Irish Immigration Stamps
A significant factor influencing your eligibility to visit or reside in Ireland is where you originate from. EU/EEA (European Economic Area) nationals are able to enjoy the ‘four freedoms’ as set out in the Treaty of Rome which allows for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the EU.
This means that citizens of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland are able to enter and reside in Ireland for up to three months simply by presenting their valid passport or national identity card; they do not require a visa or a work permit.
On the other hand, those who are non-EU/EEA citizens may require a visa to visit or reside in Ireland depending on where they are coming from and for how long they wish to remain. The Irish immigration system can be both complex and time-consuming for those who are unsure of which visa they ought to apply for or the specific requirements they ought to meet – IAS’ immigration professionals are able to provide expert legal guidance and much-needed clarity regarding your specific circumstances and needs.
It is imperative to establish whether you require a visa or not prior to travelling to Ireland. One of our experienced immigration lawyers can advise you and provide practical assistance if you need to apply and register for immigration permission.
I have been granted permission to stay in Ireland, what does my Irish immigration stamp mean?
Those who intend to stay in Ireland for over 90 days must register for immigration permission, regardless of whether they are from a non-visa required country or a visa required country.
If your application is successful and you are granted permission to stay in Ireland, your passport will be stamped to indicate the type of permission you have been given – including what you can and cannot do (work/study/etc.) and how long you are permitted to stay.
The Irish visa system can seem daunting and complex as each stamp is relevant to specific forms of immigration permission. However, our team of hard-working immigration lawyers in Ireland can guide you with each visa route and correlating stamp.
What does a Stamp 0 indicate?
Stamp 0 allows an individual to stay in Ireland for a specific and limited amount of time. It is typically granted to elderly, dependent relatives, persons of independent financial means and visiting academics (who must be paid from outside of Ireland and work here for less than 9 months).
If you have been granted a Stamp 0, some of the key conditions which you must abide by are:
- You must be financially self-sufficient
- You are unable to rely on state benefits/publicly funded services
- You are not permitted to work for the duration of your stay
Stamp 0 is also not intended to be reckonable for Long Term Residence or Irish Citizenship.
What are the conditions of a Stamp 1 and Stamp 1A?
Stamp 1 is often issued to those who will be in Ireland for a temporary period and who have been granted permission to work or operate a business in Ireland.
It is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.
With Stamp 1 permission, you:
- Cannot acquire a job or enter employment unless you or your employer have obtained an employment permit for you
- Must not engage in any business, trade or profession until you have an employment permit (unless otherwise stated in a letter of permission from Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service – also known as INIS)
You may be given Stamp 1 if you or your partner has an employment permit to work in Ireland, if you operate a business in Ireland, or if you are working here based on Working Holiday Authorisation
Stamp 1A is a very specific form of immigration permission and is given to those who are participating in full-time, paid accountancy training in Ireland for a specified period of time.
It does not allow you to engage in any other business, trade or profession unless this has been stated explicitly within a letter from INIS.
From July 2019, new immigration rules were published for trainee accountants with Stamp 1A permissions. These new amendments relate particularly to the time limits of those residing in Ireland under Stamp 1A permissions. Trainee accountants are required to:
- Have a third level degree qualification to be permitted to make an application for the Trainee Accountant programme
- Manage their studies and any required work experience to ensure that they are completed within the set time-limits
- Complete their qualification in Ireland during the four year time limit and when the overall limit of eight years as a student/trainee has expired, to complete their studies in another jurisdiction
- Present an annual progression report from their training supervisor confirming exams passed and experience gained in the prior 12 months. This is necessary in order to renew the Stamp 1A permission (which must be done every year)
What is a Stamp 1G and what does it indicate?
Individuals who receive a Stamp 1G can be divided into the following two categories –
- Those who have graduated from a level 8 or above course and wish to look for employment in Ireland:
This is permitted under the Third Level Graduate Scheme and allows you to look for work here subject to conditions such as working a maximum of 40 hours per week.
