If you are a foreign national who has to travel to Ireland for any type of business-related activity, you may have to apply for an Ireland business visa.
The Ireland business visa is a type of Ireland short-stay visa (also known as an Ireland C visa). It allows the holder to travel to Ireland, where they will have to go through Border Control and request permission to stay. This means holding an Irish visa does not automatically grant you the right to enter Ireland. It is the Immigration Officer at Border Control who makes this decision. They could refuse you entry even if you received an Ireland Business visa before traveling.
However, not everyone has to apply for a business visa to travel to Ireland. There are also conditions you have to adhere to if you want to travel to Ireland with a business visa, as well as the requirements you must meet.
Who Has to Get an Ireland Business Visa?
The Ireland government has very specific requirements in regards to their visas. Depending on your nationality, you could fall under one of the below categories when it comes to your Ireland visa requirements:
Ireland is part of the EU agreement, so if you are a citizen of an EU or EEA member state or of Switzerland, you can travel to Ireland visa-free.
In addition, because of the EU Right of Free Movement, you also do not need to request permission to stay at the Border Control.
No Ireland Business Visa required but you are subject to Border Control
Ireland has granted several the right of traveling without a visa to several non-EU countries. If you are from a non-EU/EEA country who is exempt from Ireland visas, you do not need to apply for an Ireland Business Visa before traveling to Ireland.
However, you will still have to register at Border Control and request permission to stay from an Immigration Officer.
Both Ireland Business Visa and Border Control are required
If you are from a country who is not exempt from Ireland Visas and you want to travel to Ireland for business, you will have to apply for an Ireland Business Visa.
In addition to that, you will also have to register at Border Control and request permission to stay through an Immigration Officer.
See the list of countries whose citizens need to apply for an Ireland Visa.
How to Get an Ireland Business Visa?
You must apply for your Ireland Business Visa online before submitting the required documents at the specified visa application office.
To successfully obtain an Ireland Business visa, you must go through the following steps:
- File the online application form.
- Check where you should submit the application.
- Complete the documents file.
- Pay the fees.
- Submit your biometric data.
File the online application form
You have to complete an Ireland Business Visa application form through AVATS, the Online Application Facility which is found on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website.
When you start filling in the online application, you have to select the type of visa you are applying for. As such, for an Ireland Business Visa, you must select:
- Short Stay (C) visa
- Single- or multiple-entry (as it suits you best)
- Reason for travel: Business
You must fill in each page of the online application form before proceeding to the next. When you complete the application, you will get a summary application form which you have to print and submit (along with your passport and other required documents) at a visa application office.
Where should I submit the application?
The summary application form which you have to print informs you where to submit your documents required for an Ireland business visa. The location changes depending on the country you are from. It could be, for example, at:
- The Dublin Visa Office
- An International Visa Application Agency
- An Irish Embassy or Consulate in your country
Based on the location, the method of submitting the documents also changes – you may have to submit them in person or by mail.
Before submitting the documents, you have to place all of them in a large, strong envelope.
Submitting the required Ireland Business Visa documents
Before the visa and immigration officers decide to allow you to enter Ireland, they have to make sure you meet the requirements for an Ireland Business Visa. The requirements for an Ireland business visa include:
- The signed and dated online application form summary.
- A valid passport and visa.
- A signed letter stating your reasons for traveling.
- Proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself for the duration of your stay.
- Proof that you will return to your home country after your visa ends, such as family ties, a work contract, homeownership, lease/rental contract etc.
- Booked return flight ticket.
- Proof of accommodation, such as a hotel reservation, letter from your host (if you have one), etc.
- Details of any previous visas you received/were refused, Ireland or otherwise.
- Proof of paid Ireland visa fee.
- If you are employed:
- A letter from your employer, which:
- Is written on a headed paper and signed.
- States you are taking the trip on behalf of the company and the reasons why.
- Details the date you will be absent and when you will return to work.
- Explains who will cover the expenses of the trip.
- A copy of the company’s Signature Circulars, which confirm the authority to sign the documents.
- The company’s Tax Registration certificate.
- A copy of the company’s registration in the Chamber of Commerce.
- A copy of the company’s bulletin in the Trade Register.
- A letter from your employer, which:
- If you are self-employed:
- A dated and signed letter from your solicitor, accountant, or tax consultant written on headed paper.
- Your company’s letter/certificate of incorporation.
- Bank statements of your business bank account from the past six months.
- Correspondence you have had recently with the appropriate government authority in your country regarding your self-employment.
- A letter from the Irish company hosting you, which:
- Confirms the business trip and that they will be hosting you.
- States the details of the work contract.
- Confirms the dates of the trip.
- States who will cover the expenses of the trip.
- If you are traveling to attend a conference/meeting/ on your own expenses, give an explanation why.
Ireland Business Visa Processing Time
The processing time for an Ireland Business Visa is eight weeks.
However, different factors can impact it, such as the specific visa office handling your application, the time of year (ie. if it is the holiday season) and whether you have included all the necessary information.
Can I Extend my Ireland Business Visa?
An extension for an Ireland business visa (or any other type of short-stay visa) is usually not issued, except in extraordinary cases, such as illness. It is the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service who decide whether to grant an extension on a case-by-case basis.
How Long Can I Stay in Ireland?
An Ireland Business Visa is valid for a maximum of three months (90 days). It is the Immigration Officers at the Ireland Border Control who decide the number of days you are allowed to stay. They will place a stamp on your passport stating the purpose of your travel and the validity of your visa.
How Many Times Can I Visit Ireland With a Business Visa?
You could receive a single-entry or multiple-entry Ireland visa.
With a single-entry Ireland Business Visa, you are allowed to enter the country only once. You cannot re-enter if you leave, even if you still have remaining days.
With a multiple-entry Ireland Business Visa, you can enter and leave the country as many times as you want, as long as your visa is still valid. You can receive this visa only on specific occasions – for example, if you need to travel in and out of the country frequently to attend meetings or if you have previously held Ireland visas.
The officers handling your Ireland business visa application can decide not to give you a multiple-entry visa even if you request one.
Can I Work in Ireland With a Business Visa?
An Ireland business visa is not the same as a long-term Ireland Work Visa.If you hold an Ireland Business visa, you can only travel to Ireland for reasons related to your business or work and remain for up to 90 days. In addition, there are very specific requirements regarding the amount of time you are allowed to actually work.
Rules about working with an Ireland Business Visa
If you have an Ireland Business Visa, you can only work for a maximum of 14 days within a single, uninterrupted 14-day period.
This means you cannot, for example, work 10 days at the beginning of your trip, stop working for a week, then begin working again for another 4 days.
You also cannot work for longer than 14 days for the entire duration of your trip.
If you need to work for longer, or at different intervals than the Ireland business visa allows, you may have to apply for an Employment Visa under the Atypical Working Scheme.
It is the Immigration Officers at Border Control who decide whether to give you permission to work. So, when you appear before Border Control, bring any documents related to your employment, such as a work contract.