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Spouse Visa in Ireland

Spouse Visa in Ireland

A spouse visa in Ireland is an immigration document that is generally required for persons who are citizens of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This document can be obtained by foreigners who are the spouses of Irish citizens.

According to the law on immigration in Ireland, foreigners who are the spouses of Irish citizens will need to obtain a permission to arrive in this country. The permission is granted by the Irish Immigration Service Delivery.

Please refer to our immigration lawyer in Ireland if you are interested in applying for the Irish spouse visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Irish spouse visa?

Non-EEA nationals who are the spouses of an Irish citizen (or the couple is married under a civil partnership) have to comply with numerous legal requirements in order to be granted with the partner visa in Ireland. The Irish national also has certain obligations in this sense.

 Quick Facts 
 What is a spouse visaA spouse visa refers to an immigration document that allows a foreigner, who is the spouse/civil partner of an Irish citizen, to arrive in this country for long-term/permanent relocation based on having a relationship with the latter.  

Who must apply for a spouse visa 

A spouse visa in Ireland is imposed to foreigners who arrive from non-EU/non-EEA countries and who are not included on the visa waiver system.  

 Minimum conditions imposed to the foreign spouse 

– a minimum age of 18 years old,

– a completed application form,

– having a valid passport,

– provide evidence on the relationship (de facto, marriage, civil partnership),

– have the required financial funds,

– have the Irish partner as a sponsor for the relocation to Ireland.  

 Minimum conditions imposed to the Irish spouse 

– documents attesting their Irish citizenship,

– documents attesting the nature of the relationship,

– evidence on residence in Ireland,

– personal documents (passport/identity card),

– evidence on the minimum income required for this visa type.  

 Duration of the visa processing  

A spouse visa in Ireland can be processed in approximately 6 months.  

 Visa processing fee 

– single entry visa EUR 60 

– multi entry visa EUR 100

–  foreigners who are spouses of Irish citizens are exempted from the payment of the fee.  

 Civil partnership recognized (yes/no) 

Yes, but only those registered before 16 May 2016.  

 Spouse visa rules for civil partners 

The same as ones for spouses of Irish citizens, with few differences (for instance, they can be required to pay a visa processing fee).  

 Visa fee exemptions  

 Applicable to:

– spouses of Irish citizens,

– widows,

– children with an age below 18 years old,

– adopted children with an age below 18 years old. 

 Appeals to denied visa applications (yes/no) Yes  
 Timeframe to initiate an appeal 

2 months  

 When is a spouse visa required 

The spouse visa in Ireland is necessary if the spouse/partner of a local citizen wants to relocate here on a long-term basis, which is defined as any stay with a duration of minimum 3 months.   

Documents attesting the relationship, for partners who have lived in different countries   

 Partners who live in 2 different countries (an overseas country and Ireland) can apply for a spouse visa, but they need to attest the fact that they have a solid relationship even if they are not legally married.

For this, evidence on their travel arragements to meet eachother must be presented as well as the ways in which they have been in contact (conversations such as e-mails, SMS, phone calls, etc.)

 Visa type used for spouse/civil partners reunion 

D Visa  

 Legal services offered by our lawyers 

– assistance in preparing the application file,

– offering information on the most suitable visa options,

– legal assistance throughout the entire visa processing,

– assistance in appeals,

– post-relocation assistance (applying for residence permits, for permanent residency, citizenship).  

Some of the main Ireland spouse visa requirements are highlighted in the list below:

  • at the moment of the application for the spouse visa in Ireland, the foreigner must have an age of minimum 18 years old;
  • the Irish national must present information on his or her financial gains for the last 3 years;
  • the Irish partner must show that he or she has gained at least EUR 40,000;
  • normally, the Irish immigration authorities charge fees for the visa processing (EUR 60 or EUR 100), but persons applying for the partner visa in Ireland who are the spouses of Irish citizens are exempt from the payment of the fee;
  • the marriage visa in Ireland application has 2 parts – the 1st is the one where the applicant submits the online application, and the 2nd, where the person gathers the additional documents in a period of maximum 30 days since the end of the 1st stage.

The application for the spouse visa in Ireland can be started online through the Department of Justice and Equality.

What is the law concerning civil partnerships in Ireland?

The right to apply for a spouse visa is also granted to persons who are married under a civil partnership. However, there are certain matters to consider when it comes to this particular type of cohabitation system, as the Irish law has been modified.

Thus, it must be noted that there are 2 situations – civil partnerships completed before 2016 (more exactly, before 16 May 2016) and civil partnerships registered after this date.

