- Joining your Non-EEA Partner who is an Irish Employment Permit Holder
- Category A
- Category B
- Category C
- Work eligibility for partners of non-CSEP holders
- Work eligibility for partners of CSEP holders
- Which stamp will I receive as the partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder in Ireland?
- Visa Application
- Required Documents
- How long will processing take?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Joining your Non-EEA Partner who is an Irish Employment Permit Holder
As a partner or spouse of a non-EEA partner with a valid employment permit in Ireland, there are ways to join your partner. However, the process can be very complicated and take a while as there are many processes and requirements involved. Also, it depends on the type of employment permit your partner has.
Some employment permits allow you to join your partner immediately after they get their permit, while others require that your partner works for a particular time – usually a year – before you can join them.
There are two main categories of non-EEA nationals in Ireland – Category A and Category B. both have different eligibility requirements. Categories mainly specify if and when a non-EEA employment permit holder can sponsor their partner/spouse to join them.
Usually, joining your partner in Ireland means a long-term stay so if you’re a visa-required national, you must apply for a Long Stay ‘D’ Join Family visa. For requirements, your non-EEA partner mainly needs to prove your relationship and show that they can support you during your stay.
The following employment permit holders fall under Category A:
- Critical Skills Employment Permit holder
- Entrepreneurs & Investors
- Business Permission Holder
- Researchers Approved Scholarship programme students
- Full-time non-locum doctors in employment
- Intra Corporate Transferees
- D. Students (subject to conditions)
- Minister of Religion (subject to conditions)
If your non-EEA partner has a services employment permit under Category A, they can sponsor you to join them immediately after they receive their permit. You can even accompany your partner to Ireland. The above occupations that fall under Category A usually have sustainable income levels, so it’s assumed they can support families.
The following employment permit holders fall under Category B:
- Non Critical Skills Employment permit holders
- All Stamp 4 holders not covered by other more favorable arrangements.
If your non-EEA partner has an employment permit under Category B, they can only sponsor you to join them after working in Ireland for a year (12 months).
If your non-EEA partner doesn’t have a permit under Category A or B, then their permit falls under Category C. Category C permit holders cannot sponsor any family member to join them in Ireland.
Work eligibility for partners of non-CSEP holders
After joining your non-EEA partner employment permit holder in Ireland, you must apply for an employment permit if your partner doesn’t hold a Critical Skills Employment Permit and is not a researcher on a Hosting Agreement.
Your application is subject to the employment permit requirements as operated by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation. In other words, you must apply for immigration status under student, work permit, business permission, or any other available channel.
Work eligibility for partners of CSEP holders
You get the automatic right to work in Ireland without an employment permit if your non-EEA partner holds a Critical Skills Employment Permit or is a researcher on a hosting agreement. This follows the recent changes to Irish Immigration Policy in March 2019.
You don’t need to apply for a visa whether you’re from a visa required or non-visa required country. However, you cannot be self-employed, which means you cannot establish or operate a business in Ireland.
Which stamp will I receive as the partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder in Ireland?
You’ll get a stamp in your passport once you register your immigration permission. This stamp shows the conditions of your stay in Ireland. Before the changes to Irish Immigration Policy in March 2019, you would get a Stamp 3 as a partner of a CSEP holder. Currently, you’ll receive Stamp 1G.
Stamp 1G conditions allow you to work in Ireland without an employment permit. The stamp is valid for a year, so you have to apply for renewal every year. You can apply for Stamp 4 after residing in Ireland for up to 5 years on Stamp 1G, and Stamp 1G is reckonable as a residence when applying for citizenship by naturalization.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll apply for a Long Stay ‘D’ Join Family visa if you’re from a visa-required country. If you’re from a non-visa-required country, you can simply travel to Ireland with your documentation and apply for permission to enter the country at border control.
The application process isn’t different from other visa applications. First, you need to create an online application via AVATS. Next, you pay your application fees and finally send your documents for processing.
The application office will review your documents and decide if you are worthy of a visa or not. In some circumstances, they may request extra documentation or ask you to submit your biometrics information.
Documents are what determine if you’ll get your Long Stay ‘D’ Join Family Visa or not. All documents you submit must be in English or Irish; otherwise, they must come with certified English or Irish translations.
The specific documents to submit will depend on your circumstances – mainly your relationship with the non-EEA employment permit holder and the type of permit they have. Nevertheless, the general documents you’ll provide include:
- Signed and dated application summary from AVATS
- Proof of payment of visa fees
- Current international passport and photocopies of previous passports
- A letter of application explaining why you’re coming to Ireland and details of your relationship with the non-EEA employment permit holder
- Copies of your partner’s passport and employment permit or research hosting agreement
- Proof of your relationship with the non-EEA employment permit holder
- Proof that you or your sponsor can have the finances to support your stay
- Medical or travel insurance
- Previous visa refusals
How long will processing take?
Like all Irish visas, the immigration processes Long Stay ‘D’ Visas in date order. This means that the earlier you submit your application, the better. Unlike Short Stay ‘C’ Visas, Long Stay ‘D’ Visas take months to process.
You should expect a verdict on your visa application within 6 months after submitting all required documents. Application takes this long because the application office will carry out a thorough assessment, most especially to verify your relationship with the non-EEA employment permit holder.
The office where you apply also influences the processing time. You can regularly check with the visa office to know the status of your visa.
Can IAS help with my application to join my non-EEA partner in Ireland?
Our immigration consultants in Ireland are highly qualified in all areas of immigration law.
We can assess your eligibility as the de facto partner/spouse of a non-EEA national who holds an employment permit in Ireland, as opposed to an immigration lawyer. Similarly, we will establish your partner’s eligibility to sponsor your application – an essential aspect of the process.
As mentioned previously, this depends on the employment permit your partner holds and whether it allows for immediate family reunification, family reunification after 12 months or does not permit reunification at all.
We can then assist with the completion and submission of your application, ensuring that you provide the required supporting documentation. We know what makes a strong application and will also provide a written Letter of Representation to highlight the strengths of your particular case.
Call IAS on (+353) 061 518 025 to find out more about Immigration Service.
Last modified on August 8th, 2023 at 4:03 pm
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To join your non-EEA partner or spouse in Ireland with an employment permit, you must be at up to 18 years of age. If you’re in a marriage or civil partnership, it must be monogamous and legal under Irish law. Also, the relationship of the partnership must be freely entered into by you and your partner.
There’s no minimum duration of the marriage; you can join your partner even if your marriage is a day old. However, if you’re in a civil partnership, you must have been in a relationship of similar character to marriage for at least 2 years before applying to join your partner.
If your application is accepted, you and your non-EEA partner must commit to living together permanently as you arrive in Ireland.
Your non-EEA partner must earn a minimum gross income of €30,000 to qualify as your sponsor. However, it’s different if you have children. For children, your partner must earn the following net income weekly:
- 1 child: €511
- 2 children: €612
- 3 children: €713
- 4 children: €834
- 5 Children: €96
If your application is refused, you’ll get a letter of refusal from the application office. The letter will state the reasons why your application was denied and if you can appeal the decision. If you cannot appeal, your best shot is reapplying for the visa if it’s possible.
For example, your application may be denied because of false information. In such a circumstance, you can’t appeal, and you can’t apply for a new visa for up to five years.
If you have the right to appeal, you’ll find instructions on how to go about it in the letter of rejection. You don’t pay any amount for the appeal process, and you must appeal within 8 weeks of receiving the refusal letter.