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How to Immigrate to Ireland

We are a dedicated team of immigration lawyers in Ireland who have a deep knowledge of the legislation and who can provide you with tailored assistance in obtaining various types of visas. In the process of relocating to Ireland the support of professionals is essential, which is why below we present you with the main services our immigration lawyers offer you. You can rely on us for guidance in applying for an array of visas and residence permits in accordance with your needs.

Ireland has one of the most developed economies at a European level, and this state is also part of the European Union (EU). These two attributes attract great numbers of foreign citizens from EU and non-EU countries who want to immigrate to Ireland on a permanent basis and obtain the Irish citizenship. 

In the case you want to apply for citizenship in Ireland, you must know that the Immigration Service Delivery will charge a processing fee. All applicants are required to pay a standard fee of EUR 175.

This is imposed regardless if the applicant will receive the citizenship or not. For successful applicants, a fee of EUR 200/EUR 950 will be charged for the issuance of the citizenship certificate.


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    Types of Irish visas, obtained with the help of our immigration lawyer in Ireland

    Those who want to immigrate to Ireland have several options, among which the residence permit is the most sought, as it allows foreign nationals to live and work here; in the case you will obtain a permanent residence permit, you will also have the opportunity to become an Irish citizen, by starting the procedure for Irish citizenship. Visas that can be obtained in Ireland for short-term relocation or for permanent relocation are issued as general purposes visas and special purposes visas. The following types of residence permits can be obtained in Ireland:

    • employment residence permits for non-EU citizens who need to immigrate to Ireland based on a labor contract;
    • student visas available for foreign students enrolled in Irish universities and which allow the holder to work based on a part-time contract in Ireland;
    • spouse or civil partner visa for non-EU and non-EEA citizens married to Irish nationals;
    • Schengen visas which are granted to persons seeking to relocate to Schengen countries, Ireland being one of them;
    • visas and residence permits for businesspersons and entrepreneurs – Ireland has several and our immigration lawyer in Ireland can help you obtain this type of visa.
     Quick Facts 
      Entry visa requirement
    (from EU)  (YES/NO)
    Entry visa requirement (outside EU) (YES/NO)Yes, citizens outside the EU, the EEA and Switzerland are generally required to apply for visas, although exemptions can appear.  

    Types of visas available in Ireland 

     Transit visas, short stay visas, re-entry visas, long stay visas.
    Time frame for obtaining
    work visa (approx.) 

    The issuance of a visa for immigration to Ireland can take minimum 10 days and up to 8 weeks, depending on the visa type.  

    Validity of temporary residence permitMinimum 6-12 months, depending on the permit and the reasons of arrival.  
    Temporary residence permit renewal requirements

    The renewal of the permit must be initiated before the expiration date. The applicant must complete an online form, upload all the documents as per the type of permit the person needs (work, business, family), pay the processing fee, then send the original documents by post.  

    Documents for obtaining a residence permit in Ireland– identity documents;
    – travel documents;
    – medical insurance;
    – sufficient financial funds;
    – documents showing the reason for which
    – the residence is requested;
    – the application form, etc. 
    Time frame for obtaining permanent residence (approx.)The law on immigration to Ireland stipulates that one can become a permanent resident after 5 years of stay (a shorter period can apply for specific immigration programs). The issuance of the permanent residence card takes approximately 6-8 months. 
    Investor Visa availability (YES/NO)Yes
    Start-up Visa Scheme availability (YES/NO)Yes 
    Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO)Yes, typically for work visas.    
    Time frame for obtaining citizenshipAfter minimum 3 years of permanent residency (for foreigners married to Irish nationals). In most cases, after 5 years of permanent residency. 
    Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability (YES/NO)Residency by investment is available for immigration to Ireland. 
    Taxation of foreign citizensNon-residents are charged with the personal income tax  in Ireland only for the income deriving from activities carried out in this country, as long as the foreigner lives in Ireland for minimum 183 days per year.  
     Tax benefits for expatsTax credits, deductions, reliefs.   
     Visa issuance fees  EUR 25 to EUR 100, depending on the visa requested by the foreigner. 

     Fees charged for the issuance of a residence permit 

    EUR 300 

     Institution in charge with the immigration formalities  

     The procedure on how to immigrate to Ireland is handled by the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS), operating under the Department of Justice. 

    Right to appeal a visa refusal (yes/no)  Yes 
    When can a person make an appeal   

    A person can make an appeal for a visa refusal only if the refusal letter contains provisions which qualifies the foreigner to make an appeal (there are situations in which appeals can’t be made).

