Family Reunification FAQ

Family Reunification Information Leaflet

The provisions of this leaflet only apply to persons who have Refugee Status in Ireland.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THIS LEAFLET IS NOT AND DOES NOT PURPORT TO BE A LEGAL DOCUMENT. IT IS PURELY FOR THE INFORMATION OF THOSE TO WHOM IT APPLIES.

  1. Who can apply for Family Reunification under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended)?
  2. Under Section 18 of the Refugee Act, 1996 for what family members can a Refugee apply?
  3. How/Where do I make an application for Family Reunification?á
  4. What does the process involve?á
  5. What documents do I need to submit with my application?
  6. Requests for the return of original documents?
  7. (A) What if I receive a positive decision in my Family Reunification Application where my family members are not currently in Ireland?

    (B)What if I receive a positive decision in my Family Reunification Application where my family members are currently in Ireland?
  8. What if I receive a negative decision in my Family Reunification Application?
  9. How do I contact the Family Reunification Section?

á

Question 1:

Who can apply for Family Reunification under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended)?

á

Answer 1:

Only persons granted Refugee Status in Ireland can apply for Family Reunification and every application must be accompanied by a signed letter from the Refugee making the application.á

Persons who have residency rights in the State on any other basis are not eligible to apply.

Persons granted permission to enter or to remain in the State under Section 18 of the Refugee Act, 1996, are not in turn eligible to apply for family reunification for additional family members.

Back to top



á

Question 2:

Under Section 18 of the Refugee Act, 1996 for what family members can a Refugee apply?

Answer 2:

1). If the Refugee is married, he/she can apply for his/her spouse (provided the marriage is subsisting on the date the application is made and that the marriageáis recognised under Irish law,).

2). The Refugee can apply for permission for his/her children who are under the age of 18 and unmarried.

3). Refugees under 18 years of age can apply for their parents.

4). The Minister for Justice and Equality also has discretion to grant permission for other dependent family members to be reunified with a Refugee (grandparent, parent, brother, sister, child, grandchild, ward or guardian of the Refugee). In all such cases, the person in respect of whom such permission is sought must show clear evidence of dependency.

Back to top


á

Question 3:

How/Where do I make an application for Family Reunification?

Answer 3:

If a Refugee wishes to lodge an application for a family member, a signed letter from the Refugee must be submitted when making the application to the Family Reunification Section, 3rd Floor, General Immigration, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Department of Justice and Equality, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. There is no fee or application form involved with this type of application at this stage of the process.

Back to top

á

Question 4:

What does the process involve?

Answer 4:

When an application is received in the Family Reunification Section of the Immigration Division, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Department of Justice and Equality, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, an acknowledgement is sent to the applicant. The application is then forwarded to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner for examination as required under Section 18 of the Refugee Act, 1996 (as amended). When the examination is completed, the Commissioner will prepare and forward a report to the Family Reunification Section of the General Immigration Division, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Department of Justice and Equality.

The report and the application will be considered in due course, if there are any outstanding issues or documentation to be submitted, it will be done at this stage. All documentation and information will be taken into consideration when making a decision. When a decision is reached, the applicant will be informed in writing.

Back to top


á

Question 5:

What documents do I need to submit with my application?

Please note the list of documents below is not an exhaustive list.

Please also note that we do not accept affidavits or photocopies of documents.

All documents must be originals.

Please note failure to submit documentation or reply to requests for documentation may have an adverse effect on your application.


Answer 5:

(A) When applying for Husband/Wife you will need to submit:

  • Original Birth Certificate/National ID Card/ Passport.
  • Original Divorce/Death Certificate of previous spouse(s) (if applicable).
  • Original Marriage Certificate.

