Entry into Ireland

Entry into Ireland as South African immigrating to Ireland would need Immigration information for South Africans moving, immigrating, visiting or working in the Republic of Ireland

This section deals with you coming into Ireland whether that is to immigrate,

to work or on holiday, and the paperwork you need specifically to enter Ireland

After this article please read the next one:

Tips on the Flying Process: How and what to do and say at each stage of the flying process from SA to Ireland

 

GO GET A NOTEPAD- You are going to need it...  

Ireland and South Africa have a special agreement that allows South Africans to enter Ireland visa free.

Whilst this is described as Visa-free, you do need certain proof to enter Ireland, and could be more correctly termed “visa at the border” or indeed a “stamp at the border.”

This visa-free entry also only applies to certain passport combinations. If you are a British/SA you need a pre-clearance visa, if you are a De facto relationship of Irish or Work permit you need a pre-clearance visa, If you're coming on Stamp0 you need a pre-clearance visa, if you are coming to Ireland to marry you need a pre-clearance visa ... CHECK if your passport combination between you and your sponsor/spouse/parent etc needs a pre-clearance HERE

An important note: Any official stamping your landing permission has absolute discretion. They have the discretion to allow or dis-allow a person into Ireland.

They can stamp up to 90 days entry or they can stamp as few or many days under that 90 days as they see fit for purpose.

They can detain you. They can interrogate you. They have the right to read your phone, search your laptop, search your bags and read all correspondence.

They can turn you around and send you on your way home without allowing you entry.  

Or they will be happy with the paperwork and information you will have very carefully put together as a result of SA2Eire and SAMTI and you will have no issues getting that 90 day stamp.

  • Compiling your entry info correctly is VITAL so that you are not refused entry. Organisation is EVERYTHING, and making certain you have more info than may be required is better than not having enough.

 If you wish to book a #MapMyMove we can help you prepare for this stressful time, drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Documents you may need to prove your intentions in Ireland?

 

So what do I need to get from SA to Ireland?

  1. Proof of Identity
  2. Proof of Accomodation
  3. Proof of Funds 
  4. Proof of Travel/Medical Insurance
  5. Proof Your route/reason for entry (Intentions)

 


 1. Proof of Identity

  • Your passport (your South African ID book is meaningless once you leave the shores of SA)
  • Make certain you have more than 6 months if you are coming on holiday/work/ visit
  • If you are coming to Ireland to live, we recommend more than 3 years on your passport South African Passport renewals

 


 2. Proof of Accomodation

 

1. If this is to stay with someone in Ireland (friend or relative)

2. If this is to stay in a hotel or BNB

  • Have proof of invoice or booking at the accommodation with relevant contact information of the place/person

3. If this to to move into a place you have rented or bought

  • Have proof of that

 


 3. Proof of Funds 

  • You may be asked to prove your funds available. Have a copy of your bank statement/ credit card statement showing your available balance
  • If someone else is funding this trip (if a holiday), have proof of their bank/ credit card statement and include in the letter of invitation that they are paying for you whilst you are in Ireland
  • There is no set amount on proof of funds. It is simply enough money to survive should I need to prove it. This is dependant on what route of immigration your taking or if you're coming on holiday. EUR100 is not going to cut it on either holiday nor immigration for example.

 


  4. Proof of Travel/Medical Insurance

Some airlines will not let you board without travel and/or medical insurance. This is because they want to make certain your medical and/or luggage are covered for the duration of your flying with them. You will also want to be covered in case you get sick in Ireland or on the travel to Ireland, and to cover cancelled flights.

BMU may want to know that in the event of a medical emergency you can pay or be covered. A few days in an Irish hospital when you are not yet a registered resident can go into the thousands of Euros, regardless of the passport you hold.

More and more often it is being reported people needing medical care who have just arrived in Ireland, regardless of passport, need to pay full international fees for medical treatment. It may be recommended you look at continuing your South African medical aid or some kind of private medical cover either Irish or South African, for the time it may take you to prove Habitual Residence and Medical in Ireland

Speak to your South African Medical Aid to see if they cover overseas travel for immigration for a month or so and how you would claim if you need to.

