The third largest Island in Europe, Ireland, has more than 5,000 years of history. Besides the fact that the heartland of this great nation has so much magic for tourists to discover, it is also a good place to live and work. It is no surprise that South Africans love to visit Ireland for the simple reason of vacationing at one of the best holiday destinations in Europe.
Getting into the country is not something you just pack a travel bag, hop on a plane or boat and just do. There are processes and conditions that visitors are expected to fulfil. You will have to get a Visa approved from the Irish Embassy. For anyone willing to make the most of the opportunities that Ireland has to offer, here is how to go from South Africa to Ireland:
- Proof of Accommodation: While the Irish always welcomes South Africans with open arms, they expect that both tourists and expats have a place to stay on arrival. There is so much for the government to worry about and not knowing where a visitor to the country is staying is one thing they do not want added to the list.
For those who wish to stay in a hotel, proof has to be made that the hotel booking has been paid for the entire period of visit. In the case of a traveler who is going to stay with friends or family, a presentation of a letter of invitation needs to be made. The particulars of such letter of invitations should clearly state the contact details of both the host and the traveler.
- Return Airline Ticket: The only people who do not have a limited time to stay in Ireland are its citizens. So, whether you visit Ireland for tourism or work, there is a time frame for staying in the country. While South Africans who came to work or study in Ireland may not necessarily have to show their return airline ticket, the same cannot be said for tourists.
Showing your return airline ticket proves to the Irish government that you have an intention of returning to South Africa. This is an important condition that needs to be fulfilled by South African travelers to Ireland.
- Bank Statement: For obvious reasons, a visitor to Ireland is expected to provide his or her bank statement(s). You might argue that the presentation of a return airline ticket is enough evidence to prove that a visitor intends to return back to South Africa but this is also necessary. The Irish government will not support you until you have Irish citizenship. They want to know that until any and all immigration paperwork is completed that you have a way of supporting yourself.
A healthy bank statement is proof that the visitor has a good job or something doing in South Africa. This should be enough incentive for him or her to return back. After all, one can present a return airline ticket and still disappear into thin air if he or she has no good reason to return to South Africa. The amount in a traveler’s bank account should be enough to sustain him or her all through their stay in Ireland.
- Medical/Travel Insurance: The government also need to be sure that everything is okay with the visitor. This makes a presentation of a traveler’s medical and travel insurance necessary. While Ireland does have universal healthcare it is only available to the citizens who are living there. If you end up in the hospital for any reason the cost of the visit will be up to you to pay. Thus they require anyone coming into the country to have insurance.
There is no point dwelling much on this point being that the importance of insurance is well documented. All the Irish government needs from a traveler is evidence that both conditions have been duly fulfilled.
- Full Valid Passport: While South Africans that wish to visit Ireland are not required to apply for a visa, they are still expected to present their South African passport. The fact that a valid passport serves as a means of identification cannot be overemphasized.
One of the conditions to be fulfilled is that your South African passport needs to be valid for another 6 months after your expected date of return. In addition to this, a minimum of 2 blank spaces must exist. Apart from your South African passport, no other kind of passport or travel documents will be accepted by the Irish authorities.
Traveling between South Africa and Ireland does not present any challenge so long as the conditions above are fulfilled. Go ahead and enjoy that deserved vacation in Ireland. Simply tick the boxes as you fulfil each requirement and be good to board the next plane to Ireland.