Family Reunification FAQ
Information Notice: The International Protection Act 2015 will commence on 31st December 2016.
Applications for Family Reunification received by INIS no later than close of business on Friday 30 December 2016 will be processed under the current legislation.
Applications for Family Reunification received by INIS after 30 December 2016 with a post-mark date, or certificate of posting, of 30 December 2016 or earlier will be accepted as being received before close of business on 30 December and will be processed under current legislation.
All new applications for Family Reunification made after commencement of the 2015 Act will be processed under the 2015 Act.
Published 08 Dec 2016
The information below only applies to persons who have International Protection in Ireland.
It should be noted that this information is not and does not purport to be a legal document. It is intended, solely, as an information note to those to whom it applies.
Can I Apply for Family Reunification - International Protection Act 2015 (2015 Act)?
Yes, under sections 56 and 57 you may apply to the Minister if:
- You have a current declaration as a:
- Convention Refugee
- Programme Refugee or
- You are a current Beneficiary of Subsidiary Protection
Which of my Family Members are Eligible for Family Reunification under the 2015 Act?
Section 56 defines a member of the family as the Sponsors:
- Spouse – your marriage must have subsisted on the date you made an application for International Protection in the State
- Civil partner - your civil partnership must have subsisted on the date you made an application for International Protection in the State.
- Parent(s), if you are under 18 and not married on the date you make an application for family reunification in the State.
- Parents’ children (under 18 and not married), if you are under 18 and not married on the date you make an application for family reunification in the State.
- Child who, is under the age of 18 years and not married when you make an application for family reunification in the State.
What Permission Can I Apply for?
Under Sections 56 and 57, you may apply for permission for members(s) of your family to:
- Enter and reside in the State where they are living outside the State
- Reside in the State where they are already in the State on the date of your application
How Long will a Family Member’s Permission Last?
- Where an application for FRU is made before commencement of the 2015 Act and permission is granted after commencement of the Act, family members will be given permission to enter and/or reside in the State for not less than one year, provided the sponsor’s permission is in force and the sponsor is entitled to remain in the State.
- Where an application for FRU is made after commencement of the 2015 Act, family members will be given permission to enter and/or reside in the State for not less than one year, provided the sponsor’s permission is in force and the sponsor is entitled to remain in the State.
Is There a Time Limit for Making an Application for Family Reunification under the 2015 Act?
Yes. You must make your application within 12 months of being granted a refugee declaration, a subsidiary protection declaration or from the date of your arrival in Ireland as a Programme Refugee. For example, if your date of your arrival in Ireland as a Programme Refugee is 2nd September 2016, The Minister must have received your application for FRU on or before 1st September 2017.
How can I Apply for Family Reunification under the 2015 Act?
You must apply in writing to the Family Reunification Section (INIS) to:Family Reunification Section 13/14 Burgh Quay Dublin 2
Please provide the following information:
- Your Name, Person ID number and address
- For each member of your family:
- Full name
- Relationship to you e.g., spouse, daughter, son
- Date of birth
- Current address
If there is a change to your address while your application is being considered, you should immediately notify the Family Reunification Section in writing.
What is the Process?
- If you have provided the information outlined above, you will be sent a questionnaire
- You should return the completed questionnaire along with the documents listed below
- Your application for Family Reunification will be investigated
- You may over the course of the investigation be asked to provide more information
- You will be notified in writing of the decision
What Documents are Required?
Please note that originals must be provided – copies will not be accepted. You may also be asked for further information or additional documents during the application process.
1. Please provide your travel document and documentary evidence of your current address (for example, a current utility bill).
The following documents are to be submitted for each person named in your application:
2. Birth certificate
3. National identity card
5. Two recent colour passport-sized photographs
5.1. Write the name, date of birth and date of photograph on the back of each photo
If applying for a spouse or civil partner you will also need:
6. Marriage certificate stamped by the relevant authority – if you have been married more than once please provide both or all marriage certificates.
7. Any other evidence, for example, dowry agreement
8. Marriage Book, if you received one – If you have been married more than once please provide both or all marriage books.
9. Receipt for any registration fees paid for your marriage (if applicable)
10. Documentary evidence of shared resources (including joint bank accounts) if applicable
11. Documentary evidence, if any, of money transfers from you to your spouse
12. Documentary evidence of your domicile at date of your marriage
13. Documentary evidence of your spouse’s domicile at date of your marriage
14. If relevant:
14.1. Your final decree of divorce or nullity
14.2. Your spouse's final decree of divorce or nullity
14.3. Death certificate of your previous spouse(s)
14.4. Death certificate of your spouse's previous spouse(s)
15. If relevant:
15.1. Original Statement of Parental Authorisation
15.2. Legal document for Ward/guardianship/Adoption
15.3. Evidence of Sponsor’s current address
15.4. Original Death Certificate.
If you are applying for your parent(s) you will also need to provide:
1. Your birth certificate
If you do not provide the required information or provide false information, this can have an adverse effect on your application or result in your permission being revoked.
What happens if my Application is Approved?
- You will receive a decision letter
- This letter will inform you of the date by which your family member(s) must enter and/or reside in the State
- o If a family member does not enter and/or reside in the State on or before this date, the family reunification permission will cease to be in force
- The Minister will give your family member(s) permission to enter and/or reside in the State for a period of time of not less than one year
- And in the case of a renewal, for not less than 2 years
- Your family member(s) will have the same rights and entitlements as you, provided your International Protection is in force and you are resident in the State
- The permission will be renewable unless there are compelling reasons of national security or public order (ordre public) in relation to you or your family member
What is the Process After my Application is Successful?
- Family member(s) who are entering the State must apply for a visa
- Further information on the visa application process can be found on www.inis.gov.ie
- The application can be made in the Irish Consulate in the family member’s country of residence
- Details of all Irish Embassies and Consulates can be found on www.dfa.ie
- When your family members arrive in the State, they must register in your local Registration Office
- You must accompany each family member to the Registration Office
- In order to Register you must log on to www.registrationofficeburghquay.gov.ie to request an appointment.
What happens if my Application is Refused?
- You will receive written notification of the decision
- This decision cannot be appealed
In What Circumstances can a Family Reunification Permission Cease to be valid?
- Where the family member does not enter and reside in the State by the date specified in the decision letter
- Where the person to whom the permission was granted ceases to be a family member
- Where the marriage or civil partnership concerned ceases to subsist
In What Circumstances can a Family Reunification be Revoked?
- In the interest of national security or public policy (“ordre public”)
- Where the sponsor would be or is excluded from being a refugee
- Where the sponsor would be or is excluded from being eligible for subsidiary
- Where the Sponsors entitlement to remain in the State ceases
- Where misrepresentation, omission of facts or the use of false documents by the Sponsor were decisive in the decision to give, the Sponsor the permission
Updated: 30 December, 2016