The law which regulates matters related to immigration in Ireland prescribes visas created for family reunion purposes. Thus, if you have a relative who lives in Ireland, such as a spouse, parent or child, and you want to relocate to Ireland with the purpose of staying with your relative, you can apply for a family reunion visa.
Still, in order to have the right to apply for a family reunion visa in Ireland the relative who lives in this country has to be an Irish citizen at the moment when the application is made. There is the possibility to apply for this visa type if your relative is a citizen of one of the countries that are members of the European Union (EU).
Persons who will move to Ireland as refugees will also have the possibility to bring their close family members in this country, in specific conditions. If you need information on this subject, you can request in-depth legal advice from our immigration lawyers in Ireland.
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What you should know about the family reunion visa in Ireland
If you want to reunite with a close family member, then you have to apply for a Join Family Visa. In this particular case, you will apply for a visa issued on a long-term basis, which is included in the D visas category. Please mind that only certain family relations are accepted under this visa (such as the spouse of a person who lives in Ireland, the child or the parent). Our immigration lawyers in Ireland can present the types of relations that are accepted under this visa program.
The visa has to be issued prior to the arrival in the country and when arriving here, the border control will have to see documents attesting the reasons for which you will move to Ireland. This is why, upon the arrival, you will have the obligation to present your traveling document and the visa issued for the purpose of stay. Documents showing the family tie that you have with the person living in Ireland are also necessary.
Provided that you can’t present the full list of documents that are generally verified upon the arrival in the country, please be aware that you may be refused from entering Ireland. Additional procedures have to be completed once your application was accepted. Thus, according to the law on immigration in Ireland, you need to register for permission to stay in this country.
This procedure to immigrate in Ireland is done in accordance with the date mentioned on your visa stamp, which has to be completed prior to the respective date. Also, be aware that if you do not comply with this formality, you can be required to leave the country. It is also important to know that the family reunion visa in Ireland does not grant the right to travel anywhere in the world, so you must verify this situation as well, if you plan to travel a lot (for instance, you can’t travel to Northern Ireland under this Irish visa).
What are the main programs for family reunion visa in Ireland?
Persons interested in the family reunification visa can arrive here under several programs that are regulated by the Ireland immigration law. Currently, there are six different main programs related to family reunification, and each of them requires the issuance of a visa for family reunification purposes.
The programs differ on few aspects, which can be presented by our immigration lawyer in Ireland. The first program for family reunification is the one where the person with whom you want to reunite is an Irish citizen – for this particular case, the law on immigration in Ireland stipulates that the foreigner is simply required to apply for a long stay visa, in the case in which the duration of the stay is of more than three months.
For persons who want to reunite with their family member, and the respective family member is a citizen of the EEA or a Swiss national, there is the possibility to apply for the Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen. This requirement is applicable, just like in the above mentioned case, for stays longer than three months. The right is guaranteed under the rules of the EU Treaty Rights.
Persons who are family members of EU citizens can obtain permanent residence in Ireland.
The same applies if the purpose of arrival is different than for family reunification. For instance, a foreigner can become a permanent resident when he or she arrives here for business, investment or employment. Refugees and other vulnerable foreigners can become permanent residents as well.
All these categories of foreigners can also become entitled to apply for citizenship in Ireland.
In most of the cases, the main legal pathway will be through citizenship by naturalization, which is the process through which a foreigner becomes first a permanent resident and then he or she applies for citizenship, if he or she complies with a large list of basic requirements.
The family reunion visa in Ireland can be accessed by persons who arrive here under the rules of the International Protection Act 2015. This means that if you have a close relative that is the direct beneficiary of this program and the person lives in Ireland under the rules of the said law, you will be able to apply for family reunification purposes.
Please mind that this right is granted only to certain family members of the person who has the status of an international protected person. Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can offer additional information regarding the legal framework applicable in this case.
Another legal ground that guarantees access to the family reunification program is when the person who resides in Ireland is an UK national (under the new immigration laws applicable in the EU, UK nationals are now considered third party nationals and new procedures had to be created, given that such citizens are no longer EU citizens).
The immigration procedure that you must follow in this particular situation depends solely on your nationality (here, two options are available – either apply for a visa or obtain a preclearance document, which will grant you with the right to stay in Ireland).
Another immigration procedure, similar with the first mentioned in this section, is when the family member living in Ireland is a non-EEA/non-Swiss national, and in this case, the single pathway to family reunification is by applying for a long stay visa that is issued for family reunion purposes (the join family stream).
The last immigration program that is created for the purpose of obtaining the family reunion visa in Ireland is the Afghan Admission program. In this particular program, the Afghan national who resides in Ireland is the person who has to apply to bring other close family members in this country.
There is a set of conditions to comply with, such as the maximum number of persons that can be brought here – maximum 4. The Irish immigration law currently allows 500 persons to arrive under this program and it is not guaranteed that all the proposed applicants will meet the immigration standards applicable in Ireland.
According to the law, at the moment, one can bring close family members under this program who are either one of the following parties: spouse, civil partner, adult children or minor children, a minor child that is part of the family and who no longer has parents because he or she became an orphan or due to other issues, the parents of the applicant or the grandparents or other family members who are considered vulnerable.
What should one expect after the arrival in Ireland?
Persons who arrive here under the family reunion visa in Ireland will be required to present their identity documents or travel documents, and any other papers that are part of the entry required papers and which can be solicited by the immigration authorities.
Please mind that the immigration officer is the party who provides the final answer on the right to enter the territory of Ireland, even if the person arriving at the Irish borders has obtained the necessary visa. The visa does not automatically imply that the immigration process will run smoothly, as, sometimes, one can lack a particular document. For this, we advise you to address to an immigration lawyer in Ireland, who has the necessary expertise in family reunification procedures.
What are the fees for family reunion visa in Ireland?
When you will apply to migrate to Ireland as a person who needs a visa to arrive in this country, you will have to prepare for the payment of specific processing fees. The fees vary based on the type of visa you require, the duration for which the visa is issued (short-term stay visa or long-term stays visa) and others. In the list below, you can discover few highlights regarding this matter:
- if you will apply for a long-term visa (the D visa), you will pay a fee of EUR 60;
- if you will apply for a short-term stay visa, issued for a period of 90 days, you will pay the same fee, of EUR 60;
- the family reunion visa in Ireland issued for multiple entries will cost EUR 100;
- it is recommended to start the visa application process with at least 6 months prior to the moment when you want to move to Ireland;
- this is recommended as the processing of the visa can last a period of approximately 6 months.
What are the family reunion visa requirements for third party nationals?
In the case in which the person who lives in Ireland is a third country national, which refers to any person who is a citizen from outside the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you must know that you will not have the automatic right to arrive here under a family reunion visa in Ireland.
In order to qualify, you will need to comply with a set of requirements, especially if you are also a national of a third country. There are different procedures based on the nature of the relationship – for instance, the law distinguishes between persons who are legally married or those who are simply in a relationship without any legal document (typically referred to as a de facto relationship). We invite you to contact our immigration lawyers in Ireland for more details on the procedures involved in this case.