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Country Specific Info.

The United States State Department produces Consular Information Sheets with health, safety and other country information for every country in the world. They are one good source of information, though you should look at multiple sources of information and take your own personal situation into account when selecting a country to study in.

The latest Consular Information Sheet for Ireland is below. We do not take responsibility for this information or edit it in any way. You can access the State Department travel site directly at: https://travel.state.gov/travel/

December 26, 2017

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Dublin
42 Elgin Rd
Ballsbridge
Dublin 4
Ireland
Telephone: +(353) (1) 668-8777
Emergency after-hours telephone: +(353) (1) 668-8777
Fax: +(353) (1) 668-8056
Email: ACSDublin@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ireland for information on U.S.-Ireland relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of Ireland’s website for the most current visa information.

You must have a valid passport to enter Ireland, but U.S. citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business stays of up to three months.
There is no minimum passport validity for U.S. citizens entering Ireland. We recommend you have a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay, evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland, and a return airline ticket.
An increased number of U.S. citizens have been refused entry or granted a limited stay because they failed to demonstrate their travel intent to Irish immigration officials at the Port of Entry. You may be asked to provide evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland regardless of your purpose of travel. For any travel other than tourism, please ensure you obtain the appropriate documentation prior to travel. You can find more information at the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service website or by contacting your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate in the United States.

We cannot intervene on your behalf when applying for a visa or residency permit, nor can we assist if you are denied entry into Ireland.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ireland.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and U.S. customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

Crime: Most U.S. citizens visit Ireland without incident. Alhough Ireland has a relatively low rate of violent crime, you should always follow sound personal security practices and maintain awareness of your surroundings when traveling.

Rates of theft and petty crime have risen in recent years, and thieves often target rental cars and tourists. In rare cases, these crimes involve physical assault or violence, more commonly in Dublin city center and in popular tourist areas.
Rental cars are frequently targeted for crime. They are easily identifiable by the rental company stickers on the rear window of the vehicle. If possible, remove these stickers and always lock your car when leaving it unattended. Do not leave valuables unattended in vehicles. When visiting city center areas, park your car in a secure car park and retain the parking ticket on your person.
Keep car doors locked while driving. Don’t leave luggage or valuables visible inside a parked car and don’t leave luggage attached to a roof rack. When picking up and dropping off your rental car, do not leave the keys in the ignition while loading or unloading luggage. We have received reports of cars and belongings being stolen in such situations.
Crimes involving ATMs are a concern. Protect your PIN at all times and look closely at ATMs for evidence of tampering before use.
Criminals use “skimmers” on ATMs, especially in tourist areas. Skimmers are small electronic devices attached to the outside of an ATM to steal the ATM or credit card data.
In busy areas, thieves use distraction techniques, such as waiting until the PIN has been entered and then pointing to money on the ground or asking for loose change. While the ATM user is distracted, another person will quickly withdraw cash and leave. If you are distracted in any way, cancel the transaction immediately.
When using credit cards to pay at restaurants, a portable card reader should be brought to your table. Restaurant staff should not take your card elsewhere to process a charge.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at 999 or 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(353) (1) 668-8777.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

help you find appropriate medical care
assist you in reporting a crime to the police
contact relatives or friends with your written consent
explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
provide a list of local attorneys
provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
provide information on victims compensation programs in Ireland:
The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) is a free nationwide service offering support and assistance to tourists who are victimized while visiting Ireland. If you are a tourist victim of crime, report the incident to the nearest Garda (Irish police) station, and they will help you contact ITAS.
provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and the Europe Travel Alert.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our webpage on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Special Circumstances: Most Irish banks will not accept U.S. $100 bills. Many Irish financial institutions no longer accept or cash traveler’s checks. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Ireland. ATMs are widely available, but some, particularly in rural areas, may not accept debit cards from U.S. banks.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Ireland.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. While in Ireland, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from that in the United States.

