What is the Short Stay Family Visa?
The Short Stay Family Visa permits you to visit Ireland to see family and friends. You don’t need to apply for this visa if you’re an EEA national or from any Irish non-visa-required country. For your visa application, you must be able to demonstrate that you have strong family, work, or social ties in your resident country to prove that you’ll return.
As a short-stay visa, you can’t stay more than 30 days. Also, you cannot engage in any work, paid or unpaid, and you can’t make use of publicly funded services. If you’re traveling as a family, each traveller must apply for a separate visa; there are no group or family visas. If an applicant is under 18, their parent or legal guardian must apply on their behalf.
You should begin your application at least 3 months before you intend to arrive in Ireland. What you have to do is:
- Create an online visa application via AVATS
- Pay your application fee
- Submit your documents for processing
On the AVATS portal, you can apply for a Single entry or Multi-entry Short Stay ‘C’ visa. A single entry visa implies that you can only enter Ireland once. If you exit Ireland before the 90 days, you have to reapply for a visa to re-enter the country. A multi-entry visa implies that you can enter and re-enter Ireland multiple times so long as your visa is still valid. Getting a single-entry visa is easier than getting a multi-entry visa. Multiple entry visas are only approved in limited circumstances.
After you complete your AVATS application, you need to print your application summary. This application summary will contain your visa application transaction number and the application office where you’ll send your documents for processing. In addition, you have to sign and date the application summary sheets as you’ll submit them too.
Visa Application Fee
Irish immigration charges flat rates for all Short Stay ‘C’ visa applications. The application fees include:
- €60: Single entry – Short stay ‘C’ visa
- €100: Multi-entry – Short stay ‘C’ visa
Your application office will give you instructions on how to pay. There may be some extra charges like consular, biometrics, and document translation fees, depending on your circumstances. Also, you may be exempt from paying any application fees, depending on your country.
Document submission is a very important part of your short stay family visa applications. You must submit your documents to the application office in your application summary within 30 days of creating your AVATS application. Ensure you have all documents complete before submitting to avoid prolonging your application,
Unless stated, you’re to submit only original documents and not photocopies. Also, your documents must be in English or Irish; otherwise, you must submit a full and certified English or Irish translated version. In such a circumstance, you’re to submit both the translated and the original non-English/Irish version.
After processing, immigration will return your most important original documents. You can list out the original documents you want to be returned and send them with your application along with their photocopies. While submitting, all documents should be in an envelope with your name and visa application tracking number written on it.
Below are the required documents for your Short Stay Family Visa:
- Signed and dated application summary sheets
- Valid international passport
- Visa application letter detailing your reason for coming to Ireland, when you intend to enter and exit the country, where you’ll stay, and who is sponsoring your trip (yourself or someone else). Your letter must also include the details of the family and/or friends you’re visiting and your relationship with them. In addition, you must state that you’ll abide by the rules binding the visa.
- An invitation letter from the family/friends you’re visiting. They also must state the reason why they’re inviting you and how they know. It should correspond with the details in your application letter.
- Accommodation plan
- Visa fee payment receipt
- Two passport-sized photographs. Your name, signature, and visa application tracking
- Proof of finances. If you’re sponsoring yourself, you must submit an up-to-date bank statement (recent 6 months bank statement) and recent 3 months’ payslips. Anyone sponsoring you must do the same. The bank statement must come with an original letter on your bank’s headed paper.
- Proof that you’ll return home. You can show ties to work, school, property, or investments/self-employed businesses.
- Evidence of medical or travel insurance
- Previous visa refusals, if any
After Submitting Your Application
The immigration will check to ensure you have your complete documents before they start processing. In some circumstances, they may send your international passport or other official travel documents for authentication. Also, they may contact the Irish Police (Garda Síochána) or international agencies like INTERPOL for information about you.
If necessary, the application office will invite you to submit biometrics. The processing time depends mainly on the office where you apply. Your application will take longer if there are other pending applications as they are processed in their order of reception. However, you’ll get a verdict on your Short Stay ‘C’ visa application within 8 weeks of submitting your documents.
You can check with your application office from time to time for any updates on your application. If your application is approved, the Irish immigration will place a Short Stay ‘C’ Visit Family/Friend Visa into your international passport. If refused, you’ll get a letter explaining why and also advise if there’s anything you can do to reverse the decision.
Traveling To Ireland
Traveling to Ireland and entering Ireland is different. With a visa, you can only travel to Ireland; you need to pass Border Control to enter Ireland. Immigration visa officers at the port of entry can refuse you entry into Ireland even with your visa.
At border control, you must prove your reason for entering Ireland. You have to provide your international passport, visa, boarding card, and other documents like proof of finances, accommodation plan, visa application letter, invitation letter, and medical insurance. Hence, you should travel with all your most important documents.
The immigration visa officer will also ask you a few questions. If you pass border control, the immigration officer will place a landing stamp on your passport. This stamp will show the duration and also the conditions of your stay in Ireland.
You must leave Ireland before your landing stamp expires.
Can I visit my friends/family in Ireland with a UK visa?
If you hold a UK short-stay visa that’ll be valid throughout your stay in Ireland, you may not need to apply for an Irish visa if you qualify for the Short Stay Visa Waiver Program. The Short Stay Visa Waiver Program is only available to residents of certain countries.
The countries include; Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Montenegro, Oman, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Those given a UK short-stay visa as a guest in transit or to marry/enter a civil partnership cannot use this route. Also, you must first enter the UK with your short stay visa before you can enter Ireland. There is no minimum stay in the UK before traveling to Ireland.
Last modified on August 8th, 2023 at 11:55 am
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As an applicant from a non-visa-required country, you don’t need to apply for a visa. You can travel to Ireland but, you need to bring along all required documents as you’ll need to pass border control at the port of entry. At border control, you’ll provide all documents as a visa applicant from a visa required country except for a visa.
All Irish Short Stay ‘C’ visas are only valid for 90 days. You must leave the country when your time is up as you can’t extend your Immigration permission. If you want to re-enter Ireland, you must reapply for another visa. If you want to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days, you should apply for the Long Stay ‘D’ Join Family visa instead.
Immigration can deny your visa application if you have a criminal or immigration abuse record. Also, they’ll deny your application if you supply fake or misleading information – especially if you exempt previous visa refusals.