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Abolition of adult re-entry visas

NOTE If you are from a visa required country, and have a valid IRP card or GNIB card, you will no longer require a visa to leave and return to Ireland on or after 13 May 2019. You will be able to show your passport and IRP or GNIB card to prove to airlines and immigration officials that you have a right to travel to Ireland. You will be exempt from the requirement to hold a visa.

Abolition of re-entry visas

From 13 May 2019 visa required nationals who hold a valid IRP/GNIB card will no longer need a re-entry visa to travel to Ireland. Their IRP/GNIB card and passport will be sufficient. This brings Ireland in line with other EU Member States.

Over 40, 000 people annually will benefit from this change.


Visa required nationals without an IRP/GNIB card

Visa required nationals who do not hold an IRP/GNIB card will continue to require a valid visa, which must be applied for from outside the State.

  • Intending residents. The Irish Residence Permit is issued to non-EEA nationals who have a permission to reside in the State for more than 90 days. It can take some weeks to get a registration appointment, and up to 2 weeks for an IRP card to be produced following registration. Visa required nationals who intend to travel in and out of Ireland during the first four months of their planned stay should apply for a multiple entry visa, which will allow them to travel into Ireland multiple times in a given period, before their IRP card is issued.
  • Diplomats or other accredited members of staff at an Embassy (Administrative and Technical Staff / Service Staff / Private Domestic Employee) posted to Ireland must continue to apply for a re-entry visa following arrival in the State. Applications should be made via the Protocol Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Holders of Stamp 6 permissions cannot currently be issued with an IRP card and therefore may continue to apply for re-entry visas. Applications must be made by registered post. See full details on the web page - Application for a Re-entry visa for an adult with stamp 6.
  • Minors. Children aged 0-15 are not issued with an IRP/GNIB card. Their parents or guardians will be able to apply for a re-entry visa for them, to ensure that they can travel in and out of Ireland while living here. This re-entry visa can be applied for when living in Ireland (all other visas must be applied for from outside the State). See full details on the web page - Application for a re-entry visa for a minor under 16.


Why is the re-entry visa being abolished?

Improvements in security in the Irish registration certificate, the Irish Residence Permit, has made it possible to eliminate the need for re-entry visas, without compromising the safety and security of the visa or immigration system. The IRP card is in the standard EU format for residence permits, and is recognised by airlines.

The abolition of the re-entry visa system removes an administrative burden from visa required nationals who live in Ireland and who hold an Irish Residence Permit. They will no longer have to submit their passport to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for processing, and will no longer have to pay the re-entry visa fee.


Timescale – abolition on 13 May 2019.

Due to the need to notify airlines, ferry companies and immigration authorities in other countries, the option of presenting an IRP/GNIB card and passport at the point of entry will not come into effect until 13 May 2019. Until then, visa required nationals will need a valid visa or re-entry visa to travel to Ireland.


Important: Details of interim arrangements if travelling to Ireland before 13 May

If you are travelling and will return to Ireland before 13 May 2019, you will still require a re-entry visa, as Ireland has to give a period of notice to border agencies, airlines etc of this new visa exemption. We will process your application in the normal way, unless you cancel the application.

Please read the full details of the interim arrangements.



*Note: Our top questions and answers about these changes can be found in this Frequently Asked Questions document.




If you have questions about Re-entry visas, contact us.

Updated: 30 May 2019

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