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Business visitor visas in Ireland

Business visitors

Visa requirements

In what circumstances is a visa required for business visitors?

Certain non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals require a pre-entry visa. This is the case for all types of Irish pre-entry visa, including business visas. Non-EEA nationals will need an Irish business visa if they are coming to Ireland:

  • for up to 90 days for activities relating to their work, including attending business meetings or negotiating or signing agreements or contracts; or
  • to work for 14 days or less.

It is recommended that non-EEA nationals who are coming to Ireland for business and do not need a pre-entry visa still carry proof of the business activities that they will be undertaking in Ireland.

Restrictions

What restrictions are imposed on business visitors in terms of the work that they may undertake and their period of stay in your jurisdiction?

A business visitor with a pre-entry visa can carry out activities relating to his or her job, including attending business meetings, negotiating or signing agreements or working for 14 days or less. If such a visa holder works for 14 days or less, he or she:

  • must be in Ireland for a 14-day period only;
  • must request permission to work when arriving at Irish Immigration Control; and
  • cannot work (paid or unpaid) for more than 15 days or rely on Irish public services.

A pre-entry visa allows the holder to travel to Ireland. However, an Irish immigration officer can refuse entry at Immigration Control even if the holder has a pre-entry visa. A business visa holder or a non-EEA national who does not need a business visa can stay in Ireland for up to 90 days.

Application and entry

How are business visitor visas obtained and what is the typical turnaround time?

A non-EEA national who requires a business visa to travel to Ireland must submit an online application. The application must be printed and submitted with specified supporting documentation to the nearest Irish embassy for processing. The turnaround time for visa processing depends on the processing time at the embassy in question. The Department of Justice and Equality recommends that business visa applications (and all other visa applications) be submitted eight weeks before travelling; however, visa processing is generally quicker than this.

Are any visa waiver or fast-track entry programmes available?

As regards visa waivers, certain non-EEA nationals require a pre-entry visa. This is the case for all types of Irish pre-entry visa, including business visas. In addition, two visa-waiver schemes exist between the United Kingdom and Ireland (ie, the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme and the British and Irish Visa Scheme).

Under the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme, a non-EEA national who ordinarily requires an Irish pre-entry visa may not need one if:

  • he or she is visiting Ireland for 90 days or less;
  • he or she holds a UK short stay visa (excluding certain specific types);
  • he or she is a national of a specified list of 18 countries; and
  • his or her visit to Ireland will end before their UK leave to remain ends.

The programme is non-reciprocal, so holders of Irish pre-entry visas cannot travel to the United Kingdom under the same terms.

The UK and Irish Visa Scheme is a reciprocal arrangement whereby each jurisdiction recognises short-stay visas issued by the other for travel to their jurisdiction. The relevant visa holder can travel freely from the country of first arrival (eg, the United Kingdom) to Ireland (including Northern Ireland) and back for the duration of their visa. The scheme only applies only to Chinese nationals who are living in China and to Indian nationals who are living in India.

Ireland has no fast-track visa entry programmes at present.

Short-term training

What rules and procedures apply for visitors seeking to undertake short-term training in your jurisdiction?

Certain non-EEA nationals require a pre-entry visa. Non-EEA nationals that require a visa can apply for a short stay C Training Visa, which will enable them to travel to Ireland to attend a professional development training course for up to 90 days. Non-EEA nationals who do not require a pre-entry visa should have the required documentation for inspection by Immigration Control on arrival in Ireland to support the fact that they will be engaged in short-term training.

Transit

In what circumstances is a transit visa required to pass through your jurisdiction? How is it obtained?

Certain non-EEA nationals need an Irish transit visa when transiting in Ireland before travelling to another jurisdiction. An Irish transit visa permits the holder to enter Ireland for transit purposes only. The holder cannot leave the relevant port and must have a relevant visa (if required) for the country to which they are travelling. The application for an Irish transit visa is made online and submitted to the nearest Irish embassy for processing with the required supporting documentation. The Department of Justice and Equality recommends that transit visa applications (and all other Irish visa applications) be submitted eight weeks before travelling; however, in practice, applications are proce