- What is a Conference or Event Visa?
- Conference or Event Visa Application Process
- Conference or Event Visa Required Documents
- What happens after I have submitted my documents?
- Conference or Event Visa Application Fees
- Conference or Event Visa Validity
- Conference or Event Visa processing time
- Frequently asked questions
What is a Conference or Event Visa?
A conference or event visa is a type of Irish visa that grants permission to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days with intention of attending a conference, social gathering, or any similar event. It’s under the short stay ‘C’ visa category.
You need to apply for this visa if you’re a resident of a country that doesn’t have visa-free travel arrangements with Ireland. Anyone can apply for this visa but applicants under 18 will need their parent or legal guardian to complete the application on their behalf.
As a conference or event visa holder, you’re not allowed to engage in any type of work in Ireland, either paid or unpaid. Also, you cannot rely on Irish public services and state benefits.
When your visa expires, you have to leave the country. You can only extend the validity period under rare and exceptional circumstances. If the conference or event you’re attending in Ireland will run for more than 90 days, you should apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa instead.
Furthermore, like every other Irish visa, the conference or event visa only permits you to travel to the country. An immigration officer at your port of entry will determine if you’ll enter the country or not.
Conference or Event Visa Application Process
It is highly recommended that you begin your visa application 3 months before you intend to travel. This is to have enough time to resolve any possible setbacks during the application process.
The conference or event visa application is in 3 steps.
- The first step is to create a visa application online.
- The second step is to pay the visa application fee
- And the third step is to send your documents for processing.
NOTE: You may also need to provide your biometric information in some cases.
You’re to create your visa application online on the AVATS platform. Choose Short Stay ‘C’ as the visa type and then Conference/event as your reason for traveling when filling the application. Also, you have to select a Single or Multiple journey type.
Single entry short stay C visas allow you to enter Ireland just once. You can’t re-enter the country if you leave without submitting another visa application. Hence, with such a visa, you’ll only leave Ireland after you’re done with the conference or event you came for.
On the other hand, Multiple entry short stay C visas allow you to enter and re-enter Ireland so long as your visa is valid. However, it’s relatively more difficult to get a multiple entry visa than a single entry visa. Irish immigration only approves multiple entries for conference or event visa applicants in limited circumstances.
After completing your online application via AVATS, you should print, date, and sign your application summary and take note of your Visa Application Transaction Number. The number is important for checking the progress of your application.
Next, you have to pay your visa application fees. The Irish embassy or consulate in your country of residence will give you information on how to pay this fee. Once you pay your fees, prepare and send your documents to the embassy or consulate for processing.
You must send your documents within 30 days of creating your AVATS application. The processing of your application will begin only after you submit all necessary documents.
Conference or Event Visa Required Documents
The list of documents you have to submit for processing will include all or some of the following:
- Your valid international passport
- Two passport-sized colored photographs
- Signed and dated application summary from AVATS portal
- An application letter explaining why you want to travel to Ireland in details
- A letter from the conference/event organizers or hosts describing the event. The letter must also confirm that you’re registered to attend
- Receipt of payment of visa fees
- Evidence of medical and travel insurance
- Evidence that you’ll return to your home country
- Description of your accommodation agreements
- Description of financial support during your stay in Ireland
Keep in mind that the above documents and documentation are general for all applicants. The embassy may request more specific documents depending on your circumstances.
You should put all your documents in an envelope and write your name and Visa Application Transaction Number on it before submitting. Furthermore, your documents must be original and the letter from the company or organisation hosting the conference must be on an official letterhead paper.
Documents that are not in English or Irish must come with full and certified translations. The embassy will return all documents to you after processing your application.
What happens after I have submitted my documents?
After submitting your documents, the embassy will check to confirm that all are complete. If not, they’ll request that you submit any missing documents. If there’s a need for biometrics, the embassy will invite you.
After completing the above processes, you will wait to hear the decision on your application. If your application is approved, you’ll get your visa in your international passport. You now have permission to travel to Ireland.
If your application is denied, you’ll get a letter of refusal that explains the reason for the decision. If possible, you can appeal the decision within 2 months from when you receive the letter of refusal.
When you travel to Ireland, you’ll go through Border Control before you can enter Ireland. You must submit your visa and other supporting documents to an Irish immigration officer to prove that you have a valid reason to enter the country.
The visa officer will go through your visa and documents and either approve or deny you entry. Once the officer gives you permission to enter, you’ll get a landing stamp in your passport. The landing stamp will state your reason for coming to Ireland and how long you can stay in the country.
Conference or Event Visa Application Fees
Depending on your application circumstances, you’ll have to pay the following fees:
- Single entry – Short stay ‘C’ visa: €60
- Multiple entry – Short stay ‘C’ visa: €10
You may also have to pay for consular fees, biometrics, and other charges.
Conference or Event Visa Validity
Short stay C visas are valid for 90 days maximum. You’ll see the exact date your visa expires on the landing stamp in your international passport. You’re to leave the country before the expiry date.
Not leaving will result in legal action and deportation which will affect your chances of getting subsequent visas in the future. As mentioned earlier, you can only extend your visa in rare and exceptional circumstances. These are mainly emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances.
Conference or Event Visa processing time
The workload at the embassy or consulate where you submit your application may determine the visa processing time. This is because they usually process applications in their order of submission.
In other words, if there are many pending visa applications before yours, yours might take some time. That said, according to Irish immigration, applicants should expect a decision on their short stay ‘C’ conference/event visa application within 8 weeks after submitting their documents.
If any of your documents are missing, the 8 weeks start counting whenever you provide them. This prolongs the visa processing time. To avoid delays, you should apply early – 3 months ahead – and make sure you have all the documents that apply to your circumstances.
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If you want to compete in a competition in Ireland, you’ll need to apply for a Performance or Tournament Visa. Just like the Conference or Event Visa, it’s a Short Stay ‘C’ visa and allows you to stay in Ireland for up to 90 days. The Performance or Tournament Visa also has similar conditions to the Conference or Event Visa.
No, the Irish embassy doesn’t require interviews for most visas including the Conference/Event visa. You only have to create an application online, pay your fees, submit your documents, and provide biometrics if necessary.
The Short Stay Visa Waiver Program allows some UK visa holders to visit Ireland if the visa will be valid throughout their stay in the country. However, this excludes transit visa holders or those with the intention to marry or form a civil partnership.
Furthermore, the visa holder must be a citizen of any of the following countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Saudi Arabia