When applying for immigration permission which gives you Stamp 1G, you must hold Stamp 2 registration. At the IAS, we can guide you through the visa process and application for all immigration routes, ensuring you are eligible and meet the relevant criteria.
With a Stamp 1G, if you wish to continue working after it has expired, you must find a job requiring an employment permit and follow the conventional application process.
- Those who are the spouse/de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or a spouse/de facto partner of Researchers in the State on Hosting Agreements:
As of 6th March 2019, a Stamp 1G may also indicate permission for those who are the spouse/de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or Researchers on a Hosting Agreement.
While these spouses/partners may have been subject to Stamp 3 conditions prior to March 2019 which prohibited work without a permit, they are now able – through Stamp 1G – to work in Ireland without being required to obtain a work permit.
The following restrictions do, however, apply:
– They are not permitted to establish or operate a business
– They cannot be self-employed
Renewal of Stamp 1G registration ought to be applied for annually. After five years on a Stamp 1G, you may apply for a Stamp 4.
Time periods spent on Stamp 1G are considered as reckonable residence when applying for citizenship/naturalisation.
What does a Stamp 2 and Stamp 2A permit?
Stamp 2 is relevant to those who have been granted permission to study on a full time course that is listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP), including English language students, undergraduates, postgraduates, higher national diploma or PhD students. This stamp indicates that:
- You are not eligible to receive any benefits or use any publicly funded services
- You may work in casual employment however you are only permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during school term and 40 hours per week throughout holidays
You will be given a Stamp 2A if you have been granted permission to study for a specified period on a course which does not feature on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). This includes foreign students who will be participating in a semester of studying abroad at an Irish university.
With a Stamp 2A, you cannot work or engage in any other business or trade.
One of IAS’ immigration lawyers in Ireland can provide expert legal guidance to those seeking permission to remain whilst studying.
What does Stamp 3 permission allow?
Stamp 3 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.
This stamp is provided to those who have been granted permission to stay in Ireland as a volunteer or as a Minister of Religion.
Stamp 3 does not permit working or engaging in any business, trade or profession.
It may also be given to those with permission to join a non-EEA/EU/Swiss spouse/civil partner or family member who is in Ireland based on a work permit.
However, as mentioned above, recent changes (in March 2019) to Stamp 3 allows those who are granted immigration permission as the spouse/de factor partner of a CSEP holder/Researcher on a Hosting Agreement to work in Ireland without requiring an employment permit.
This is a welcome change as the previous conditions meant that those with a Stamp 3 would have to apply for a Stamp 1 visa in order to enter the workforce.
This made matters difficult as employers were uncertain of the law surrounding Stamp 3 permission meaning many Stamp 3 holders struggled to secure employment.
To speak to one of our experienced immigration lawyers in Ireland for a comprehensive breakdown of Irish immigration stamps, call IAS on (+353) 061 518 025.
What are the Stamp 4 permissions?
Stamp 4 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.
It demonstrates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period and may apply to those who:
- Have permission to join their Irish spouse/civil partner or de-facto partner
- Have permission to join their minor child who is an Irish citizen
- Have permission to join their family member who is a recognised refugee/has been granted subsidiary protection
- Have permission to join their EU/EEA or Swiss family member through exercising their EU Treaty Rights
- Have been recognised as a convention/programme refugee or have been granted subsidiary protection
- Have permission under the Investor and Entrepreneur Programme
- Have been granted permission for long-term residence
A significant element of Stamp 4 is that it allows employment without requiring a work permit – this includes working in a profession and operating a business. Those who have been given a Stamp 4 are also able to access state funds and services.
Stamp 4 may also be issued to those who have had permission to work in Ireland under either:
- A valid Critical Skills employment permit for two years
- A valid employment permit for five years
- A valid Hosting Agreement as a researcher for two years
As you may note, you may be given a Stamp 4 to indicate various forms of immigration permission.
