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Ireland Visit Visa from South Africa

To visit Ireland for tourism or to visit family/friends for under 90 days, you may need a Short Stay Tourist Visa.

To receive assistance on how to apply for a visa, call our immigration experts on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online.

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    Introduction to Short Stay ‘C’ Visa

    Visitors from South Africa with South African passports do not need a visa to visit Ireland. This means you can take a holiday or a short break in Ireland for less than 90 days without worrying about a visa.

    If you are from a visa-required country, you will have to apply for a Short Stay ‘C’ Tourist Visa.

    Applicants can apply for a Short Stay ‘C’ visa up to 3 months before they are due to travel to Ireland.

    You must make your visa application from the country where you are ordinarily resident, i.e. the country where you live. Requests to make a visa application from any other country (i.e. a country that you are visiting while on holiday) will not be accepted.

    Each traveller must apply for their own visa as there are no family visas. A parent or legal guardian may make an application on behalf of a child under 18.

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    How to Apply

    You can apply for a Short Stay ‘C’ visit visa to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days for the following reasons:

    • Tourism
    • To visit family/friend
    • Study (i.e. a short-term English language course)
    • To get married
    • Medical treatment

    To apply for a visa, you will need to create a visa application online through AVATS, the online Irish visa system. On AVATS, select the ‘Short Stay C’ option as your visa type.

    If you are wanting to visit Ireland for tourism or study for less than 90 days, you will select ‘Visit Tourist’ as your reason for travel.

    If you are wanting to visit Ireland to visit family or friends, you will need to select ‘Visit Family/Friend’ as your reason for travel.

    Whichever is appropriate for you, select ‘Single’ or ‘Multiple’ as your journey type (number of entries into Ireland).

    After your application is completed, you will need to pay the visa application fee, and send your passport and other documents for processing.

    You may also need to provide biometric information if asked.

    Information on where to send your documents will be provided after your application is created. Your application office could be the Dublin visa office, an international visa office, or an Irish Embassy or Consulate.

    When finished with the online application, you will see a web page with important information including:

    • Your Visa Application Transaction Number;
      • Keep a note of this number to check the progress of your application or when contacting Irish Immigration
    • Application summary sheets to print, sign, and date
    • Application office information on where to send your application and documents

    Documents for Short Stay ‘C’ Visa

    You must send the documents to your application office within 30 days of creating the application. Your application will not be processed until everything is received.

    Letters must be original and documents must be in English or Irish. If your documents need to be translated, send both the original documents and certified translations. Any State issued official documents, such as Birth Certificates, that were issued by a State outside of the EEA or Switzerland, must be attested as genuine by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the State that issued the document, so that it can be accepted as evidence for Irish visa purposes.

    Translations done outside of the EEA or Switzerland must also be attested as genuine, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country in which the translation occurs.

    Do not only submit photocopies of documents. You must include the original documents.

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    Documents Required for ‘Visit Tourist’

    If you are wanting to visit Ireland on holiday, here are the documents you need as part of your application:

    • Application summary sheets – printed, signed, and dated
    • Application letter – typed or written explaining why you want to come to Ireland, including full postal address, the reason for visit, travel dates, where you will stay, and details of who will fund your holiday
      • It must also include an agreement that you will obey all relevant visa conditions, not use Irish public services or become a burden on the Irish government, and that you will leave the country when your visa expires
    • Holiday plans – typed or written description of your planned holiday to Ireland, including printed reservation confirmations (emails or letters) of your accommodation with the dates shown of when you intend to stay at each place
    • Your current passport with at least 6 months’ validity from when you plan to travel to Ireland
      • If you have had previous passports, you must include a photocopy of each page
      • If you intend to travel to and from Ireland to a different country, you must type or write a letter describing your travel plan
      • You must give evidence that you’re legally in the country you’re applying from if you’re not a citizen there
    • 2 passport-sized colour photographs. On the back must be your signature and your Visa Application Transaction number
    • Disclosure of any previous visa refusals, deportations, or refusal of entries to any country.
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    Documents Required for ‘Visit Family/Friend’

    If you plan to come to Ireland to visit family or friends for less than 90 days, here are the documents you need as part of your application:

