Ireland information: visa, passport and embassies

Belfast airport

Ireland’s passport and visa requirements vary for different nationalities so check with your local Irish embassy or consulate before you travel.

Belfast Airport


Most people need a valid passport to enter the Republic or Northern Ireland but there are some exceptions:

• If you're a UK citizen, you can also use official photo identification.

• If you're an EU citizen, you can also use a national identity card.

Air and sea carriers require some form of photo identification (usually either a passport or driving licence), so ALWAYS check what form of ID is required with your individual airline, ferry company or travel agent before travelling.

While e-passports are commonly used now, you don't need one to enter Ireland.

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Whether you need a visa to enter Ireland depends on your citizenship.

If you’re a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) member state (27 countries of the European Union, together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and many other countries including USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, you don’t need a visa to visit the Republic or Northern Ireland. South African visitors can visit the Republic of Ireland without a visa, but need a UK visa in order to enter Northern Ireland.

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has a full list of countries whose citizens do NOT need a visa to visit Ireland.

If your country is not on this list, contact your local Irish embassy/consulate before you travel to find out your visa requirements. If you’re planning on travelling to Northern Ireland, contact your local British embassy/high commission or consular office.

Short-Stay Visa Waiver Scheme

This scheme allows visitors from certain countries who have a valid UK visit visa to also visit Ireland without the need for an Irish visa. The scheme is valid until July 2016 and you can get a list of participating countries from INIS (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service).

Work and Student Visas

Wondering about a working holiday in the Republic of Ireland? You can talk to your local Irish embassy or consulate about a Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA). And if you’re interested in studying in Ireland, you can find out more from INIS.

If you want to work or study in Northern Ireland, contact UK Visas and Immigrations.

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