Note: Credit card travel insurance if you read the T's and C's is for holiday or business on a return ticket and when you are going with the intention of returning in a short period of time. If you are moving to Ireland need to claim, it will not be a valid claim and be denied

Perhaps a company like TIC who offers 1-way immigration cover. Please remember that they are like any insurer. When you submit a claim, they check the details you provided them before you purchased their product. If you buy one of their leisure products, telling them you have a return date, and you are traveling on a one-way ticket, they will turn your claim down because you bought a product that requires a return date.

Their claim administrators will ask for the following if you claim:

  • Plane ticket in the name of the person being submitted for.
  • Passport.
  • Any bills, receipts, or documentation related to the type of claim being submitted.
  • If any of these things contradict the information you provided when you bought your policy, the claim could be rejected.

 


5. Proof your Intention: your route/reason for entry:

To come to Ireland for the residence longer than 90 days, usually for the purpose of immigration/ residency, for the purpose of work, business, study or retirement you will need to investigate YOUR route of potential immigration: HERE

You are NOT allowed to work, seek work and engage in business.

 ie: To fly to Ireland to live and/or work or seek work you need a work permit in your hand (applied for from SA) or you or your spouse has Irish/ EU or British passports.

 


 a. If that's Holiday/Visiting family:

  • You need to show your intentions in Ireland in the form of holiday only. This needs to be expressed verbally but also backed up with proof. Who am I visiting and where am I going? What is your plan! If you are visiting people you will need the Letter of Invitation
  • You enter in the non-EU queue and you stay together if there are more than 1 of you travelling together
  • Read more on what is needed to visit Ireland: Visiting Ireland
  • Read more on what documents are required: Documents for Ireland

 


b. If that's attending a Work interview/ conference/ other:

  • You need to show your intentions in Ireland in the form of what you are doing and that the trip is for this purpose only. This needs to be expressed verbally but also backed up with proof. Where and with whom is the interview that has been pre-arranged, where is the conference, where is the exam... prove it! You will also need a Letter of Invitation
  • You enter in the non-EU queue and you stay together if there are more than 1 of you travelling together
  • Read more on what documents are required: Documents for Ireland

 


 c. If that’s a Work permit entry

  • You and your family (if you are travelling together) need to express that you are here on a Critical Skills work permit and show proof of that in the form of the Original Work Permit and passports.
  • If you are joining a spouse who is already in Ireland and has done their 12 months on their General Work permit, you need to show proof of that work permit and that they have been in Ireland 12 months. You will also need the Letter of Invitation
  • You enter in the non-EU queue and you stay together and get processed as a family
  • If you are bringing a De Facto partner (unmarried) all the proof needed to prove that entry AND the pre-clearance approval letter see: De Facto (unmarried) Partners and Proofs required
  • If you are bringing adult dependants make certain you have the proof required for them based on that (eg: adult children between 18-23 years proof of enrollment at Irish approved study, or dependant parents if allowed) see Family Reunification Document
  • Read more on what documents are required: Documents for Ireland

 


d. If that’s an EU Treaty entry

  • You do not need to explain at this point which route you are going (employed/ self-employed/ study/ self-sufficient).
  • You do need to express that the SA passport holders in your family are dependants of the EU passport and that you are going to be doing the EU treaty. This means that BMU (border control) records on their side the correct entry, and that the SA passports will be stamped correctly.
  • Usually they stamp up to 90 days entry, they write ‘EU treaty’ (or something along those lines) into the passport and they may or may not include your reference or GNIB number into the passport. Do not panic if they don’t do any of this, as long as you send off your paperwork once you’re in the country, as required before the 90 days is up, you will be covered.
  • The EU passport holder gets no stamps in their passport.
  • You enter in the non-EU queue and you stay together and get processed as a family
  • If you are bringing a De Facto partner (unmarried) all the proof needed to prove that entry see: De Facto (unmarried) Partners and Proofs required
  • If you are bringing adult dependants make certain you have the proof required for them based on that (eg: adult children between 21-23years proof of enrollment at Irish approved study, or dependant parents if allowed) see EU and South African Passports
  • Read more on what documents are required: Documents for Ireland

