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Visa & Registration Checklist for Marrying a Non-EU Citizen in Ireland

A foreign national engaged to a non-EU Irish resident can apply for a Marriage Visa to enter Ireland and get married to their partner. Besides the visa criteria an applicant must meet, there are certain requirements that couples getting married in Ireland must fulfil before such marriage can be recognised.

For more information about the Ireland Marriage Visa, including how to apply and the steps to register your marriage, speak with one of our expert immigration lawyers. Call us at +353 061 518 025 or use the online contact form to contact us.

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    Step 1: Determine if You Require a Visa to Enter Ireland

    If you are a foreign national intending to marry an Irish resident, it’s vital to confirm whether you need a visa to enter the country. This largely hinges on your nationality and existing residency status.

    If you are not a citizen of the EU or Switzerland, you must apply for the Ireland Marriage Visa. This visa is a Short Stay ‘C’ visa that allows foreign nationals in a relationship with an Irish resident or citizen to enter Ireland for a short period to get married to their fiance/fiancee.

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    Bride and Groom holding umbrella under cloudy sky

    Step 2: Get the Marriage Registration Form or Licence

    Before you begin the visa application process, you and your fiance/fiancee must notify the Registrar of Civil Marriages in Ireland about your intention to marry. This involves obtaining confirmation from the Registrar, indicating the date you formally communicated your plan to marry in Ireland.

    Be aware that you must submit your application to the Registrar at least three months before your intended wedding date in Ireland.

    To begin the marriage registration process, you must book an appointment with the HSE civil registration service. As long as one of you is a foreign national, you must attend an interview with the marriage registrar.

    You must pay a non-refundable notification fee of €200 at the appointment. Be sure to come with relevant documents, including a valid passport, the original and photocopy of your birth certificate, proof of address dated within the last 3 months, and your PPS number.

    You might need to answer questions regarding your relationship, marriage ceremony details, and witnesses. If you meet the requirements, the registrar will provide you with a marriage registration form valid for a duration of 6 months, starting from the date of your intended wedding.

    Step 3: Gather Your Visa Application Documents

    It’s important to gather the required documents before submitting an application for a Marriage Visa. Here are the documents a visa applicant must provide:

    • A passport valid for at least six months after your intended date of departure from Ireland
    • Printed, signed, and dated application summary sheets
    • Two coloured passport-sized photographs with your name and visa application reference number printed on the back
    • An application letter explaining the reason for your trip to Ireland, how long you intend to stay, where you intend to stay, details of any family members in Ireland, and an undertaking that you will accept the conditions of your visa.
    • Details of your accommodation
    • Bank statements for the previous six months
    • Evidence of your intention to marry with any of the following:
      • Acknowledgement from the Registrar confirming the date of receipt of notification of intention to marry or
      • Marriage Registration Form (MRF)
    • Sufficient evidence of your relationship history with the following:
      • Proof of your prospective spouse having travelled to your country of residence on some occasions to visit you and
      • Proof of correspondence.
      • Divorce certificate if either party were married
      • Civil partnership certificate, final decree of dissolution, civil annulment, or civil death certificate if either party previously had a civil partner
    • Proof of your intention to return home with any of the following social or economic ties:
      • If employed, proof of 3 months’ payslip and a letter from your employer
      • If you are a student, a letter from your school affirming that you study there and will return following your visit.
      • The title deed of any property you own or rent
      • Proof that you have dependent children or family members that you’ll be returning home to.
    • Evidence of private medical insurance for the non-EEA national
    • Proof of previous visa refusals, if applicable

    All documents submitted with your application must be in English or Irish and be original copies. Documents such as birth and marriage certificates will be returned to you afterwards, but others, like bank statements, will not be returned.

    Step 4: Submit the Marriage Visa Application

    You will need to submit an application online via AVATS. After completing the online application process, you will see a summary application form with details on what to do next, including how to submit your supporting documents.

    Here is a guide on how the online application process proceeds after login into the AVATS portal:

    • Provide information about your nationality
    • State the reason for your travel
    • Pick the type of visa or preclearance you need. In this case, a Short Stay ‘C’ visa
    • Select your journey type, either a single or multiple-entry visa
    • Input passport details
    • Pick proposed travel dates for entrance and exit
    • Provide personal details, including birth date, family status, country of birth, current location, and telephone number
    • Input your unique application number
    • Provide biometric information
    • Provide immigration history and criminal record
    • Provide details of family members residing in Ireland
    • Provide details of your relationship with the Irish National and their current activity in the country
    • Input details of current employment or study status
    • Sign the statutory declaration form
    • Confirm your documents and information provided
    • View and print the application form

    Additionally, you’ll need to pay the marriage visa application fee. If applying for a single-entry visa, you will pay €60, but if you’re getting a multiple-entry visa, pay €100. However, if you’re from the following countries, you’re exempt from paying the visa application fee:

    • Bosnia
    • Côte d’Ivoire
    • Ecuador
    • Indonesia
    • Jamaica
    • Kosovo
    • Kyrgyzstan
    • Montenegro
    • Morocco
    • North Macedonia
    • Peru
    • Serbia
    • Sri Lanka
    • Tunisia
    • Uganda
    • Zambia

    Afterwards, you must submit the application. It’s important to adhere to the instructions outlined in the application summary sheet and submit your supporting documentation together with the form.

