Visa Updates and Announcements – Notice Covid-19 Visa Arrangements

1 February 2021

As part of Irish Government efforts to tackle the pandemic an order has been signed that will impose new visa requirements on passport holders from a number of South American countries and South Africa. This order and the associated measures came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 27th January 2021.

In addition to the new requirements above, the decision has also been taken to temporarily cease accepting new visa/preclearance applications. This is effective from close of business 29th of January 2021.

While it will still be possible to apply for an Irish visa/preclearance online in the normal manner, these temporary measures mean that applicants will not be able to complete their application process. Please note that any application made online will remain valid until such time as restrictions are lifted. The Government intend to resume accepting applications as soon as safety concerns abate.

Certain Priority/Emergency cases will continue to be processed and these include the following:

  • Workers or self-employed persons exercising critical occupations including healthcare workers, frontier and posted workers as well as seasonal workers as referred to in the Guidelines concerning the exercise of the free movement of workers during the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • Transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting;
  • Patients travelling for imperative medical reasons;
  • Pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis and Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study;
  • Persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons;
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and police officers, and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
  • Passengers in transit;
  • Seafarers;
  • Journalists, when performing their duties.

The strong advice therefore is that everyone, regardless of their nationality or visa/preclearance status, or where they started from, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to or within Ireland, should not travel to Ireland.

It is also important to note that as of midnight 27 January 2021, in addition to countries who were visa required prior to that date, passport holders of the following countries are now also required to apply for an entry visa or transit visa, as appropriate, before travelling to Ireland:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • Ecuador (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • South Africa
  • Suriname (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)
  • Uruguay

Eugene F Collins is closely monitoring the situation as it develops and our immigration team is available to answer any of your queries.

However we recommend that anyone considering travel to Ireland should consult the following Government website beforehand.

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