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LIVING IN IRELAND: An Integration Website for Migrants living in Ireland

Immigration

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Disclaimer: This information contains guidelines only. Official policy and legislation can change. Check with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for the latest information: www.inis.gov.ie

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) and the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) are the two organisations which manage the immigration system.

The INIS and the GNIB headquarters are located at 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

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Where do I go to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau?

If you live in Dublin you should go to the GNIB offices at 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2

If you live outside of Dublin you should go to your local Garda District Headquarters to register with the Immigration Officer there. Contact your local Garda Station for more information. You can also find your local Garda District Headquarters on www.citizensinformation.ie under ‘Find an address’.

When you register with the GNIB you will be issued with a Certificate of Registration in the form of a GNIB card. This card provides information on your immigration status. At present, the fee for a GNIB card is €150. This fee is paid either by credit/debit card or by bank giro. For more information in English see: www.garda.ie

IMPORTANT: You must make sure that your immigration status is kept up-to-date at all times. If there are any problems, for example, a delay in getting your work permit renewed you should inform your local Immigration Officer who may grant you a temporary stamp for at least 3 months.

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Information for young people

I am 16 years of age. Do I need to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau like my parents?

Yes. All young people must register with the GNIB when they reach the age of 16. Your parents should go with you to the local Immigration Officer.

Note: There is no specific stamp for young people who have come to Ireland to join their parents. Therefore, you will either be given a stamp 2 or stamp 2A or in some cases a stamp 3. Usually stamp 2/2A is not counted towards citizenship but in your case this will be counted as reckonable residency for naturalisation as long as your parent is registered with the GNIB or has Irish citizenship.

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Visa Applications

To apply for a visa to travel to Ireland you must apply using the online visa application form. Information on filling out the online form is available in different languages at: www.inis.gov.ie

To apply online you should go to: www.visas.inis.gov.ie

This form can only be completed in English. When you have finished completing the form you submit it and print off a summary sheet. This sheet gives the address of the main Irish embassy/consulate or visa office where the visa application and supporting documents should be sent.

I got married in a religious ceremony outside Ireland. I would like to bring my spouse to Ireland. How do I do this?

If your spouse is from a visa required country he or she must apply for a D-Join Spouse Visa. You should provide information about your relationship before you got married, proof of how you keep in contact when you are not together, your marriage certificate, photos of your wedding ceremony and information about your relationship since you got married. It is useful to register your marriage with the civil authorities to receive an official marriage certificate. If you have visited your spouse since the marriage you should provide tickets and stamps in your passport.

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Travelling abroad while resident in Ireland

Do I need a visa to go to the United Kingdom?

This will depend on your nationality. If you are from a visa required country for the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) then you will need to apply for a visa. If you are from a non-visa required country for the United Kingdom you do not need a visa to go there but you may be subject to immigration control on arrival.

Border People - for information on crossing the border with Northern Ireland go to: www.borderpeople.info

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Summary of Immigration Stamps

There are 4 main immigration stamps. A summary of each is provided below:

Immigration Stamp

Example

Stamp 0

Issued to a service provider sent to Ireland by an overseas company to carry out a particular task for a limited time, an extended visit in excpetional humanitarian circumstances and visiting academics. For futher information go to: www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Stamps.

 

Stamp 1

Issued to those on work permits, green card permits, spouse dependent work permits, business permission

Stamp 1A

Issued to accountancy students for the purpose of fulltime training

Stamp 2

Issued to students registered on a full time course in an institution recognised by the Department of Education and Science. Students can work 20 hours/week during the term and full time hours during holiday periods.

Stamp 2A

Issued to students who are attending a course not recognised by the Department of Education. Students are not entitled to work.

Stamp 3

Issued to a non-EEA spouse or dependent of an employment permit holder, a non-EEA visitor, a non-EEA retired person of independent means, a non-EEA Minister of Religion and Member of Religious Order

Stamp 4

Issued to a non-EEA family member of an EEA national, a non-EEA spouse/partner of an Irish national, a refugee, a programme refugee, a person granted family reunification under the Refugee Act, 1996 (as amended)

Stamp 4EU FAM

Issued to the non-EEA national family member of an EU national where the family member qualifies under the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006. See www.inis.gov.ie

Note: Those on work authorisation/working visas were issued with Stamp 4 but this scheme has now been replaced with the Green Card Permit scheme.

