Whether you are traveling for business or visiting Ireland as a tourist, the country conceals places to discover and experiences to share. So that your visit is perfect, here is some useful information to know. Update on entry formalities, insurance and available communication means to make your stay unforgettable.
Entry requirements for visiting Ireland
If you want to go to Ireland, a simple identity card is sufficient for all nationals of the European Union.
A minor can normally come to Ireland with his identity card or passport only.
Outside the EU, you will need a passport, with a visa depending on your country origin (see the official list countries for which a visa is required).
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Even if you come from a country in this list, no visa will be asked if you are a family member of an EU citizen and you hold the “Resident card of a family member of a Union citizen”. Similarly if you have the “Convention Travel Document” of a country in this list for short stays of less than or equal to 90 days, if you’re part of the Irish program called Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Program or if you are traveling as part of a package tour.
Check all visa exemptions to be ready for the trip
For Swiss and Canadians, passports must be valid for another six months after arrival.
The types of visa
For nationals whose entry is subject to obtaining a visa, two types of documents exist: the visa C for short stays and the visa D for long stay.
The visa C allows you to travel to Ireland for a period of less than three months. It is issued in the context of tourism activities, visits to family or friends, for study trips, but also for business purposes (a conference / events, participating in shows or competitions), pass an exam or an internship or a short training or receive medical treatment.
For stays exceeding three months, you must obtain a visa D.
Two types of visa exist: visa C and visa D for stays of less then three months and more then three months, respectively
For visiting Ireland, two options are available to you: a simple trip visa or multiple trips. In the case of a single trip, entry into Ireland will be granted once as per the validity dates specified on your visa. In the case of a multiple entry visa, you can come and go several times without constraints, according to the validity dates of your visa.
To fully enjoy your stay when visiting Ireland, we urge you to carry with you your insurance documents. They will be helpful if something goes wrong.
For nationals of the European Union, obtain a European Health Insurance Card from your local social security center. Valid for one year, it will allow you to be treated free of charge in the emergency department of public hospitals, provided you have it on you. Otherwise, you will advance hospitalisation costs.
In the case of a private clinic medical consultation, medical expenses can be reimbursed on your return to the country or on the spot if you have enough courage to complete some additional paperwork.
Carry with you your insurance to fully enjoy your stay
For nationals of a non-EU member countries, it is strongly recommended to take out an international insurance with repatriation option. Or to learn about medical costs if you are willing to pay a high price in case of serious glitch.
Calling in Ireland
During a short stay, several options are available:
- Enable the world/international option of your phone. In this case, your network provider will inform you by SMS about the prices once arrived. But beware, exceeding your monthly plan can happen quickly, especially if you use 3G or 4G.
- Using telephone boxes visible everywhere in the streets with a card or coins. You can also buy international calling cards in all newsagents or post offices.
- Connect to free Wi-Fi networks hostels, pubs and coffee shops. That will allow you to use applications like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber etc., to call your loved ones.
For longer stays, consider buying a SIM card there, prepaid from only 5 euros, with one of the Irish providers (Three, Vodafone …). You will have an Irish number. Nothing better to blend with the locals!