    Do you need an Irish short-entry visa for marriage purposes? Speak to us today. Learn more

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      Step 5: Receive a Decision

      The Irish marriage visa application typically takes around eight weeks from submission to the application office to process. Applications are processed in the order they’re received, which can differ by country; as such, the processing times may vary.

      It can take longer time due to any of the following reasons:

      • During periods of high demand
      • If you submit incorrect documents,
      • Failure to provide the right information or evidence,
      • If your documents need to be verified because of a personal circumstance, such as a criminal conviction.

      Step 6: Preparing for Border Control

      The Ireland Marriage Visa only allows you to travel to Ireland and does not grant entry or stay privileges. As such, when you arrive in Ireland, present yourself at the Irish border control. You’ll be required to display your passport, visa, and acknowledgement from the Registrar of Civil Marriages to an immigration officer at the border.

      There’s a possibility that you’ll be asked for other essential supporting documents. To prepare for this, carry photocopies of the crucial documents in your marriage visa application. Border control officials will assess your documentation and details.

      You’ll be granted official permission to enter Ireland if they find everything satisfactory. However, in unfortunate cases with concerns regarding your application or the information provided, you can be denied entry into Ireland, even if you possess a valid visa.

      Step 7: Getting Married in Ireland

      There are two ways you can get married in Ireland: through a civil ceremony or a religious or secular ceremony.

      For the civil marriage process, you’ll require two witnesses aged 18 or above. The registrar who officiates the ceremony will subsequently sign the marriage registration form and register your marriage.

      On the other hand, for a church, religious, or secular ceremony, you must bring the marriage registration form to your marriage ceremony. The respective religious or secular authority coordinating the ceremony will sign the form.

      You must then use the form to register your marriage not more than one month after the ceremony.

      Appeal Process if Your Visa is Denied

      If your Marriage Visa application was denied, you will receive a letter from the immigration authorities stating the reason for the denial and if you are allowed to appeal the decision.

      You must appeal within 2 months of receiving the refusal letter. Otherwise, the visa decision cannot be changed. In such cases, you will need to submit a new application.

      The appeal process is free. To begin, write a letter stating that you want to appeal the decision. The letter must contain your personal information and visa application number.

      In the letter, explain why you believe the decision should be changed and provide any new information that is important to your case. Afterwards, submit the appeal at the Visa Appeals Office address specified in the refusal letter.

      Note that if your appeal is denied, you cannot appeal again for the same visa application. As such, it’s important to prepare your documents carefully before submitting them.

      Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your Irish visa application. Learn more

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Getting married in Ireland is a complex process involving several steps. To ensure you follow the process required by Irish law, it’s advisable to get help from an experienced immigration lawyer.

        Our lawyers at Total Law are experts in Irish immigration law and are dedicated to helping individuals successfully scale through the Marriage Visa application process. We will advise you on the steps to take, prepare your documents, and ensure your application adheres to regulations.

        If you choose Total Law, you’ll gain a supportive ally committed to your journey, making your dream of marrying your partner in Ireland a reality. Call us at +353 061 518 025 to get in touch with one of our immigration experts or fill out the online contact form to request a callback. We’ll be glad to help.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  If you hold a Marriage Visa, you will not be allowed to work or take up paid employment. You’ll also not be allowed to access public funds.

                  The marriage visa is categorised as a short stay ‘C’ visa, limited to a 90-day stay. Afterwards, you must go back to your home country. If you intend to settle in the country with your Irish spouse, you can apply for the (Join Family) Long Stay ‘D’ Visa after you arrive in your country.

                  Yes. Any individual who gets married in Ireland, whether a visa-free national or visa-required national, must register their marriage with the civil authorities.

                  You may need a visa to get married in Ireland, depending on your country of origin. Here is a list of visa-required countries.

                  Afghanistan Albania Algeria
                  Angola Armenia Azerbaijan
                  Bahrain Bangladesh Belarus
                  Benin Bhutan Bosnia and Herzegovina
                  Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia
                  Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic
                  Chad Colombia Comoros
                  Congo (Brazzaville) Congo (Democratic Republic of) Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
                  Cuba Djibouti Dominican Republic
                  Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea
                  Eritrea Ethiopia Faroe Islands
                  Gabon Gambia Georgia
                  Ghana Great Britain (UK) – Protected Person Guinea
                  Guinea-Bissau Haiti Hong Kong (SAR) Document of Identity
                  India Indonesia Iran
                  Iraq Jamaica Jordan
                  Kazakhstan Kenya Korea (North)
                  Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan
                  Laos Lebanon Liberia
                  Libya Madagascar Malawi
                  Mali Marshall Islands Mauritania
                  Mauritius Micronesia Moldova
                  Mongolia Montenegro Morocco
                  Mozambique Myanmar Namibia
                  Nepal Niger Nigeria
                  North Macedonia, Republic of Oman Pakistan
                  Palau Palestinian National Authority Papua New Guinea
                  People’s Republic of China Peru Philippines
                  Qatar Refugees or Stateless persons without a 1954 Convention Travel Document Russian Federation
                  Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia
                  Senegal Serbia Sierra Leone
                  Somalia South Sudan Sri Lanka
                  Sudan Suriname Syrian Arab Republic
                  Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste
                  Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan
                  Uganda Tanzania Uzbekistan
                  Venezuela Vietnam Yemen
                  Zambia Zimbabwe

                  Be aware that this list can undergo frequent changes, so it is recommended to verify with an immigration lawyer for the most current information.