What is the Ireland tourist visa?
The tourist visa is one of the ‘C’ short stay Ireland visas. It is issued to citizens of visa-requiring nations, allowing those citizens to visit Ireland for up to 90 days.
As a U.S. citizen, you do not require a visa to visit Ireland for less than 90 days. However, you have to register with the immigration authorities when you arrive in Ireland.
If you are a U.S. temporary or permanent resident and you’re not a citizen of a country under the Irish short-stay visa waiver program, then you need to apply for an Irish visa.
What can you do when you visit Ireland?
The Ireland short stay ‘C’ tourist visa allows you to enter Ireland for tourism. You can stay in Ireland for up to 90 days to;
- Visit family members and friends
- Receive medical treatment
- Sightsee Ireland’s beautiful locations
- Get married to an Irish citizen or legal resident
- Study short courses, e.g., short English courses
When you travel to Ireland on a tourist visa, you are not permitted to;
- Work in any capacity, even if it’s unpaid
- Use public-funded facilities like public hospitals.
Like every Irish visa, the tourist visa is only a pre-entry clearance and does not guarantee entry into Ireland. The immigration officer at the Irish border control determines if you meet the requirements to enter Ireland.
Eligibility Requirement for Ireland Tourist Visa
Before starting your tourist visa application, you have to establish that you meet the eligibility requirement for this visa. These requirements include;
- Having a valid passport. If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA, there are no minimum requirements regarding passport validity duration. Otherwise, your passport must be valid for at least six months after your proposed leave from Ireland.
- You must have sufficient funds to support both yourself and your dependent for the duration of your stay in Ireland.
- You must provide details of any previous applications you have made for an Irish visa.
- If you have any family members who currently live in Ireland or any EU country, you must provide details about them.
- The Irish Department of Justice & Equality will consider your criminal record and your immigration history.
Citizens of EU/EEA member countries and Irish visa-exempt countries (including the U.S.) do not require a short-stay visa to enter Ireland. If you are a citizen of a country that requires an Irish visa, then you will need to apply for a short-stay visa.
If an applicant is under 18, their guardian will have to make the visa application on their behalf. If they travel alone, both parents or guardians must sign a consent form that the minor will travel with. If the minor is traveling with one parent, then the other parent must sign a consent form which they will travel with.
Note that the tourist visa is an individual visa. If you want to travel with family members, then each person will have to make and sign a separate application form. However, you can sign on their behalf if they’re less than 18.
Tourist Visa Application process
As a U.S. citizen, you have visa-free travel to Ireland to visit for 90 days. However, you will need to obtain permission to enter the state from an immigration officer at the Irish border control. You will need to present all required documents relevant to your travel when you arrive there. You will also need to show that you have booked a travel ticket to leave Ireland.
If you are not visa-exempt from traveling to Ireland, then you will need to apply for a tourist visa when visiting Ireland. The application process has three steps.
Step 1: Fill out and submit the online application
The first step is to visit the Irish online visa application system (AVATS) and fill in all the necessary information relating to your type of visa and reason for travel.
After submitting the form, you will be provided your application transaction number, application summary sheet, and information on the application office to send your application. The application office can be the following;
- The Dublin visa office
- An International visa office, or
- The Irish Embassy or Consulate in the US
Step 2: Pay the visa fees
After submitting your online application, you will be required to pay the visa fee. This fee will be determined by whether you are applying for a single journey visa or a multiple entry visas.
The fee for a single journey visa is $81, while a multiple entry visa fee is $136. In many cases, you will be granted a single entry visa, even when you apply for a multiple entry visa.
The visa fee covers the cost of processing your visa application and is non-refundable. You may be required to pay other fees based on the consular office from which you apply.
Also, note that citizens of certain nationalities are exempt from paying the visa fee.
Step 3: Submit your valid passport and required documents for processing.
After paying the visa application fee, you must submit the following documents to your application office within 30 days of creating your online application;
- The application summary sheet provided upon completion of the online application
- An application letter detailing your reason for visiting Ireland, when you intend to arrive in Ireland, where you will stay, and who will finance your travel.
- An invitation letter from a reference in Ireland. The letter must:
- Detail why they want you to visit Ireland, when they are expecting you and how they know you.
