Join Family

Information about visa application and immigration procedures

Family Member of Irish Citizen

Family member of Work Permit Holders, Green Card Holders and Scientific Researchers

Partner of Irish Citizen/Work Permit Holder/Green Card Holder and Persons Granted Long-Term Residence

NON EEA Family Member of EU Citizená

Family Reunification for Recognised Refugees

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Information about visa application and immigration procedures

Decisions

  • The processing times for Visa Applications vary depending on the volume of applications lodged and the time it takes for an application to reach the Visa Section in Dublin from the Embassy in which it was lodged. You should allow as much time as possible when applying for a visa but a minimum time ofá8 weeks is recommended.á Please note that current processing time for Join Family applications is 12 weeks from date of receipt in the Visa Office, Dublin.
  • Visa applications from Researchers and their family members will be decided by the Embassy or Consular Office at which the applications are lodged.
  • Visa decisions are published weekly on our websiteáwww.inis.gov.ie. You can check a decision by entering the Visa Reference Number that issued to you.

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* Please clickáhereáfor our new Immigration Policy Guidelines on Family Reunification published on 31 December 2013.

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Right of Appeal

  • If you are refused a visa you may appeal this decision within 2 months
  • Appeals must be submitted in writing and posted to:

áThe Visa Appeals Officer
áINIS, 13-14 Burgh Quay,
áDublin 2.

  • If your application was made to the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Beijing, London, Moscow or New Delhi you should submit your appeal to the relevant office
  1. Your appeal should fully address all the reasons for which your application was refused. Anyáadditional supporting documentation should be submitted with your appeal for consideration.
  2. You must quote your Visa Reference Number on your appeal, along with your name and nationality
  3. There is no fee payable for appealing a visa refusal decision
  4. There will be no appeal allowed if you are found to have given false or misleading information in any part of your application, or submitted false, forged or fraudulent documentation

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If you are granted a visa for to join your spouse or parent please note:

  • Aávisa is a form of pre-entry clearance to the State only, and does not guarantee that you will be permitted to enter or remain in the State
  • Immigration Officers at the point of entry are entitled to question any person on arrival. If they are not satisfied with the bona-fides of any person, or their reasons for wishing to enter the State, they have the right to deny entry to any such person, despite the fact they hold a valid visa
  • It is recommended that you have supporting documentation related to your reason for wishing to enter the State available to present to the Immigration Officer on disembarkation from your flight.

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Registration and Permission to Remain

  • All non-EEA nationals who wish to remain in Ireland for longer than 3 months, or beyond the period granted by an Immigration Officer at an Irish Port of Entry are required to register and obtain a residence permit. The Registration Authority is the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).áwww.garda.ieá
  • Residency is granted by means of an endorsement stamp on the person’s passport, and a residency document- a Certificate of Registration - is also issued. Under current Irish Immigration Laws children under the age of 16 are not required to register and obtain permission to remain
  • There is a charge of €300 payable each time you register, therefore it is advisable that your passport is valid for at least 12 months on arrival in the State

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Re-entry Visas

  • Before a re-entry visa can be issued, you must be registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa (where relevant) for the country you intend travelling to
  • NOTE: A visa must be obtained from the UK authorities prior to travelling to Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland consists of Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone)
    Eligibility for Employment
  • A family member of a worker or a Scientific Researcher who is the holder of a Hosting Agreement, issued a visa for the purposes of family reunification will be entitled to work subject to the issuance of a work permit by the Department of Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, once they are legally resident in the State. See The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation -áwww.djei.ie.

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Family Member of Irish Citizen - visa application document required

If you are legally resident in a country other than Ireland and you wish to move to Ireland by either joining or accompanying your Irish spouse, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Fully complete the online application form, and submit your signed summary application form, photographs and fee (if applicable)
  • In addition to the signed summary application form, please also submit a signed letter of application
  1. outlining your reason for coming to Ireland,
  2. giving details of any members of your family who are currently in Ireland, or any other EU State.
  • Passport, valid for 12 months, and copy of previous passport if applicable. (If your passport is relatively new, it may assist your application if you provide your previous passport showing any previous visas for any other country, and your previous travel history)
  • If you have been refused a visa for any other country, details of this must be given. Submit the original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused
  • A detailed statement of your bank account covering a six-month period immediately prior to your visa application, and showing sufficient funds to cover your costs
  • Clear copy of spouse’s passport, or other documentary evidence attesting to spouse's Irish citizenship, showing evidence of residency in country you are moving from
  • Marriage Certificate/áCivil Partnership Certificate

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Children

If you have children (under 18 years) who do not hold Irish passports, and therefore require a visa, a separate application must be submitted, along with a birth certificate, for each child.

If you wish a child (under 18 years) from a previous marriage or relationship to travel with you, evidence that you have been given full custody and access rights to this child must be shown (Court Order).