á

(B) When applying for children (under age 18 and unmarried) you will need to submit:

  • Original Birth Certificate/National ID/Passport.
  • Current passport sized photos stating name of child, date of birth of child and the date the photo was taken.
  • Original Statement of Parental Authorisation (granting permission for the child to travel to Ireland) from other parent if not travelling with child to Ireland.
  • Original Death Certificate of other parent if applicable.
  • Evidence of sole legal guardianship if an original death certificate is not obtainable.
  • Letter of authorisation from current guardian if not in the care of his/her parents.


(C) If you are a Refugee (under age 18 and unmarried) and wish to apply for your parents, you will need to submit:

  • Your Original Birth Certificate.
  • Your Parents’ Original Birth Certificate/National ID/Passport.

(D) When applying for dependent relatives other than those listed above (e.g. mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparents, ward or guardian) you will need to submit:

  • Original Birth Certificate/National ID/Passport.
  • Current passport sized photos stating name of child, date of birth of child and the date the photo was taken (if applicable).
  • Marriage Certificates (if applicable).
  • Death/Divorce certificates (if applicable).
  • Court certified documentary evidence of custodial rights over family member i.e., adopted/fostered child.
  • Evidence of financial dependency - that the Refugee has been supporting his/her family i.e., money transfer receipts, bank statements, postal orders etc.
  • Evidence of physical and/or mental dependency, i.e. detailed current medical reports containing detailed prognosis.
  • Evidence of your current financial and domestic circumstances.

Back to top


á

Question 6:

Requests for the return of original documents?


Answer 6:

All documents submitted by the Refugee are generally retained until the decision has been reached on his/her application. If documents are required by the applicant for a specific reason, they are advised to request them in writing from the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, Family Reunification Section, 79/83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 (if the application is still under examination) or to the Family Reunification Section of the General Immigration Division (if the examination by ORAC, Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner has been completed) giving full details.

Back to top


á

Question 7:

(A). What if I receive a positive decision in my Family Reunification Application where my family members are not currently in Ireland?


(A): Answer 7(A):

Should you receive a positive decision you will be informed in writing by the Family Reunification Section of the General Immigration Division.

  • If you have submitted a passport with the visa application, the passport will be forwarded to the Visa Office, Ground floor, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Department of Justice and Equality, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 in order that the visa can be placed in it. You should contact that office approximately seven working days after receipt of your decision letter to make the necessary arrangements to collect the passport.

    OR
  • If you have not submitted a passport with the visa application, you should contact the Visa Office approximately seven working days after receipt of your decision letter to make the necessary arrangements to collect the visa.

    OR
  • If you have made your application for Family Reunification after the 31st March 2008, all original documents submitted with your application including passports will have been returned to you with your positive decision. You must then make a visa application for the subjects of your application. Comprehensive information on applying for a visa is available on the Visa Office website www.inis.gov.ie.

The contact details for the Visa section can be found here.

Question 7(B). What if I receive a positive decision in my Family Reunification Application where my family members are currently in Ireland?


Answer 7(B):

Should you receive a positive decision you will be informed in writing by the Family Reunification Section of the General Immigration Division.

  • In order for the subjects of the application to obtain the appropriate permission to remain you are required to accompany him/her to your local Registration Office. This office is located at your local Garda Station, Superintendent's Office or if in Dublin the Immigration Registration Office, Garda National Immigration Bureau, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 (01) 6167700. You should both take sufficient identification with you to satisfy the registration officer of your identities. On completion of the necessary formalities a Certificate of Registration will be issued.

Back to top

á

Question 8:

What if I receive a negative decision in my Family Reunification Application?

á

Answer 8:

Should you receive a negative decision you will be informed of the reasons in writing by the Family Reunification Section of the General Immigration Division.

However, if you have significant new information, it is open to you to submit a newáfamily reunification application following the instructions as set out ináAnswer 3.á

Back to top


á

Question 9:

How do I contact the Family Reunification Section?


Answer 9:

You can contact the Family Reunification Section by writing to:

Family Reunification Section,
13-14 Burgh Quay,
Dublin 2

or by fax to (01) 8798695

or by phoning to (01) 6167700 between the hours of 10.00 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

á

Back to top