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Non-EEA Family Reunification

Non-EEA Family Reunification

Non-EEA family reunification is the process through which non-EEA family members of Irish residents can join their family member in Ireland.

The Immigration Advice Service is a leading organisation of immigration experts with offices across Ireland and the UK. Call us now on (+353) 061 518 025 for further information on non-EEA family reunification.

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Non EEA Family Reunification in Ireland

Understandably, many people who move to Ireland want their closest family members to join them. Through non-EEA family reunification immigration law, this might be possible.

Family reunification is the process through which an overseas national/s can join a family member/s in Ireland.

 

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Can I Join my Family Member in Ireland?

Ultimately, there are a number of factors which determine whether an overseas national can join their partner in Ireland.

There are different rules around non-EEA family reunification depending on whether the Irish resident is an EEA/Swiss or non-EEA/non-Swiss national.

Do EEA Citizens Have Automatic Permission for Family Reunification?

If the Ireland resident is an EEA or Swiss national exercising their free movement rights, their non-EEA family member/s will be able to join them in Ireland, regardless of their nationality.

An individual is exercising their free movement rights if they are working, self-employed, in vocational studies or being self-sufficient.

 

Who are Qualifying Members?

Qualifying family members are the most direct relations to the resident in Ireland.

A qualifying family member could be:

  • Spouse/civil partner
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Grandparents

Who are Permitted Family Members?

There is also another category of permissible family members known as permitted family members. These include:

  • De facto partners
  • Dependent family members of the EEA resident or their spouse or civil partner
  • Other members of EEA citizen household who are dependent family members on medical grounds

If you would like more information on whether you qualify for non-EEA family reunification, please do not hesitate to call us on (+353) 061 518 025.

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Do Non-EEA Citizens Have Automatic Permission for Family Reunification?

There is no automatic right of reunification for non-EEA family members of non-EEA residents in Ireland. Your right to family reunification is entirely dependent on the nature of your legal residence in Ireland.

At present, there is no legislation governing rights of residence in this group. However, non-EEA family members of those with certain employment permits, or of someone who has been given refugee status will usually be able to join their family member in Ireland.

Possible eligible family members for reunification include spouses, civil partners and children under the age of 18. Generally, dependents over the age of 18 will not be eligible for family reunification with their Irish resident family member.

If you have a Critical Skills Employment Permit, you will have the right to bring your family to live with you in Ireland immediately. These family members will get Stamp 1 in their passport, which will allow them to work in Ireland.

If you have a General Employment Permit, you might be able to bring your family to live with you in Ireland after you have been working for one year. One of the key requirements is for the Ireland resident to be earning an income above the limits for Family Income Supplement.

What is the Application Process for Non-EEA Family Members?

Firstly, the non-EEA national will need to apply for a Join Family Member Visa (Long stay) before they travel to Ireland. This will give them the permission to travel to the State (but not necessarily to enter).

When the overseas national arrives in Ireland, they will need to complete an application for a residence card. Qualifying members need to complete the EUTR1 form, whereas permitted family members need to complete EU1A form.

It is quite common for the Department of Justice & Equality to issue a temporary Stamp 4 residence permission in the applicant’s passport whilst they are awaiting a decision on their application.

If the application is successful, the overseas national will be granted (Stamp 4EUFAM), which lasts for up to five years. You will now be able to travel across European member states with your EEA-citizen family member.

Also, they will need to visit an immigration office to officially register in Ireland. This is obligatory for anyone who wishes to stay in Ireland for longer than 90 days.

If the registration is successful, they will receive an Irish Residence Permit. The person ought to carry their Irish Residence Permit with them at all times.

What Happens if an Application is Unsuccessful?

If your application is unsuccessful, you can seek a review of the decision by completing an EU4 application form, explaining why you believe the decision was unfair or wrong.

Unfortunately, a family member of an EEA citizen will be subject to a removal order if the review of their application is refused.

When Will I Receive Permanent Residence?

After a non-EEA national has lived legally in Ireland for five consecutive years, they will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence card.

They will need to complete application form EU3 with documentary evidence which confirms the requirements for permanent residence have been established.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Family reunification for refugees can only be sought in cases where the Irish resident has been granted official refugee status or subsidiary protection in Ireland.

Refugees and those who have been given subsidiary protection have the legal right of family reunification for spouses/civil partners and children under the age of 18. Also, a person who is under 18 who has been given refugee status or subsidiary protection in Ireland can be reunited with their parents and minor siblings in Ireland.

Family reunification for refugees can only be sought in cases where the Irish resident has been granted official refugee status or subsidiary protection in Ireland.

Applications for family reunification can only be made within 12 months of the person being granted refugee status or subsidiary protection. Applications can be made both for people in Ireland and outside of the State.

The refugee/person with subsidiary protection needs to write to the Family Reunification Section of INIS with a request to apply for family reunification for the specific family member.

If the request is approved, the refugee/subsidiary protection beneficiary will need to complete a questionnaire and submit certain documentation to the Irish embassy or consulate in their family member’s country or residence.

The documents required for this visa application are as follows:

  • Fully completed and signed application form
  • Letter issued from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service to the refugee in Ireland granting family reunification
  • Two passport-sized colour photographs
  • Original passport or travel document

Once the family member arrives in Ireland, they will need to follow the same procedure outlined above of registering at an immigration office and applying for an Irish Residence Permit.

Family members of non-EEA national students in Ireland will generally not be able to join their family member in Ireland.

In certain instances, non-EEA family members of EU citizens might be able to retain their right of residence if circumstances change.

In the following circumstances, the non-EEA family member will usually be given the right of residence:

  • The EU citizen dies
  • The EU citizen leaves the state
  • The EU citizen and family member divorce
  • The family member becomes a victim of domestic abuse

To apply for right of residence, the non-EEA national would need to apply for retention of a residence card (EU5).

The Immigration Advice Service is an immigration law firm with a wealth of experience in the field. We have offices throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, where our highly skilled immigration can offer expert help and guidance on any immigration query.

To find out how we can help you, call us now on (+353) 061 518 025.