Waiting times for spouse visas in Ireland
According to the Irish Department of Justice, spouse visa applications are being processed in chronological order, and are taking at least six months to be processed.
If you applied for a spouse visa outside Ireland, you can check on the page of your local Irish embassy to check the processing time for your country.
If you applied for a spouse visa in Ireland, the Dublin visa office has the following advice on processing times:
The official advice states that:
“Different embassies and visa offices will take different lengths of time to process different types of visa applications. These waiting times can change and you may check with the embassy or visa office, which is processing your application, for information on their current waiting times.”
To prevent delays with your application, it is strongly recommended to ensure that your application is completed thoroughly and accurately. Even small errors or incomplete sections can result in lengthy delays.
Further advice states that you should submit your visa application as far in advance as possible, but no sooner than 13 weeks before your intended date of travel.
In addition, you should not make travel arrangements before receiving a positive decision on your application.
How will I get a decision on my spouse visa?
You will receive an official letter or email about the result of your visa application. This letter will outline whether you have been approved or refused a visa.
If you are approved, the letter will outline the next steps you should take if you still wish to travel to Ireland.
If you are refused, you will be given details on the reasons for refusal and whether it is possible to resubmit or appeal the decision.
Please note that there is usually a limited time period (usually within two months from the date of refusal) in which you can submit an appeal against a visa decision so it is important to act quickly if you wish to appeal.
You are permitted one appeal only for most visa application refusals.
How do I track my Irish visa application?
Irish visa offices in Ireland and around the world publish visa decisions online on a weekly basis.
Here are some ways to track your visa application:
- If you applied online via VFS Global, you will receive an email update when a decision has been made on your application
- You may also be able to get SMS updates if you cannot access email
- Use the reference number you received from the VFS Ireland Visa Application Centre if you submitted your application in this way to track your visa status online
- If you applied at an embassy or consulate, check with the Irish embassy or Irish consulate where you submitted your visa application
- If you applied via an Irish immigration service visa office, check the Irish Immigration Service visa decision weekly listing page
- Use the reference number you received when you submitted your application
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applications were being processed more slowly, resulting in delays to visa application decisions.
Please note that if you want to contact a visa office to check the status of your Irish visa application, visa offices cannot give you additional information over the phone.
How much is an Irish spouse visa?
You do not need to pay a fee for an Irish spouse visa application if you are the spouse of an Irish citizen.
Additionally, you are exempt from paying a visa application fee if you come from one of the following countries:
- Cote d’Ivoire
- North Macedonia
- Sri Lanka Tunisia
Additionally, the following categories of people are exempt from visa fees:
These ‘qualifying family members’ of EU/EEA/ Swiss citizens:
- Spouse/ civil partner
- Dependent child under 21 years old
- Dependent child of the spouse aged under 21 years old
- Adopted child
- Dependent parent
- Dependent parent of the spouse
- Other dependent family members (e.g., grandparent or grandchild)
- Other dependent family members of the spouse (e.g., grandparent or grandchild)
How do I invite my spouse to Ireland?
To bring your spouse or civil partner to Ireland, you should follow the below steps:
- Identify whether your spouse needs an Irish spouse visa
- If yes, submit a spouse visa application
- Gather your documents and present to an immigration officer at border control
- Within 90 days of arrival, register at an immigration office
- Submit an application for residency with your spouse
- Wait for a decision
The way to join your spouse in Ireland will depend on your immigration status.
If you are an Irish national and your partner is a citizen of an EU/ EEA country or Switzerland, they will not need to apply for a visa.
If your spouse is from a non-EEA country or a visa required country, permission must be obtained from the Irish Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) before they can join you.
There are additional rules if you are not married (you have a de facto partner). However, a civil partnership is treated the same as a marriage for immigration purposes.
If you wish to apply for a Join Family Visa, you may be required to submit extensive documentation, including proof of holding private medical insurance for the non-EEA national. Evidence can include showing that you are eligible to apply for the spouse visa.
Speak to our qualified immigration advisers to learn more about how we can assist you and your loved ones settle in Ireland.
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