Apply for a visa - Arts Festivals Summit 2020

Who needs to apply for a visa?

Citizens of EU/EEA member states or Switzerland do not require a visa to travel to Ireland for a conference or an event (the members of the EEA are the 28 countries of the European Union (EU), together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). Other EU countries and countries outside of Europe often need to apply for a visa. 

You can check this website to know if you need a visa to enter Ireland: www.inis.gov.ie

Countries concerned by visa (non-exhaustive list): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine...

How to apply for a visa?

If you need a visa, you can apply for one in three steps. Please note that you must apply for a visa from your home country or a country where you are a legal resident and that you should prepare your application 3 months before you travel. In general, you will receive a decision 8 weeks after you send in the required documents.

In short, these are the three steps you need to follow to apply for a visa.

  • Create a visa application online

You can do so via this website.

To travel to Ireland to attend a conference or event for up to 90 days, select the following options in AVATS:
⦁ Visa type: 'Short Stay (C)'
⦁ Reason for travel: 'Conference/event'
⦁ Journey type: 'Single' or 'Multiple' (as appropriate for you)

  • Pay the visa application fee

The current fees are €60 for single entry and €100 for multiple entry. Note that this fee in non-refundable.

  • Send in your passport and the required documents

You must send in your documents within 30 days of creating an application and your application will not be processed until all documents have been received. You will be given information about where to send your documents after you create your visa application. 

List of the documents required

You must send the documents listed below to your application office within 30 days of creating an application via AVATS. Your application will not be processed until everything is received.

Prepare your documents carefully. Your application may be refused if you do not submit all documents. Even if you submit everything required, there is no guarantee that a visa will be granted.

Here are the steps you will have to follow : 

1. Application summary sheets
2. Application letter
3. Letter from the conference organizer
4. Accommodation plan
5. Proof of fee payment
6. Passport
7. Photographs 
8. Finance plan
9. Proof you will return home

For more information on each document, read our guide here below and visit www.inis.gov.ie

1. Application summary sheets

Print, sign and date the Application summary sheets (from AVATS) and include them with your application documents.

2. Application letter

Type or write a letter explaining why you want to come to Ireland. Sign and date the letter and submit it with your documents.

In order to help you, we have prepared a template of an application letter with all information needed that you can adapt easily with your personal information.

3. Letter from the conference organizer

Contact us at info@efa-aef.eu and we will provide it to you.

4. Accommodation plan

In your application letter, type or write a description of everywhere you will stay in Ireland (eg hotel, hostel, B&B, etc), including the dates you will stay at each place.

Include printed reservation confirmations (emails or letters) of your accommodation from:

  • Hotels, guesthouses, hostels, B&Bs, AirBnBs, campsites, etc.
  • Shared or free accommodation, eg Couchsurfing
  • Any other type of accommodation

Reservation confirmations must show the dates you intend to stay at each place.

If you are staying with a host in their home, please visit www.inis.gov.ie

5. Proof of fee payment

In some circumstances, you may have to include proof that you have paid the visa application fee. Contact your application office to find out if you need to provide proof and what to include.

If you are exempt from the visa fee, you may have to include documents that prove you are exempt. Contact your application office about proof of exemption.

Proof of payment/exemption may differ between offices. Extra charges may also apply for some applications, eg consular fees.

6. Passport

You must submit:

  • Your current passport
  • A photocopy of each page from all previous passports you have (where available)

Your current passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you plan to leave Ireland.

Your application will be delayed if you do not provide copies of all previous passports you have.

If you are traveling to-and-from Ireland via a different country or if you are not a citizen of the country you are applying from, please visit www.inis.gov.ie for further information.

7. Photographs

Include 2 passport-sized color photographs of the visa applicant.

On the back of each photo:

  • Sign your name (in your native script and language)
  • Write your Visa Application Transaction Number from AVATS

Each photograph must meet all the following rules for visa photographs

8. Finance plan

You must show that you have enough finance (money) to support yourself fully in Ireland.

If you are paying for your own visit

Include an up-to-date bank statement with your documents. The bank statement must:

  • Be original and on headed bank paper  (you may use a printed internet statement but it must be officially certified by your bank. We will not accept uncertified internet statements)
  • Show your name and address
  • Show the bank account number and account type, eg checking/current account, savings/deposit account
  • Show money paid in and out of the account over the last 6 months

If you submit a bank statement from a savings/deposit account, you must include an original letter from your bank (on headed paper) that confirms you can withdraw money from it.

9. Proof you will return home

You must include proof that you will leave Ireland when your visit ends.

To do so, you must show that you have a strong obligation to return home (ie to your country of residence) for economic, social or family reasons. It can be your work, family, property... Please visit www.inis.gov.ie for further information.