Where the other parent of this child has some custody or access rights, a sworn affidavit by this parent consenting to the child being removed from their home country is required.

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NOTE:áIf your Irish spouse is residing in Ireland, and you have not resided together since your marriage, whether your visa application is to visit or join your spouse, in addition to the documentation listed above you MUST also submit the following:

  • A full account of relationship history – when and where you met, evidence of this such as visas, entry/exit stamps on the passport of your Irish spouse
  • Please note that for Immigration purposes it is not sufficient for a relationship to have developed solely over the internet or by telephone/sms. A relationship must include a number face to face meetings (excluding webcam) between the parties. You must satisfy the visa officer that the relationship is bona-fide
  • Evidence of your spouse’s finances – P60, payslips, bank statement for 6 months prior to application.

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NOTES

All letters submitted should be on official company headed paper and give full contact details for verification purposes. These must include a full postal address, name of contact, position in company, telephone number (landline) and email address where relevant. (Email addresses such as Yahoo or Hotmail are not accepted). Website address should also be included, if available.
All of the above documents must be submitted with your application
All documentation must be in English or accompanied by a notarised translation
The provision of all the documentation listed in no way guarantees that a visa will be granted.

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Join a Spouse or Parent who is a Work Permit Holder, Green Card Holder or Scientific Researcher - visa application document required

  1. outlining your reason for coming to Ireland,
  2. giving details of any members of your family who are currently in Ireland, or any other EU State.
  • Passport, valid for 12 months, and copy of previous passport if applicable. (If your passport is relatively new, it may assist your application if you provide your previous passport showing any previous visas for any other country, and your previous travel history)
  • If you have been refused a visa for any other country, details of this must be given. Submit the original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused.
  • A detailed statement of you and your sponsor's bank accounts covering a six-month period immediately prior to your visa application,áshowing sufficient funds to support dependent family members without recourse to public funds.
  • In applying for a Visa for the purposes of joining your spouse or parent in Ireland you must be able to show that:

You are the spouse of a qualifying sponsor whose marriage is subsisting on the date of your application

OR

You are the dependent unmarried child of the sponsor under the age of 18 years

AND

That the qualifying sponsor fulfils the minimum income requirement where relevant.

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Definition of a qualifying sponsor:

A qualifying sponsor is a non-EEA national:

Who has a valid work permit and has been in employment for at least twelve months prior to the date of application. He/she must be in full time employment on the date of application and have an income above the threshold which would qualify the family for payment under the Family Income Supplement (FIS) Scheme administered by the Department of Social Protection –áwww.welfare.ie

ORá

who is a Green Card Permit Holder seeáwww.djei.ie/labour/workpermits

OR

a Researcher (Scientific) who holds a Hosting Agreement with an accredited research organisation for the purpose of carrying out scientific research. See (www.djei.ie/science/technology/accreditation.htm andáEmployment or Intra-company Transfer, Scientific Researcher, Training, Van Der Elst)

Please note:áfamily members (i.e. spouse and dependants) may accompany a Green Card holder or a Scientific Researcher on admission into the State or join later subject to normal immigration rules.áFor visa required nationals please click onáVisas for Visa application details.áFamily members and dependants who are granted permission to be in the State under these arrangements may only remain for a maximum period equal to the Registration of the Green Card holder/Scientific Researcher.áá

There now follows an explanation of what will be accepted as evidence for the above requirements. Please ensure you read this carefully and submit ALL documents with your application. Again, it is important that these are originals (where indicated) in English, or accompanied by a notarised translation. They should clearly indicate what they are and to whom they refer.

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Evidence of Relationship to the Qualifying Sponsor

Where you are the spouse of a qualifying sponsor you must provide the following documents:

  • Marriage Certificate/ Civil Partnership Certificate.
    If the marriage took place after the qualifying sponsor took up residence in Ireland please provide the following details/documents
  • Evidence of your spouse having travelled to your country of residence on a number of occasions, and any other information you can provide to support your application. Please note that for Immigration purposes it is not sufficient for a relationship to have developed solely over the internet or by telephone/sms. A relationship must include a number face to face meetings (excluding webcam) between the parties. You must satisfy the visa officer that the relationship is bona-fide
  • Where the applicant is the dependent child (under 18 years) of a qualifying sponsor you must provide evidence of the relationship such as a birth certificate, adoption papers or the like.

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Parental Consent

  • Where both you and your spouse are the parents of this child, but only one of you will be residing in Ireland, the written consent of your spouse, permitting your child to join you, will be required
  • If you wish a child (under 18 years) from a previous marriage or relationship to travel with you, or join you in Ireland, evidence that you have been given full custody and access rights to this child must be shown.
    Court Order
  • Where the other parent of this child has custody or access rights, a sworn affidavit by this parent consenting to the child being removed from their home country is required
  • Sponsors and Family Members may be required to present DNA evidence, obtained at their own expense and certified to the satisfaction of the Minister, in support of their claims to be related. Such evidence will not be sought unreasonably.

