- What is a Short Stay Family Visa?
- Who can apply for a Short Stay (Family/Friends) Visa?
- How to apply for a Short Stay Visa?
- What are the documents required for a Short Stay Family Visa?
- What information should be in the application letter?
- What information should go in the invitation letter?
- How do I prove social or economic ties to my country of residence?
- Providing financial evidence
- Do I need a visa to visit Northern Ireland?
- How can Total Law help me?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Short Stay Family Visa?
A Short Stay ‘C’ visit (family/friend) visa allows individuals from a visa-required country to enter Ireland for the purposes of visiting friends or family members who are currently residents in the country. The Short stay Family Visa is valid for up to 90 days. While in Ireland, foreign nationals who are on this visa are not allowed to do any work (paid or unpaid) nor are they allowed the use of any publicly funded services.
It should be noted that this visa allows the holder to travel to Ireland only and does not automatically grant the visa holders permission to enter the country. Permission to enter Ireland may be denied for a number of reasons by the immigration officer at border control even if you have an entry visa.
Who can apply for a Short Stay (Family/Friends) Visa?
Individuals who are from a non-European Economic Area (EEA) country that requires a visa to enter Ireland will need to apply and be approved for an Irish visa before travelling to Ireland. Each visa required national must apply for a separate Irish visa even if they are travelling together.
If a parent or legal guardian is travelling to Ireland to visit family or friends with their child who is under 18 years old will need to apply for a Tourist visa on their behalf.
How to apply for a Short Stay Visa?
All applications for an Irish visa must be made within the country where the visa required national is a legal resident. Overall the application process is as follows:
- The visa applicant submits their visa application online through the AVATS system
- The visa applicant pays the visa application fee
- The visa applicant sends their passport or travel document along with the necessary supporting documents to the appropriate visa processing office
After submitting a visa application online, the applicant will be notified where to send their passport/travel document and supporting documents. This address will normally be shown on the summary sheet. Application offices include the following:
- The Dublin visa office
- An International visa office
- An Irish Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s residing country
The applicant will also be given a Visa Application Transaction Number which they can use to track the status of their application. When applying online, you should select the following options when applying for this type of short-stay C visa:
- Visa type: Short Stay (C)
- Reason for travel: Visit Family/Friend
- Journey type: You can choose either single or multiple depending on your travel plan. It should be noted that ‘multiple’ entry visas are rarely approved.
If the applicant is sending off documents for themselves and another person, he/she may send them together in the same package. Each applicant’s documents must be put into separate envelopes with the name of the applicant and their Visa Application Transaction Number written on the front.
What are the documents required for a Short Stay Family Visa?
After you have completed your Irish visa application through the AVATS system, you will need to send the necessary supporting documents to the application office within 30 days. All documents must be original (photocopies are not accepted except where stated). In addition letters from companies, universities, schools, etc must be written on official headed paper, signed, and show the organisation’s full name, postal address, and contact details such as telephone number and website/email addresses.
Along with your passport/travel document, you will need to submit the following documents:
- The Application summary sheet (signed and dated)
- A written application letter explaining your reasons to visit Ireland (signed and dated)
- An invitation letter was written by your friend or family member residing in Ireland
- An accommodation plan detailing where you will be staying in Ireland (name and address of a friend or family member in Ireland if you are staying with them, printed reservation confirmations if staying in a hotel, rental property, guesthouse, etc)
- Proof of visa fee payment
- 2 Passport photographs with your signed name and Visa Application Transaction Number written on the back
- Your current passport or travel documents (must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you plan to leave Ireland)
- Photocopies of each page from previous passports (if applicable)
- Financial documents which prove that you have enough funds to support yourself whilst in Ireland
- Evidence of the visa applicant’s obligations to return home due to social or economic ties to their home country
- Proof that the applicant has private medical or travel insurance
- Information regarding past visa refusals (if applicable)
Documents that are not in English or Irish language will need to be translated. Both the original documents and certified translations should be submitted together.
What information should be in the application letter?
When writing your application letter, it is important to provide the following information:
- Your full name and postal address
- Your reason to visit Ireland
- The intended dates for entry and departure from Ireland
- The places you intend to stay whilst in Ireland (ex. at a friend or family member’s home, a hotel, hostel, or other rented accommodation)
- A brief description of who is funding your travel to Ireland
- The names and addresses of any family members who are currently living in Ireland (if applicable)
- The names and addresses of any family members who are currently living in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland
- If visiting a friend, you must provide the name and address of your friend along with a description of you know each other and documentary evidence of your relationship (copies of letters, emails, photographs, etc)
- If visiting a family member, you must provide the name and address of your family member, documentary evidence that shows relation (ex. a birth or marriage certificate), and evidence of your relationship (copies of letters, emails, photographs, evidence of past visits, etc)
Furthermore, your letter must also include a commitment from you that you obey the conditions of your visa, not become a burden on the State or rely on public services and leave Ireland before your visa expires.
What information should go in the invitation letter?
