The Minister for Justice has signed an order that will impose new visa requirements on passport holders from a number of South American countries and South Africa. This order came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 27th January 2021.
In addition to the new requirements above, we have also taken the decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa/preclearance applications. This is effective from close of business 29th of January 2021.
The Irish authorities are strongly discouraging all forms of non essential travel into the state with a few exceptions in Priority or Emergency cases. The Department of Justice states that “Increasing travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential”.
The Irish government will resume entry visa and pre/clearance processing as soon as safety concerns abate.
Certain Priority/Emergency cases will continue to be processed and these include the following:
- Workers or self-employed persons exercising critical occupations including healthcare workers, frontier and posted workers as well as seasonal workers as referred to in the EU Commission Guidelines concerning the exercise of the free movement of workers during the COVID-19 outbreak;
- transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting;
- patients travelling for imperative medical reasons;
- pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis and Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study;
- persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons;
- diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and police officers, and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
- passengers in transit;
- journalists, when performing their duties.
If an application falls into one of the above categories it may be possible to process a visa application to completion. The advice is to contact the embassy handling to receive further guidance.
The Irish government’s “strong advice” citing the press release, is that everyone, regardless of their nationality or visa/preclearance status, or where they started from, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to or within Ireland, should not travel to Ireland.
Please contact us at Actus if you wish to discuss the preparation, timing, and submission of Irish entry visa or pre clearance applications. We are expert in the preparation and submission of visa applications and can help. Also, we are happy to review applications to establish if an application can be treated as a priority within the more restrictive visa processing system that has been set up.