Travel is always on your mind. In fact, wanderlust is your middle name. This year your itinerary includes making memories in The States.
Are you feeling stressed yet?
Overseas travel comes with at least a little stress. From packing to passports, there's so much to remember.
And everyone keeps asking you if you know how to find the Irish embassy.
Don’t let the stress of planning ruin the pleasure of going. Read our tips for Irish citizens travelling to the United States and get ready to fly.
The Visa Waiver Program
If you're confused about whether you need a visa or not, you don't—in most cases.
If you’re a citizen of one of 38 countries, you can participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you pass the test, you don't need a visa.
Ireland is on the list. This means all Irish citizens can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa.
One requirement of the Visa Waiver Program is that you apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Find out about ESTA here.
ESTA is an electronic system that indicates whether travellers pose any security risk to the country they’re visiting. If you're not approved for ESTA, you'll need a visa.
ESTA is a travel permit, not a passport. If you don’t yet have your passport, continue reading.
Do You Have Your Irish Passport?
Hopefully, you’ve already applied for your Irish passport. If your trip is in the next few weeks, you should have it in a secure place ready to put together with your other important travel documents.
Don’t wait until the last minute to apply for or renew your passport.
Whether you’re applying for your first passport or you have one expiring soon, you can apply online or through An Post. For online passports, you’ll wait approximately 10 days. If you use An Post, the turnaround time is approximately 15 days.
Irish Passport Requirements
One stipulation of the VWP is that all visitors travelling under the program must have machine-readable passports.
Officially called ePassports, they include a computer chip, which can hold a variety of information about the holder such as:
Ireland began issuing ePassports in 2006.
If you a current Irish passport you have an ePassport.
If you're curious, you can tell if you have a machine-readable passport by looking at the bottom of the personal information page. You should see two lines of text, which include letters, numbers, and chevrons.
Once you have your ESTA and passport, you’re ready to travel. Don’t forget to print out information about your Irish embassy.
Where is the Irish Embassy?
When travelling to a foreign country, you should know how to find your country’s embassy.
Most people travelling on holiday don’t even think about their embassy. But you should always prepare for the unexpected. Your embassy is there to help if you lose your passports, get sick, or have some other emergency.
You'll find the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C. In addition to the embassy in D.C. Irish Consulate offices are also found in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.
The Irish embassy also helps Irish citizens arrange tours of the White House, U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon.
Ready to Travel?
Preparing for travel well in advance of your trip is the best thing you can do to ensure you have a memorable holiday.
If you’ve secured your passport, applied for ESTA, and found out where the Irish embassy is, your next step is packing your bags.
If you’ve not yet applied for ESTA, click here. Happy travels!