What is Non-EEA Family Reunification?
Non-EEA Family Reunification is a process intended for non-EEA family members of Irish citizens or EU/EEA citizens living in Ireland. Thanks to it foreign citizens can come to Ireland to join their relatives.
For EU/EEA nationals living in Ireland to be able to bring their families to Ireland, they have to be exercising their free movement rights there. That means that they have to intend to live in Ireland long-term, be working there, and be getting enough money to support themselves.
Unfortunately, non-EEA family members of non-EEA citizens residing in Ireland are not eligible for family reunification.
Those who are eligible for Non-EEA Family Reunification have to apply for a Long Stay ‘D’ Join Family Visa to be able to travel to Ireland.
Who is eligible for Non-EEA Family Reunification?
Not all family members qualify for Non-EEA Family Reunification. If one of the following applies to your situation, you can apply for Non-EEA Family Reunification as a qualifying family member:
- Spouses or civil partners of Irish citizens
- Children of Irish citizens
- Grandchildren of Irish citizens
- Parents of Irish citizens
- Grandparents of Irish citizens.
However, you might also be eligible for Non-EEA Family Reunification as a permitted family member if one of the following describes your relationship with the relative in Ireland:
- De facto partners of Irish citizens or EU/EEA residents in Ireland
- Dependent family members of EU/EEA residents in Ireland
- Spouses or civil partners of EU/EEA residents in Ireland
- Relatives of EU/EEA citizens living in Ireland who are dependent on them for medical reasons.
If you are not sure whether you have the right to join your family members in Ireland through Non-EEA Family Reunification, talk to our lawyers. They can assess your circumstances and determine whether your relationship with the person living in Ireland qualifies you for Family Reunification.
How to apply for Non-EEA Family Reunification?
Non-EEA citizens who are eligible for Non-EEA Family Reunification have to apply for a Long Stay ‘D’ Join Family Visa. Applications for it can be submitted online. After you complete the online form you will see a web page with your application summary sheet. Make sure to print it and include it in your portfolio of evidence.
Once your application for the visa is approved, you can travel to Ireland and apply for residence after arriving in the country. To do that those who are applying as qualifying family members need to complete the EUTR1 form and those applying as permitted family members have to complete the EU1A form.
You can enter the country with a temporary Stamp 4 residence permission while waiting for the approval of your residence application. Then, if your application for residence is accepted, you will receive Stamp 4EUFAM allowing you to reside in Ireland for up to 5 years.
Keep in mind that once you arrive in Ireland you have to register at an immigration office to receive permission to stay in the country for more than 90 days.
Our consultants can explain to you the application process in detail and answer any questions you might have.
What supporting documents do I need to submit?
As part of the application for the Long Stay ‘D’ Join Family Visa you have to submit a number of documents that prove your eligibility for it. These include:
- Valid passport
- Two passport-sized photographs in colour
- Signed and dated application summary sheet
- Signed letter of application in which you explain the reason for you wanting to come to Ireland
- Proof of your relationship with the family member in Ireland
- Details of your family member’s immigration status in Ireland
- Proof of you and your family member’s finances
- Confirmation showing that you have medical insurance
- Details of any previous visas to Ireland.
The exact documents you have to submit depend on your individual circumstances. For example, if you are applying for Non-EEA Family Reunification as a spouse of an Irish citizen, you have to provide a marriage certificate. If, however, you are applying as a dependent of a family member in Ireland, you need to include proof of dependency.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they can help you put together a complete portfolio of evidence. Thanks to their help you can avoid your visa being refused because of you failing to provide sufficient evidence.
Can family members of refugees apply for Non-EEA Family Reunification?
Non-EEA citizens who are family members of refugees in Ireland can join them as long as their relative has official refugee status in Ireland or is living there under humanitarian protection.
It is important to note, however, that family members of refugees can only apply to join them through Family Reunification within 12 months of them receiving their status in Ireland.
To apply for Non-EEA Family Reunification as a family member of a refugee, foreign citizens need to write a letter to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) Family Reunification Section. In the letter, they need to request family reunification.
If INIS gives its consent, the family member of the refugee living in Ireland has to apply for their Long Stay ‘D’ Visa to Ireland. It is only after their application is accepted that they can travel to Ireland.
How can Total Law help?
The process of applying for Non-EEA Family Reunification can be complex but, at Total Law, our consultants have a thorough knowledge of Irish immigration law. They have helped many clients successfully apply for Family Reunification and they can guide you through each step of the application process.
Thanks to their help you can be sure that you correctly completed all the forms and that you provided all the required documents. This way, you can maximise the chances of your application being accepted.
Our experts can also write a Letter of Representation for you to further strengthen your case. They have the same experience as an immigration lawyer.
Even if your application for the Non-EEA Family Reunification is unsuccessful, our consultants can help you find a solution. They will either offer you assistance with appealing the decision or will help you find another visa to Ireland, making sure you can be reunited with your family.
Call Total Law today on (+353) 061 518 025 to find out more about how our immigration experts can help.
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If your situation, normally qualifying you for Family Reunification, changes, you might still be able to live in Ireland. The Retained Right of Residence protects your status in Ireland in certain circumstances, which are:
- Your family member in Ireland passed away
- You and your family member in Ireland got divorced
- You became a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of your family member in Ireland
- Your family member in Ireland decided to leave the country.
Keep in mind that you have to inform INIS immediately after your circumstances change and explain to them what happened.
The waiting time for the Non-EEA Family Reunification varies depending on how complex your case is. First, you have to wait for approval of your eligibility for Non-EEA Family Reunification, and then you need to wait for your Join Family Visa application to be processed.
On average, the whole process takes between 12-14 months.
If you fail to include some of the required documents, the processing of your application might take longer. That is why it is advisable that you hire an immigration lawyer who can review and correct your application before you submit it.
If you are an EU/EEA citizen and you are residing in Ireland, you might be able to bring your non-EEA family members to join you. Nevertheless, not all family members are eligible to come to Ireland using this route. Unfortunately, siblings do not qualify for Non-EEA Family Reunification.
Our experts can help you find another Irish Visa that your sister can apply for so that you can be reunited in Ireland.
Stamp 4 in Ireland means that you have the right to reside in the state for 5 years. After this period you can renew your status. If you are in Ireland with Stamp 4 you can work without having to obtain a work permit, you can start your own business, and you can access state services.
The time you spend in Ireland with Stamp 4 counts towards reckonable residence, which means that you might be eligible for naturalisation in Ireland in the future.