The truth is, there are so many non-Irish citizens working and living in Ireland. The families of the majority of these citizens are still in their native countries. It will come to a point where they will consider bringing their families to Ireland. Now, when it gets to that, there are a lot of things that will have to be considered before bringing them to the country. For instance, based on their relationship to you and also their citizenship, they may be required to apply for permission to work or live in Ireland, and may also need a visa before they come into the country. Now, don’t let anyone fool you, this process can be daunting at times, especially if you don’t have the right information on what is required. That’s why in this article, we will attempt to explain the processes that need to be followed to make it easier for you to find your way through the processes of immigration.
Bringing a spouse or civil partner
By being a civil partner or a spouse, your relationship is acknowledged legally and it’s also registered with a civil registration office in the country in which you became civil partners or were married. If your civil partner or spouse is a citizen of an EEA country, then he/she doesn’t need permission or a visa to work or live in Ireland. All one needs to have is an EEA passport for them to enter the country.
And if your civil partner or spouse is a citizen of a non-EEA country, then they may have to apply for a visa before traveling to Ireland. And once they are in the country, they will be required to register with the local Immigration Officer, who will grant permission to work or live in Ireland based on your relationship. The same case applies to spouses or civil partners that don’t need a visa and are from non-EEA nations (such as Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, etc.)
This is a straightforward and quick process, but it needs a lot of preparation to be put in. You will need to have everything that you require for the registration process, otherwise, you might be requested to make a written application that takes 12 months to be processed. So, to avoid all these troubles, ensure that you have all the required documents, and the immigration process will be easier for you.
Bringing a De Facto partner
In case you don’t know, a de facto partnership is a relationship that’s similar to marriage but yet to registered or recognised legally. To elaborate further, for your relationship to be regarded as a de facto relationship, it must meet the following requirements:
- You must have lived together for not less than 2 years, also known as cohabitation.
- You will have to prove the co-habitation status using things like shared tenancies, joint bank accounts, or any other evidence that would prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you are in a lasting and durable relationship.
So if your de facto partner is from an EEA country, then he/she will not require permission or visa to live or work in Ireland. All that he will need is an EEA passport, and he/she will be allowed into the country. And if your de facto partner is a non-EEA citizen, then he/she will have to apply for a pre-clearance before coming to the country.
What this means is that, before returning to the country, your de facto partner has to have had applied for and been granted ‘pre-clearance’ by the INIS (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service). If the partner has been granted the ‘pre-clearance’ then you can go ahead and apply for a visa – that is if the visa is required. With ‘Pre Clearance,’ the visa should be processed and granted very quickly. But if your de facto partner doesn’t require a visa to enter Ireland, they can travel immediately after getting pre-clearance. After they arrive in Ireland, all that’s required of them is to register with a local Immigration Officer for them to be granted permission to work or live in the country based on your relationship.
Bringing children or other family members to Ireland
So, when we talk about children here, we refer to minor dependents who are under the age of 18 or dependents who are in full-time education up to 23 years of age, of either an Irish citizen or the civil partner, non-EEA spouse or the de facto partner. If the child or the family member is an EEA citizen, then they won’t need a visa to enter the country or permission to work and/or live in Ireland, only an EEA passport would be required.
Children from non-EEA states can easily join their Irish family members in Ireland. But, there are few considerations and criteria that have to be met, which includes financial, visa and immigration requirements. If the de facto partner from a non-EEA country is undertaking the pre-clearance application process, then their children have to be included in it.
Note: if the child was born abroad, and at the time of their birth, you were an Irish citizen, then the child may be Irish, either by birth or through application to the Foreign Birth Register. So, we may recommend that before returning to the country, you may want to contact your Consulate or Irish Embassy to enquire information on Irish passports as well as Foreign Birth Registration.
Other family members may include adult dependents or elderly parents. Obviously, this group doesn’t have an automatic entry status to Ireland, but there are some circumstances where they can be granted permission.
To make the entry of your family members to Ireland easier, ensure that you get help from people who are well-versed with the country’s immigration process. Our solicitors can guide you through the entire process and will give you all the information that you need.