What is an Irish Family Visa?
An Irish family visa, or Join Family Long Stay ‘D’ Visa, is a type of travel document that will allow the holder to stay with a qualified family member in Ireland for longer than 90 days. This is part of the family reunification program in Ireland. Certain family members may not qualify for this visa. Qualifying family members include immediate family such as:
There are a number of eligibility requirements you must meet in order to apply for a long stay ‘D’ join family visa.
Financial Requirements: There are minimum income requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the family visa. This is typically €30,000, although it can increase based on the number of dependent children.
Family Relationship Requirements: The types of family relationships that can be considered for the basis of a family visa are:
- Legally married spouse
- Minor children under the age of 18
- Dependent children under 23 who are in full-time education
- De facto partnership or civil partnership. A de facto relationship is considered to be a cohabiting relationship similar to a marriage that has a relationship history of two years or more.
- Elderly parents
Exemptions: People exempt may include those with refugee status, international protection beneficiaries, or participants of the Afghan Admission Programme
Visa requirements may vary slightly depending on the family relationship you are applying under. Once you have stayed in Ireland for 5 years of reckonable residence on a valid visa, you may be eligible to apply for Irish naturalization.
Residence Permission: In order to stay in Ireland for 90 days or more, even on a long stay visa, you will need to apply for permission at a local immigration office in Ireland. If accepted, you will be given a residence permit or residence card.
Visa applicants will need to submit a portfolio of supporting documents as proof to verify their claim for the family visa.
Supporting documentation may include:
- A certified and notarized statement of your reasons for moving to Ireland
- Contact details of your Irish citizen sponsor/ family member
- Your passport and prior passports
- A copy of your sponsor/family member’s Irish citizenship, passport, and residency
- Marriage certificate or certificate of civil partnership
- Documented proof of the relationship with your family member. This is also known as the genuine relationship test.
- Proof of medical insurance
- Copies of bank statements within the past 6 months from the applicant and the sponsor.
- Proof of income for the applicant and sponsor. This can be paystubs from a job or bank statements and tax forms if you are self-employed.
- Proof that you have paid the visa application fee
Original documents will be returned to you by post. Photocopies will be kept by the Irish visa office.
Certified translated copies are required for documents that are not originally in English or Irish. In order to obtain a certified copy, you will have to locate a qualified third party such as a solicitor or barrister.
It is important that you submit a thorough portfolio of documentary evidence along with your application. This is what the immigration officer will use to make a decision on your visa application. If your documentation is determined to be inaccurate or incomplete, your visa application may be rejected.
How To Apply
Most non-EEA nationals require a visa to enter Ireland. As a US citizen, you may enter Ireland for up to 90 days without a visa.
A local immigration officer at border control will issue you a landing stamp after reviewing your documents.
Keep in mind that you are not guaranteed entry. If you are not issued a landing stamp you must leave Ireland immediately.
However, if you have a legitimate reason for entering the country you will typically be approved.
If you intend to stay longer than 90 days, you can apply for the Long-Stay Join Family Visa with the Irish Immigration Service Delivery. The visa application process is as follows:
- Fill out the visa application online at the government website
- Pay the visa fee
- Submit any required documentation
- Documentary evidence will be reviewed by the visa office.
- Visa decisions are made by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in the order they are received
- Once you enter the country you will need to apply for permission to remain from a local immigration office
Visa decisions are based on your application package, so it can be helpful to have the assistance of a qualified legal team such as Total Law.
If additional documents are required you will receive a notification from the immigration services.
If your application is approved, you must register your details with the local immigration office before your landing stamp expires.
If your application is denied, you will receive a notification detailing the reasons why.
Once you receive your residence card, carry it with you as you will need to show this to immigration control if asked.
Because the application process can be lengthy, it is recommended to apply for the visa up to three months prior to your planned date of travel.
Costs and Fees
Visa fees for the long stay ‘D’ visa are:
- Single entry visa fee $81
- Multiple entry visa fee: $136
- Transit visa fee $34
An Irish Residence Permit is about $327
A small fee is charged for the return of your original documents by post when applying for a visa.
There is no exact timeline for the processing of family visa applications. Applications are processed by the Irish visa office in the order in which they are submitted.
The immigration process can be time-consuming. If your sponsoring family member is an Irish citizen, it typically takes up to 6 months for your family visa application to be processed.
How Can Total Law Help?
With Total Law, visa services are provided by our team of professional immigration lawyers, who ensure your documentation is correct and your application has the best chance of approval.
Your Total Law advisor will provide you with all the necessary advice to obtain a family visa or other immigrant visa.
For further information, contact us today 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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In short, it depends on the status of your sponsor.
- If your sponsor is an Irish citizen – you will be allowed to work in Ireland without a need for a separate Employment Permit.
- If your sponsor holds a Critical Skills Employment Permit – you are eligible for the Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.
- If your sponsor holds a General Work Permit or another type of Ireland permit/visa, you will have to apply for your own Employment Permit.
The processing time will depend on the nationality of your sponsor and their status. It can be a long process compared to some other visas, so it is recommended to begin applying well in advance of your planned date of travel.
- Family members of Irish citizens can expect to receive their visa six months after submitting all the documents.
- Family members of non-EU/EEA nationals can expect to receive their visa six to twelve months after submitting the documents.
If your visa is denied, you will receive a letter of refusal. This letter will tell you why it has been refused and if you are allowed to appeal. If it will be suspected that you have submitted false or misleading information, you won’t be able to appeal the decision and you may be blocked from applying for a visa for up to 5 years. If the letter of refusal states that you are allowed to appeal, there is no fee. The window to appeal is 2 months from the date on the letter of refusal. In some cases, appealing a visa decision can take more time than reapplying. If your visa was denied, contact Total Law for help with appealing the decision or deciding on the next step.