IrelandOfficial Name: Ireland
Must be valid at point of entry (Six months recommended)
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
Travelers entering or leaving the European Union must declare currency amounts over the value of 10,000 euro (or equivalent) to Irish Customs and Excise.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Travelers entering or leaving the European Union must declare currency amounts over the value of 10,000 euro (or equivalent) to Irish Customs and Excise.
Embassies and Consulates
42 Elgin Road
Telephone: +(353) (1) 668-8777
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(353) (1) 630-6200
Fax: +(353)(1) 668-8056
Ireland is a highly developed democracy with a modern economy. Tourist facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ireland for additional information on U.S.-Ireland relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
You must have a valid passport to enter Ireland, but U.S. citizens can enter visa free for tourism or business stays of up to three months. Visit the Embassy of Ireland website for the most current visa information. You may also contact the Irish Embassy at 2234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, Tel: 1-202-462-3939, or the Irish consulate nearest you; these are located in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Austin.
Irish Immigration strictly enforces national immigration laws and regulations. You will be expected to present all documentation relating to the purpose of your trip to Ireland to the Irish Immigration officer upon your entry into Ireland. Irish Immigration may grant a stay of up to three months; however, they may grant a period less than three months depending on the documentation provided. An increased number of U.S. citizens have been refused entry or have been granted only a limited stay because they failed to comply with and/or satisfy Irish immigration laws. Participants in volunteer farming programs and similar activities are classified as workers and must apply for a work visa prior to traveling to Ireland.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ireland.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Travelers should exercise sound personal safety practices to minimize their chance of becoming a victim of petty street crime. Travelers should be aware of their surroundings and avoid unlighted, non-tourist areas.
We remind you that even demonstrations and protests intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. You should avoid the areas of such gatherings if possible, and be careful within the vicinity of any demonstrations. You should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Travelers to Northern Ireland from Ireland should consult the Country Specific Information for the United Kingdom for more detailed information. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom but shares a mostly unpatrolled land border with Ireland.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Ireland on Twitter and Facebook, and visit the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Though Ireland has a relatively low rate of violent crime, you should always practice sound personal security practices and maintain an awareness of your surroundings when traveling. Petty crime and residential crime are much more common, especially in urban and tourist areas. Rates of theft and petty crime have risen in recent years, and thieves often target rental cars and tourists, particularly in the vicinity of tourist attractions. In rare cases, these crimes have involved physical assault or violence, more commonly in Dublin. Avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, parks after dark, and take care to guard your valuables, passport, and wallet. We recommend you leave your passport in a secure location separate from your purse or luggage and avoid carrying it in bars or other crowded areas when possible. Do not leave your drinks unattended at bars or restaurants, as there have been reported incidents of drinks being spiked with illegal substances, leading to robbery and sexual assaults.
ATM Fraud: Crimes involving ATMs are a concern. Protect your PIN at all times and look closely at ATMs for evidence of tampering before use. Criminals have used “skimmers” on ATMs, especially in tourist areas. Skimmers are usually small electronic devices attached to the outside of an ATM to steal the ATM or credit card data. Most ATMs in Ireland now have signs or electronic warnings that advise customers to look closely at the ATM for evidence of tampering before using. Be aware that in busy areas, thieves use distraction techniques such as waiting until the PIN has been entered and then pointing to money on the ground or asking for loose change. While the ATM user is distracted, another person will quickly withdraw the cash and leave. If you are distracted in any way, cancel the transaction immediately. If the machine does not return your card, report the incident to the issuing bank right away.
Internet scams: Online fraud scams have been reported in recent years. You should view with skepticism any unsolicited invitations to travel to Ireland to collect winnings or an inheritance. Travelers should be wary of solicited or unsolicited requests for assistance, and contact local local authorities, family, or friends to verify the authenticity of such requests. If you receive an email from family or friends requesting assistance, we advise you to try first to contact the loved one at the last known phone number and/or to verify the story/circumstances with a neutral third party you know and trust before sending any funds. There are no licenses or fees required when transiting Irish airports, emergency medical treatment is never withheld pending payment of fees, and hotels in Ireland will not detain guests for lack of funds without involving the police. A claim that a hospital or hotel will not let someone depart until the bill is settled is usually a sign of a scam. Visit the U.S. Department of State's website for more information on international financial scams and how to protect yourself.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, you may be breaking local law, too.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Ireland is 999 and/or 112. The number 112 is used throughout the EU and is accessible from any phone, free of charge.
The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) is a free nationwide service offering support and assistance to tourists who are victimized while visiting Ireland. If you are a tourist victim of crime, report the incident to the nearest Garda Station (police station), which will contact ITAS. All tourist victims are referred to ITAS by the police.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Ireland, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons violating Irish laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Ireland are severe, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and/or heavy fines. In Ireland, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. If you break local laws in Ireland, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Most Irish banks will not accept U.S. $100 bills. Many Irish financial institutions have recently stopped accepting or cashing traveler’s checks. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Ireland. ATMs are widely available, but some, particularly in rural areas, may not accept debit cards from U.S. banks.
