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

Immigration FAQs

Share |

 

1. I am a work permit holder. The company I work for closed down. My permit is still valid for another year. Can I work for another employer?

No. A work permit is only issued for the job and employer named on the permit. If you change employers you must first apply for a new work permit in order to work for another employer.

2. I am a work permit holder. I have been in Ireland for 4 years. My wife came to join me a year ago. Can she work in Ireland?

No. Your wife will have Stamp 3 permission to remain. Stamp 3 does not allow your wife to work in Ireland.

However, if your first work permit was issued before 1st June 2009 and you were married before that date then your wife could apply for a Spousal/Dependent work permit. The following requirements do not apply for Spousal/Dependent work permits:

  • Starting salary of €30,000
  • Labour market test (advertising the job through FAS/EURES and in local and national newspapers)
  • Ineligible job categories
  • Fee

If your permit was issued after 1st June 2009 then your wife will have to make a standard work permit application in order to work in Ireland.

3. I have Stamp 4 Long Term Residency. My husband has Stamp 3. I originally came to Ireland as a work permit holder. Can my husband change to Stamp 4?

No. After 5 years on Stamp 3 your husband can apply for Long Term Residency. The Long Term Residency that he will be granted is Stamp 3 for 5 years. He would not be granted Stamp 4 Long Term Residency.
If your husband was granted a Spousal/Dependent work permit and changed to Stamp 1 then after 5 years on Stamp 1 he could apply for Stamp 4 Long Term Residency.

4. I am on a student visa. My wife is a work permit holder. We got married recently. Can I change my immigration status?

Yes. You should go to your local Immigration Officer with your wife. You should bring the following documents: your marriage certificate, both of your passports, your wife’s current work permit and your P45 to prove that you are not working. Your immigration status will be changed to Stamp 3.

5. What is the difference between Stamp 4 and Stamp 5?

Stamp 4 can be issued for many different reasons, for example, refugee; spouse/partner of an Irish citizen; parent of an Irish child; humanitarian leave to remain. Depending on the type of Stamp 4 you have you may need to apply for a renewal of your permission to remain and provide more documents for this. However, if you have Stamp 4 Long Term Residency then you can automatically renew this at your local Immigration Office every 5 years.

Stamp 5 is a type of permanent residency and is valid based on your passport, for example, if your passport is valid for 10 years then your Stamp 5 will be valid for 10 years and your GNIB card will be issued for 10 years as well. Stamp 5 is straight forward to renew. You will need to send your new passport to the Without Condition Endorsement Section and a new Stamp 5 will be placed in your new passport. You do not need to provide any further documents.

There is no difference in the rights and entitlements for people with Stamp 4 and Stamp 5.

6. What is the difference between Stamp 5 and Stamp 6?

Stamp 5 is a type of permanent residency and is also called ‘Without Condition as to Time’ endorsement. You can apply for this if you have 8 years of reckonable residency. Reckonable residency is generally Stamp 1, Stamp 3 or Stamp 4.

Stamp 6 is also called ‘Without Condition’ endorsement. It is for dual citizens. If you have Irish citizenship and citizenship of another country then you can apply for Stamp 6. The Stamp 6 is placed in your other national passport as evidence of your Irish citizenship. You will not be issued with a GNIB card because you are an Irish citizen.

7. How do I apply for Stamp 5?

You must have 8 years’ reckonable residency based on your immigration stamps to apply. Generally Stamp 1, 3 and 4 will be counted. If you have Stamp 4 you must wait until you have only 6 months left before applying. If you have Stamp 4 Long Term Residency you cannot apply for Stamp 5.

There is no application form. You should write a cover letter and provide the following documents: full colour copies of your current passport, a copy of your current GNIB card and proof of your current address (for example, a utility bill).

You should send your application to the Without Condition Endorsement Section, INIS, 3rd Floor, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

The current processing time is 10 weeks.

8. How do I apply for Stamp 6?

There is no application form. You should write a cover letter and provide the following documents:

  • Your original Irish passport OR your original Irish certificate of naturalisation
  • Your original other national passport

You should send your application to the Without Condition Endorsement Section, INIS, 3rd Floor, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

The current processing time is 1-2 weeks.