Irish law requires access to government buildings for persons with disabilities, and this requirement is enforced. Under Irish law, public service providers should ensure the service is accessible to those with mobility, sensory, and/or cognitive impairments.
Parking: Local authorities and commercial premises, such as shopping outlets, have no legal obligation to provide external disabled parking facilities for their customers; however, on-street parking, public building parking lots, and internal parking lots always have a certain number of disabled spaces available. A permit is required to use these spaces.
Buses and Trains: The majority of buses and trains in the main city areas of Ireland are now equipped for those with limited mobility, sight, or hearing disabilities, although some train stations and pathways may not be as easily accessible.
Mainline and suburban trains require special portable ramps to permit boarding from platforms to the carriages. These ramps are available at all terminal points and major junctions and stations that have staff on duty. They are also available on some trains. Travelers are advised to contact Irish Rail in advance to ensure such facilities are available. The website for Dublin Bus provides information on its travel assistance scheme. Regional and intercity bus services are provided by Bus Eireann.
Private businesses: Accessibility in private businesses, such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, shops, and restaurants, varies widely. Travelers should inquire about accessibility issues with businesses before making reservations.
People who live in Ireland and meet the medical conditions for a disability allowance may apply for free travel passes; there is also a blind/invalidity pension from the Irish Department of Social Protections for those who qualify.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Hospitals in Ireland may not accept U.S. health insurance as payment. Patients are expected to pay all costs up-front at the time of treatment and apply for reimbursement from their own insurance provider later.

Modern medical facilities and highly skilled medical practitioners are available in Ireland.
Due to high demand, expect long waits for access to medical specialists and admissions to hospitals for non-life-threatening medical conditions. It is not unusual for emergency room (ER) services to be very busy or for post-treatment admissions to include a long wait (sometimes overnight) on a gurney in a hallway.
We advise that you carry your medical history, along with a detailed list of any medication you currently take (including dosage and brand name) in your wallet or purse and luggage. If you require medical attention in Ireland, this information will save medical practitioners critical time.
Most types of over-the-counter medications are available, but many U.S. brands are not. Some medications available over the counter in the United States may require a prescription in Ireland.
Irish pharmacists may not be able to dispense medication prescribed by U.S. physicians and may direct you to obtain a prescription from an Irish doctor.
A list of Irish general practitioners in each area of Ireland may be obtained from the website of the Irish College of General Practitioners.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that Medicare does not cover travelers overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most medical providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in its original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in Ireland, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

Cars drive on the left side of the road in Ireland. If you do not have experience driving on the left, you should be especially cautious as tourists driving on the incorrect side of the road are the cause of several serious accidents each year.
Road conditions are generally good, but once you exit the main highways, roads are likely to be narrow, uneven, and winding. Roads are more dangerous during the summer and on holiday weekends. Drivers should be attentive to cyclists and pedestrians, particularly in urban areas.
Most intersections in Ireland use circular “roundabouts” instead of signals, and it is important that drivers pay close attention to signs and yield the right of way to those already in the roundabout.
Most rental cars in Ireland have manual transmissions; it can be difficult to find automatic transmission rental cars.

Traffic Laws: Police periodically set up road blocks to check for drunk drivers. Penalties for driving under the influence can be severe.

At stoplights, turning on a red light is illegal; you must wait for either a full green (any direction turn permitted) or directional green light (which could be straight, left, or right) before proceeding with caution.
You may use your existing U.S. driver’s license in Ireland for a temporary stay; this can be for any period of time up to a maximum of one year. Some insurance and car rental companies may request an International Driving Permit in addition to your existing driving license. To apply for an International Driving Permit, please contact the American Automobile Association. You are required to apply for an Irish driver’s license if you become a resident of Ireland.

Public Transportation: Taxi rates vary with time of day and location. Ask your hotel for the number of a call-dispatched taxi service if you plan to be out during less busy times.

Intercity bus and train services are generally good.
Local bus service in the cities is generally adequate, although many buses are crowded, frequently run late, and lines do not necessarily link easily. Pay close attention to bus stop locations in both directions, as the drop-off and pick-up locations could be several blocks away from each other.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the Irish Tourism Board and the website for the National Roads Authority of Ireland, which is responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Ireland’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ireland’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Ireland should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

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