Ireland is one of the countries that has attracted many foreign nationals. They are enjoying high standards of living and contributing to Irelands’ economy. Yet they want to enjoy the company of their relatives. So the Irish government introduced Ireland family visa. It allows foreign nationals to sponsor and firing their family members into the country.
In this blow, we will explain who is eligible for a family visa, requirements and financial ones, application process, FAQs, and more.
What is Ireland Family visa?
Non-EU residents can join their family members in Ireland through Ireland family visa. It often gets called Ireland join family visa. Family visa allows relatives to stay with their Irish residents for the long-term. It has many advantages as well. Applicants can work and enjoy other Irish services.
Are You Eligible for Ireland Family Visa?
The eligibility criteria for Ireland family visa differs based on your nationality:
EU, EEA, and Switzerland citizens
Providing that you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland working in Ireland, you can bring your family to the country. It is true even if your family member is not EU, EEA, or Switzerland citizen.
Not everyone can apply for an Ireland Family visa. Only the following family members of Irish citizens or non-EU/EEA can apply for Ireland family visa:
2. Law partner (De facto)
Law partners must have lived for at least two years together to be eligible.
3. Minor children
You can also bring adopted children to Ireland. It is true when the Irish government confirms the adoption by its law. There is the same rule for stepchildren. If you prove that the stepchild is a permanent member of your family, you can bring him/her to the country.
4. Elderly parents
The Irish government has severe rules regarding bringing elderly parents to Ireland. That is because they are unable to support themselves financially. The number of refused parents’ applications is higher. So it is the financial requirements for parents.
Who Can Sponsor Family Member Through Ireland Family visa?
The sponsor living in Ireland must be in one of the following groups to bring his/her relative into the country:
- The citizens of Ireland.
- Citizens of the EU/EEA.
- People who hold an Ireland work visa.
- Non- EU/EEA nationals who are holding an Ireland Work permit.
- People who hold Ireland Stamp 4 or stamp 5.
- Researchers who are in Ireland under a Hosting Agreement.
- Clergies who are holding an immigration Stamp 3.
- A Ph.D. student studying in Ireland under an authorized program.
Required Time to Sponsor Family Members
You should remember that there might be required living time in Ireland. It means the sponsor must live some time in Ireland to host his/her relatives. It depends on the conditions of the sponsor and the permit he/she holds. If the host holds any employment permit, he/she must live in Ireland for one year to be eligible for sponsoring.
What are the Requirements for Ireland family visa?
You have to submit a few supporting documents to apply for the Ireland family visa:
A. Application form
You should complete the application form on the INIS website. In the end, there is a summary page to print. Date and sign it. Keep it as you submit it to the authorities.
Two passports sized photo. Take them in the latest three months to the date of application. The background must be clear, and nothing hides your face.
The original currently used passport. It must not be older than ten years ago. It must be valid for at least one year over the date you will enter Ireland. Providing you have had other passports, provide a copy of them.
D. Personal declaration letter
Write a personal letter to the Irish government and state:
- State all your personal information.
- The purpose of your trip to Ireland.
- The details of the relative living in Ireland.
- Put information on any other relative living in any foreign country.
E. Eligibility proof of relative in Ireland
As we explained above, your relative living in Ireland must be eligible. If he/she is an Irish citizen, provide a copy of their passport.
In case your relative is a non-EU/EEA resident, provide:
- A copy of all pages of your relatives’ passport.
- Registration documents copies.
If the relative is working, a copy of the work permit.
F. Family relationship proof
- Marriage certificate
Proof that you have lived together for some time. It could be pictures, travel history, visas, etc.
- adoption certificate
- Certificate of birth
- Guardianship certificate (if applicable)
G. Proof to have enough funds
Bank statement for the latest six months. Do not forget to provide your spouse’s statements, as well.
H. Financial capability of the sponsor
Your sponsor in Ireland must prove his financial ability to support you:
- P60 form (the tax you’ve paid on your salary in the tax year) for the past two years.
- The most recent payment statement.
- Employment agreement for one year ahead of the date of application. It must show how much the sponsor will receive.
- Providing the sponsor is self-employed, provide Notices of Assessment of income.
I. Health insurance
Holding health insurance at the time of application is not mandatory. Remember that you must have one when going through Border Control.
If your documents are in other languages, have them translated by a certified one. Do not forget to provide the original one, along with the application.
Along with the requirements, provide an empty envelope. Write your exact address and postcode on it. The Irish officials use the envelope to return your passport along with the original form of documents.
L. Residence permit
Providing that you are not a national of the country you are making application from, provide a legal residence permit.
Note: The Irish officials might not return some of your documents. So make sure to have a copy for all of them. You might need to provide some of them to the Border Control.
The Financial Requirements for Ireland family visa
Aside from the mentioned requirements, there is also financial eligibility. Sponsors must prove they can support the costs of living for their host. The required amount is different for each family member and the nationality of the sponsor.
Citizens of Ireland
Providing that the sponsor is a citizen of Ireland, he/she must have earned a total of 40.000 EUR in the latest three years to the application. Also, your sponsor must not have received any form of benefit from the government.