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Evidence of Finances

If the qualifying sponsor is the holder of a work permit and has been resident in Ireland for 12 months, they must show they have sufficient funds to support you and any dependent family members, without recourse to public funds. However, in all cases your application must be accompanied by:

  • A copy of spouse’s current Work Permit
  • A copy of the contract of employment of the qualifying sponsor of at least one year from the date of entry of the family member(s).áThe contract must also give the annual salary of the sponsor
  • Copy of P60 and 3 recent consecutive payslips

If the above documents are not provided the application cannot be considered

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Passport

  • Current passport valid for at least one year from proposed entry date to Ireland
  • If you held a previous passport, you should also submit this with your application
  • Clear and legible copy of all pages of the qualifying sponsors passport
  • Copy of sponsors Certificate of Registration (document issued by the Irish Immigration Authorities)

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Partner of Irish Citizen/Work Permit Holder/Green Card Holder and Persons Granted Long Term Residence

If you are:

the de facto partner of an Irish Citizen [(i.e.) In a relationship that has existed for at least 2 years, akin to marriage and including cohabitation]

or

the de facto partner of a non-EEA national [(i.e.) in a relationship that has existed for at least 2 years, akin to marriage and including cohabitation] who is a Work Permit Holder/Green Card Holder or person Granted Long Term Residence

and

you wish to join your partner in Ireland or accompany them to Ireland, the following documents are required in order to have your application considered:

  • Fully complete the online application form, and submit your signed summary application form, photographs and fee (if applicable).
  • In addition to the signed summary application form, please also submit a signed letter of application
  1. outlining your reason for coming to Ireland,
  2. giving details of any members of your family who are currently in Ireland, or any other EU State.
  • Passport, valid for 12 months, and copy of previous passport if applicable. (If your passport is relatively new, it may assist your application if you provide your previous passport showing any previous visas for any other country, and your previous travel history)
  • If you have been refused a visa for any other country, details of this must be given. Submit the original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused.
  • A detailed statement of your bank account covering a six-month period immediately prior to your visa application, and showing sufficient funds to cover your costs
  • Evidence that you are lawfully resident in a country other than Ireland
  • Documentary evidence that will support the existence and durability of the relationship – e.g. Registration Certificate of partnership (if applicable) or evidence of common ownership of property, joint tenancy of property, on-going correspondence addressed to both partners at the same address, financial dependence/interdependence, or any other relevant documentation
  • A full account of relationship history – when and where you met, evidence of this such as visas, entry/exit stamps on the passport of your partner. Please note that for Immigration purposes it is not sufficient for a relationship to have developed solely over the internet or by telephone/sms. A relationship must include a number face to face meetings (excluding webcam) between the parties. You must satisfy the visa officer that the relationship is bona-fide.
  • Clear copy of spouse’s passport, or documentary evidence attesting to spouse's Irish citizenship.
  • Evidence of how your partner will support you financially – e.g. P60, payslips, bank statement for 6 months prior to application
  • Private Medical Insurance

If you have children (under 18 years) who do not hold Irish passports and therefore require a visa, a separate application must be submitted, along with a birth certificate, for each child.

If you wish a child (under 18 years) from a previous marriage or relationship to travel with you, evidence that you have been given full custody and access rights to this child must be shown (Court Order).

Where the other parent of this child has some custody or access rights, a sworn affidavit by this parent consenting to the child being removed from their home country is required.

NOTES

All letters submitted should be on official company headed paper and give full contact details for verification purposes. These must include a full postal address, name of contact, position in company, telephone number (landline) and email address where relevant. (Email addresses such as Yahoo or Hotmail are not accepted). Website address should also be included, if available. All of the above documents must be submitted with your application. All documentation must be in English or accompanied by a notarised translation. The provision of all the documentation listed in no way guarantees that a visa will be granted.

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NON EEA Family Member of EU Citizen

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If you wish to apply for a visa as a family member of an EU citizen exercising or planning to exercise their free movement rights under Directive 2004/38/EC (transposed into Irish law by European Communities (Free movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008) the appropriate visa type is a Short Stay Visa.

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In the event that your visa application is approvedáyou will be issued with a single journey short-stay C visa which will permit you to enter and reside in the State for up to 3 months. In the event that you wish to remain in the State for more than 3 months as a family member of an EU citizen exercising their free movement rights, you must apply (when in the State) for a Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen.á

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Processing guidelines prepared for visa officers in relation to applications on the basis of the Directiveáare availableáhereá This document is a pdf.á

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Dec 2013