If you require help with any applications for Stamp 4 Irish visas, IAS’ immigration specialists in Ireland can provide a combination of legal advice, guidance and practical assistance.
What are Stamp 5 and Stamp 6 permissions?
For those who receive a Stamp 5, they have been granted permission to stay in Ireland without limits as to the period of time they are able to remain here.
Stamp 5 is also reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. It is granted to those who have completed 8 years of legal residency in Ireland.
Those who are granted Stamp 5 permission are able to remain in Ireland ‘Without Condition As To Time’ (WCATT). This stamp is therefore valid up until the expiry of the passport in which it is located.
For those who wish to apply for a Without Conditions As To Time stamp (also known as Stamp 5), our superb immigration lawyers can assist. It is important to note that only immigration stamps in a passport can be counted towards a Without Conditions As To Time application.
With that in mind, the following stamps do not count towards the 96 months legal residence required for a Stamp 5 (WCATT):
- Stamp 0
- Stamp 2/Stamp 2A: Student
- Stamp 4: Temporary Registered Doctors
- Stamp 1A: Trainee Accountants
- Stamp 4: Intra Company Transfer
- Stamp 3: Spouse/dependent of an Intra Company Transfer
- Temporary visitors’ permission granted at the port of entry
Those with a Stamp 6 are Irish citizens with dual citizenship. This is also known as Without Conditions Endorsement. To qualify for a Stamp 6, you must hold or be entitled to hold an Irish passport.
A Stamp 6 may be placed within a non-Irish passport for those who have applied for permission to remain in Ireland ‘Without Condition’.
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The immigration system in Ireland can be extremely difficult to traverse – from the various employment permits to the intricate conditions outlined through each stamp. At IAS, our team of committed immigration lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience of navigating the Irish immigration system.
If you decide to seek the professional legal guidance of an IAS specialist, you will be assigned an immigration expert to deal with your specific case. We will ensure that you meet all requirements to match your appropriate route to living in or visiting Ireland.
If you are a visiting academic, elderly dependent or a person of independent financial means who requires help obtaining or renewing a Stamp 0, IAS’ team of immigration experts are here to provide the legal guidance you need to ensure the greatest chance of success.
If you wish to renew your Stamp 0 before it expires, IAS can provide comprehensive assistance in order to extend your immigration permission. We will ensure that you are providing the relevant and accurate documentation required for your renewal application.
Contact us today on (+353) 061 518 025 to enquire.
As a Minister of Religion, there are aspects of the Irish immigration system which cater directly to your individual circumstances through its Stamp 3 permissions.
Once you have been granted permission to enter the State as a Minister of Religion, you are able to work with an eligible religious body or faith community in Ireland for up to 3 years with the possibility of a 3-year extension.
From 30th April 2018, a new pre-clearance procedure was implemented for non-EEA nationals who wish to work as a Minister of Religion in Ireland.
Those who have been offered a role with a religious body/faith community must receive approval (known as pre-clearance) to work in that capacity from INIS (the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service).
This application and process of pre-clearance must be undertaken prior to travelling to Ireland. The IAS can offer the up-to-date, high-quality legal guidance and support you need throughout the entire process.
This includes helping with subsequent steps such as applying for a visa in the event that your pre-clearance is successful. We are here to help with all aspects of your journey.
If you have been given a Stamp 4, the typical time period permitted to stay in Ireland is five years (subject to conditions).
It is also possible to then renew (extend) your Stamp 4 allowances prior to its expiry, assuming you continue to meet the necessary requirements.
Those who hold Stamp 4 immigration permissions may also be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalisation, depending on personal circumstances and time spent in the State/on Stamp 4.
Typically, a key requirement of Irish naturalisation is that you have spent 5 years of reckonable residence in Ireland within the past 9 years.
To find out if you qualify for Irish naturalisation by citizenship and to see what our immigration specialists in Ireland can do for you, contact IAS on (+353) 061 518 025.