Ireland is a member of the European Union, but not a member of the Schengen Area. Therefore, separate immigration controls are maintained. The following rules generally apply:
Citizens of EU and EEA countries (and Switzerland) only require a valid national identity card or passport and do not require a visa for entry or employment; in many cases, the hold unlimited rights to employment and residence in Ireland.
Citizens of Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Japan, Kirbati, Lesotho, Macao SAR, Malawi, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, the Seychelles, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, the United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, the Vatican City and Venezuela, plus British Nationals (Overseas), require valid passports for entry, but they do not need visas for stays not exceeding three months in length. The period of admission is determined by the Immigration Officer at the port of entry, but can be extended up to the full 90 days if required. Foreigners who enter without a visa can also extend this stay after entry, but within the initial period of admission and with a valid purpose. Longer stays, employment, and citizens of other countries normally require advance visas.
Citizens of other countries should check the visas lists at the Irish Dept. of Foreign Affairs. The visa application process for tourist visas is reasonably straightforward and is detailed on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website. Stays based on tourist visas cannot be extended past 90 days under any circumstances.
Because of an informal agreement between the United Kingdom and Ireland, known as The Common Travel Area, there are no passport controls in effect for UK citizens travelling to Ireland. On arriving in an Irish airport from the UK, however, you will be asked for valid official photo-identification such as a passport or driving licence which shows your nationality. This is to prove you are an Irish, UK, or EU citizen who is entitled to avail of the Common Travel Area arrangements. Immigration controls are mandatory on all inbound flights, selective on ferries, and occasional at the land border crossings.
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