U.S. Embassy Dublin
Last updated: October 21, 2020
We understand your concern about visas and travel to the United States in light of the continuing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We hope that this information will help answer your questions.
Due to the volume of inquiries we receive, we are only able to respond to individual questions that are not answered on this page or elsewhere on our website. Please, therefore, carefully review these FAQs to find the information you require. Any updates to the Presidential Proclamations, travel restrictions, and visa operations will be posted on this page, so please bookmark this page, and check back regularly.
If you have a question about a future visa application or an application that has been in process since before March 20, 2020, please be aware that we are unable to provide any further guidance at this time. We ask that you continue to monitor our website for updates and contact us with any questions only after normal visa services have resumed.
Please make sure that you read the General Information section in full, and then navigate to the Nonimmigrant Visa, Immigrant Visa, or Fiancé(e) section as appropriate for more information that is relevant to your circumstances.
Q: Is the U.S. Embassy in Dublin closed? Has my visa interview appointment been cancelled?
In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. embassies and consulates. Embassies and consulates canceled all routine immigrant, fiancé(e), and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020.
On July 24, Embassy Dublin began to offer limited routine visa services, but due to the Government of Ireland raising the country to Level 5 of its Plan for Living with COVID-19, we have cancelled all nonimmigrant visa appointments through at least December 1st. If you need to reschedule your nonimmigrant appointment, you may do so strictly through your Visa Appointment Service account.
Please ensure that you monitor the email address that you used to register with the Visa Appointment Service, including the junk or spam folder, as that is how you will be contacted if an appointment is postponed or cancelled.
Please monitor this webpage and your email account for the latest information and any further updates.
If you have an urgent need to travel and wish to be considered for an expedited appointment, please review the question I believe that the Presidential Proclamations do not apply to me and urgently need to apply for a visa. What should I do?
Q: Can I travel to the United States? What does the travel order (Presidential Proclamation 9996) mean?
Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996 and 10041: Brazil; The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe; The Republic of Ireland; The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland); The Islamic Republic of Iran; The People’s Republic of China.
Please click here to review Presidential Proclamation 9996 in full for detailed information.
The travel restriction does not apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents, most immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in Presidential Proclamation 9996. Travelers are advised to visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for further guidance on U.S. travel restrictions.
Q: Can I travel to the United States through a country that is not covered by Presidential Proclamation 9996?
Travel to the United States from a country that is not covered by the Presidential Proclamation may be possible, but we advise you to verify whether the country to which you intend to travel has implemented travel or other restrictions before you make travel arrangements. One possible source of such information is travel.state.gov which contains links to the websites of other countries’ immigration authorities.
The U.S. Embassy in Dublin is not able to suggest countries to which you may travel, or comment on the travel regulations that apply to a country other than the United States.
Please also bear in mind the following:
- The Presidential Proclamation suspends travel to the U.S. for any individual who has been physically present in Ireland within 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States.
- The suspension also applies to transiting through a U.S. airport.
- Transiting a country covered by the Presidential Proclamation, even without exiting the airport, counts as physical presence within that country.
Q: I believe the travel restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 9996 do NOT apply to me, and I have a valid nonimmigrant, immigrant, or fiancé(e) visa or I have a valid registration under ESTA. What should I do?
Information about the status of ESTA registrations at this time is provided through the only official ESTA website.
If your ESTA was cancelled but you believe that you fall under one of the exceptions identified in Presidential Proclamation 9996, please refer to the Travel Proclamation Help on the ESTA website for guidance.
If you believe that the travel restriction does not apply to you, we suggest that you contact your airline for the latest information about your travel plans and any restrictions.
If you travel, we suggest that you carry any official original documentation that you have that you believe demonstrates why you are exempt from a travel restriction, such as a Permanent Resident card (commonly known as a Green Card), a marriage certificate or a birth certificate, so that it is available if it is requested for review. You may also wish to carry a copy of the Presidential Proclamation itself.
As you may know, entry into the United States is at the sole discretion of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Officer who questions each traveler applying for entry into the U.S. Please note that the U.S. Embassy Dublin cannot guarantee that any traveler applying for entry to the U.S. will not be questioned by a DHS officer or indeed refused entry into the U.S.