    • Application summary sheets – printed, signed, and dated
    • Application letter – typed or written explaining why you want to come to Ireland, including full postal address, the reason for visit, travel dates, where you will stay, and details of who will fund your holiday
      • It must also include an agreement that you will obey all relevant visa conditions, not use Irish public services or become a burden on the Irish government, and that you will leave the country when your visa expires
        • If you are visiting a friend(s), your letter must also include: the name(s) and address(es) of your friend(s) in Ireland, a description of how you and your friend(s) know each other, documentary evidence of the relationship between you and your friend(s), names and addresses of any members of your family who also live in Ireland or any other EU/EEA country or Switzerland
        • If you are visiting family, your letter must also include: the names and addresses of all members of your family who live in Ireland (including those you will not be visiting), the names and addresses of any members of your family who currently live in any other EU/EEA country or Switzerland, documentary evidence to show you are related to them, and documentary evidence to show your relationship with them
    • Invitation letter from your friend(s) or family member(s) you plan to visit in Ireland
      • In the letter, it must include the reason for the visit, the travel dates and a brief description of how they know you
      • The letter must also include a clear colour photocopy of the picture page of their National Identity Card or passport
      • You must get a separate letter from each friend/family member you are visiting who has a different home address
      • If you are invited to stay with your friend(s) or family member(s) in their home, the letter must state that they are inviting you to stay with them in their home, the dates you are invited to stay, and their full postal address
      • If your friend(s) or family member(s) is a non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss citizen, the letter must include a colour photocopy of their current valid Irish Residence Permit and the current valid immigration permission stamp in their passport
    • Accommodation plan, including information about whether you are staying with your family/friend or in other accommodation such as a hotel
    • 2 passport-sized colour photographs. On the back must be your signature and your Visa Application Transaction number
    • Your current passport with at least 6 months’ validity from when you plan to travel to Ireland
      • If you have had previous passports, you must include a photocopy of each page
      • If you intend to travel to and from Ireland to a different country, you must type or write a letter describing your travel plan
      • You must give evidence that you’re legally in the country you’re applying from if you’re not a citizen there
    • Disclosure of any previous visa refusals, deportations, or refusal of entries to any country.

    Speak to us about applying for a short stay visa if you're visiting Ireland for less than 90 days. Contact Us

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      Proof of Finances

      There is no minimum amount of finances required for this visa. Whether or not you have enough money for entry to Ireland will be decided by the visa officer at the border.

      If you are paying for your visit, you must include an up-to-date bank statement with your documents. This needs to be an original bank statement, certified by your bank, and covering transactions for the past 6 months. If you submit a bank statement from a savings and deposit account, you must include an original letter from your bank confirming you can withdraw money from it.

      If a friend or family member in Ireland is helping to pay for your visit, you need to type or write an estimate of how much your family member/friend will spend (in Euros) and what they will pay for (i.e. airline tickets).

      Your family member/friend must also show that they can afford these costs. This applies to any family members/friends who will help pay for your vacation, including Irish citizens.

      Your family member/friend must send you an up-to-date bank statement and employment information (3 most recent payslips, the most recent tax return document, letter from their employer that confirms they are employed).

      Medical Insurance

      Although you don’t need to submit proof of travel insurance with your application,  this may be requested by the visa officer reviewing your application. You should have proof of medical or travel insurance when you arrive at the port of entry and present it to the Immigration officer on request.

      If studying during your stay in Ireland, you need to include a study plan that includes information about the place you are studying, your accommodation, and proof you have a reserved place on the course.

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      Obligations to Return Home

      To apply for a short-stay visa in Ireland, you must provide evidence that you have strong family, social, or economic ties to your country of residence. This is necessary to convince the visa officer that you will not overstay your visa and return to your home country at the end of your trip.

      Here are some suggestions on how to show evidence for your obligations:

      Work

      To show proof of employment in your home country, you should submit your three most recent payslips and a letter from your employer stating:

      • How long you have been employed there
      • The dates you will be absent from your employment
      • The dates you will be returning to work in that employment

      Education or Study

      To show proof of enrolment in a school or educational institute in your home country, you should submit a latter from your place of study stating:

      • What course you are enrolled in
      • How many years you’ve been enrolled there
      • How much time you have left in your enrolment there and a confirmation that you will return there after your trip to Ireland

      Family

      To satisfy evidence of commitment to your family, include details of any family members living in your country of residence. If you have any dependent children and your children are remaining at home, you should submit birth certificates for the children.

      Property

      If you have any evidence of any property you own or rent, such as a title deed or tenancy agreement, include this as an obligation to return home.

