Australian Government advice for Ireland
When travelling to Ireland, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Ireland.
This Advice was last issued on Saturday, 03 October 2015. This advice has been reviewed and updated. The level of the advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in Ireland.
- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Ireland. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
- There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.
- Be aware that Ireland is not a party to the Schengen Agreement and therefore does not accept Schengen visas.
- Car theft and break-ins are increasing, especially in Dublin and tourist locations, and rental cars are particularly targeted. See Safety and security .
- Read the travel advice for the United Kingdom if you are travelling to Northern Ireland.
- See Travel Smart for general advice , and our Living and working overseas webpages.
Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
- organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
- register your travel and contact details , so we can contact you in an emergency
- subscribe to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued
- follow us on Facebook and Twitter .
Entry and exit
You should be aware that Ireland is not a party to the Schengen Agreement and therefore does not accept Schengen visas.
As visa and other entry and exit requirements can change at short notice,you should contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service , or the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate for the latest visa information and advice.
Ireland strictly enforces immigration laws and regulations. Australians wishing to work in Ireland must hold a valid work permit. The Irish Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014, came into force in September 2014. The Act provides for nine different types of employment permit (previously there were four types). The Act also includes changes to the criteria for issuing employment permits. Further information can be obtained from the Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation .
Australian government officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements and are refused entry to Ireland. Check with individual airlines for restrictions or conditions for unaccompanied minors travelling to Ireland by air.
People travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) who are carrying EUR10,000 or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency) are required to declare the cash at the place of their arrival or departure from the EU. Under the legislation, the term "cash" includes cheques, travellers' cheques and money orders. Travellers failing to declare the cash or providing incomplete or incorrect information will incur a fine. There is no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country.
For advice on entry and exit requirements for Northern Ireland, see our travel advice for the United Kingdom .
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia.
Safety and security
Ireland has a low incidence of serious, violent crime. However, secluded parks and unlit areas should be avoided. Petty crime, including bag snatching, smash and grab from cars and public transport, and pickpocketing is common, particularly in city centres and areas frequented by tourists. Car theft and break-ins are increasing, especially in Dublin and tourist locations, and rental cars are particularly targeted. Vehicles should be parked in secure parking lots. Credit card fraud and ATM scams are becoming more common. If you are suspicious of any items that are stuck to ATMs or look unusual, do not use the machine.
Civil unrest/political tensions
You should avoid all protests and demonstrations, including those associated with Northern Ireland, as they may turn violent. Instances of civil disorder can rapidly escalate into violence and you should avoid them wherever possible, including through careful monitoring of the media and following the advice of local authorities.
Australians travelling to Northern Ireland should read the relevant sections of our travel advice for the United Kingdom .
There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities, including Copenhagen, Paris, Brussels, Glasgow, London, Madrid, Moscow, Oslo and Volgograd.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin for more information.
Money and valuables
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
While conditions on major roads and in urban areas are generally good, road traffic regulations are occasionally not observed. Ireland's narrow winding country roads and lanes can be hazardous, particularly when driving at night and during inclement weather. Drivers should also be mindful of farm animals, vehicles and machinery on country roads. For more information on local traffic conditions visit the Irish Automobile Association website.
For further advice, see our road travel page.
A driver licence exchange operates between Ireland and Australian States and Territories. This allows individual Australian licence holders to be exempt from undertaking a knowledge and driving/riding test when applying for an Irish car or motorcycle licence.
There are serious penalties for drink driving in Ireland. Limits are .05 for fully licensed drivers in Category B (i.e. standard motor vehicle) and .02 for professional, learner and novice drivers. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail sentences.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Ireland.
Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
You are subject to the local laws of Ireland. If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
Information for dual nationals
Our Dual Nationals brochure provides further information.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you will be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller’s medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
Ireland's health care system is generally of a reasonable standard. Up-front payment for medical treatment is normally required.
The Australian Government has signed a reciprocal health care agreement with the Government of the Republic of Ireland. The agreement provides Australians with access to emergency medical services but does not provide for ongoing treatment of existing health conditions. The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement does not replace the need for private travel health insurance. See Medicare Australia's website for more information.
If travelling with prescription medicine, we recommend that you bring a letter from your GP and a copy of the prescription to avoid being questioned by Irish customs. The letter should state that the medication is necessary and is for your own use.
Where to get help
Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.
If the matter relates to criminal issues, contact the local police at the nearest police station. You can also call the national emergency number 112, for police, fire or ambulance assistance in an emergency. You should always obtain a police report when reporting a crime.
The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) offers free support and practical help to victims of crime. This includes liaison with travel companies and financial institutions, and in emergency situations is able to arrange accommodation, meals and transport. ITAS recommends that you report any incident in person to the nearest Garda (police) station which will then contact the organisation. ITAS can also be contacted directly on 1890 365 700 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
If the matter relates to complaints about tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you should contact the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) for support and advice on resolving your issue.
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas. For consular assistance, see contact details below:
Australian Embassy, Dublin
See the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
If you are travelling to Ireland, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.