What is an Irish Spouse Visa?
Marriage to an Irish citizen or resident does not automatically guarantee the foreign spouse the right to enter or remain in Ireland. An Irish spouse visa is a type of travel document that shows non-EEA foreign nationals have obtained permission from the immigration office to remain in Ireland with their spouses for longer than 3 months.
The spouse visa is a type of Long Stay Join Family D Visa that is part of the family reunification program.
Note that citizens from non-visa-required countries (including Canada) may be able to travel to Ireland without applying for a visa or entry clearance. However, any foreign national living in Ireland will need to apply for the appropriate permission to remain there for longer than 90 days.
To determine whether you require a spouse visa or another type of immigration permission, contact a qualified immigration adviser. Call us today on +1 844 290 6312.
Eligibility requirements for the Ireland Spouse visa
Marriage to an Irish citizen does not give you the automatic right to remain in Ireland as a foreign national. In order to apply for the spouse visa, you must have a sponsor (spouse) who meets certain requirements in order to be eligible. The sponsoring partner must be:
- An Irish citizen
- An EU or EEA citizen
- A foreign national from a non-EEA country legally residing in Ireland on an employment permit
- A foreign national legally residing in Ireland under Stamp 4 or Stamp 5
- A Ph.D. student who is currently enrolled in an Irish accredited program
- A researcher, minister of religion, or full-time non-locum doctor in Ireland on a valid permit/visa
The sponsor must also meet additional financial requirements. Generally, the sponsoring partner must have earned €40,000 over the span of the most recent three years. The maintenance requirement mentioned can increase based on the number of dependent children. In addition, both spouses must meet basic eligibility requirements such as:
- Both spouses must be at least 18 years old
- The relationship must be determined by the visa office to be lawful and freely entered into by both parties under Irish law
- Both spouses must commit to living in the same household and are able to provide evidence of adequate accommodation, such as a tenancy agreement
- Must be able to provide evidence of a genuine relationship
- Must be able to provide a valid marriage certificate
- Both spouses must be of good character. This includes not having any prior criminal convictions with the Irish police and not being a burden on the Irish state or relying on public funds.
Required Documents for the Irish Spouse visa
Visa applicants will need to submit a portfolio of supporting documents as proof to verify their claim for the spouse visa. Supporting evidence may include:
- Your original passport and previous passports
- Two full color passport-sized photographs
- Marriage certificate
- A notarized and signed letter stating your reasons for moving to Ireland along with details of your spouse and other family members in Ireland
- Contact and accommodation details of your Irish spouse/ visa sponsor
- Documented proof of your relationship history with your spouse
- Proof of medical insurance and travel insurance
- Proof of income and cash savings, such as bank statements or pay stubs
- Details of any previously denied visas
- Proof of payment for the visa application
- Documents to provide evidence of the family relationship for any additional family members
You must also provide evidence of the sponsor’s eligibility, such as an Irish passport, birth certificate, or other proof of citizenship/residency. Original documents such as birth certificates or passports will be returned to you by post. Photocopies will be kept by the Irish immigration office.
Certified translated copies are required for all documents that are not originally in English or Irish. Letters from institutions such as businesses or universities must be on official-headed paper.
How To Apply for an Ireland Spouse visa
The immigration process under the Irish spouse visa has a number of steps. If you are from a visa-required country, you will need to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland. Canadian citizens may only need to obtain pre-clearance, depending on various factors.
If you must obtain a visa, the sponsor will need to complete the online form for the join family visa at the Irish Immigration Service website. Once the visa fee is paid, and the application is processed, it will be sent to the Irish embassy in the country of the foreign applicant.
All the documents required to support your visa application will need to be submitted within 30 days of the visa application date.
If the visa is approved, you will be allowed to enter Ireland. Keep in mind that a visa does not guarantee your entry into the country or immigration status. Border control will have the final discretion over whether you have a legitimate reason to enter Ireland.
Once in Ireland, you can apply for permission to remain with the Immigration Service Delivery. Spouses and civil partners can apply for residency permission by completing the Spouse/ Civil Partner of an Irish National form. This form will need to be printed and sent by registered post to the Irish Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) to the address below, along with any supporting evidence.
Spouse/Civil Partner of Irish National Unit
Residence Division – Unit 6
Immigration Service Delivery
PO Box 12695, Dublin 2
If your permission is approved, you will receive a letter of approval, which you must bring to your appointment. You and your spouse must attend the appointment in person with a local immigration officer who will review your supporting documents.
Costs and Fees
The total fees associated with the Irish spouse visa can vary based on your individual situation and circumstances.
The most common fees associated with this visa are:
- Single journey visa application fee for visa-required citizens who are travelling to Ireland for up to 90 days or need to enter Ireland just once: €60
- Multi-journey visa application fee to enter Ireland multiple times during a five-year period: €100
- Irish Residence Permit, required if granted permission to remain after 90 days: €300
- Fees for private medical insurance
- Fees for services such as translation
- Return postage fee for original documents such as birth certificates
Processing Time for the Irish Spouse visa
Due to its complexity, it can take a considerable amount of time to prepare sufficient evidence for the spouse visa application. It is recommended to start preparing for your visa application as early as possible.
Once your visa application has been submitted, it can take between six and twelve months on average to be processed by the Irish Department of Justice.
Spouse visa applications are processed chronologically in the order in which they are received. Because of the intricate nature of the visa, the processing time can be longer than some other routes.
The best way to ensure that your visa is not delayed is to ensure you thoroughly and accurately fill out all forms and submit all relevant documents to support your claim for the visa. Missing or inaccurate documents are a common reason for visas to be delayed or denied.
How Can Total Law Help?
At Total Law, we provide professional visa services. Our team comprises immigration lawyers with expertise in Ireland and Canada visa and immigration laws and processes.
We will ensure your documentation is correct, all forms are filled with the best standards, and liaise with Irish immigration authorities where necessary to ensure your visa application has the best chance of approval.
Your Total Law advisor will also provide you with all the necessary advice to obtain an Irish spouse visa.
For further information on this or other Irish visa routes, contact us at +1 844 290 6312 or use our online contact form to get in touch with our team of qualified immigration lawyers.
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Exact processing times for spouse or civil partner visas can vary depending on your situation and the workload of the visa office. Generally, the current wait is about 6-12 months. Accurately completing the online application and providing sufficient evidence will ensure that your visa application has a higher chance of being approved by your intended date of travel. It is recommended not to purchase airline tickets until you receive a visa decision.
Yes. If your spouse’s visa is approved by a qualified sponsor, you will be permitted to live and work in Ireland without the need for a separate Employment Permit.
A de facto or civil partnership may be recognized in Ireland depending on several factors including the date on which the partnership was entered into. Due to the Marriage Act of 2015, Ireland recognizes partnerships entered into prior to the introduction of the bill. Immigration rules may differ slightly depending on your circumstances. Consult a qualified immigration adviser to determine the best immigration route for you.
Each family member who is traveling to Ireland will need to complete an online application for a separate visa. Only immediate family members are eligible to apply under the join family visa. The family reunification program supports dependent children, elderly parents, spouses, civil partners, and de facto partners.
In the event that your visa is denied, you should receive a letter detailing the reasons for the visa decision. In some cases, you may be asked to submit other documents to support your relationship history or identity during the visa application process.
You must respond to this request by the date given with the exact documents requested or risk your visa being delayed or denied.
When your visa is denied, you may be able to re-apply or appeal the decision. For assistance with the appeal process, contact Total Law today at +1 844 290 6312 or use our online contact form to get in touch with our team of qualified immigration lawyers.