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Frequently asked questions

Northern Ireland

Q.1 Will an Irish visa allow me to travel to Northern Ireland?

No. If you wish to travel to Northern Ireland, you will require a UK visa.

Northern Ireland consists of Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone.

If you are travelling to the Republic of Ireland, and you intend to also visit Northern Ireland and return to the Republic, you must obtain a multiple-entry Irish visa and a UK visa.

If your main destination is Northern Ireland but you arrive in, and depart from the Republic of Ireland, you must first obtain a UK visa, and then a multi-entry Irish visa.

Note: If you have an Irish Visa endorsed with BIVS, you may travel to Northern Ireland on this visa (after arriving in the Republic of Ireland first), please see the following page for further information and rules of the scheme. /en/INIS/Pages/British Irish Visa Scheme.

Q.2 I hold a valid UK Visa. Do I need an Irish visa to travel to the Republic of Ireland?

Ireland and the UK have different visa requirements. You should first check if you need a Visa for Ireland.

In general, a valid UK visa does not allow travel to Ireland. For exceptions to this, please click here.

Q.3 I live in Northern Ireland and hold a valid UK visa. Do I need an Irish visa to enter the Republic even on a short trip?

Yes. You must show Immigration Officials at border crossings that you have a valid Irish visa.

Q.4 I am legally resident in Northern Ireland, where can I apply for an Irish visa?

You must apply online. For information on applying for a visa, please click here. Your application will be processed by the Visa Office, Embassy of Ireland, London.


Schengen Acquis

Q.5 I hold a valid Schengen visa. Do I need a separate Irish visa to come to the Republic of Ireland?

Yes. Ireland is not part of the Schengen Acquis.


Spouse/civil partner of Irish national

Q.6 I am an Irish national. My spouse / civil partner is a visa required national. Do they need a visa to visit/live in Ireland?

Yes. For information on applying for a visa and the various types of visas please click here.


Applying for an Irish visa outside of country of residence

Q.7 I will be travelling to, or I am already in, another country on a short visit before travelling to Ireland. Can I apply for my Irish visa in the Irish Embassy/Consulate/Visa Office there?

No (unless Q8 applies to you). Visa applications should be made in your country of residence.

Q.8 I am the immediate family member of a national of an EU Member State. I will be travelling to, or I am already in, another country on a short visit before travelling to Ireland. Can I apply for my Irish visa in the Irish Embassy/Consulate there?

No (in nearly all cases).

Yes, if both of these apply to you:  

  • (a) you are making your visa application under the terms of EU Directive 2004/38/EC which allows family members of EU citizens exercising or planning to exercise Free Movement Rights;  


  • (b) you are not normally resident in a country for which biometrics are a requirement of the Irish visa application process. Currently residents of India, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Nigeria must provide biometrics as part of the visa application process.


Accelerated processing

Q.9 Can my application be processed more quickly?

In order to ensure that all visa applicants receive fair and equal treatment, applications are dealt with in the order that they are received.

In exceptional cases, where it can be demonstrated that extenuating circumstances exist, applications may be processed ahead of schedule.

For more information on processing times refer to our Visa Decisions page.



Q.10 Does my child need a separate visa to travel with me?

Yes. Each child must have a visa in their own name. This applies even if the child is included on your passport. A separate Online Visa Application must be completed for each child and the relevant fee paid. The fee for a visa is the same for adults and children.


E-mails claiming to be from an office of the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service or the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs

Q.11 I have received an email that claims to be from an office of the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service or the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. I have concerns that it may be visa scam. Is it genuine?

No. If you receive a request alleging to come from an INIS office or a Department of Foreign Affairs embassy requesting bank details or money, please contact visamail@justice.ieto investigate.


Criminal record

Q.12 I have a criminal record. May I apply for a visa?

Yes. Full details of your criminal record must be provided with your application.

However, please note that a history of serious crimes, serious breaches of immigration law or presentation of false documentation or making of false statements in support of an application can, of themselves, be reasons for refusal of a visa for which an appeal may not be allowed. This is the norm in many countries.


Refusal of my visa application

Q.13 My visa has been refused and I am waiting on a refund from the university/college. Can the INIS help?

The refund of fees is a civil matter i.e. a private matter between you and the university/college. The Irish Immigration & Naturalisation Service has no involvement in such matters.

However, the Irish Council for International Students may be able to assist. Please visit their website for further information:


Visa extensions

Q.14 I would like to extend my visa. May I do so?

This query is not a visa matter. For further information, please click here.


More questions


Page updated 6th March 2020