If you believe that the restrictions do not apply to you, but you need to apply for a visa, scroll down to the specific information for nonimmigrant visa applicants.
Q: I am NOT exempt from the travel restrictions in Presidential Proclamation 9996, but I have an emergency need to travel and I have a valid nonimmigrant, immigrant, or fiancé(e) visa or a valid ESTA. Is there anything I can do?
If you are physically present in the Republic of Ireland and do not fall under one of the exceptions to Presidential Proclamation 9996 but you have a valid visa or a valid ESTA and you have a humanitarian need for travel, such as for critical medical treatment, or have another urgent need to travel, send an email to DublinNIE@state.gov. Please make the subject of your request “National Interest Exception Request: SURNAME, FIRST NAME” and then provide a detailed description of the emergency or urgent need in your message. Please note a National Interest Exception might also be known as a “212(f) Exception”. We regret that we are unable to answer emails not relating to a request for an exception through this email address.
If you are not physically present in the Republic of Ireland, then please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest you for information. We can only assist those physically present in the Republic of Ireland.
Q: I tried to travel to the United States and was told that I need to apply for a “212(f) waiver.” How do I do that?
Please follow the instructions in the FAQ above.
Q: If I can provide a negative COVID-19 test result, can I enter the United States?
The Presidential Proclamations do not include an exception on the basis of negative test results. Please review each Proclamation in full for details of possible exemptions.
Q: Will I be required to self-quarantine after I enter the United States?
The Department of State recommends the CDC website for the most up-to-date information regarding quarantine regulations. As of the time of the last update, the CDC strongly encourages a two-week period of self-isolation. Some states may have mandatory quarantine requirements.
Q: I am in the United States and I am worried about overstaying my authorized period of admission. What should I do?
If you are in the United States, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for information about how to apply to extend your stay. While you are in the United States, any questions about your status are a matter for USCIS, not the Embassy. Information and contact details can be found on the USCIS website.
Q: I have scheduled an appointment. What can I expect when visiting the embassy?
You will go through an airport-style security screening. Due to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), everyone entering the embassy who is 11 years of age or older must wear a face mask.
You must not bring laptops or bags larger than a handbag or small backpack to your appointment as they are not permitted into the building and there are no storage facilities available.
If you are arriving into Ireland for an appointment, you must wait at least 14 days, in line with the self-isolation advice from the Irish Government and Embassy policy, before the interview date. Should you arrive to the Embassy without meeting this requirement, your appointment will be canceled.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, you must reschedule your appointment through the Visa Appointment Service website here. You must complete a 14-day self-isolation period according to Government of Ireland guidelines here, before appearing at the Embassy. If you are not able to complete the 14-day self-isolation before your scheduled appointment date, you must reschedule your appointment through the Visa Appointment Service website.
To maintain physical distancing requirements, please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your appointment. If you arrive late or without a face covering, you may not be permitted entry and will have to reschedule your appointment. Our office may send you instructions 1-3 days before your appointment, so please check your email regularly.
Q: Can I have a refund?
As explained at the time of fee payment, visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you have paid the fee but not yet attended the visa interview, we will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please monitor https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ie/niv/ for further information and updates.
If you have attended your visa interview, the application fee was levied to cover the costs of adjudicating and processing the application. No refund is possible. Please see the relevant specific section below for information about visa validity, provided that your new purpose of travel is consistent with the type of visa you hold.
I have a question about my existing visa application
If you have questions about a visa application that was submitted before the travel restrictions and the answer is not provided in these FAQs (keep checking this webpage for the latest updates) or elsewhere on our website, please monitor our website for updates. After normal operations resume, you can contact us at that time to request case-specific information.
If you were asked to send information or documentation in connection with an existing application, please do not mail it at this time. Please monitor our website for updates. After normal operations have resumed, you may follow the instructions on your Visa Appointment Service account about how to send documents to the Embassy.
If your application is subject to additional administrative processing, or is under review pending a decision on a waiver of ineligibility or for any other reason, that will remain the status of your case until you are advised otherwise.
Now that you have read the General Information, review the section below for the specific information that applies to you.
Specific Information for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants and Nonimmigrant Visa Holders
Q: My interview for a nonimmigrant visa was cancelled. Can I get a refund?