- Provide details of your relationship with your reference. If the reference is not an Irish citizen, you must provide evidence of their permission to remain in Ireland.
- A detailed vacation plan should indicate what you will do and where you will stay in Ireland. If you will stay in a hotel, you must show evidence of hotel bookings.
- Written confirmation from both yourself and your reference that you will adhere to your visa conditions and will not become a burden on the state and leave the state within 90 days of arriving.
- Valid passport with at least 6 months validity from your departure from Ireland and photocopies of your previous passports.
- Two passport-sized color photographs that meet Ireland visa specifications. Sign your name and write your visa application transaction number on the back of the photographs.
- Evidence that you have enough money to finance your visit to Ireland.
- If you will finance yourself, submit a detailed bank statement of your account.
- If your reference will finance your trip, write an estimate of their spending and what they will finance.
- Note that there is no minimum financial requirement to come into Ireland. The visa official determines what is optimal for you based on your condition,
- Evidence showing that you are obliged to return to your home country. This could be financial, commercial, or familial.
- Evidence of all previous visa refusals. If you have been deported or refused entry into a country in the past, then you have to provide evidence of that.
- In some cases, you may be required to provide evidence of health insurance and payment of the visa application fees.
All documents submitted to the application office must be original, and all letters must be on official letter-headed paper. If any of your documents are not in English, you must obtain certified translations and then submit both the original and the translated versions.
For assistance with the application process, do not hesitate to contact total law at +1 844 290 6312. We have an array of vastly experienced immigration lawyers who will help you scale through the rigors of the Irish tourist visa application.
Visa Processing times
The processing times for tourist visa applications may vary based on different circumstances, like the application office and the time your application is received.
Typically, the Department of Justice will send a decision within eight weeks of receiving your application. However, processing times may be slower during the holidays or busy periods.
What You Should Know About Visa Decisions
All the documents and information you provide with your application must be true and not misleading.
The Department of Justice & Equality will examine all the documents and can deny your application and even prohibit future visa applications to Ireland if the information is misleading.
The Irish immigration officials will check that your application includes signed and dated application summary sheets, that you have paid the application fee, and that you have provided all necessary documentation.
Irish police and other international agencies might contact you to provide further relevant information.
If Irish immigration officials find your application satisfactory, they will stamp your tourist visa on a blank page of your passport or travel document.
Afterward, they will return your passport and some original documents (marriage/birth/death certificates) to you via post. You may also pick up your documents at the Irish embassy/consulate or an international visa office.
If your visa application is refused, the application office will send you a letter of refusal explaining why your application was not approved. Your documents and passport will be returned via post, or you can arrange to pick them up at the Irish embassy/consulate or an international visa office.
Traveling to Ireland
After receiving your visa, you can travel to Ireland but not enter. To enter Ireland, you must prove to the immigration officers at border control that you have a valid reason to enter Ireland. You must submit your passport, visa, and all supporting documents to the immigration official, who will then decide based on the documents you have submitted.
If the immigration official is satisfied with your documents, they will place a landing stamp on your passport, indicating the reason for your visit and duration of stay. If they are not satisfied, they can detain you and then process you for return.
How Total Law can Help
At Total Law, we have an array of immigration lawyers who have worked for years, helping organizations and individuals with their Irish visa and immigration needs.
Our immigration lawyers can provide all the necessary support and assistance to make your application process seamless.
We will help you determine if you meet the eligibility for an Irish tourist visa and advice on other routes or options if you don’t meet the requirements. We will also help you through the process of obtaining all supporting documents to ensure that there are no delays with your applications and completing all forms to ensure that your visa is quickly approved.
Contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to get in touch.
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Typically, you are required to leave Ireland once the 90 days duration of your visa expires. However, if the circumstances of your visit change abruptly after you arrive in Ireland, you may be allowed to apply for an extension. For example, your referee becomes sick, and you must take care of them.
The extension will not be granted for non-emergency purposes, and you must apply from Ireland.
If you feel your visa application was wrongly refused, you can appeal the decision by the Department of Justice. You will need expert immigration lawyers to help you through the appeal process. Contact total law for support today.