There are two possibilities for non-EU/EEA nationals. If they can bring you to Ireland without any time limit, there are no financial requirements either. However, they must prove they are eligible to stay in Ireland.
The following groups can immediately bring their family members to Ireland:
- Holders of Critical Skills Employment Permit
- People who have invested in Ireland.
- People holding a business permit.
- Students of P.h.D
- Researcher working under a Hosting Agreement.
- EEA/Irish citizen.
- Moved employees to the Irish branch of their company (Intra transfer).
- Scholarship students under a program approved by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
- Full-time non-locum doctors.
If the sponsor is not in the above group and has another type of Ireland work permit, the Irish Department of Social Protection will determine the least required payment. Please remember that the sponsor must pass the least required time to sponsor relative.
If you are sponsoring your child, the required payment has this formula:
|Number of children||Least required weekly income|
If you will be sponsoring your parents:
- One parent; the least payment in 60.000 EUR in the latest three years.
- Two parents; 75.000 EUR in the latest three years.
Providing that you are sponsoring your spouse, you must have a 30.000 salary per year.
Application Process for Ireland family visa
The application process for the Ireland family visa has two parts:
- A. The procedure the sponsor has to complete
- B. The steps applicant has to follow.
The sponsor living in Ireland should complete the first stage of the application.
1. Check sponsor’s eligibility
Before the sponsor or the host do anything, the sponsor must check his/her eligibility. As we explained above, there are different rules for sponsoring various family members. Read them completely and make sure the sponsor is eligible.
2. Authorization to sponsor a family member
When the sponsor made sure of eligibility, he/she must apply for sponsoring permission. The sponsor must apply to the Family Reunification Section of Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). He/she must mail a letter to the authorities. The sponsor must put this information in the letter:
- Complete name
- Full address
- ID number
Complete information about the relative he/she wants to bring into Ireland:
- Full name.
- Date of birth.
- The type of relationship.
3. Gather requirements
When the INIS received the letter, they will send the sponsor a list of supporting documents and a questionnaire. The sponsor must complete the questionnaire and gather all the required documents. Then, send them to the INIS.
4. Receiving results
When authorities approve the sponsoring application, the host can begin his/her application process.
The second part that the applicant has to complete
When the sponsor makes sure of eligibility and receives approval for sponsoring from INIS officials, the host can begin the application process.
The applicant who wants to move to Ireland should carry on the second stage.
1. Application form
Complete the Ireland family visa online form on AVATS. Pay attention to complete the right form. Also, the information you put must be correct and true. In the end, there is a supply page to print. Then date and sign it. Keep it until you submit it to the officials.
2. Gather requirements
Now you have to gather the supporting documents for Ireland family visa. The summary page will tell you about the requirements. You could also see the section above to know about the requirements.
3. Submit requirements
The form will also tell you where to submit the requirements. It much depends on the country you are from. Put your passport and all the requirements in an envelope. Then mail it to the address. It could be an Irish embassy or consulate in your home country or a visa center.
Along with the requirements, put an empty envelope. The officials will use it to return the original form of documents.
4. Wait for processing
Now, wait until your application gets processed. The processing time depends on different factors. When authorities approve your application, they will send the visa stamp on your passport. If they deny it, they will inform you why.
5. Entrance visa
Based on the nationality, applicants may need an entrance visa. If your country needs an Ireland short-stay visa, then you need an entrance visa for a family visa too. If not, you can travel to Ireland with the stamp on your passport. However, you have to go through Border Control.
6. Border Control
When you arrive in Ireland, you have to go through Border Control. You need an entry visa or not does matter. The officials at the Border Control evaluate you and decide whether to let in or not. You must carry all the requirements to provide them. They will determine the lengths of your stay in Ireland.
7. Residence permit
When you entered the Irish soils, you must apply for the Residence Permit. You should visit the Garda National Immigration Bureau to receive one.
You completed all these parts? Congratulations. You can stay in Ireland as long as your Residence Permit is valid.
Processing Time for Ireland Family visa
The processing time for the Ireland family visa varies. It depends on different factors. The country you apply from, your documents, the Irish embassy, etc. However, the standard time is 6-12 months. If you can bring your family immediately after moving to Ireland, the processing time is six months. If you have to live in Ireland for the required time (one or two years), it could take one year.
Can Applicants Work Under Ireland Family Visa?
Whether you can work in Ireland under the family visa depends on the conditions of your sponsor:
- In case the sponsor holds Stamp 4, you have permission to work in Ireland legally. There is no need to apply for a work permit.
- When the sponsor holds a Critical Skills Employment Permit, you can apply for Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.
- When the sponsor holds any other Ireland work permit, you have to apply for your own work permit.
Let’s sum up…
In this blog, we explained all you need to know about Ireland family visa.
We have covered who is eligible for family visa, requirements, financial requirements, application process, FAQs, and more.
You can find all the Ireland visa information in the world here.
To find out more about the visa that suits you, go through the menu of the site. You can find all the types of Ireland visas at the left sidebar.
You can check Visa Library to find more information about other countries’ visas.
In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for applicants.