What Is a Business Visa?
The Irish Business Visa is a short stay ‘C’ visa that allows people to travel to Ireland for business or work. This includes a business meeting, contract signing, and negotiations, or work that lasts for no more than 14 days. As a short stay ‘C’ visa, the business visa is valid for 90 days.
A business visa holder cannot engage in any unpaid or paid work in Ireland for 15 days or more. If you plan to work for an employer for more than 14 days, you should apply for a short stay ‘C’ employment visa instead. Business visa holders also cannot rely on Irish public services and benefits.
You only need to apply for a short stay business visa if you’re traveling from a visa-required country. For instance, you don’t have to apply for a business short stay ‘C’ visa if you’re a citizen of an EU/EEA country, Switzerland, or any other non-visa-required country.
You cannot extend the duration of an Irish business visa unless in exceptional circumstances.
You have to submit the following documents for your business short stay ‘C’ visa and application form:
- International passport. The passport must be valid for at least six months from your intended date of leaving Ireland. If applicable, you’ll need to provide photocopies of all your previous passports
- Two passport-sized photographs
- Application summary sheet. It should have your signature and date
- Application letter. This letter should be a written explanation detailing, the reason why you want to travel to Ireland and your accommodation plan. It should also include the dates you plan to arrive and exit the country and details of any of your family members in Ireland, Switzerland, or any EU/EEA country.
- Commitment form. The form goes together with your application letter. It should state that you’ll abide by the visa conditions, not become a burden to the country and that you’ll leave one or before your visa expiry date.
- Invitation letter. This letter will come from the business party you’re to meet in Ireland. The letter should prove your relationship and also state if they’ll handle your finances during your stay. If you’re meeting multiple business parties, each of them must send an invitation letter.
- Proof of travel and medical insurance. You can get your visa before presenting your travel and medical insurance. However, you can’t enter Ireland without it. It’s better to have it ready before you get the visa.
- Proof of payment of application fees
- Financial plan. The plan should state who’s paying for the business trip; yourself, your host, or a third party
- Proof that you’ll leave Ireland after your business trip. In other words, ties to your home country or country of residence. It can either be work, family, or property
All documents you submit must be original. You’ll get them back after the application process is complete. Also, non-English and non-Irish documents must come with certified English or Irish translations.
The business visa application process is the same as all short stay C visas.
- First, you create a visa application online via the AVATS portal
- Second, you pay the visa fee
- And finally, you send your documents for processing.
On the AVATS portal, you’ll choose the Short Stay C Visa type and then Business as your reason for travel. You can either apply for a single entry or multiple entry business visa.
A single entry visa permits you to travel to Ireland just once. If you leave the country, you’ll need to apply for a new single journey visa to get permission to travel. On the other hand, multiple entry visas allow you to travel to Ireland on different occasions.
You’ll find the dates on which you’re allowed to travel on your visa after approval. However, it’s more difficult to obtain multi-entry permission than a single entry. The embassy only approves such multi entry visas in limited circumstances.
After completing the online visa application, print out the summary sheets and keep a note of your Visa Application Transaction Number. Then, proceed to pay your online application and fees and send your documents for processing.
You’re to send the documents to an Irish embassy or consulate in your country. The address will be on your visa application office summary sheet. You must send the documents within 30 days of creating your visa application.
The visa fees for short stay ‘C’ business visa application include:
- Single entry visa: €60
- Multiple entry visa: €100
Other extra costs may apply too. For instance, you may have to pay for consular fees, biometrics, and other charges.
After Your Application
After submitting your documents, the embassy or consulate starts processing your application office your visa.
If your visa officer required, you’ll have to visit the embassy to provide biometrics.
Also, the embassy may carry out a background check for information about you and your business.
They can contact the Irish Police or other international departments and agencies like INTERPOL.
If you qualify, your passport will be stamped with the business visa.
Otherwise, you’ll receive a letter of refusal explaining why your application was denied.
The embassy will then send back your business host and important original documents. With your business visa, you can only travel to Ireland.
You need permission at the first border control, to enter the country.
Hence, you should travel with your important visa documents. This includes your application summary, letter, a letter from the hosting party, accommodation plan, financial plan, bank statement and proof that you’ll return.
You’re to present these documents along with your international passport to an Immigration officer at the port of entry. If the officer confirms your visa and documents, he’ll place a landing stamp on your passport.
The landing stamp permits you to enter Ireland and also includes the date your permit expires. You must leave the country on or before that date.
Business Visa processing time
You should expect a decision on your short stay ‘C’ business visa application within 8 weeks after submission. The embassy or consulate where you apply has a big impact on the visa processing time.
They normally process applications on a first-come-first-served basis. Hence, if there are several pending visa applications ahead of yours, it may take a while. Furthermore, holidays and busy periods at visa office can affect the processing time.
To avoid delays, apply 3 months in advance and make sure you have all relevant documentation. If the foreign national embassy requests for any missing document, the 8-week waiting time restarts when you submit it.
Business Visa Validity
The business short stay ‘C’ visa is valid for 90 days. The visa expiration date will be on your landing stamp. As previously stated, you can only extend your visa in exceptional circumstances.
When such doesn’t apply, you must leave Ireland on or before your visa expiry date. Not departing will result in legal action and deportation, affecting future visa chances.
Last modified on November 10th, 2023 at 2:54 pm
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If you’re traveling to attend a conference or business event in Ireland, you should apply for the Conference/Event visa. The conference/event visa requirements are similar to the business visa requirements.
However, while the business visa allows you to work for a maximum of 14 days, the conference/event doesn’t permit you to work at all.
The Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme allows citizens of certain countries to enter Ireland without a visa. However, they must have a UK short-stay visa that expires after they leave Ireland. The Short Stay Visa Waiver Program is open to citizens of the following countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
- People’s Republic of China
If you want to stay in Ireland for longer than 90 days, you should apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa and not a short stay ‘C’ visa. You cannot stay in Ireland longer than 90 days with a short stay ‘C’ visa unless in exceptional circumstances.
If you’re already in Ireland on a short stay ‘C’ visa you must leave the country before you can apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa.