Overview of Stamp 4
Stamp 4 is an Irish stamp for non-EEA nationals to indicate permission to work, study, live, and set up a business without an employment permit. If you plan to stay in Ireland for over 90 days, you must register your permission at the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD).
You will first need to obtain a visa to gain entry into Ireland, after which you can register your permission. If the registration is successful, you will be issued a Stamp 4 approved by An Garda Síochána, allowing you to remain in Ireland temporarily for usually 1 year although it can be renewed.
A stamp 4 also enables access to state funds and public funded services and is a pathway to Irish citizenship.
There are different routes an individual can take to acquire Stamp 4, including entrepreneurship, investment, marriage, and long-term residency. However, citizens of a non-visa-required country don’t need a visa to enter Ireland.
Who Is Eligible for a Stamp 4?
You qualify for the Ireland Stamp 4 if you have been granted immigration permission to:
- Move to Ireland as a convention or programme refugee;
- Start an Irish business under the STEP (Start-up Entrepreneur Programme) category;
- Invest under the Immigrant investor programme (IIP);
- Join your Irish spouse, civil partner, or de facto partner;
- Join your refugee family member or a member who has had subsidiary protection; or
- Reside long-term in Ireland.
Additionally, you can qualify for a Stamp 4 if you have had a:
- Valid Critical Skills Employment Permit for two years,
- Valid employment permit for five years, or
- Valid Hosting Agreement as a researcher for two years.
In rare cases, the Minister for Justice can grant a person Stamp 4 permission to remain on a discretionary and exceptional basis.
How Much Does It Cost To Obtain a Stamp 4?
The total cost to obtain a Stamp 4 varies depending on your eligibility. For example, if you go through the IIP route, you will pay €1,500 to register for the visa and a fee of €300 per individual IRP card registration (to reflect the stamp). However, some people are not required to pay the IRP registration fee, such as those under 18, an Irish citizen’s spouse/civil partner, or an individual granted Subsidiary Protection.
As a citizen of a visa-required country, you’ll need an Ireland visa before obtaining a Stamp 4. The Stamp 4 Ireland requirements and documents depend on your visa category.
- Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP)
- Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)
- Ireland Immigrant Investor Program
- Join Family Member (D) Visa
- Long-Term Residency
Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP)
Non-EEA nationals must obtain an employment permit to work in Ireland except if they have a Stamp 4. But in this case, they must have held a CSEP for at least two years before qualifying for Stamp 4.
As a CSEP holder, you must:
- Be of good character.
- Have held the CSEP for at least 21 months before applying for the immigration permission.
- Be employed during their application.
After 21 months, you can visit the local immigration office with the following documents to obtain the Irish stamp:
- Your passport.
- Your Critical Skills Employment Permit.
- Your Irish Residence Permit card.
- A letter from the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment confirming your employment.
If you can’t get a Stamp 4, you might get a Stamp 1 instead. But with the Stamp 1, you’ll need a work permit to work in Ireland.
For advice on whether you qualify for a Stamp 4 you should consider seeking the advice of our immigration lawyers to avoid unnecessary delays or costs.
Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)
The STEP is for non-EEA nationals who wish to set up a business in Ireland.
The eligibility requirements for individuals in the STEP category include the following:
- Having a good character.
- Being free from any crime, charges, or convictions.
- Possessing the required €50,000 for funding.
- Having an innovative business proposal.
- Working in the business full time.
As an intending business owner in Ireland, you must provide the following documents:
- Valid passport.
- Registration fee of €350.
- Proof of the minimum €50,000 funding, which can be shown via a business loan or Venture Capital funding.
- Evidence that the money can be transferred.
- Residency Permission available under the STEP (valid for two years).
Join Family Member (D) Visa
Non-EEA nationals looking to join their Irish spouse, civil or de-facto partner residing in Ireland should obtain the Join Family Member (D) visa to receive a Stamp 4.
The following are the eligibility requirements for obtaining the Stamp 4 through marriage or partnership means:
- You must be at least 18 during your application period.
- Your marriage must be consensual, legalised, and recognised by Irish law.