You can also make an appointment. Appointments are available on Tuesday or Thursday mornings from 10am to 11.30am. You can make an appointment by ringing the Immigration helpline (01) 6167700 and choosing option 3 and then option 5.

9. I am a work permit holder. I would like to invite my parents to visit me in Ireland. What do they need to provide to apply for a visit visa?

They will need to fill out the online visa application form. They must complete a separate application form for each of them. The form is only available in English. There are information guides in different languages on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service’s (INIS) website.
They must prove that they will return to their country of residence and they must show that they (or you) have sufficient funds for their stay in Ireland. They will need to have travel insurance.
An up-to-date list of documents that must be provided with the application is available on the INIS website.
If you would like further information contact Crosscare Migrant Project.

10. I have Stamp 4 based on my marriage to an Irish citizen. My parents are coming to Ireland to visit me for 3 months. Is it possible for them to extend their stay in Ireland? Could they apply for Stamp 0?

No. A visit visa is only issued for a period of up to 3 months. Visits can only be extended in exceptional humanitarian circumstances, for example, if your parents were ill while in Ireland. In that situation they might be granted Stamp 0 but only for a specific period of time.

11. I am an Irish citizen. Can I apply for my husband to come to join me in Ireland?

Yes. However, Irish citizens do not have an automatic right to family reunification. If your husband is from a visa-required country then you will have to provide a relationship history with his visa application.
An up-to-date list of documents that must be provided with the application is available on the INIS website.
If you would like further information contact Crosscare Migrant Project or read our factsheet for family members of Irish citizens.

12. I recently became an Irish citizen. Can I apply for family reunification for my parents to come to live with me in Ireland?

Irish citizens do not have an automatic entitlement to family reunification. You can apply for your parents to join you in Ireland but they would need to prove that they are self-sufficient and will not be a financial burden on the State.

If you would like further information contact Crosscare Migrant Project or read our factsheet for family members of Irish citizens.

13. I would like to move to Ireland. I am a non-EEA national. How can I do this?

This will depend on how you would like to immigrate to Ireland. If you would like to visit Ireland as a tourist then this will depend on any agreement between Ireland and your country. You might be required to apply for a visa.

 If you would like to move to live in Ireland then there are certain requirements depending on whether you would like to study, work or join family members in Ireland. You should look at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service’s website to see what your immigration options might be. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service was established in 2005 in order to provide a ‘one stop shop’ in relation to asylum, immigration, citizenship and visas. For further information go to: www.inis.gov.ie.

14. I recently gave birth to my first child. She is an Irish citizen. I have Stamp 3 and my husband has long term residency. Can I change to Stamp 4?

Yes. Non-EEA parents of Irish citizen children are entitled to work and residency rights in Ireland following the European Court of Justice Ruling in the Zambrano case.

You should go to your local Immigration Officer with your daughter. You should bring your passport, your current GNIB card, your daughter’s Irish passport, your daughter’s original birth certificate and evidence of your address, for example, a utility bill.

The Immigration Officer can change your immigration status to Stamp 4. If they cannot do this they might ask you to write to the Repatriation Division in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

Go to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service’s website for further information: www.inis.gov.ie.

15. I am a work permit holder. I have had work permits for 5 years. Can I change to Stamp 4?

Yes. If you have held work permits for 5 consecutive years you could apply for a temporary Stamp 4 that is valid for one year. However, if you have any gaps between your immigration stamps of more than 6 months then you may not qualify for this Stamp 4.

You can also apply for Long Term Residency (Stamp 4) when you have 60 months’ residency. The 60 months’ residency is based only on your immigration stamps and not on your work permits.

16. Who can apply for Long Term Residency?

Applications for Long Term Residency in Ireland are currently processed as an administrative scheme. People who have been legally resident in the State for a minimum of five years (i.e. 60 months) on the basis of work permit/work authorisation/working visa conditions may apply for Long Term Residency.

