On April 22, 2022, the Irish government announced an expansion of the eligibility criteria for the country’s multiple entry short stay visas. The changes mean that foreign nationals from all visa-required countries will now be eligible to apply for a five-year, multiple entry short stay visa. The government’s announcement is intended to ease administrative burdens and facilitate multiple short-stay trips by visa-required nationals as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Five-Year Multiple Entry Short Stay Visa
Ireland’s five-year multiple entry short stay visa enables individuals to visit the country regularly for business or family reasons, based on a single visa application. Until the government’s announcement, the five-year visa was only available to Chinese nationals. Individuals from other visa-required countries were only eligible for one-, two-, and three-year multiple entry visas.
Changes to Compliant Travel History Requirement
In addition to the expansion of the five-year visa to all visa-required nationals, the government also announced a loosening of the Irish travel history requirement associated with the visas. Traditionally, the Irish government has only issued multiple entry visas—whether in one-, two-, three-, or five-year increments—to foreign nationals who can demonstrate a history of frequent trips to Ireland and compliance with Irish immigration laws. Under the government’s announcement, individuals who can demonstrate frequent, compliant travel to the United Kingdom, Schengen Area, United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand will also be considered eligible to apply for multiple entry visas.
Multiple entry visas may also now be issued to certain business travelers, even if they have no previous travel history to Ireland.