reviewed by additional departments.
Missing information or inaccurate fields on the application may cause your visa application to be delayed. If visa processing times are unusually delayed the visa office will typically inform you.
With Total Law, your business visa application can be assembled by our team of qualified immigration lawyers.
Your Total Law advisor will provide you with up-to-date advice on the application process for an Irish business visa, work permit, or Irish residence permit.
For further information, contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or use our online contact form to get in touch with our team of professional immigration lawyers.
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Yes. Whether your business visa is approved or denied, you will receive all original document forms such as your passport and birth certificate to the address you include. Photocopies of original documents will not be returned to you.
Some types of business visas give you permission to work under specific terms or for short lengths of time. However, in general, you will likely need to apply for a work permit in order to take on paid or unpaid employment while in Ireland.
When your business visa is denied, you should receive a letter of refusal that states the reason for the decision. Your documents will be returned to you and you can decide whether to apply again or appeal the decision. If you are considering appealing a negative visa decision, contact Total Law for assistance.