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

Frequently Asked Questions for U.S. Citizens

Updated: 14 April 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? 

Please note that on February 2, the CDC issued a Level 4 (Very High) Travel Health Notice, recommending that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Ireland due to very high levels of COVID-19. If you must travel, all individuals arriving in Ireland are required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. From March 26, 2021, passengers arriving into Ireland from a list of designated high-risk countries must complete a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine. The United States is on the list of designated high-risk countries effective from 4:00 am Thursday, April 15. Travelers arriving from the United States after this time must complete a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine even if they arrive to Ireland with a negative or ‘not detected’ PCR test and even if they have been fully vaccinated. Travelers who fail to fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory hotel quarantine are committing an offense and can be fined up to €2,000 or get a prison sentence of up to 1 month, or both. The mandatory hotel 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?

Please note the CDC recommends delaying non-essential travel, and U.S. citizens residing in Ireland are subject to the Irish government’s stay at home orders. 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. 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 require an in-person service urgently, please send an email to acsdublin@state.gov detailing the service you require, and the urgent circumstances related to your request. If you are seeking an emergency appointment to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a U.S. passport, or to renew your expired U.S. passport, please include your personal details, location, recent travel history and prior U.S. passport issuance and expiry date. If you require an emergency appointment because you have imminent travel, please also include your confirmed travel itinerary. Finally, please also include a telephone contact number.

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

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and to protect the health of our customers and employees, the U.S. Embassy in Dublin is offering only very limited American Citizen Services at this time. If you are seeking an emergency appointment to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, please send an email to acsdublin@state.gov explaining the urgent nature of your request, the child and parents’ personal details, telephone contact number, location, and recent travel history. If you require an emergency appointment because you have imminent travel, please also include your confirmed travel itinerary. Further 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 appear 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?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and to protect the health of our customers and employees, the U.S. Embassy in Dublin is offering only very limited American Citizen Services at this time; we are not currently offering Notary services. 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?

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.

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.