As explained at the time of fee payment, visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you have paid the fee but not yet attended the visa interview, we will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, to allow applicants whose appointment was cancelled as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule a new visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please monitor https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ie/niv/ for further information and updates.
Please note that visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you wish to apply for a visa through another embassy or consulate, you will be required to pay a new application fee and complete a new Form DS-160.
Q: What does Presidential Proclamation 10052 refer to?
On Monday, June 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the proclamation extends the suspension of entry for certain immigrants (Presidential Proclamation 10014) through December 31, 2020. The new restrictions imposed by the proclamation are effective at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 24 and expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued by the President.
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens who are or were inside the United States or those holding valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visas on the effective date are not subject to the proclamation.
The proclamation suspends issuance of nonimmigrant visas in the following categories: H1B, H2B, J (for aliens participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) and L, along with their spouses and children, with few exceptions. No valid visas will be revoked under the proclamation.
Please read Presidential Proclamation 10052 for detailed information, including exceptions.
Please also note that Presidential Proclamation 9996 remains in effect.
Q: I believe that the Presidential Proclamations do not apply to me and urgently need to apply for a Visa. What should I do?
Please find instructions on how to apply for a visa through the U.S. Embassy in Dublin HERE. Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Dublin cannot accept emergency appointment, called “expedite”, requests from applicants who do not reside in the consular district of the Republic of Ireland.
If you are physically present in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or Great Britain, please visit https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gb/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt for instructions on how to request an expedite in Belfast or in London. You may find contact information for the Consulate in Belfast and the Embassy in London at https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-information-services/. If you are physically present elsewhere, please review the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for where you are for information.
You may book a visa interview appointment for Dublin online. Please refer to our appointment website for step-by-step information about the application process.
Once you have booked an interview date through the calendar in your Visa Appointment Service account, you can then use the ‘Request Expedite’ feature. You will be asked to briefly outline the reason that you must travel. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit will review your request. If you need assistance, please contact customer service.
Please note that appointment availability is extremely limited, and we cannot guarantee that an expedited appointment will be available for you. Please also be aware that an expedite request relates only to the date of the visa interview. No expedited visa processing is available.
Q: I am a student and I need to get my visa in time for the spring semester. What can I do?
Please follow the instructions at the above question to request an expedited appointment. We are severely limited in the number of appointments we can accommodate each day due to COVID-19 mitigation requirements. As such, we regret that we will be unable to accommodate all requests.
Q: I have a valid student visa (F-1 or M-1). Can I travel to the United States?
If you 1) hold a valid F-1 or M-1 visa, 2) are traveling from the UK, Ireland, or the Schengen Area, and 3) have not been physically present in Brazil, Iran, or China within the last 14 days, you do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel to the United States. If your visa is still valid and you intend to resume your studies or undertake Optional Practical Training (OPT), you can travel directly to a United States Port of Entry to apply for admission. Admission to the United States is a matter for CBP officials at the U.S. Port of Entry and all travelers are subject to questioning. No assurances are given in advance.
If you have a valid visa and you will be traveling to undertake OPT, you should carry your annotated Form I-20 and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in addition to your visa.
Please review the CDC website if you have questions about quarantine regulations.
We strongly recommend that all current and prospective F-1 and M-1 students and study abroad advisers review the comprehensive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) FAQ. This includes important new information about full course of study requirements and online learning, Form I-20, employment, and the SEVIS fee.
Q: Can my nonimmigrant visa be extended?
Nonimmigrant visas cannot be extended. However, the majority of nonimmigrant visas are valid for several years. Please check the visa in your passport to confirm the validity period of the visa in your case.
Specific Information for Immigrant Visa Applicants, Immigrant Visa Holders and LPRs
Q: I have received notification from the Embassy that my upcoming visa interview has been cancelled. What do I do now?
In response to significant countrywide challenges in Ireland related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish government has agreed to move the entire country to Level 5 restrictions from midnight on Wednesday October 21, 2020 for six weeks. Following this decision, Embassy Dublin regretfully has to suspend our routine services and postpone all upcoming immigrant visa interviews. The Embassy will reach out to all affected applicants and will provide new appointment slots when in a position to do so.
Q: My case is at the NVC and I have been waiting a long time, when will I have my interview?