17. I have Business Permission. Can I apply for Long Term Residency?

No. At the moment it is not possible for holders of Business Permission to apply for Long Term Residency. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service are reviewing this.

18. How do I apply for Long Term Residency?

There is no application form. You should write a cover letter providing a list of your immigration stamps since you came to Ireland. You should also provide the following documents:

  • Copies of all your work permits
  • A copy of your current GNIB card
  • Copies of all your passports since arriving in the country.

You should send your application to: Long Term Residency Section, PO Box 12079, Dublin 1.

The current processing time is 6 months.

19. I have a student visa. I have been in a relationship with an EU citizen for 3 years. Can I apply for Stamp 4?

Yes. You can apply for a residence card based on being the family member of an EU citizen.

Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (the "Directive") is given effect in Ireland by the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 (the "Regulations").
The Directive and Regulations applies to citizens of the European Union, citizens of EEA member states and citizens of Switzerland who move to or reside in another EU Member State other than that of which they are a national, and to their family members who accompany or join them.
It is very important that your EU citizen partner is exercising their EU Treaty Rights. This means that they must be employed, registered as a student with comprehensive health insurance or have sufficient funds to support the family.

You should complete the EU1 form and submit this along with the required documentation to the EU Treaty Rights Section, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. You should also provide documentary evidence of your relationship; for example, joint utility bills, joint tenancy agreement, photos, phone records. The EU Treaty Rights Section will usually look for proof of a two year relationship.

Generally after your application has been submitted the EU Treaty Rights Section will write to you and advise you to go to the local Immigration Officer to get a temporary Stamp 4 permission for 6 months.

The processing time for this application is maximum 6 months.

20. I have a student visa. I have been in a relationship with an Irish citizen for 2 years. Can I apply for a change in my immigration status?

Yes. You will need to prove that you have been in a relationship with your Irish citizen partner for at least 2 years and have documentary proof of the relationship (in Ireland and abroad), for example, joint utility bills, joint tenancy agreement, photos, phone records.

There is no application form. You should write a cover letter giving details of your immigration history in the country as well as your relationship history. This application should be submitted to the General Immigration Division, 3rd Floor, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

You must be able to show a start date for the relationship based on the documentary evidence you provide. For further information read out factsheet for partners of Irish citizens.

The current processing time is between 2-5 months.

21. My child was born in Ireland. Can I apply for an Irish passport for her?

Since 1st January 2005 every child born in Ireland is not automatically an Irish citizen. The residency of the child’s parents is taken into consideration. If neither of the parents is an Irish citizen then at least one of the parents must have 3 years’ reckonable residency before the child was born. Reckonable residency generally includes Stamp 1, Stamp 3, Stamp 4 and Stamp 5.

The same applies to EEA citizen parents. They must be able to prove that they have been resident in the State for 3 years or more before the birth of their child. They must also sign a declaration to confirm this in the presence of an authorised witness.

For further information visit the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website: http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=263.

22. I am a work permit holder. I have two children and I would like to bring them to Ireland. What are the requirements for this?

You must have been working for 12 months on a work permit and you must earn above the limit that would qualify your family for the Family Income Supplement. The Family Income Supplement is a weekly tax free payment for people on low-pay. The income limits are:

If you have: You will qualify for FIS if your weekly family income is less than:

  • 1 child   €506
  • 2 children  €602
  • 3 children  €703
  • 4 children  €824
  • 5 children  €950
  • 6 children  €1066
  • 7 children  €1202
  • 8 children  €1298

An up-to-date list of documents that must be provided with the application is available on the INIS website.
If you would like further information contact Crosscare Migrant Project.

23. What is the Start-Up Entrepreneur Scheme?

The Start-Up Entrepreneur Scheme is for non-EEA nationals with an innovative business idea. Applicants must show they have access to €75,000 to invest in the business. If your application is approved you will be granted residency for 2 years to begin with. Afterwards you can apply to renew this for a further 3 years. Once you have completed 5 years you can renew your immigration status every 5 years.

The scheme is not for retail, personal services, catering or similar businesses.

For further information go to: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/New%20Programmes%20for%20Investors%20and%20Entrepreneurs or contact: investmentandstartup@justice.ie

24. What is the Immigrant Investor Programme?

The Immigrant Investor Programme is for non-EEA nationals who commit to an investment in Ireland for example:

  • A once-off donation of €500,000 to a public project benefitting the arts, sports, health, culture or education
  • An investment of at least €1,000,000 in a new or existing Irish business for a minimum of 3 years
  • An investment of at least €2,000,000 in a special low interest immigrant investor bond
  • A mixed investment of at least €1,000,000 in property and an immigrant investor bond. 

If your application is approved you will be granted residency for 2 years to begin with. Afterwards you can apply to renew this for a further 3 years. Once you have completed 5 years you can renew your immigration status every 5 years.

For further information go to: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/New%20Programmes%20for%20Investors%20and%20Entrepreneurs or contact: investmentandstartup@justice.ie

25. I have Stamp 4 based on being the parent of an Irish Born Child. My daughter came to Ireland to join the family when she was 12 years old. She now has Stamp 4. She applied for a student grant but her application was refused. Why did this happen?

She is not eligible for a student grant because she has Stamp 4 based on your immigration status. For further information go to www.studentfinance.ie

26. I have Stamp 4 based on my spouse who is an Irish citizen. My son also has Stamp 4 based on being the dependent of his mother. He has been living in Ireland for 8 years. What fees would he need to pay for university in Ireland? Is he also eligible to apply for the student grant?

He should have to pay EU fees. If he becomes an Irish citizen before he begins his course at university then he would be eligible for ‘free fees’. He is eligible based on his immigration status to apply for the student grant because he has Stamp 4 based on being the dependent of an Irish citizen. For further information go to www.studentfinance.ie

27. I have Stamp 3 based on my spouse. Can I study in Ireland?

Yes, as long as the course does not involve a paid work placement, you can finance this yourself and you do not get any State supports.

28. I would like to come to Ireland to study. What are my study options?

Since January 2011 students are limited to studying in Ireland for a maximum of 7 years. Three years can be spent studying English or courses at Level 5 o 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

After this you must move up to Level 7 or higher. You can study at this level for a total of 4 years. When you have completed 7 years of study you will be expected to leave the country because you will have completed your studies or you can transfer into the Graduate Scheme.

The Graduate Scheme is for students who get a qualification at Level 7 or higher on the National Framework of Qualifications. If you qualify at Level 7 you can get the Graduate Scheme for 6 months. If you qualify at Level 8 you can get the Graduate Scheme for 12 months.

29. I am a student in Ireland. Can I be self-employed?

No. Students are only entitled to work 20 hours during the term time as an employee and 40 hours during the holidays.

30. I am a student visa holder. Can I bring my child to Ireland?

No. It is the general policy of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service not to grant permission for family members of students to join them in Ireland.

31. My immigration status in Ireland is based on my spouse. We have separated. What can I do to renew my permission to remain in Ireland?

You will need to inform the local Immigration Officer if you are separated or divorced from your spouse.
Whether you can renew your status or not will depend on what type of immigration status you have. It may be possible to renew your immigration status independently.
Contact Crosscare Migrant Project for further information.

32. My immigration status in Ireland is based on my spouse. My spouse is violent towards me. What can I do?

You can contact a support organisation for people in violent or abusive relationships. If you are a woman you can contact your local women’s domestic service – for a full list of women’s domestic violence support organisations see: www.safeireland.ie. If you are a man you can contact Amen: www.amen.ie.
A domestic violence support organisation will provide you with practical and emotional support, information and advocacy.
You can report any physical or sexual attacks by your spouse to the Gardaí (police) and/or seek a civil protection order from the courts. A domestic violence support organisation can also give you information on this.
If you have been physically hurt you should go to a doctor or hospital to ensure your injuries are treated and documented.
You will need to inform the local Immigration Officer of the situation.
Contact Crosscare Migrant Project for further information.

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.