If you are joining your spouse, civil partner, or de facto partner in Ireland, you must present the following documents:
- Your signed and dated application form.
- Your coloured photographs (2 copies)
- Your signed application letter, including your contact details and purpose for going to Ireland.
- Your evidence of the claimed relationship via marriage certificate, entry/exit stamps on your spouse’s passport, civil or de facto partner or photographs together.
- Your bank financial statement from the last six months.
After living in Ireland for 60 months (five years) as an employment permit holder, you may apply for the Long Term Residency permission.
You must provide the following documents if you wish to reside long-term in Ireland:
- You must have qualifying stamps to prove your five years of residency.
- You must have had a valid employment permit or CSEP.
- You must have a clear criminal record.
- You must be employed during and after your application. Meanwhile, self-employment is not allowed.
If you are changing from temporary to long-term residency, you must submit the following documents:
- Your valid passport.
- Your current Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card.
- Your employment permits (coloured copies).
- Your employment letter from your employer highlighting your contract start date and employment terms.
- Proof of ongoing residency in Ireland.
The steps to apply for an immigration permission in Ireland vary depending on the purpose of your stay and the Irish national immigration policies. The following are the general steps involved in obtaining a Stamp 4 in Ireland:
Gather Your Documents
Firstly, you need to select your visa option. Once you have decided, you should head to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website to get your document checklist based on your decision or see the listed documents above.
Submit an Email Application
You need to download and fill out an application form online. When submitting, you will include the form alongside other required documents. Find the email address to submit your form below:
Investors (IIP) & Entrepreneur (STEP) – investors and entrepreneurs should submit their forms to IIP&[email protected].
Professional (CSEP) – after 21 months as a CSEP holder, you must complete a form and email it to [email protected] for a Stamp 4.
Register Your Permission to Obtain a Stamp 4
After entering Ireland, register your permission to remain with the appropriate Irish immigration authorities within 90 days. To do so, you must schedule an appointment with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) or the ISD registration office. You can register with the ISD if you are in Dublin or with the GNIB registration office if you are outside Dublin.
If you cannot book an appointment within the 90-day window, it is essential to stay in Ireland. You may still be allowed to register, but you must provide evidence of your attempts to secure an appointment within the closed 90 days. Failing to provide this evidence can lead to a refusal.
Upon successful registration, an immigration officer will stamp your passport. Not all permissions are reflected in the passport, but it will be reflected on your residence permit card.
Get Your IRP Card
After successfully registering your permission and paying the €300 fee, your IRP will be mailed to you. Make sure to provide the ISD or GNIB with an exact address. The stamp on your IRP will verify your legal residency.
For more enquiries on how to apply for a Stamp 4, you should contact our immigration experts. Call us at 0333 305 9375, or reach us online.
To obtain a Stamp 4 in Ireland, you must first understand the Irish national immigration policy and application process. But you don’t have to do it alone, as getting refused on your visa application and paying another application fee can be frustrating. Our Irish immigration experts can guide you on the best steps to avoid the denial of your visa application.
Additionally, if you want to renew your permission, IAS can provide comprehensive assistance in order to extend your immigration permission. We will ensure that you are providing all relevant and accurate documentation required for your renewal application.
Contact us today at 0333 305 9375 or online for further assistance and expert advice to obtain a Stamp 4.
Last modified on August 10th, 2023 at 11:20 am
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The Stamp 3 is given to those who have permission to stay in Ireland as a volunteer. It does not permit working or engaging in business like the Stamp 4. If you want to change from a Stamp 3 to Stamp 4, contact our immigration lawyers.
After your spouse or civil partner is granted permission to reside with you in Ireland, they will be issued Stamp 4 endorsement on their passport. Stamp 4 permits them to live and work in Ireland for the duration indicated on the Irish immigration stamp.
A Stamp 4 category called Stamp 4 EU Fam is given to non-EU dependent family members of EU nationals who wish to work and reside in the EU. However, the EU nationals must live and work in Ireland for their non-EU dependent on receiving the Stamp 4 EU Fam.