Maps: Check.Visa: Ummm….

The default stamp that an American gets in her passport upon entering Ireland allows her to stay there for up to three months. Since I’m estimating six months for this trip, I thought I should do a bit of research.

First I emailed USIT, the organization that arranged for me to get a four month work visa in 2005. I knew that they can’t help me now, because I’m no longer a student. But they were kind enough to offer some advice: that I contact the Irish consulate and look into applying for a full-out, six-month tourist visa.

The Consulate General in Boston replied that, since American’s don’t need a visa to enter Ireland, they can’t grant me one. I could, they said, contact the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice referred me to the Garda Naturalization and Immigration Bureau. The GNIB simply recommended I ‘purchase a return flight indicating [my] date of return, medical insurance, and have proof of sufficient funds…’

It’s likely I’ll get a temporary stamp on my passport and have to visit Immigration to get an extension, but I’m familiar with that process from my 2005 six-month stint in Ireland. The gentlemen at the Galway immigration office were lovely. The first time I visited, I was directed in a very serious tone to make sure and celebrate my approaching birthday. When I returned three months later to request an extension on my stay, he asked, “What’s his name?”

I still wouldn’t mind having some sort of authorization before the plane takes off, but it’s an adventure!

Any recommendations for travel health insurance? Anyone?


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