      Additional Visa Requirements When Travelling with Children Under 18

      A parent or legal guardian should make a visa application for a young person (aged under 18)

      If you are applying for a young person travelling with both parents or legal guardians you need to include the young person’s original birth certificate with their application documents.

      If a young person is travelling with one parent or legal guardian only, you need to include a letter of consent signed by the young person’s other parent/legal guardian and a photocopy of the other parent/legal guardian’s passport or ID card that bears their signature.

      If you are applying for more than one young person, an original letter and photocopy of the parent’s passport or ID card should be submitted with each young person’s application.

      Young people travelling with an adult who is not their parent or legal guardian, or is travelling on their own, they need to have a letter of consent signed by both of their parents or legal guardians and a photocopy of each parent or guardian’s passport or ID card.

      If you are applying for a young person where a parent is deceased, you must include the original Death Certificate of the deceased parent.

      If you are applying for a young person where one parent has sole custody, you must include the original Court Order that granted sole custody to the parent concerned.

      Our experts can make sure your application's been filled in appropriately, to heighten your chances of a successful visa application. Contact us

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        Ireland Visit Visa Fees

        Payment methods and currency options may differ between visa offices. Current fees for Short stay ‘C’ visas are:

        • Single entry – €60
        • Multiple entry – €100

        The visa fee will not be refunded if you withdraw your application or if it is refused.

        Ireland Visitor Visa Processing Times

        Different embassies and visa offices will take different lengths of time to process different types of visa applications. These waiting times can change and you may check with the embassy or visa office, which is processing your application for information on their current waiting times. Generally, you can expect a decision about 8 weeks after we receive your documents.

        Entry to Ireland

        If your visa is approved, an Irish visa will be placed on a blank page on your passport. Your passport and original documents will be sent by post. An Irish visa issued to a young person aged under 18 will show if they are travelling alone (unaccompanied) or with an adult (accompanied)

        The validity of your visa normally starts from the date your visa was granted and expires 90 days after this date. However, you should note that this is not always the case. In some circumstances, it will be shorter. The visa officer determines the validity and you cannot appeal against the visa officer’s decision on the validity period of your visa.

        You can only travel to Ireland between the dates on the visa including the first and last dates printed on the visa.

        An Irish visa does not guarantee entry into the country. An immigration officer can refuse you entry even if you have a visa.

        If you do not require a visa to come to Ireland and you’re not from the UK, EU/EEA or Switzerland, you should still present documents with you to demonstrate the reason for your visit.

        When you arrive at border control, you must show the immigration officer that you have a valid reason for entering Ireland. If you receive permission to enter, the officer will place a ‘landing stamp’ in your passport. This landing stamp shows the reason for your visit and how long you can stay, up to a maximum of 90 days.

        If your application is successful and you are permitted to enter Ireland, then you are required to fully obey the conditions of your visa. These conditions include:

        • You must leave Ireland before your permission to be in Ireland expires
        • You do not work (any type of paid or unpaid work) unless you have been granted a business, performance/tournament or Employment (Atypical) visa
        • You do not become a burden on the State or access publicly funded services such as a hospital
        • You have appropriate travel/medical insurance for the duration of your trip
        • You do not seek to enter the UK, EU, or EEA country without a valid visa for that country if required by that country.

        If there's complexities surrounding your case, we can offer a bespoke service tailored to you. Contact us

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          How Can IAS Help?

          We are highly-trained immigration experts, skilled in handling visa applications – no matter how complex or unique the circumstances of the applicant.

          Whether you are unsure of how to start with your application, what documents you need, or if you think you need a different Irish visa, we can help.

          To find out more about how IAS can assist you with your Ireland visitor visas, including preparing documents for multiple applicants, call us today on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    No. An Irish visit visa does not permit a person who is required to have a UK visa under UK immigration rules to enter the UK using an Irish visa. If you wish to enter the UK (including Northern Ireland), you must have a valid UK visa.

                    You will have to leave Ireland on or before the date of your visa’s expiry.

                    Visa extensions can only be approved if you undergo an unexpected change in your circumstances while in Ireland.

                    Extensions cannot be granted if:

                    • You haven’t had a major change in your circumstances from when you came to Ireland or from when your visa was granted
                    • You’re seeking medical attention in Ireland
                    • You’re in Ireland with the purpose of marrying
                    • You’re providing childcare facilities in Ireland
                    • You’re looking to live in Ireland full-time
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