If you are applying for an immigrant visa and the case is being processed by The National Visa Center (NVC), please click here and visit your CEAC account (if applicable) for information. Please contact NVC directly using the online contact form on that website if you still have questions. The Embassy cannot answer any questions about cases currently pending with the NVC, including any questions about expedite options or about appointments.
Q: What do Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 refer to?
Under Presidential Proclamation 10014, signed on April 22 and extended by PP 10052 on June 22, the Department of State will not issue immigrant visas, with certain exceptions, through December 31, 2020. Exceptions include lawful permanent residents; immigrants seeking to enter as healthcare professionals; spouses, children, and prospective adoptive children of U.S. citizens; and certain Special Immigrant Visa applicants. Please read Presidential Proclamation 10052 for detailed information.
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those holding valid immigrant visas on the effective date of the Proclamation are not subject to the proclamation. No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation.
Additionally, please be aware that due to the impact of COVID-19, routine immigrant visa appointments are extremely limited until further notice. It will not be possible for a visa appointment to be scheduled unless you are applying for a category of visa that is excepted under the proclamation.
Q: I fall under an exception to Presidential Proclamation 10014/10052. Can I continue with the immigrant visa application process?
If you are applying for an immigrant visa and the case is being processed by The National Visa Center (NVC), please click here and visit your CEAC account (if applicable) for information. Please contact NVC directly using the online contact form on that website if you still have questions. The Embassy cannot answer any questions about NVC cases, including any questions about expedite options or about appointments.
If you are applying for a visa as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen (IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2) or for an E-3 visa and your case is with the Embassy in Dublin, please contact us to check whether it is possible to proceed with your visa application on an emergency basis. Please provide the full names of the visa applicant(s) and the petitioner, plus the case number (typically DBL followed by ten digits).
If you are applying for an immigrant visa in any category other than IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2 (i.e. you are not applying for a visa as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen) or E-3 and you have been advised that your case file has been forwarded to the Embassy in Dublin, you may refer to our website for an overview of the application procedure and begin compiling the necessary supporting documents. Please do not schedule a medical exam until instructed to do so by our office. Please monitor our website for updates. Applicants are typically given 12 months in which to apply for the visa, starting from the date on which the Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Unit writes to them with instructions about the status of their case.
Q: I have an immigrant visa. Is that the same as a Green Card? Am I an LPR?
It is not possible to apply for a Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a “Green Card”) from outside the U.S. If an individual travels to a U.S. Port of Entry as the holder of a valid immigrant visa and they are admitted to the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), they are given the forms necessary to apply for a Permanent Resident Card at that time.
When an immigrant visa holder is admitted as an LPR at a U.S. Port of Entry, their passport is stamped with the words “Processed for I-551 temporary evidence of lawful residence” which helps facilitate overseas travel while they are waiting for the Permanent Resident Card to be processed.
Any individual who has been issued an immigrant visa but who has not been admitted to the United States using that visa is considered an immigrant visa holder, not an LPR. If you hold a valid immigrant visa, please review the information about PP 9996 in the General Information section near the top of these FAQs.
Q: Can my immigrant visa be extended?
Immigrant visas cannot be extended. However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request visa reissuance.
If you were issued with an E-3 visa or a IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2 visa as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen that has now expired and you wish to move to the United States urgently, please contact us to check whether it is possible for your visa to be reissued on an emergency basis. Please provide the full names of the visa applicant(s) and the petitioner, plus the case number (typically DBL followed by ten digits).
If you were issued with a different category of immigrant visa (not an IR-1, IR-2, CR-1, CR-2 or E-3 visa), please monitor our website for the latest updates. After normal visa operations have resumed and if your unused visa has expired, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at that time to request visa reissuance. We will send you information about how to submit your passport, visa package (if applicable), and a letter explaining why you were unable to travel and requesting visa reissuance. Please note that you will be required to undergo a new medical examination and pay a new visa fee before the visa can be reissued. Please do not schedule a medical exam until instructed to do so by our office.
If you are currently in the United States, please be aware that the expiration date of your visa has no bearing on your length of stay in the United States. Please check the stamp in your passport applied by officials at the U.S. Port of Entry for information about your authorized period of stay. See the FAQ above for information about how to apply to extend your stay.
