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Travel to Ireland

Situated to the west of Great Britain, the island ofIreland is divided between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland which is an independent country. Tourist information is available here.

Do I need a visa to visit Ireland?

If you wish to travel to Northern Ireland then your UK visa will cover this. However nationals of certain countries will require a visa to travel to the Republic of Ireland.

Check the Embassy of Ireland web site to find out whether you need a visa and how to apply.

How do I apply for a visa for the Republic of Ireland?

You must apply online by going to the Embassy website, and then following the instructions provided.

Please note: It may take you several weeks to get your visa, especially before the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Therefore, you should be making your application at least 8 weeks before you intend to travel.

What documents do I need?

For a full list of documentation required, you should check the Embassy web site.

As a guideline for a Short Stay Tourist visa you must provide:

  • A completed application form
  • Your passport or travel document which must be valid for 6 months longer than your trip.
  • Your UK visa either in the form of an entry clearance vignette or sticker in your passport, or a Biometric Residence Permit. Your UK visa must be valid for at least 6 months longer than your trip to the Republic of Ireland.
  • Passport photographs: check the website for specifications
  • Student status letter available from  SIMS On-line
  • Health insurance to cover the duration of the visit. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online. The insurance company will provide you with a letter or certificate to include with your application.
  • Proof of travel plans: e.g. flight / ferry / train booking for your trip. .
  • Proof of accommodation: this will be the booking for the hotel or other accommodation where you will be staying. It is easy to find hotels that make bookings either with a small deposit or no fee at all, so book with one of these.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable). If you are visiting friends or family, they will need to write you a letter inviting you to come and visit. This should either be in English or in the language of the country you are visiting. If they are providing you with food and / or accommodation, the letter should state this as well.
  • Proof of financial means. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months.
  • Visa fee which is approximately £53. Check the Embassy web site for up to date charges and acceptable methods of payment:
  • Self-addressed special delivery envelope. This is so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all Post Offices.
  • Copies of all documents provided. You will be expected to submit both originals and photocopies of all your documents.

How long will it take?

You will need to visit the Embassy web site to find out how long it will take for your application to be returned to you. This varies and can take up to 8 weeks so make sure you apply in plenty of time. 

How can International Student Support help me?

Unfortunately the ISS is not able to offer a service whereby we make your visa application or visa appointment for you. This is because generally travelling outside of the UK during your studies is for your personal pleasure. We may however be able to check through your documents before you submit your application.


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein, Cardiff University can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions.

Cardiff University is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within.