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Immigration Pathways

Your options within the immigration system depend on your current immigration status. The amount of residency required to apply for each option is in brackets:

Stamp 1

Work Permit Holder

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on your Stamp 1 immigration stamp you can apply for Long Term Residency and Citizenship.

Green Card Permit Holder

Green Card Scheme: The Employment Permits Acts 2003 and 2006 allow for the establishment of a green card scheme for occupations where high level skills shortages exist. The Green Card Scheme replaced the Work Visa/Work Authorisation Scheme in 2007.

When you have 24 months (2 years) based on your Stamp 1 immigration stamps you can apply for Long Term Residency.

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on a combination of Stamp 1 immigration stamps and Stamp 4 immigration stamps you can apply for Citizenship.

Stamp 2

International Student

When you complete a course of studies at Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications you can transfer to the Graduate Scheme for 6 months. During this time you can work full time and apply for a work permit or green card permit.

When you complete a course of studies at Level 8 or higher on the National Framework of Qualifications you can change to the Graduate Scheme for 12 months. During this time you can work full time and apply for a work permit or green card permit.

Time spent in the country as an international student (Stamp 2/2A) is never counted towards Long Term Residency or Citizenship.
If you have Stamp 2A you are not entitled to work. If you have Stamp 2 you can work up to 20 hours during the term time and up to 40 hours during the holidays.

Children who join their family in Ireland

If you came to Ireland to join your family and your parent or parents were not international students and you were granted Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A then you can use these stamps to qualify for Irish citizenship as long as you apply for citizenship before you turn 24 years of age.

Stamp 3

Spouse/Dependent of an Employment Permit Holder

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on your Stamp 3 immigration stamps you can apply for Stamp 3 Long Term Residency (valid for 5 years) and Citizenship.

If you are granted a Spousal/Dependent Work Permit, when you have 60 months based on your Stamp 1 immigration stamps you can apply for Stamp 4 Long Term Residency or Citizenship.

Other Stamp 3 permissions

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on your Stamp 3 immigration stamps you can apply for Citizenship.

Stamp 4

Leave to remain/parent of an Irish child/de facto partner of an Irish citizen

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on your Stamp 4 immigration stamps you can apply for Citizenship.

Spouse/Civil Partner of an Irish citizen

When you have 36 months (3 years) based on your Stamp 4 immigration stamps you can apply for Citizenship.

Refugee status

When you have been living in Ireland for 36 months (3 years) you can apply for Citizenship.

Work authorisation/work visa

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on your Stamp 4 immigration stamps you can apply for Long Term Residency and Citizenship.

Long Term Residents

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on your Stamp 1 and Stamp 4 immigration stamps you can apply for Citizenship.

Stamp 4EU FAM

When you have 54 months (4.5 years) based on your Stamp 4EU FAM immigration stamps you can apply for a Permanent Residence Card.

When you have 60 months (5 years) based on your Stamp 4EU FAM immigration stamps you can apply for Citizenship.

For more information on applying for long term residency go to: www.inis.gov.ie or our FAQs.

For more information on applying for citizenship go to: www.inis.gov.ie

Stamp 5

It is also possible to apply for ‘Without Condition as to Time’ Endorsement (Stamp 5). In order to apply for this you will need to have been living in the state for 8 years. Time spent in the country on student permission or seeking asylum does not count towards Stamp 5. This is a residency option for people who may not wish to apply for Irish citizenship.

For more information see: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Without_Condition_As_To_Time_Endorsements

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De facto relationships

I am a non-EU citizen. I have an Irish partner. Can I apply for residency in Ireland?

Yes. You will need to prove a committed relationship and that you have been living together for at least 2 years. For more information go to: www.inis.gov.ie or contact Crosscare Migrant Project.

I am a non-EU citizen. I have a partner who is an EU citizen. Can I apply for residency in Ireland?

Yes. You will need to prove a 2 year durable relationship. For more information go to: www.inis.gov.ie or contact Crosscare Migrant Project.

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Citizenship

How do I qualify for Irish citizenship?

You can qualify for Irish citizenship either through

  • Birth or Descent or
  • Naturalisation

Through Birth or Descent

Under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004, children born of foreign national parents on or after 1 January 2005 are not automatically entitled to Irish citizenship. One of the parents must be legally resident in Ireland for at least three out of the previous four years immediately before the birth of the child. On proof of a genuine link to Ireland their child will be entitled to Irish citizenship.

