What is the change? Foreign nationals seeking re-entry visas allowing them to return to Ireland after traveling abroad are experiencing delays of about a week, possibly because of an uptick in international travel during the holiday season.

What does the change mean? Visa-required nationals should be prepared for delays and, in most cases, should not leave Ireland or buy tickets to travel abroad without obtaining a re-entry visa.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Re-entry visas.
  • Who is affected: Visa-required nationals applying for re-entry visas.
  • Impact on processing times: End-to-end processing was delayed by about a week as of Monday. Typically, applications are processed and returned within two weeks, but as of Friday, processing alone was taking about two weeks, leaving the end-to-end time frame at about three weeks.
  • Next steps: Updated processing times are available on this Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website.

Background: Re-entry visas are required for visa-required nationals planning to leave and re-enter Ireland. Re-entry visas can be obtained abroad, but processing can take up to eight weeks and authorities recommend that re-entry visas be obtained before departing Ireland. In most cases registered post (regular or same day post is not accepted) is the best option for submitting applications; however, a new online appointment system is also available. Emergency appointments are available in limited circumstances, such as a death in the family or the need for emergency medical treatment abroad.

BAL Analysis: The current delay is likely due to the crush of travelers during the Christmas and New Year holiday season. Those requiring a re-entry visa and planning travel in the next month or two should submit an application as soon as possible and expect delays. Contact BAL with any questions about the best options.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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