Re-entry visa applications must be submitted by registered post effective 3 September 2018; in-person appointments in Dublin will be discontinued apart from emergencies.
A re-entry visa is a multiple-entry visa that can be obtained after a foreign national has moved to Ireland and secured an Irish Residence Permit (IRP card). Only citizens of so-called ‘visa-required countries’ must apply for re-entry visas. Failure to obtain one means that the person cannot re-enter Ireland after travel outside the country.
The current process allows for in-person appointments at the Re-entry Visa Processing Office at Burgh Quay in Dublin, which can be booked online, as well as postal applications. The advantage of in-person appointments is that visas are printed and issued on the day of the appointment and there is no need to surrender one’s passport.
On 21 August 2018, the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS) announced that the in-person application process in Dublin will end on 3 September 2018. Online booking of in-person appointments will still be available for a limited number applicants with emergency travel needs.
From 3 September 2018, all applications must be made via registered post. Individuals are advised to submit their applications 5-6 weeks prior to their travel date to ensure the visa is issued on time.
Note that although children aged 15 and under from visa-required countries do not require IRP cards in Ireland, they must have re-entry visas to be able to return to the country after travel abroad.
The practical impact of this change is that visa-required foreign nationals will need to submit their original passport and application bundle when applying for their re-entry visa through the post. We have been advised that they should apply 5-6 weeks before travel.
Visa-required foreign nationals should not travel outside of Ireland until the re-entry visa is issued. Individuals with upcoming travel plans who do not yet have re-entry visas may need to adjust their travel accordingly.
This change will also impact new hires, who will not be able to attend training or business meetings outside of Ireland for a 1-2 month period after moving to Ireland. They will also likely not have their passport for this time, which may be required to open a bank account, apply for a PPS number, etc. It will impact foreign nationals renewing their re-entry visa, as they will now need to submit their passport as part of the renewal process.
Exception in Emergency Situations
An exception will be made in emergency situations, where overseas travel is required on very short notice due to a critical, unforeseen event, such as a death or serious illness in the family. Evidence of the emergency must be provided at the appointment. Only a single-entry visa will be issued, valid for one month.
Deloitte will continue to monitor the situation and provide another update if there are further changes to the process.