When your friend or family member writes their invitation letter, they should include the following information:
- The reason why they are inviting you to travel to Ireland
- The intended dates of your travel
- A description of how you know each other
- A clear and legible colour photocopy of the friend or family member’s National Identity Card, Irish Residence Permit, immigration permission stamp, or passport
- If your friend or a family member has invited you to stay with them in Ireland, they must state their invitation, dates of intended stay, and home address
- If your friend or family member is helping to fund the trip, they must include a cost estimate and descriptions of what they are funding in euros, and documents that prove they can fully pay for the expenses entirely
Furthermore, the invitation letter must also include a statement from the friend or family member that they understand that you must obey the conditions of your visa, not become a burden on the State or rely on public services and leave Ireland before your visa expires.
Anyone applying for a Short Stay ‘C’ visa will need to prove that they have strong family, social or economic ties to their country of residence to prove to the visa officer that he/she will not overstay their visa and leave Ireland before their visa expires.
To prove that you have social or economic ties in your home country, you may submit the following documents:
- Work payslips
- A letter from your employer stating how long you have been employed with that business, the dates of your absence from work
- A letter from your university or college stating the courses you are studying, how many years you have been attending the academic institution, how many years or terms you have left to pursue your degree
- Details of any family members in your country of residence (ex. birth certificates of dependent children, marriage certificates if you have a spouse, etc)
- Evidence of any property you either own or rent (property deeds, rental agreements, mortgage statements, etc)
- If self-employed, you can provide a letter detailing your business and what services or products they sell. This should be accompanied by financial documents showing that the business is viable.
Providing financial evidence
Since short-stay visas do not permit the visa holder access to public funds or publicly-funded services, it is necessary that the visa applicant proves that they have access to sufficient funds that will allow them to support themselves financially whilst in Ireland.
To demonstrate that you can financially support yourself whilst in Ireland you must include a bank statement showing money paid in and out for the past 6 months. This statement must be officially certified by your bank should include your name, address, bank account number, and account type. If the statement is from a savings and deposit account, you must include an original letter from the bank confirming that you can withdraw money from it. If your statement shows any large movements of money in or out of your account, you will need to include a written explanation of transactions.
If your trip partly or entirely relies on funding from someone other than you, you will need to provide an estimate of costs for the trip and state who is paying for which costs. You must supply evidence proving that the individual(s) financially supporting you whilst in Ireland can afford these expenses. To prove that the individual(s) can afford to financially support you, they will bees to submit current bank statements, their 3 most recent payslips, their most recent P60, and a letter from their employer confirming their employment (if employed).
Self-employed individuals can prove their financial status by submitting a letter describing their business along with any financial documents that prove their business is viable (copies of financial accounts, tax returns, confirmation of payments from customers from the past 6 months, etc)
Anyone who is helping to financially support you whilst in Ireland must be able to prove a bona fide relationship by submitting evidence such as photographs of you both together, email, letters, or any other evidence of correspondence. Furthermore, they must also provide their name, address, and contact details.
It should be noted that there are no minimum set amount of funds for approval. The visa officer will decide on a case-by-case basis if you have enough money to fund your trip and stay in Ireland.
Do I need a visa to visit Northern Ireland?
You may be able to enter Northern Ireland once you have entered Ireland if you have an Irish visa with the letters BIVS written on it. BIVS stands for the British-Irish Visa Scheme which allows the United Kingdom and Ireland to mutually recognize each other’s short-term visas.
If you do not have an Irish visa with BIVS written on it, you may need to apply for a UK visa in order to enter Northern Ireland.
How can Total Law help me?
Needless to say, applying for an Irish visa takes a lot of effort and due diligence. Here at Total Law, our immigration experts keep up-to-date with all the latest developments regarding Ireland visas. If you would like to apply for a visa to Ireland and need help with your application form or would like to know what options are available for you, contact us today at +353 061 518 025.
We offer a variety of packages tailored to meet your immigration needs. To enquire about our unique services and packages, contact us at +353 061 518 025 or leave a message online and we’ll get back to you.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
The cost of a Short Stay ‘C’ Visa will vary depending on the country from where it was issued. For up-to-date information on the cost of your visa including information on whether or not you are exempt from paying the visa fee, contact the application office that is processing your visa. Overall the cost for a Short Stay ‘C’ visa is as follows:
- Single entry Short stay ‘C’ visa: €60
- Multiple entry Short stay ‘C’ visa: €100
- Costs of private medical or travel insurance: costs will vary
- Certified translations: costs will vary
Irish visa applications are processed in the order received which means that processing times will depend on the visa application office, their workloads, and possible backlogs. In general, most Irish visas are processed within 8 weeks after receipt of supporting documents.
It should be noted that visas will take longer to process if any documents are missing so make sure to include all necessary supporting documents in your visa application package.
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a ‘letter of refusal’ detailing why your application was rejected. If you would like to appeal this decision, you must submit an appeal within 2 months of the date of your letter of refusal. Visa applicants who would like to apply for an appeal will not need to pay any fees.
The visa allows non-EEA nationals who are visiting Ireland to say in the country for up to 90 days.