The current law stipulates that the Irish authorities will recognize the civil partnerships of persons who got married before 16 May 2016 (including for ceremonies registered in foreign countries), but for those who got married after this date, the recognition of the partnership will no longer occur.

Therefore, for persons in civil marriages before 16 May 2016, residency in Ireland based on marriage with an Irish national will be granted (they can apply for a spouse visa).

These rights are ensured as per the Section 5 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010. The difference between the 2 categories is given by the fact that Ireland enacted new amendments under the Marriage Act 2015, which no longer recognized civil partnerships.

Persons who want to apply for a residence permit in Ireland based on their civil partnership with an Irish national must follow similar procedures as the ones applicable to those who are married following the traditional route.

Here, there are 2 main situations – foreigners who do not require a visa and foreigners who do need a visa to have the right to stay in Ireland.

For the latter, they must be the holders of a D-Join visa and after the arrival in the country, the foreigner and the Irish partner must complete certain immigration procedures.

Thus, after the arrival, the foreigner and spouse must present at a local immigration office, so that the foreign partner can obtain a permission to stay, which will grant the right to obtain a residence permit in Ireland.

What are the necessary documents for the spouse visa in Ireland?

The paperwork that has to be submitted in the case of this visa type is regulated by the Irish immigration law. Both the applicant and the Irish national have certain obligations regarding this.

For the spouse visa in Ireland it is necessary to prepare: 1) the application form, 2) the original marriage certificate, 3) the original passport, 4) the birth certificate, 5) the passport and the birth certificate of the Irish national.

In the case in which any of the parties was married before, the divorce documentation must be added to the file for the marriage visa in Ireland.

The file must also contain bank statements presenting the financial situation of both the applicant and the Irish national. Such documents must be obtained for the last 6 months of financial activity.

Amongst the Ireland spouse visa requirements, the law states that the applicant must have a valid medical insurance.

As said above, the Irish partner must make the proof of his or her earnings in the last 3 years (showing an income of EUR 40,000). For this, documents such as the following can be added to the file:

  1. payslips;
  2. financial statements for the last 3 years;
  3. Revenue Commissioner Statements (P21);
  4. Employment Detail Summary (P60).

There is also the possibility to apply for the Ireland dependent visa for spouse, an immigration document that will allow its holder to work in this country. However, in this particular situation, the foreigner must have a job offer from an employer in Ireland.

At the same time, the Ireland dependent visa for spouse implies that the applicant is able to provide evidence of a marriage certificate with an Irish national.

If you need further information on how to apply for the spouse visa in Ireland, please contact our lawyer. Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can assist in other family reunification matters (bringing children, parents, etc.).

We also invite you to address to our team in the case in which you are interested in the process of obtaining residency in Ireland, for yourself as the spouse or partner of an Irish citizen, or for any of your family members (children, minor children, parents, etc.).

You can find out from our team what are the main procedures that can apply based on the particularities of your case.

Approved/denied applications for spouse visas in Ireland

After the couple takes the necessary steps for the issuance of the visa, the Irish authorities will then further analyze the case. There can be 2 main scenarios – the person can be granted with the spouse visa or the person can be denied the issuance of the document.

In the 1st situation, the foreigner will receive the permission to stay and can even apply for permanent residence in Ireland. Later on, the right to citizenship in Ireland can be granted, if the foreigner is interested in becoming an Irish national and if he or she meets the basic criteria.

If this 1st scenario occurs, the foreign applicant and the spouse will receive a letter in which they will be announced that the application has been approved.

After the letter is received, the couple must address to the local immigration office and book an appointment to register for the permission to stay.

For the 2nd scenario, where the application is denied, the authorities will inform the applicant through a letter concerning the reasons for which the application was not successful.

In this case, the applicant has the right to make an appeal, and the formalities for it must be conducted in maximum 2 months since the date when the letter was sent.

Before starting this procedure, you can address to our immigration lawyer in Ireland for advice as to whether your case can actually be suitable for an appeal or not. Our lawyers can also help you find other ways to apply for permanent residence in Ireland.

Our lawyers are also ready to assist with information concerning the application for Irish citizenship through the marriage with an Irish national.

This is done following the rules for citizenship by naturalization, but there are simpler rules when the applicant is the spouse of an Irish citizen. The fees for the issuance of the citizenship certificate are also lower (EUR 200 compared to EUR 950).

You can also apply for citizenship in Ireland by descent, but only if you qualify of course (this implies that you must prove having Irish ancestry).