    If the person is entitled to make an appeal, the procedure must be initiated in maximum 2 months since the date when the letter was received, otherwise the refusal decision can’t be changed.  

     Fee exemption for the issuance of a residence permit (yes/no) 


     When can a foreigner be exempted from fee payment  

     – the foreigner is a refugee;

    the applicant is under 18 years old;

    – the applicant is married to an Irish citizen;

    – the person benefits from subsidiary protection;

    – the person received the leave to remain in Ireland as per the rules of the International Protection Act;

    – the foreigner is a family member of an EU citizen. 

     How long does it take to obtain a business visa?  

    The procedure on how to immigrate to Ireland for business purposes is rather simple, as the business visa can be processed in 10 days.  

     Registration obligations  

    Upon the arrival in the state, the foreign visa holder/residence permit holder must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau operating in the region where the person lives.  

     What happens in case of overstaying a visa?  The foreigner can be fined, can be deported and can receive an interdiction to return to Ireland (this can depend on the person’s circumstances, such as the visa he/she hold, the duration of the overstay, the activities carried out in Ireland in the overstay period, etc.).  
     Ways to acquire citizenship

    A foreigner can obtain citizenship by naturalization, by Irish descent or by marriage with an Irish citizen.   

     Requirements for citizenship by naturalization 

    The rules can slightly vary based on the grounds on which naturalization is acquired (residency, marriage, refugee status, etc.), but in general, the following must be met:

    – have an age of 18 years old;

    – have 1 year of continuous residency in Ireland prior to the application;

    – have Ireland as the primary residence in the last 4 years (as a permanent resident);

    – be of good character;

    – show intention to remain in Ireland;

    – participate in a citizenship ceremony;

    – make a declaration of fidelity to the Irish state.  

     Fees for citizenship application 

    The application costs EUR 175.

    Successful applicants are issued with a certificate of citizenship, which costs EUR 950 for adult applicants, EUR 200 for the spouse of an Irish citizen and EUR 0 for refugees/stateless persons.  

     Residency rights for refugees 

    Refugees can receive the right to residency in Ireland for 3 years, at the end of which they can apply for Irish citizenship.

    They are entitled to work without applying for a work permit, start a business, study, receive public medical services, apply for a travel document (similar to a passport), apply for family reunification.  

     Laws on immigration in Ireland  The rules on how to immigrate to Ireland are given by the Aliens Act 1935 and the Immigration Act 2004.   

    One can also apply for special categories of visas that are prescribed by the Irish immigration law, for instance, those that are available for those who want to work here under certain professions (medical branch is a relevant example in this sense). The stamp 0 permit, visas for refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of domestic violence also enter the category of special permits. If you have questions about any of the residence permits presented above, our immigration lawyer in Ireland will answer them to the point.

    Assistance in applying for a residence permit in Ireland

    Because the residence permit allows foreign citizens to work and live here, our immigration lawyer in Ireland can help various categories of nationals apply for it. The Irish residence permit is required for foreign citizens coming from non-EU and non-EEA countries, and it is also necessary for those who want to stay in Ireland for a period longer than 90 days, as well as for foreigners who are at least 16 years old.

    Persons who immigrate to Ireland and who have an age below 16 years old are not required to register with the Irish authorities. There are several documents that need to be provided by those seeking immigration to Ireland, and among these are the valid passport, the proof of insurance, the proof of sufficient funds for self-sustenance (a bank statement) and documents showing the reason for moving to Ireland.

    Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can review your application and guide you on all the documents you need to provide when relocating here. We can also support you in preparing the papers you need to submit when applying for a visa for Ireland.

    Guidance in obtaining an employment permit in Ireland

    Foreign citizens from non-EU countries have the possibility to immigrate to Ireland based on an employment permit. However, they must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for such a visa. Among these are having an annual wage of at least EUR 30,000  (exceptions are available for certain categories of applicants where the minimum remuneration is EUR 27,000).

    This Irish residence permit is issued for a period of 2 years and can be prolonged until permanent residence can be obtained. After becoming a permanent resident, the foreigner can verify the conditions for Irish citizenship if he or she considers this step as well. If you would like to immigrate to Ireland through a general employment permit, do not hesitate to discuss it with one of our lawyers.

