Ireland - COVID-19: New Visa Requirements for South Africa, South American Countries

IE – So. Africa, South American Countries and Visas

Due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, the Irish government has introduced new Irish entry visa and transit visa requirements for individuals travelling to Ireland who are nationals of South Africa and South American countries. All passengers arriving in Ireland will also need to produce a negative PCR (COVID-19) test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.

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Flash Alert 2021-043

Due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, the Irish government has introduced new Irish entry visa and transit visa requirements for individuals travelling to Ireland who are nationals of South Africa and South American countries.1   

WHY THIS MATTERS

The introduction of these new visa requirements may affect employers and their globally-mobile employees who are nationals of the listed countries in terms of the potential need for changes to immediate upcoming travel plans and new procedural requirements for travel to Ireland going forward. 

New Entry Visa Requirements for Nationals of South Africa and South American countries

The Irish government has introduced new Irish entry visa and transit visa requirements for individuals travelling to Ireland who are nationals of the following countries with immediate effect: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname, and South Africa. 

This visa requirement applies to short-stay visas (business travellers/AWS applicants), long-stay visas (employment permit holders), and transit visas.  These measures will remain in place until 5 March 2021, at which point they will be subject to further review.  While Irish Visa Offices will continue to accept long-stay visa applications from nationals of the above-listed countries, a visa decision will not be issued until on or after 5 March 2021.

Visa applications will continue to be processed for nationals of the above-listed countries that fall into a priority or emergency category as determined by the EU Council Recommendation 2020/1475.2  This includes workers exercising occupations including health-care workers, frontier and posted workers, and persons travelling for imperative business reasons.

All passengers arriving in Ireland will also need to produce a negative PCR (COVID-19) test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland as highlighted in our previous GMS Flash Alert 2021-024 (15 January 2021).  

KPMG NOTE

Organisations and their employees that are nationals of the above countries with planned travel to Ireland will need to consider these new requirements and may need to build additional time into their immigration/travel processes to be able to meet the new requirement of obtaining an Irish entry visa.

Employees who are nationals of the above countries who hold a valid Irish Resident Permit (IRP) and who are currently outside Ireland may wish to consider returning to Ireland prior to their IRP expiration date to make sure they are not subject to delays caused by these new entry visa requirements.

For advice on this changing situation, please contact your travel agent and local qualified immigration counsel or the Corporate Immigration and Employment Law Team with KPMG in Ireland.

FOOTNOTES

1  Department of the Taoiseach, Press Release, "Extension of Level 5 restrictions and introduction of measures for International Travel" at: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/e2374-extension-of-level-5-restrictions-and-introduction-of-measures-for-international-travel/ .

2  Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/1475 at:  https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32020H1475&from=EN .

Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ireland.

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