Q: I am a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and I am currently outside the United States. What should I do?
As explained above, the travel restriction (PP 9996) does not apply to legal permanent residents. As you may be aware, if a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) remains outside the U.S. for more than 12 months (or beyond the validity period of a Reentry Permit obtained prior to departing the United States), they lose their entitlement to LPR status. Information about travel and maintaining permanent resident status is provided through the USCIS website.
Specific Information for Fiancé(e) Visa (K-1) Applicants and Fiancé(e) Visa Holders
Q: Will my fiancé(e) visa case expire? Can I continue with the application process?
In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. embassies and consulates in March. As of July 24, Embassy Dublin has begun to offer routine visa services, but due to COVID-19 mitigation requirements, we are extremely limited in the number of routine services we can offer. We are taking the issue of fiancé(e) visas seriously, and we will reach out to K-1 visa applicants once we are able to proceed with their applications. We regret that we are unable to provide a specific timeline at this time.
If your application is being processed by the Embassy in Dublin, applicants are given 12 months from the date on which the Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Unit writes to them with instructions about the status of their case in which to apply for the visa.
If you have been advised that your case file has been forwarded to the Embassy in Dublin, you may refer to our website for an overview of the application procedure and begin compiling the necessary supporting documents. Please do not schedule a medical exam until instructed to do so by our office. Please check this website regularly for updates about visa services and travel.
If the fiancé(e) visa petition expires, you may revalidate the petition with a letter from the petitioner stating that you both remain legally free to marry and that you will do so within 90 days of your arrival in the United States. You should take the letter with you to your visa interview in the future, not mail it or email it to the Embassy.
Q: I have a valid K-1 visa. Can I travel directly from Ireland to the United States?
Although K-1 visa holders are not subject to Presidential Proclamation 10014, they are not excepted from Presidential Proclamation 9996. This means that while Presidential Proclamation 9996 remains in effect, it will not be possible for you to travel directly to the United States from Ireland unless you fall under another excepted category within the Presidential Proclamation. Please read Presidential Proclamation 9996 for detailed information.
Travel to the United States from a third country that is not covered by the Presidential Proclamation may be possible, but we advise you verify if the country to which you intend to travel has implemented travel or other restrictions prior to making travel arrangements. Please also bear in mind that the Presidential Proclamation suspends travel to the U.S. for any individual who has been physically present in Ireland within 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States.
Q: Can I extend my K-1 visa?
Fiancé(e) visas cannot be extended. However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request visa reissuance. Please monitor our website for the latest updates. After normal operations have resumed and your unused visa has expired, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at that time to request visa reissuance. We will send you information about how to submit your passport, visa package (if applicable) and a letter explaining why you were unable to travel and requesting visa reissuance. Please note that you will be required to undergo a new medical examination and pay a new visa fee before the visa can be reissued. Please do not schedule a medical exam until instructed to do so by our office.
Q: U.S. visa information on the State Department Website (travel.state.gov) indicates consulates and embassies are authorized to give K cases “high priority”. What does this mean for those applying for K visas at Embassy Dublin?
While Embassy Dublin has resumed limited routine visa services as allowed per local conditions, K1 visa holders are still subject to Presidential Proclamation restrictions on entry, unless they are eligible for a National Interest Exception (NIE). As such, the Embassy cannot currently process routine K visa applications. For information about NIEs visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html
Q: If my I-129F petition has expired, do I need to file a new one before I have a K visa interview?
The I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is valid for four months; however, consular officers may revalidate the I-129F petition in four month increments once processing of K visa applications resumes. For most cases impacted by the suspension of routine visa services or COVID-19 travel restrictions it will not be necessary to file a new I-129F petition.
Any other questions
If you have any further questions about visas, please see our website, including the Frequently Asked Question (FAQs), for detailed information. Please note that we will be unable to respond if your question is addressed on our website.
If your question is about ESTA or the Visa Waiver Program, please note that those programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP), not by this office. If you have ESTA questions after checking our website (including the FAQs) and the official ESTA website (including the Help section), you can find additional information and contact details for CBP through their Info Center website.
If you have general questions about coronavirus (COVID-19), check our website for a list of useful resources.
If you have question about flights, please contact your airline or travel agent.