Visiting Ireland

Visiting ireland on holiday or for busines or interview- Immigration information for South Africans moving, immigrating, visiting or working in the Republic of Ireland

Visiting ireland on holiday or for busines or interview- Immigration information for South Africans moving, immigrating, visiting or working in the Republic of Ireland


Please note during Covid-19, a 14 day quarantine applies when you arrive in Ireland. Please see this link for VITAL info:   Covid-19 updates


IN NORMAL TIMES VISITING IRELAND:

 

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.”

  • When entering Ireland through an airport the first security you will encounter if Border Management Unit (BMU).

 

  • If you come to Ireland by driving via Northern Ireland, the correct procedure to obtain this entry stamp is to report to a Garda Immigration point either near the border, or where you are staying. They should then review your paperwork in the same way as they do if you come through an airport. Like any country, should you be stopped, or should you need emergency care and you are discovered in the country without that entry stamp, you could face deportation.

 

  • If you come by ferry, they do sometimes check as you disembark, if they do not, then as above, you should report to a local Garda Immigration near the port or near where you are staying. Like any country, should you be stopped, or should you need emergency care and you are discovered in the country without that entry stamp, you could face deportation.

 

  • When you are flying from South Africa, the airlines are well used to the visa-free entry into Ireland and will want to check your paperwork before they allow you on the aircraft. The reason they do this, is should you be declined entry into Ireland, they must return you to South Africa. This check can happen mid-way through a lay-over too. As there are no direct flights from South Africa to Ireland, you need to get a flight via another country. For example, if you fly via Dubai, the check-in staff in Dubai may do the same checks that they did or did not do in South Africa. The airlines are fully within their rights to deny you boarding on their flights. Just like entry into Dublin, they can detain you, they can interrogate you and they can turn you around and send you home.

 

  • Should you decide to fly via the UK you will need a Full UK Visitor visa. Not a transit, a FULL VISITOR VISA for all South African passport holders.

 

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 holiday or visit 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 bags and read all correspondence. They can turn you around and send you on your way home without allowing you entry.

 


 

How do I prove my intentions in Ireland?

On your journey to Ireland you need to carry paperwork with you for all points of call where it may be required.

If you were applying for a pre-approved visa for say a holiday in Australia, you need to provide evidence of: proof of identity, proof of address, proof of accommodation in the state, proof of funds, proof of travel insurance (in many cases), proof of activity in the state and proof of return. Once all of this is proven to their satisfaction, they will issue you your visa to enter Australia.

In Ireland it is much the same proof required, it’s just not a pre-approved visa you are applying for. You need to carry this paperwork with you for all points of call where it may be required. You may fly easily, and all this proof gathering may not even be checked, or you may have been to Ireland 40 times, but on the 41st time they may want to do these checks. Should you get checked at the airport in South Africa (or transit airport) they may do what is known as Pre-clearance. This could take a few minutes; it could take several hours. Stay calm, this is out of your control. The airline is taking due diligence before allowing you on the aircraft. Be at the airport early, give yourself good time at transit airports and have all your documentation ready. Pre-clearance cannot be done by you before you fly, it is done by the airline at the time you are due to fly.

At Entry into Ireland, be honest, be clear, be calm. Show all possible proof needed. They may not question you at all and it may be an easy process. They may ask a lot of questions. Remember BMU is in complete control, you do your best to show all possible proof you can.

What you need to prove entry is legitimate

You need to prove your Entry is legitimate, because it does need to be a legitimate entry. It is not permissible to seek or conduct employment searches or anything to do with work permits from within Ireland. All that can only be done from within South Africa.

If Holiday:

  • 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.

If for a job interview/ business conference/ training session/ business meetings:

  • There is allowance for you coming to Ireland to attend a job interview:
  • This Authorisation is applicable only to persons who have been invited to enter the State for the purpose of attending an interview.
  • For the purpose of this initiative dependants are not permitted to accompany the interviewee.

Documentation that must be available for inspection by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry includes:

  • Passport (must be valid for at least 6 months after date of arrival in the State).
  • The invitation to attend interview must be included as a supporting document when applying for a visa.
  • Original letter/notification of invitation to attend interview from the prospective employer based in the State. This letter should provide a detailed job description and contact details (name, phone number) of the prospective employer for verification purposes.
  • Evidence of sufficient funding for the duration of the stay.
  • Medical insurance

The same would apply if you were here to attend a one-off event, such as a conference, a business meeting, an examination, a meeting with a college or university, etc

This needs to be covered by proof of that event and not that you are working or earning money in the state. The entry stamp strictly prohibits work of any kind it states on the stamp “Employment /Business prohibited”  Should you want to discuss this with them, then you need to contact Inis and/or BMU themselves before leaving SA.

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Please note during Covid-19, a 14 day quarantine applies when you arrive in Ireland. Please see this link for VITAL info:   Covid-19 updates

 

Make certain you have all the proof you need to cover: Entry into Ireland- what do I need?

 


 

Important links:

 

   #MapMyMove- Our coaching Service - confused or lost and need some direction? 

   Letter of Invitation

   Home Affairs documents

   CitizensInformation

   Admin before the move

   Admin once you're in Ireland

  Standard Visitor Visa if you fly via the UK

Developed and sponsored by  The One Group

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