Complete guide to obtaining a visa to transit through Irish airports

Nationals from certain countries have to apply for an Ireland Transit Visa if they want to transit through an Ireland airport/seaport on their way to another destination.

However, citizens from most countries can transit in an Ireland airport or seaport without a visa as long as they are not required to pass through Border Control. Anyone who has to Pass through Border Control needs adequate permission.

Who Needs to Apply for a Visa to Transit Through Ireland?

You will have to apply for an Ireland Transit visa if you are from the following countries:

AfghanistanAlbaniaCubaDemocratic Republic of Congo
NigeriaSomaliaSri LankaUkraine

*You do not need an Ireland Transit visa if you are an Ethiopia citizen and you are transiting through Ireland from Ethiopia on your way to the USA or Canada (and you have a valid visa for those countries).

How to Apply for an Ireland Transit Visa?

To apply for an Airport Transit visa for Ireland you should follow these steps:

Submit the online application form

Just as with other types of Ireland visas, you have to apply for the Ireland transit visa online, via AVATS, the Irish Online Visa Application Facility.

You must complete the necessary fields and answer all the questions on the application form truthfully. Once you have submitted the application form for the transit visa, you will receive a summary of it which you have to print.

The summary of the application form includes information on the next step of the Ireland transit visa application process. It will inform you where to submit the required documents for processing.

Where should I submit the application?

The place to submit documents changes depending on your country, but it can be one of the following:

  • The Dublin Visa Office
  • An International Visa Application Agency
  • An Irish Embassy or Consulate in your country

You have to mail the documents required along with the summary application form to the address specified.

Collect the required documents

When you make an Ireland transit visa application, you must submit several supporting documents, such as:

  • The signed and dated Ireland transit visa summary application form.
  • Proof of paid Ireland visa fee.
  • Two pictures in line with Ireland photo requirements.
  • Your original current passport, which must be valid for an additional six months after you depart Ireland.
  • Copies of any previous passport.
  • Proof of legal residence in the country you are applying from (if you are not a citizen of that country).
  • Visa for your final destination, if required.
  • A full travel itinerary and flight tickets or bookings which show the dates of arrival and departure.
  • If you have ever been refused a visa (for any country), provide the documents detailing it. You must attach the original refusal letter from the country which refused your visa application.
  • A letter of application which:
    • You must sign.
    • Provides details about your travel plans.
    • Provides details about any family members you have in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU, even if you are not visiting them.

If the applicant is a minor

If you are applying on behalf of a minor applicant (under 18), you must attach the following documents:

  • Their birth certificate.
  • If the child is traveling with only one parent or legal guardian:
    • Letter of consent from the other parent/legal guardian.
    • Copy of the other parent/legal guardian’s passport or national identity card, which shows their signature.
  • If only one of the parents has custody of the child: Provide a Court Order which states that the parent in question has custody.
  • If the child is traveling alone or with an adult who is not their parent/legal guardian:
    • Letter of consent to travel from both parents/legal guardians.
    • Copies of the parents/legal guardians’ passports or national identity cards.

Keep in mind:

All the documents you submit have to be original unless it is stated otherwise. You have to place the documents in a large, strong envelope before submitting them.

You have to provide an address where you want your documents to be returned after the transit visa has been processed. You must include a pre-paid and self-addressed Special Delivery envelope with your application which the Irish visa officers will use to return your passport and original documents

You have to make copies of all the documents you submitted.

All the documents you submit have to be in English – if they are not, you must have them translated and notarized.

Pay the visa fees and provide biometrics

You also have to pay a transit visa processing fee of €25 and attach proof of it with the application.

Finally, you may also have to provide biometric information, so be sure to contact your visa application center to inquire about it.

Wait for processing

The Ireland transit visa processing time is about 8 weeks and it may take longer in some cases, such as if you have any incorrect or missing documents or it’s the peak travel time of year.

Can I Pass through Border Control with an Ireland Transit Visa?

No, you won’t be able to pass through Irish Border Control with an Ireland Transit visa. Passing Border Control means entering Ireland, and you are not allowed to enter Ireland without a visa unless you are visa-exempt.

Anyone who is subject to Irish visas and has to pass through Border Control during their transit needs to have an Irish entry visa (Ireland short stay “C” visa).

As such, if you are transiting through an Irish airport/seaport, you will need to apply for an Ireland entry visa if:

  • You are a citizen of a country who is subject to Ireland visas, and
  • You have to pass Border Control* in order to catch your connecting flight.

*You will have to pass through Irish Border Control in the following cases:

  • If you leave the terminal in which you landed so you can catch a flight in another terminal.
  • If you need to collect your luggage so you can check-in for your connecting flight.
  • If you have to wait overnight for a connecting flight. That’s because all Irish airports close during the night, so you will have to leave the terminal area.

So, regardless of whether you need an Ireland Transit Visa or not, if you have to pass Border Control and you are from a visa-required country, you will have to apply for an Ireland visa.

That’s because as soon as you pass Border Control, you will no longer be simply transiting – it will be considered that you have entered the country, so you will need an adequate entry visa.

Keep in mind:

If you are from a country who is subject to Ireland visas, always check in with your airline to find out if you will go through Border Control. If you do, make sure to apply for an Ireland visa – you can apply up to three months before the intended time of travel.

According to INIS (the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service), if you are transiting through Dublin Airport, you will have to enter Ireland to catch your connecting flight unless:

  • Your connecting flight is scheduled between 4 am and 4 pm and
  • Your connecting flight is on Terminal 2.
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