FAQ’s for U.S. Citizens during COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions for U.S. Citizens

Updated: 26 July 2021

If you are a U.S. citizen living or traveling outside of the U.S. and you have not done so, please enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The Embassy will then be able to contact you with updated information in case of an emergency.

I am in the United States and I want to travel to Ireland. Do I need to quarantine or self-isolate when I arrive? 

On August 2, 2021, the Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, recommending that U.S. citizens not travel to Ireland due to the high levels of COVID-19.

For travelers arriving into Ireland from the United States who present valid proof of vaccination or valid proof of recovery from COVID in the past 180 days, no travel-related testing or quarantine will be necessary. If you do not have valid proof of vaccination or recovery, you will need to:

  • present evidence of a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country
  • complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form indicating where you will quarantine
  • self-quarantine for 14 days
  • if you receive a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken from day 5 onwards after arrival into Ireland, you will be able to leave quarantine

Failure to complete the passenger locator form or providing false or misleading information is an offense under Irish law, punishable by a fine of up to 2,500 euro and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months. Passengers arriving into Ireland from a list of designated high-risk countries must complete a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine. The list can change with little or no advance notice. Passengers arriving from one of the high-risk countries who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the mandatory hotel quarantine, but must still quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at the location indicated on their Passenger Locator Form submitted upon arrival to Ireland.  The quarantine program is a Government of Ireland program – the U.S. Embassy cannot intervene on behalf of private U.S. citizens who are subject to the quarantine requirement.

I am a U.S. citizen in Ireland. Can I travel to the United States? Do I need to quarantine once I’ve arrived?

The Government of Ireland and the CDC delaying non-essential travel, and U.S. citizens residing in Ireland are subject to the Irish government’s COVID-19 restrictions which currently prohibit all non-essential travel. If you are returning home or must travel to the United States, refer to CDC Guidelines on quarantine and other requirements following international travel, and adhere to all state and local recommendations and requirements for your final destination. Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

How can I renew my U.S. passport?

We continue to process mail-in renewal passport applications and strongly encourage eligible U.S. citizens to renew their U.S. passport by mail, as we cannot currently offer routine, in-person appointments to applicants who are eligible to renew by mail. Please note U.S. passports can be renewed any time before or after they expire, and a U.S. passport is valid for travel to the United States until the day it expires. Further details on applying for a U.S. passport, including emergency appointments, are available on our Passport Services page.

What should I do if my passport is expired/visa pages are full and I have immediate travel?

If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021. For full details regarding this possibility, please see our May 25, 2021 Message to U.S. Citizens in Ireland. 

Further details on applying for a U.S. passport, including emergency appointments, are available on our Passport Services page.

Can I apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)?

Yes. Details on applying for a CRBA are available on our Citizenship Services page.

My child is a minor/I am applying for my first adult passport; can I renew their/my passport through the mail?

No. Minor passport renewals and first adult passport renewals must be done in person. Further details on applying for a U.S. passport are available on our Passport Services page.

Is the Embassy providing notarial services? How can I get documents notarized?

Yes. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and COVID mitigation measures we are taking to protect the health of our customers and employees, the U.S. Embassy in Dublin is offering only limited notary appointments and wait times for notary services are longer than normal; we are not able to accommodate requests for expedited notary appointments. If we are not able to accommodate you as soon as you require, you may wish to consider using an Irish Notary Public. To find a Notary Public in Ireland, please visit the Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland website here. For further details please see our Notarial Services page.

Can the Embassy help me get my COVID-19 relief payments?

The Embassy does not have a role in administering the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which is operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the IRS. More information regarding CARES checks, deposits, and tax credits is available here on the IRS website. Contact information for the IRS, if required, can be found here.

I am a dual U.S.-Irish citizen. Can I travel to the United States using my Irish passport?

No. According to Section 215 of the U.S Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185) it is illegal for a U.S. citizen to enter or leave the United States on anything other than a U.S. passport. This applies to dual citizens as well, meaning that persons holding e.g. both Irish and U.S. citizenships MUST enter and leave the United States on a valid U.S. passport; they may NOT enter/leave the United States on an Irish/foreign passport. This applies to children as well as adults.

I am a U.S. citizen and I have a question about my non-U.S. citizen family member’s visa or travel to the United States.

The American Citizen services Unit is not able to answer queries about visas and travel for non – U.S citizens. Please visit the Embassy’s page for U.S. Visa and Travel FAQs, and travel.state.gov for up-to-date information. Additional questions pertaining to immigrant visas can be directed to DublinIV@state.gov, and non-immigrant visa-related queries can be directed to USVisaDublin@state.gov. Questions regarding the Presidential Proclamations and COVID travel restrictions for non-U.S. citizens should be sent to DublinNIE@state.gov. These e-mail inboxes are monitored regularly by Embassy staff during normal business hours. The American Citizen Services Unit is not able to answer queries about visas and travel for non-U.S. citizens.

How can I replace a U.S. birth certificate?

Contact the vital records office in the state where you were born to get a copy of your birth certificate. Follow the instructions for requesting copies and paying fees. If you need a copy fast, ask about expedited service or shipping when you place your order.

How can I renew my U.S. driver’s license?

The Embassy does not have a role in issuing or renewing U.S. driver’s licenses. Check with the Motor Vehicle authority in the U.S. state or territory where your license was issued.

How can I have a U.S. document apostilled? 

The U.S. Embassy Dublin cannot complete Apostilles on U.S. issued birth certificates for the purpose of getting married in Ireland.  The Secretary of State offices in each state have control of vital record documents, please contact your State’s Secretary of State office for instructions on how to get an Apostille.

Can I apply for citizenship for my children through a grandparent?

A child under age 18 who has a U.S. citizen grandparent who meets the physical presence requirements may qualify for expeditious naturalization under the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Although not entitled to U.S. citizenship at birth, the child can, through this process, become a U.S. citizen by naturalization without first having to take up residence in the United States. It is, however, necessary for the child to travel to the United States for the naturalization, and all applications and documentation must be submitted and approved beforehand.  This procedure must be done through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and is not handled by the U.S. Embassy Dublin.  The process can take from six months to a year or more. For more information please visit our Expeditious Naturalization webpage.