- Who needs a Long Stay ‘D’ Visa
- What are the different types of Long Stay Visas?
- Irish Study Visas
- Join Family Visas
- Employment Visas for Ireland
- Irish Volunteer Visas
- Minister of Religion Visa
- Long Stay Visa Application
- Required Documents for a Long Stay Visa
- Long Stay Visa Fees
- How Total Law can help you with your visa application
- Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs a Long Stay 'D' Visa?
Irish Long Stay ‘D’ Visas are usually reserved for foreign nationals who are from a non-European Economic Area (EEA) country and would like to stay in Ireland for a period longer than 90 days.
Applications for Irish Long Stay Visas must be made from the applicant’s home country or country of legal residence and approved before the foreign national travels to Ireland.
It should be noted that citizens of the European Union (EU) or EEA countries (including Switzerland) are allowed to travel to Ireland without needing the need of an Irish visa. EEA nationals are permitted to stay in Ireland for periods longer than 90 days provided that they can prove they are able to financially support themselves and dependent family members who arrived with them.
Non-EU/EEA nationals who are from a visa-exempt country can also travel to Ireland without the need for an Irish visa, even for longer stays. However, foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries will need to request permission to stay from an immigration officer at Border Control to enter Ireland. Furthermore, they will need to also provide evidence of the reason for their travel (letter of enrollment at an academic institution, work contract, etc.) to Border Control upon entry into the country.
If you would like to know further information regarding if you need a visa or not for long-stay travel to Ireland, contact an experienced immigration attorney today to determine your eligibility.
What are the different types of Long Stay Visas?
There are various types of Long Stay Visas available to eligible applicants. These include the following:
- Irish Study Visas. This visa is meant for international students studying in either an accredited study program or at a higher educational institution in Ireland.
- Irish Work Visas. This visa is available for non-Irish or EU citizens who have a valid job offer in Ireland.
- Family Reunification Visa (Join Family Visa). This visa allows non-EU/EEA citizens to be reunited with family members living in Ireland.
- Working Holiday Visa. This visa is available to citizens of countries who have a Working Holiday agreement with Ireland.
- Internship Visa. This visa is available to non-EEA citizens who are coming to Ireland to work as paid interns.
- Researcher Visa. This visa is available to non-EEA citizens who are coming to Ireland to work as a researcher under a hosting agreement.
- Minister of Religion Visa. This visa is available to individuals who work as Ministers of Religion in a qualified religious body or faith community.
- Volunteer Visa. This visa to non-EEA citizens who are coming to Ireland for volunteer-related work.
Irish Study Visas
Irish Study Visas allow non-EEA citizens to study in Ireland for periods longer than 3 months. To qualify for this Ireland Long Stay Visa, students must be enrolled in a full-time program listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes. In addition, students must also be able to meet the following visa requirements:
- The applicant must provide an acceptance letter from their school, college, or university in Ireland
- The applicant must provide proof of their course academic records (ex, past certifications, qualifications, exam results, etc)
- The applicant’s course must be full-time with at least 15 hours of study per week
- The applicant must be able to meet the English language requirements (unless coming to Ireland to improve their English skills)
- The applicant must provide a receipt of full payment of their tuition fees
- The applicant must be able to meet the financial requirements by having at least €7,000 for their first year of study
- The applicant must have private medical insurance
- The applicant must prove sufficient ties back to their home country
- The applicant must provide an explanation of why they are studying a specific course if it is not related to their previous educational history
Join Family Visas
Join Family Visas allow for non-EEA spouses, partners, and other dependent family members to join their loved ones in Ireland for periods of stay that are longer than 3 months. This visa must be sponsored by a family member who is currently in Ireland. This person does not need to be an Irish national in order to sponsor their partner or family member for an Irish family visa.
Applications for an Irish Family Visa will need to include the following supporting documents:
- Details of the visa sponsor and any other family relative who are currently in Ireland
- A notarized statement detailing the dependent family member’s reasons for relocating to Ireland
- Details of any family relatives who are EU citizens
- Copies that establish the sponsor’s immigration status (this can include an Irish passport, residence permit, documents relating to Irish citizenship, an Irish Employment permit, or any other proof of settlement in Ireland)
- Any documents proving a genuine and pre-existing relationship between the sponsor and family member
- Any documents that prove both the applicant and sponsor have sufficient funds to finance their stay in Ireland (this can include bank statements from the past 6 months and tax income statements)
Employment Visas for Ireland
Irish Employment Visas allow non-EEA nationals to legally work in Ireland provided that first obtain an employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI). Once a work permit is obtained, applicants can apply for one of the following employment visas:
- Critical Skills Employment Permit
- Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
- Exchange Agreement Employment Permit
- Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
- Contract for Services Employment Permit
- Sport & Cultural Employment Permit
- General Employment Permit
- Reactivation Employment Permit
- Internship Employment Permit
To apply for a long stay employment visa, applicants will need to provide the following documents:
- A copy of their employment contract
- A letter from their intended Irish employer confirming the job offer and salary
- Details regarding the applicant’s qualifications and work experience
- An official bank statement detailing the transactions of the past 6 months
Irish Volunteer Visas
Irish Volunteer Visas allow non-EEA citizens who volunteer for a qualified organization in Ireland to stay in the country for up to 1 year. Volunteer workers are permitted to change their organization every 12 months and can even apply for a 1-year extension. Volunteers may work in the following sectors:
- Arts, tradition, and culture
- Community service and welfare
- Health services
- Religious and spiritual activities
- Sport and recreation
- Youth and education services
However, volunteers are not permitted to engage in any paid work, have access to state benefits, change their immigration status, bring their family members with them to Ireland, or stay in the country for more than 2 years.
To apply for a Volunteer Visa, applicants must be able to meet the following visa requirements:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old
- The applicant is a person of good moral character
- The applicant must not be an EU/EEA or Swiss national
- The applicant must be volunteering from an approved organisation
- The applicant must be qualified for the volunteer role
- The volunteering organisation must be able to demonstrate that they will financially support the volunteer throughout their stay
- The applicant will have the appropriate clearance to work with children or vulnerable individuals (where applicable)
- The applicant must prove that they have an insurance policy covering expenses for medical-related treatments from an authorized Irish company
Minister of Religion Visa
Ministers of Religion who work for an eligible religious body or faith community can apply for this visa which is valid for up to 3 years and can be extended for an additional 3 years.
It should be noted that an Irish Minister of Religion Visa requires preclearance and a letter of invitation from the faith community or religious body where the minister intends to work. The invitation letter must include the following:
- The minister has a demonstrable need
- The minister is qualified to execute his or her duties and responsibilities
- The minister has a clean police record
- The minister has the appropriate clearance to work with children and vulnerable adults
- The religious body or faith community where the minister will be working has child protection policies in place
- The religious body or faith community where the minister will be working is able to financially support the minister during their stay in Ireland
In addition to providing an invitation, the minister of religion will also need to submit the following documents:
- Any evidence that proves the sponsoring organisation will financially support the minister during his or her stay in Ireland
- The sponsor’s audited accounts from the past 6 months
- The minister’s bank statements from the past 6 months
- Proof of the minister’s qualifications
- Proof that the applicant has been a Minister of Religion for at least 3 years
- The applicant’s police clearance
- Any information regarding past visa refusals or deportations (if applicable)
- Proof of medical and/or travel insurance
Long Stay Visa Application
You can apply for an Ireland Long Stay Visa online through AVATS, the online Irish visa application service. After submitting your visa application, you will need to print out the summary form shown at the end and submit it along with the necessary relevant documents to the designated visa office. This could be a local Irish Embassy or Consulate or an international visa application agency.
All documents related to the visa application will need to be sent within 30 days of application submission on the AVATS system. If your application is approved, you can then travel to Ireland where you will need to pass Border Control and request permission to stay.
If approved, the immigration officer will then stamp your passport and you will be allowed entry. Once past immigration control, you will need to register your presence with the local immigration office and apply for an Irish residence permit. Applicants can book an appointment at their nearest immigration office 10 weeks ahead of time.
Required Documents for a Long Stay Visa
The specific documents that will need to be submitted for an Ireland Long Stay Visa will depend on the type of visa being applied for. In general, all long–stay visa applications will need to include the following documents:
- A signed application form summary (After you have completed your online application, you will need to print and sign this form)
- 2 passport-sized pictures shot to Ireland visa photo standards
- A valid passport
- Copies of previous passports
- An application letter that is written by the applicant stating the reason for travel to Ireland and includes details about the specific visa being applied for and any information regarding any family members who are in Ireland
- Any evidence that demonstrates the applicant has access to sufficient funds that will allow him or her to support themselves financially while in Ireland
- Any information regarding the past refusals of visas (if applicable)
- Proof of private medical insurance
Long Stay Visa Fees
Applying for an Ireland Long Stay Visa will include the following costs:
- Multi-entry visa fee: €100
- Preclearance fees: €60 (if applicable)
- Consular fees (if applicable)
In addition, applicants will be responsible for any fees relating to the type of Long Stay D Visa they are applying to. All visa fees are non-refundable as they cover the cost of the application processing.
How Total Law can help you with your visa application
At Total Law, we know that visa applications can get complicated. That’s why we offer a variety of services and packages tailored to your needs.
Our immigration experts will assess your eligibility and inform you of your options in addition to providing guidance and assistance with your application to make sure that it is completed to the highest standard.
For more information about the services we can provide you with, contact us at 0333 305 9375 or leave us a message in our online chat. We’re here to help you online, over the phone, or in person.
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Most Ireland Long Stay visa applications usually take about 8 weeks to process. It should be noted that if your application requires you to submit additional information, this processing time can be much longer.
Irish Family Visas can take up to 6 months to process due to the complex nature of the visa and the number of requirements and documents needed for the application.
In accordance with the Common Travel Area (CTA) agreement, British citizens do not need a Long Stay Visa to live, work, or study in Ireland for long periods of time. Both UK and Irish nationals are free to visit, live, and work in each other’s countries freely.
You can not use a Schengen visa to travel to Ireland as Ireland is not a part of the Schengen agreement. If you would like to travel to both the Schengen region and Ireland, non-EEA nationals will need to apply for a separate Irish visa to enter Ireland.