Significant changes to priority/emergency visas - MRCI Skip to main content

The Department of Justice has announced that it has made changes to the priority / emergency visas list. This immediate change will allow for visa applications from the following categories:

  1. Long-stay Join Family Members including:
    • All Long-stay D Visa Join Family applications (includes Third country nationals who are family members of Irish nationals and persons exercising free movement under the EU Directive), and
    • Preclearance applications for: De Facto Partner of an Irish National; De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Non EEA Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland.
  2. People travelling for key business/employment purposes and granted an employment permit by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment

Normal processing times will still apply, and the Department has advised that as a result of Covid-19, local Visa Offices will continue to operate on restricted hours. There might be further delays to process applications.

The Department will continue to not accept any short stay visa applications, except for cases that fall under the Emergency/Priority criteria set out above. The suspension of other visa categories including English Language Study applications will continue to be reviewed in the coming weeks.

The Department has outlined it will continue to process applications. Unless your application meets the Emergency/Priority criteria set out above, a visa or preclearance approval letter will not be issued until  restrictions have been lifted. You will be notified if your application is successful. Refusal letters for unsuccessful applications will continue to be issued.

The Department will continue to accept and process appeals. Unless your appeal meets the Emergency/Priority criteria set out above, a visa or preclearance approval letter will not be issued until restrictions have been lifted (they will notify you that your appeal was successful). Refusal letters for unsuccessful appeals will continue to be issued.

For clarification if you require a visa or preclearance to enter Ireland, please enter your information here:

Please note, that some passengers arriving into Ireland will be required to book, pay and stay in a designed quarantine facility. More information on this can be found here: