What are Short Stay 'C' Visas?
As the description states, Short Stay Visas, also C visas, allow the holder to stay in Ireland for a short time. With a Short Stay visa, you can stay in Ireland for up to 90 days. There are different types of Short Stay visas, and the type you’ll apply for depends on your intention.
You can apply for this visa if you are from a country whose nationals require a visa to enter Ireland. Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland do not need C visas to visit Ireland for a short period. There are other countries that do not require Short Stay visas to enter Ireland but they’ll need to register for permission.
Types of Short Stay ‘C’ Visas
The different types of C visas include:
- Tourist Visa – The Tourist Visa is for people who intend to visit Ireland for the purpose of tourism and has a duration of 90 days. If you intend to take a short-term course at a recognized institution, you can also apply for a tourist visa.
- Family/Friends Visa – The Family/Friends visa is available to those who want to travel to Ireland to visit their friends and families. The friend/family must be an Irish resident.
- Business Visa – The Business Visa is available to those traveling to Ireland for business purposes. This includes activities like business meetings, negotiations, signing of agreements and contracts.
- Conference/Event Visa – The Conference/Event Visa allows you to travel to Ireland to attend conferences and similar events in academia or business.
- Exam Visa – The Exam visa is available to those traveling to Ireland to sit for an exam that’s important for their course of study or employment. You can only get an Exam visa if the examination is deemed necessary.
- Employment Visa, Atypical Working Scheme Division – The Employment Visa, under Short Stay ‘C’ visas, is available to those traveling to Ireland for short-term employment. This requires approval from the Atypical Working Scheme Division.
- Join Ship Visa – The Join Ship visa is available for those coming to Ireland to work as a seafarer on a ship that’s departing from Ireland.
- Internship Visa – This visa is available to those travelling for internship/training required for their studies.
- Marriage Visa – This visa is available to those with the intention to marry in Ireland. You must demonstrate to the Registrar your intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership. You can only apply for a Marriage Visa after the Registrar confirms your receipt of notification.
- Performance/Tournament Visa – The Performance or Tournament visa is available for those traveling to Ireland to participate in a tournament or stage performance. Examples include music, theatre performance, or sports tournament performance.
- Training Visa – The Training Visa allows you to enter Ireland to participate in a training program. The course must be organized and paid for by the company or organization for which you work.
- Medical Treatment Visa – Patients traveling to Ireland for private medical treatment under certain conditions can apply for a medical treatment visa.
- Visa for non-EU/EEA & non-Swiss citizen travelling with EU/EEA/Swiss family – You will be eligible for the visa if you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national coming to Ireland to accompany a citizen of EU/EEA/Swiss residing in or migrating to Ireland.
C Visas Eligibility Requirements
The eligibility criteria usually vary depending on the type of short-stay visa you are seeking for. Nevertheless, there are a few general requirements that apply to all C visa categories. They include
- Proof you’ll leave Ireland in 90 days
- Proof of onward travel from Ireland
- Proof that you, or your sponsor, where applicable, have enough money to fund your stay in Ireland
- That you won’t breach the CTA (Common Travel Area) by entering the UK via Ireland without a valid UK visa.
- Your immigration history will be considered, including any major breaches of Irish or UK immigration legislation.
- Whether you have a history of serious crime
Submission of false or misleading information to the Department of Justice & Equality will result in denial of your application and possible further consequences.
If you intentionally mislead the Department of Justice & Equality, you may be barred from applying for an Irish visa for five years.
Short Stay 'C' Visas Application
The Short Stay ‘C’ visa application process is very simple. To start with, you must know the type of short-stay visa that matches your intention of travelling to Ireland. With that, you can follow the steps below to apply:
- Visit the AVATS system portal create your application
- Pay the visa fee
- Prepare all necessary documents
- Submit your documents are other important documentation for processing
It’s mandatory that you submit all supporting documents and documentation within 30 days of creating an application on the AVATS portal. If your visa is approved, you also have to take them all with you to Ireland.
The processing times for Short Stay ‘C’ visas vary but are not usually very long. To be on the safe side, you should start the application process at least 3 months before the date of your intended arrival.
Just as with eligibility, the required documents vary depending on the short visa type. The general documents you’ll have to submit include:
- AVATS online application summary sheet
- An application letter explaining your intention of travelling to Ireland
- Valid international passport
- Photocopy of each page of your previous passports if available
- Two passport photographs. You have to write your visa application tracking number and sign your signature at the back of each one.
- Information about your accommodation and financial plans during your stay in Ireland
- Proof that you will return to your country
Notably, the documents must meet the Department of Justice & Equality official guidelines. This implies that:
- The documents must be original. Photocopies are only accepted when stated or in special circumstances.
- Non-English or Irish documents must come with certified translations. You’ll still have to submit the original non-English/Irish document.
- Letters must be on official headed paper
You will need to pay for the following services when applying for your Short Stay visa:
- Single-entry short-stay C visa application fee: €60
- Multi-entry short-stay C visa application fee: €100
- Consular fees (if applicable)
What Happens After Submitting Your Application?
After submitting your application, the immigration officers will review it and your supporting documents. If necessary, they may contact other government departments and international organisations for more information about you.
After processing your application, your documents will be mailed to you, or you pick them up at the Irish embassy or consulate. Your visa will be stamped in your passport once your application is approved.
But if your application is denied, you will receive a ‘letter of denial’ explaining the reason for the denial.
It’s worth noting that an Irish visa does not ensure entrance into Ireland; it only allows you to travel. Upon arrival in Ireland, you must report to an immigration officer at the border.
The immigration officer will request necessary travel documents such as your passport and visa. This is why you must travel with all required documents. Bring photocopies of your application documentation, such as your summary sheet, letter, and proof of your financial status.
If the immigration officer approves your documents, you will receive formal entry permission and a landing stamp in your passport. If the immigration officer has any doubts about your proposed admission, you may be denied entry into Ireland.
According to the Department for Justice & Equality, you’ll get a decision on your application within eight weeks after they receive your application.
The exact processing time depends on the workload at the embassy and your short visa type. To avoid delay, you must follow due process, submit all necessary documents, and pay all your application fees.
Short stay ‘C’ visas have a maximum duration of 90 days. You can’t stay in Ireland longer than that, and you can’t extend the visa unless in extraordinary circumstances.
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Some Short Stay ‘C’ visa types like Business, Performance or Tournament, Employment (Atypical Working Scheme), Internship, Join Ship, and Training Visas permit a level of employment. However, the employment rules are very strict. All other short-stay visas do not allow work in Ireland.
You must leave Ireland on or before the end of the 90 days allowed on your Short Stay ‘C’ visa. Once outside, you can apply for a Long Stay “D” visa. You can’t apply for a long stay visa while in Ireland on a Short “C” visa.
Short Stay ‘C’ visa doesn’t apply to people travelling through Ireland. You’ll have to apply for a transit visa.