Protests and Demonstrations
Parts of South Africa, including Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, are currently experiencing sporadic but violent protests. Irish citizens in South Africa are advised to monitor local and social media for updates, and avoid areas where protests and demonstrations are taking place. You can read our full travel advice for South Africa here.
Due to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission, our consular team is operating with reduced staff presence at the office. Essential consular services will continue during this period, with emergency and urgent cases being given priority. Turnaround times for routine consular services may be longer than expected.
Please note that our phone lines are closed until further notice. Queries should be submitted in writing through the Contact Us facility. In the event of a genuine emergency involving an Irish citizen, leave a voice message and the duty officer will respond.
The Embassy's public office is temporarily closed to the public. We will not be able to accept appointment bookings until further notice. To submit an application, you are asked to arrange delivery of documents by courier only between 9.00 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday to Thursday. If you have been advised that your documents are ready for collection, we also ask you to arrange collection by courier between these hours. Payments must be made by EFT.
Please note that all passport renewal applications, for adults and children, must be made online. First-time applications must be made on paper application forms, which you can request from the Embassy. Please note that the processing time for passport applications is significantly affected by COVID-19 response measures in South Africa and in Ireland.
Foreign Birth Registration applications for those resident in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe are processed in Ireland. When you make your online application you will be instructed to send your application directly to Ireland to the following address: Foreign Births Registration Section, PO BOX 13003, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, Ireland. It is extremely important that you check you have all the correct documentation requested before sending your application and that you send originals documents where indicated. Once your application has been processed, all documentation relating to your application will be returned to you via the Embassy in Pretoria. We recommend that you send your application to Ireland using a tracked international delivery service.
Documents in support of long-stay visa applications for those resident in Zimbabwe must be sent to the Honorary Consul office in Zimbabwe at the following address: Honorary Consul of Ireland, Lamont House, 2 Robert Mugabe Road, P.O. Box 10424, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Travel to Ireland
The temporary visa requirement for South African passport holders that came into effect on 28 January 2021, has been removed with effect from midnight 15 June 2021. South African passport holders are reminded that, although they are no longer required to be in possession of an entry visa to travel to Ireland, they are required to meet the conditions of entry that attach to their particular purpose of stay in Ireland. They will have to satisfy an Immigration Officer on arrival that they meet these conditions of entry. To view full announcement click here.
South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe have been designated as “Category 2 Countries” by the Department of Health. Mandatory Hotel Quarantine now applies to all travellers arriving into Ireland from Category 2 countries. This applies to all travellers coming from designated States, including those who have transited through a port or airport in a designated State, even if they stay airside or portside, in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Ireland, regardless of nationality. These travellers are now required to pre-book accommodation in a designated quarantine facility, and to pre-pay for their stay. There are limited exemptions from Mandatory Hotel Quarantine, including for fully vaccinated passengers. You can find more details here. All travellers entering the state are also required to present a negative or ‘not detected’ result from a COVID-19 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival. All travellers must complete the online Passenger Locator Form before travelling.
The strong advice from Government is that everyone, regardless of their nationality or visa/preclearance status, or where they started from, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel, should not travel to Ireland at this time.
Travel to South Africa and COVID-19
South Africa continues to experience community transmission of COVID-19 and a number of restrictions are in place to control the spread of the virus. The lockdown measures remain under review and are adjusted from time to time. We advise Irish citizens in South Africa to respect lockdown regulations and follow public health requirements. The latest information on South Africa’s COVID-19 response and restrictive measures in place is available at www.sacoronavirus.co.za. If you are visiting South Africa and are in need of support, please contact us. All Irish citizens currently visiting South Africa are also asked to ensure that you have registered with the Embassy of Ireland and also ensure that you remain compliant with South African immigration requirements.
International flights to and from South Africa are operating under certain restrictions. On arrival, all travellers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours prior to the time of departure. All travellers will be screened on arrival and those presenting with symptoms will be required to have a COVID-19 test. Where necessary, travellers will need to enter mandatory quarantine facilities at their own cost. Travellers will also be required to download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app.
Before travelling, you are advised to confirm the requirements for entry to South Africa with the Embassy of South Africa in Ireland. Citizens intending to undertake essential travel to South Africa should also be aware that South Africa continues to adjust its COVID-19 lockdown measures in response to the rate of transmission of the virus, and it cannot be guaranteed that suspensions of international flights may not be reimposed on short notice. Irish citizens travelling to South Africa should also be aware of the requirements for re-entry to Ireland or to their country of normal residence following their trip.