 


e. If one (or more) of you holds an Irish Passport and the rest are SA passport holders

  • Show the passports and the BMU officer will probably ask your intentions and explain how you know to go to Garda Immigration to get registered
  • You enter in the non-EU queue and you stay together and get processed as a family
  • If you are bringing a De Facto partner (unmarried) all the proof needed to prove that entry AND the pre-clearance approval letter see: De Facto (unmarried) Partners and Proofs required
  • If you are bringing adult dependants make certain you have the proof required for them based on that (eg: adult children between 18-23years proof of enrollment at Irish approved study, or dependant parents if allowed) see Family Reunification Document
  • Read more on what documents are required: Documents for Ireland

 


f. If that's a British with SA dependants entry

  • Each of the SA members each need a pre-clearance letter of approval. You will not be allowed entry into the country if the dependant(s) do not have this pre-clearance letter.
  • Read more on what documents are required: Documents for Ireland

 


g. If that’s where all members are Irish/British/EU and none of you are South African only passport holders

  • You simply show your passports and in you come. Your passports do not get stamped. You are EU or Common Travel Area (BP) holders and have the right to travel in and out of Ireland freely. It is only when 1 or more members hold only a South African passport that you need to communicate or express intentions of your journey through immigration and processes need to be done.
  • You enter the EU queue and stay together if you are travelling together
  • Read more on what documents are required: Documents for Ireland

 


h. If that's a South African coming on a Study Permit:

  • Letter of acceptance from a recognised school or college or university in Ireland confirming that you have been accepted on a course of study.
  • Plus all the additional proofs for this entry type see Documents for Ireland

 


i. If that's a South African coming on a Retirement Stamp0:

 


j. If that's a South African coming as an Business/Investor permit holder:

  • Proof of the IIP or STEP visa Plus all the additional proofs for this entry type see Documents for Ireland


Please go on to read the next article related to this one:

  Tips on the Flying Process: How and what to do and say at each stage of the flying process from SA to Ireland

 


 

Important links:

 

  #MapMyMove- Our coaching Services - Confused or lost and need some direction, book a session with us to help untangle the confusion and work out your route of immigration

   Frequently asked questions about entry into Ireland and visas

   Permission to Enter Ireland

   Standard Visitor Visa if you fly via the UK    

   Border Management Unit (BMU)

   De Facto (unmarried) Partners and proofs required - For unmarried people who want to do the EU Treaty with their partner

   What should I or can I bring with me to Ireland? - What you may need to do to bring meds or other goods into Ireland and Duty Free allowances

   Summary of the EU Directive (EU Treaty)- For travellers to Ireland who are doing the EU Treaty to print off for airlines

   Transport from the Airport to the place you are staying 

   South African Home Affairs - requirements to leave SA with a minor child without both biological parents present

    Travel to Ireland with a child under 18years to Ireland - Irish Immigration and BMU requirements

   Checklist of things to do before you move - We have produced a unique checklist of things to make sure you have done before leaving South Africa

   Home Affairs Documents - Home Affairs documents and what is the difference between Abridged/Unabridged/Full and Vault?

   Home Affairs Agents and Contacts - A list of contacts and agents who deal with Home Affairs documents

   Letter of Invitation - For family joining you later in Ireland/ Coming on Holiday/ Job Interview

   Entry in to Ireland - To enter in to Ireland, what documents do I need and how does it work?

   Flights from South Africa to Ireland - Airlines and routes from South Africa to Ireland and how to handle the flight process and one-way flights

   Admin before the move

   Admin once you're in Ireland

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