If you have non-EEA family members, depending on their citizenship and their relationship to you, they may need to apply for permission to live and work in Ireland. They may even need a visa before they can enter the country. In this section you will find information to make it easier for you to find your way through the immigration process.
Spouse or Civil Partner of an Irish citizen
If your spouse or civil partner is a citizen of an EEA country, they do not need a visa or permission to live or work Ireland.
If your spouse or civil partner is a citizen of a non-EEA country, they will need to apply for immigration permission to live in Ireland.
The official policy on spouses and civil partners of Irish citizens is available at: www.irishimmigration.ie/my-situation-has-changed-since-i-arrived-in-ireland/spouse-civil-partner-of-irish-national-scheme/.
How to apply if your spouse or civil partner is living in Ireland
- If your non-EEA spouse or civil partner is already legally resident in Ireland they can simply present to an immigration officer to request an upgrade to their immigration permission.
- If they are in Ireland but have no immigration permission they must make a written application to the Immigration Service Delivery in Ireland – this will take approximately 12 months to process. There are financial requirements to consider. Download the relevant form (pdf) here and see www.irishimmigration.ie/my-situation-has-changed-since-i-arrived-in-ireland/spouse-civil-partner-of-irish-national-scheme/ for details of how to submit your application.
How to apply if your spouse or civil partner is NOT living in Ireland
If your spouse of civil partner is not already in Ireland, they may need to apply for a D-visa before they can travel to Ireland. You can check whether they need a visa here (pdf). Once in Ireland they will need to register with a local Immigration Officer.
De Facto Partner of an Irish citizen
A de facto partnership is a relationship that is similar to marriage but that has not been legally recognised or registered. There are some key requirements to showing you are in a de facto partnership:
- You must have lived together for at least 2 years (this is known as ‘co-habitation’)
- You must be able to prove this using things like joint bank accounts, shared tenancies and other evidence that shows you are in a durable, lasting relationship
How to apply if your de facto partner is living in Ireland
An application must be made to the Immigration Service Delivery in Ireland and it takes 6 months to be processed. Download the official application form (pdf). You can only make an application for de-facto partner permission if you currently have some type of immigration status. If your status has expired your application will not be accepted.
How to apply if you and your de facto partner are NOT living in Ireland
If you and your de facto partner are living outside of Ireland, they will need to apply for immigration pre-clearance before coming to Ireland. As part of this process, they will be able to apply for a ‘D-visa’ if they are from a visa required country. For more detail, see our information on Bringing Non-Irish Family Members to Ireland.
Children or other Family Members
‘Children’ means minor dependents under the age of 18, or dependents in full-time education up the age of 23, of either the Irish citizen or their non-EEA spouse, civil partner or de facto partner.
If your child or family member is a citizen of an EEA country, they do not need a visa or permission to live and/or work Ireland. They should enter Ireland on EEA passport.
Non-EEA children might be able to join their Irish family member in Ireland. However, there are financial and other criteria that need to be met, along with visa and immigration requirements. Download the official policy document on family reunification (pdf) for more information.
NOTE: If your child was born abroad and you were an Irish citizen at the time of their birth, then your child may also be an Irish citizen either from birth or by applying to the Foreign Births Register. We advise you to contact your local Irish Embassy or Consulate before you return to Ireland for information on Irish passports and Foreign Birth Registration.
Other family members can include elderly parents or adult dependents. These groups have no automatic right to come to Ireland but in some circumstances can get permission.
Please contact us if you would like to find out if you can bring your non-EEA children or other dependents to Ireland as we will need to find out the details of your family relationship before giving you information.