Some airlines have advised their passengers that their passport must remain valid for six months after their entry into Ireland; however, the Government of Ireland states that this is a recommendation of the airline industry and is not an Irish legal requirement. We recommend that travelers be in possession of a valid passport with a minimum of six months validity to enter Ireland.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Ireland. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Ireland you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Ireland, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Irish law requires access to government buildings for persons with disabilities, and this requirement is enforced. Under Irish law, public service providers should ensure the service is accessible to those with mobility, sensory, and/or cognitive impairments.
Parking: Local authorities and commercial premises such as shopping outlets have no legal obligation to provide external disabled parking facilities for their customers; however, on-street parking, public building parking lots, and internal parking lots always have a certain number of disabled spaces available. A permit is required to use these spaces.
Buses and Trains: The majority of buses and trains in the main city areas of Ireland are now equipped for those with limited-mobility, sight, or hearing disabilities, although some train stations and pathways may not be as easily accessible. People who live in Ireland and meet the medical conditions of a disability allowance may apply for free travel passes; there is also a blind/invalidity pension from the Irish Department of Social Protection for those who qualify.
Mainline and suburban trains require special portable ramps to permit boarding from the platforms to the carriages. These are available at all terminal points and major junctions and stations that have staff on duty. They are also available on some trains. Travelers are advised to contact Irish Rail in advance to ensure such facilities are available. The website for Dublin Bus provides information on its travel assistance scheme. Regional and intercity bus services are provided by Bus Eireann.
Airports: All service providers at state airports are required to have specific facilities for air travelers with disabilities. Air travelers are advised to notify the airline/airport authority in advance if they require any specific facilities.
Private Businesses: Accessibility of private businesses such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, shops, and restaurants varies widely. Travelers should inquire about accessibility issues with the business before making reservations.
There are many resources available online for those with mobility, sensory and cognitive impairments traveling to, or living in Ireland. You may contact our consular office by email for further information on this topic.
Visitors to Ireland should check their health insurer’s policy on treatment outside the United States prior to traveling. All hospitals in Ireland, both public and private, do not accept American insurance as coverage. Patients would be expected to pay all costs up-front at the time of treatment and apply for reimbursement later. Travelers concerned about their medical insurance coverage should consider purchasing travel medical insurance before their trip.
Modern medical facilities and highly skilled medical practitioners are available in Ireland, but due to high demand, access to medical specialists and admissions to hospitals for certain non-life-threatening medical conditions may result in extensive waiting lists. It is not unusual for emergency room (ER) services to be very busy or for post-treatment admissions to include a long wait (sometimes overnight) on a gurney in a hallway rather than in a shared or private room.
Over-the-counter medications of most types are available, but many U.S. brands are not. (Ask the pharmacist about substitutes.) Some medications available over the counter in the United States may require a prescription in Ireland. Irish pharmacists may not be able to dispense medication prescribed by U.S. physicians and may direct you to obtain a prescription from an Irish doctor before providing your required medication.
If you are traveling to Ireland and may require medical treatment while in the country, consult your personal physician prior to traveling. A list of Irish general practitioners in each area of Ireland may be obtained from the website of the Irish College of General Practitioners. Emergency services usually respond quickly.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the Centers for Disease Control website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Ireland, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Motorists drive on the left side of the road in Ireland. If you do not have experience driving on the left, you should be especially cautious as tourists driving on the incorrect side of the road are the cause of several serious accidents each year. Most intersections in Ireland use circular “roundabouts” instead of signals, and it is important that motorists pay close attention to signs and yield the right of way to those already in the roundabout. At signals, turning on a red light is illegal; you must wait for either a full green (any direction turn permitted) or directional green light (which could be straight, left, or right) before proceeding with caution. Most rental cars in Ireland have manual transmission; it can be difficult to find automatic transmission rental cars.
Road conditions are generally good, but once you exit the main highways, country roads are likely to be narrow, uneven, and winding. Roads are more dangerous during the summer and on holiday weekends due to increased traffic. Drivers should be attentive of cyclists and pedestrians, particularly in urban areas. Police periodically set up road blocks to check for drunk drivers. Penalties for driving under the influence can be severe.
You may use your existing U.S. driving license in Ireland for a temporary stay; this can be for any period of time up to a maximum of one year. Some insurance and car rental companies may request an International Driving Permit in addition to your existing driving license. If you wish to apply for an International Driving Permit, please contact the American Automobile Association. You are required to apply for an Irish driving license if you become a resident of Ireland.
Taxi rates vary with time of day and location. Ask your hotel or innkeeper for the number of a call-dispatched taxi service if you plan to be out during less busy times. Bus service in the cities is generally adequate, although many buses are crowded and they frequently run late. Pay close attention to where bus stops are in both directions, as the drop-off and pick-up locations could be several blocks away from each other. Intercity bus and train services are generally good.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of the Irish Tourism Board and the website for the National Roads Authority of Ireland, which is responsible for road safety.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ireland’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ireland’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.