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Temporary Changes to Ireland's Visa Requirements and Employment Permit

The Department of Justice has recently announced new temporary measures as part of the Government's efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The new measures include:

  1. New Visa requirements on passport holders from a number of countries in South America and South Africa (listed at bottom of page).

  2. Temporarily cease accepting new Visa / preclearance applications from all relevant countries except certain priority/emergency situations (listed at bottom of page).

  3. These measures have now been extended to at least the 5th May 2021. The situation will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.


Employment Permit

These new temporary arrangements will affect some employment permit holders or applications.


Employment Permit applications from a visa required country

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is continuing to process applications for employment permits. However, given the new temporary visa arrangements, it may not be possible for individuals from visa required countries to travel to the State at this time unless the individual qualifies as one of the priority/emergency situations as listed above. As such, a new process is being implemented whereby all employment permit applicants (employers and employees) for passport holders from visa required countries will be contacted and asked if they would like to:


  • Proceed with the application as it is considered that the role is on the priority/emergency list.

  • Hold application in the employment permit processing queue for processing at a later date, when the temporary Visa arrangements have been rescinded.

  • Withdraw the application with a full refund provided.


Employment Permit applications for a non-visa required country

Employment Permit applications for non-visa required countries will continue to be processed. The advice from the Department of Justice 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. We are advised that people traveling to Ireland will be asked about the nature of their journey, when they arrive in the State.





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 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;

  • seafarers;

  • journalists, when performing their duties.


As of 27th January 2021, passport holders of the following countries are now visa required.

  • Argentina

  • Bolivia

  • Brazil

  • Chile

  • Colombia (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)

  • Ecuador (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)

  • Guyana

  • Paraguay

  • Peru (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)

  • South Africa

  • Suriname (transit visa now required – this country is already subject to entry visa requirements)

  • Uruguay


Future Direct specialises in Irish employment permit and immigration. We are happy to advise you on your case should you require assistance. Call us today at +353 872400433 or email info@futuredirect.ie.

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