- What are the Spouse/Civil Partner Visas?
- Requirements For Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visas
- Application Sponsorship
- Joining Your Irish Citizen Spouse/Civil Partner In Ireland
- Joining Your non-EEA Spouse/Civil Partner In Ireland
- Joining Your EU/EEA/Swiss Spouse/Civil Partner In Ireland
- Why has my application been rejected?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Spouse/Civil Partner Visas for Ireland?
The spouse/civil partner visa is an immigration pathway open to spouses and civil partners of Irish nationals from non-EEA visa-required countries. The spouse/civil partner visas are usually long stay ‘D’ visas (join family) as you can live and work in Ireland without necessarily having an employment permit.
It must be noted that you don’t automatically have the immigration right to reside in Ireland simply because you are married to or in a civil partnership with an Irish national. To live in Ireland with your civil partner or spouse, you must apply for a spouse/civil partner visa.
If you’re from an EEA country or an Irish non-visa-required country, you can travel to meet your partner without applying for a visa. You only need to provide evidence of your relationship with your spouse or civil partner at the port of entry.
Requirements For Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visas
The requirement for this visa type depends on the circumstances of you and your partner. Nevertheless, there are still basic and general requirements that all applicants must meet; they include:
- You must be up to 18 years.
- The relationship between you and your partner must not be solely over the internet or telephone. You must have met your partner face-to-face a couple of times.
- You must provide a recognizable marriage or civil partnership certificate
- You and your civil partner or spouse must provide evidence that your relationship is genuine
- You both must commit to living together as civil partners or husband and wife permanently
Spouse/Civil Partner Visa Application Sponsorship
Your spouse/civil partner residing in Ireland will sponsor your application. However, to be eligible, they must fit in any of the following categories of Irish residents:
- Irish citizens who reside in Ireland or has the intention to reside in Ireland
- Foreign nationals and legal residents with an Irish Employment Permit
- Foreign nationals and legal residents with Stamp 4 permission. This also includes long term residents
- Foreign nationals and legal residents with Stamp 5 permission.
- D. students studying an accredited doctorate course in Ireland
- Ministers of religion with Stamp 3 permission
- Researchers under hosting agreement or with a Critical Skills Employment Permit
Note that your spouse or civil partner is eligible to sponsor your application doesn’t automatically translate to a successful application. Many other factors come into play.
Joining Your Irish Citizen Spouse/Civil Partner In Ireland
After your marriage to an Irish citizen who’s residing in Ireland, you must apply for a long stay – join the family – visa to remain in Ireland with them.
The immigration officer will consider your application if your sponsor has not majorly relied on benefits from the Irish State for the past 2 years before your application. Also, your sponsor must have earned above State benefits and a cumulative gross income of at least €40,000 in the past 3 years before your application.
Upon arriving in Ireland, you must be granted permission to remain in Ireland for more than 90 days. Even if you have a long stay D visa and pass border control, you can only reside in Ireland for more than 90 days if you register with immigration.
For this, you must visit the Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration office nearest to you with the following documents:
- Your original international passport
- Your original marriage/civil partnership certificate
- Proof of your joint address
- Your Irish civil partner’s or spouse’s original international passport
Joining Your non-EEA Spouse/Civil Partner In Ireland
If both you and your spouse/civil partner are non-EEA nationals, their immigration status mainly influences your Join Family Visa application. For sponsorship, your spouse/civil partner must fall into any of the following categories:
- Critical Skills Employment Permit holders
- Business Permission holders
- INIS Approved Scholarship programme students
- Intra Corporate Transferees
- D. Students under certain conditions
- Full-time non-locum doctors
If your spouse/civil partner doesn’t fall into any of these categories but has been in Ireland for more than 12 months, they can sponsor your family reunification application. That’s if they fall into any of the following categories:
- Non-Critical Skills Employment Permit holders
- Stamp 4 holders not under more favourable arrangements
- Ministers of Religion
If your spouse or civil partner who is a non-EEA national in Ireland doesn’t fall into any of the two sets of categories listed above, they can’t sponsor your visa application.
Also, one of the major deciding factors is your spouse/partner’s income. For your non-EEA spouse/civil partner to sponsor you, they must have sufficient income earnings to support you during your stay in Ireland.
Joining Your EU/EEA/Swiss Spouse/Civil Partner In Ireland
If your spouse/civil partner in Ireland is an EU/EEA/Swiss national, you’ll apply for a ‘Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen’.
More specifically, you’ll apply for a ‘Residence card for a qualifying family member of a Union citizen as there are two types of residence cards.
This requires your spouse to sponsor you using their EU Treaty Rights.
Application for the residence card can take about 12 months to process as you have to submit several supporting documentation and forms.
You’ll receive a letter after submitting all supporting documents and application forms.
Depending on your circumstances, the letter may permit you to reside in Ireland until a verdict on your application.
If your application is approved, you have to register for permission to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days.
Why has my application been rejected?
Due to the level of evidence and supporting documents, you must provide to prove your relationship is genuine, the spouse/civil partner visa application process can be complex to handle. Hence, there are different reasons why your application can be rejected.
Your application may be rejected if:
- You or your partner has previous relevant immigration history of criminal records
- You or your partner is considered a threat to public health, public security, or public policy
- You provided insufficient information and evidence to prove the existence, closeness, and durability of your relationship.
- The civil partner or marriage is suspected to be for the sole purpose of you getting residency in Ireland.
- Your partner doesn’t have the finances to support you in Ireland
Last modified on September 18th, 2023 at 1:10 pm
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After registering with and getting residency permission from the immigration authorities, you’ll receive an immigration stamp in your passport. The stamp indicates what you can and cannot do in Ireland.
If your spouse/civil partner is an Irish citizen, you will receive Stamp 4. Stamp 4 permits you to stay in Ireland for an initial period of 36 months. You can work without an employment permit.
When applying for citizenship by naturalization, Stamp 4 is reckonable as a residence, so the time you spend in Ireland under Stamp 4, will add towards the required residency duration for Irish citizenship.
If your spouse/civil partner is a non-EEA national, you’ll have to meet employment permit requirements to work according to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation.
You need to renew your immigration permission before it expires if you intend to continue staying in Ireland. You can easily extend your stay if you abide by the rules of your permission and are of good conduct.
A civil partnership is a legal relationship entered into by a couple that is registered and grants them similar legal rights to married couples.
Civil partnerships are different from marriages as they’ve not formed by vows; instead, they’re formed by signing the civil partnership document.
In addition, divorce ends marriages while civil partnerships are dissolved even if the processes are about the same.
You must inform the Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration office where you applied if you separate with your spouse/civil partner. You must notify them within 7 days of the separation.
In addition, you’ll write to the Spouse of the Irish National Unit detailing the circumstances surrounding your separation. You just write to them at least 3 months before your immigration permission expires.
You can maintain your immigration permission after separation if you’ve been in the marriage or civil partnership for at least 3 years and resident in Ireland for the last 2 years before separation. Otherwise, you may have to leave the country.
For your spouse/civil partner, they’ll be unable to sponsor any other spouse or civil partner for 7 years after the date of your spousal permission.