    Assistance in business immigration in Ireland

    Entrepreneurs from foreign states have several investment options that allow them to permanently move to Ireland. There are special visas types that are created for business purposes and for investments in Ireland and one can apply if specific conditions are met. Among these, we present the following:

    • the Immigrant Investor Program which requires a minimum injection of capital of EUR 1 million;
    • the Start-Up Entrepreneur Program which requires a minimum investment of EUR 50,000;
    • the Irish Diaspora Loan Fund which also requires a minimum investment of EUR 1 million;
    • Real Estate Investment Trusts and endowments which require at least EUR 2 million, respectively EUR 500,000 injections in various projects.

    You can obtain more information on programs for investors seeking to immigrate to Ireland from our immigration lawyers. Our team of lawyers can help obtain any of the visas prescribed for the above mentioned programs, and can also present the steps that will lead to the issuance of the visa.

    How can one participate in the Irish Start-up Entrepreneur Program?

    The Irish Start-up Entrepreneur Program (STEP) is one of the business programs through which investors can relocate to Ireland. It is addressed to any foreign investor residing outside the European Economic Area (EEA), as long as he or she meets the minimum criteria, one of them being to invest in a start-up business.

    This means that the immigration to Ireland can be possible as long as the foreign businessman is able to start an innovative business project. The minimum investment injected into the project is of EUR 50,000, as presented above, and the business has to be registered in Ireland.

    Some of the investments accepted refer to the creation of a new product or service that can be traded on international markets. The company can also be involved in the manufacturing of a new product or service and it must also be able to create at least 10 jobs on the Irish market and obtain EUR 1 million from the sales of the respective product or service in the first four years of activity.

    Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can present the steps that you must follow when registering a business in this country, but you must know that the Irish corporate law provides one of the easiest registration procedures at a European level, an aspect which has been promoting foreign investments in the last years here.

    Prior to participating in this program, foreign investors will receive from the Irish authorities a 12 months immigration permission that will allow them to arrive in Ireland for the purpose of preparing the application for the STEP program. Persons who will have successful applications will receive a residence permit available for 2 years. Under this program, one can relocate to Ireland with the close family members as well (children, spouse or partner).

    At the end of the 2 years period, the investor can apply for another residence permit, issued for a period of 3 years and, after 5 years of living in Ireland, the investor (and his or her family) can qualify for permanent residency. For more information, you can always address to our team of immigration lawyers in Ireland.

    Below, you can watch a video on how to immigrate to Ireland:

    Who can be an Irish citizen by birth?

    If you want to relocate to Ireland on a permanent basis, with the purpose of becoming an Irish citizen, you will have to meet a set of requirements, based on the type of citizenship that you can obtain. One of the ways of becoming a citizen is by birth. However, here, you should know that two categories apply.

    Thus, persons who were born in Ireland prior to 1st of January 2005 are automatically entitled to Irish citizenship by birth, but those who are born after this date can receive the citizenship only in certain situations that refer to the citizenship of their parents or their residency.

    The latter situation was caused by a national vote through which the Irish population decided that citizenship should not be granted automatically to all persons who were born on the Irish territory, under the 27th Amendment of the Irish Constitution. Also, persons who were born in Northern Ireland prior to 1st of January 2005 can claim the Irish citizenship.

    The right to Irish citizenship is automatically granted to children who have at least one Irish parent or a British parent, as long as the birth took place in Ireland (for the latter situation). If one of the parents is an Irish citizen, the right to Irish citizenship is granted regardless of where the birth took place.

    Provided that your parents are neither Irish nor British citizens, the right to citizenship, as stipulated by the law application from 1st of January 2005 onwards, can be granted if one of the following situations apply: one of the parents has lived at least 3 years in Ireland prior to the birth of the child or if one of the parents has the right to live in Ireland or Northern Ireland without any restrictions.

    If you are interested in the law on immigration to Ireland referring to citizenship by birth, you can address to our lawyer. Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can also present the legal procedures through which you can become an Irish citizen through other legal pathways, such as citizenship through naturalization or by descent.

    Immigration lawyers in Ireland – why us?

    If you want to immigrate in Ireland, you can rely on us for fast responses to all your queries completed by attention put in each case individually. We are a team of lawyers specialized in various Irish immigration issues, which is why your visa application will be in safe hands.

    Apart from our experience, diligence and care for our clients are what recommend us. Do not hesitate to contact our immigration lawyer in Ireland who can guide you on the best type of Irish residence permit available in your case. Our team can also guide you in the process of obtaining the Irish citizenship.

    Please mind that in the case in which you arrive from Switzerland you will need to comply with the rules on residency in Ireland, in the case in which you will stay here for a period longer than 90 days.

    This implies that as a Swiss national, you are legally required to apply for permission to stay and you must take all the necessary measures so that the Irish authorities will issue the permit.