If either of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, then you are automatically entitled to be an Irish citizen, regardless of your place of birth. If you were born outside Ireland to an Irish citizen who was himself or herself born in Ireland, then you are entitled to be an Irish citizen.

If your parent got Irish citizenship before you were born, for example, through marriage, adoption or naturalisation, you are also entitled to Irish citizenship.

If one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen but neither of your parents is an Irish citizen, you may become an Irish citizen. You will need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register.

Through Naturalisation

Naturalisation is the process whereby a foreign national living in Ireland may apply to become an Irish citizen. In order to apply for naturalisation in Ireland, you must have been physically resident in Ireland for a certain length of time.

Who is eligible for naturalisation?

If you wish to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older, or
  • Be a minor born in the State, and
  • Be of good character – the Garda Síochána (Ireland’s police) will be asked to provide a report about your background. Any criminal record or ongoing proceedings will be taken into consideration by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform in deciding whether or not to grant naturalisation
  • Details of any proceedings, criminal or civil, in the State or elsewhere, should be disclosed in the application form, and
  • Have had a period of 1 year’s continuous reckonable residence in the State immediately before the date of your application for naturalisation and, have had a total reckonable residence in the State of 4 years in the previous 8 years. (Altogether you must have 5 years reckonable residence out of the last 9 years)
  • Intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation, and
  • Make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State

It is important to note that time spent on a student visa, a working holiday visa or time during an unsuccessful claim for refugee status in Ireland cannot be counted as a period of reckonable residence for naturalisation purposes.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has power to waive one or more of the conditions for naturalisation:

  • If you are of Irish descent or of Irish associations or are a parent or guardian applying on behalf of a minor child of Irish descent or Irish associations
  • If you are a naturalised parent applying on behalf of a minor child
  • If you are the spouse of an Irish citizen (a total of only 3 years reckonable residence is required)
  • If you have been resident abroad in the public service
  • If you are recognised as a refugee (a total of only 3 years reckonable residence is required) or a stateless person

I am applying for citizenship. I need to send a certified translation of my birth certificate. How do I do this?

A Certified Translator can do this for you. A Certified Translator has fulfilled all the criteria set by the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association.

The list of official documents that require Certified Translation includes:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce or separation papers
  • Death certificates
  • Adoption papers
  • Custody papers
  • Degrees and Diplomas
  • Affidavits
  • Court rulings

For more information contact:

Irish Translator’s and Interpreters’ Association, Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Telephone: 01 8726282
Email: itiasecretary@gmail.com
Web: www.translatorsassociation.ie

Am I entitled to apply for Irish citizenship if my parents become Irish citizens?

This depends on your age. If you are under 18 then your parents may apply on your behalf for Irish citizenship. If you are 18 years of age or older you will have to apply for citizenship yourself.

For more details on citizenship and application forms for naturalisation contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service at www.inis.gov.ie

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Immigration support groups near you:

Dublin

Crosscare Migrant Project
1 Cathedral Street, Dublin 1
Telephone: 01 8732844
Email: migrantproject@crosscare.ie
Website: www.migrantproject.ie

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
55 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1
Telephone: 01 8897570
Email: info@mrci.ie
Website: www.mrci.ie

Immigrant Council of Ireland
2 St. Andrews Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01 6740200
Email: info@immigrantcouncil.ie
Website: www.immigrantcouncil.ie

The Integration Centre
Head Office, 1st and 2nd Floors, 18 Dame Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01 6453070
Email: info@integrationcentre.ie
Website: www.integrationcentre.ie

Cork

NASC
Enterprise House, 35 Mary Street, Cork
Telephone: 021 4317411
Email: info@nascireland.org
Website: www.nascireland.org

Galway

Galway Migrant Service
C/o Galway City Partnership, 3 The Plaza, Headford Road, Galway
Telephone: 091 773466 / 086 6020580
Email: katya@galwaymigrantservice.ie / foley@galwaymigrantservice.ie

Limerick

Doras Luimni
Mount Street, Vincent O’Connell Avenue, Limerick
Telephone: 061 310328
Email: info@dorasluimni.org
Website: www.dorasluimni.org

Ennis

Clare Immigrant Support Centre
Carmody Business Centre, Carmody Street, Ennis, Co. Clare
Telephone: 065 6822026 or 087 2385990
Email: cisc@eircom.net

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Supported by

This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the European Integration Fund and is supported by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Dept of Justice & Equality & Pobal.