USA and the UK
- What is the Civil Partner Visa?
- What are the eligibility requirements?
- What are the requirements for my partner to sponsor me?
- My civil partner is an Irish citizen. How can I join them in Ireland?
- My civil partner is an EU citizen living in Ireland. How can I join them?
- My civil partner is a non-EEA citizen residing in Ireland. How can I join them?
- What are the required documents for a Civil Partner Visa?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Civil Partner Visa?
The Civil Partner Visa is intended for non-EEA citizens from a visa-required country who are in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen or individuals who are lawfully resident in Ireland. This visa belongs to the category of Join Family Visas to Ireland and falls under Ireland’s Family Reunification scheme.
For you to be able to apply for the Civil Partner Visa, your partner has to agree to become your sponsor and take responsibility for you during your stay in Ireland. If your application is successful, you will be able to spend more than 3 months in Ireland.
Keep in mind that if you are from an EU/EEA country, you can come to Ireland without a visa.
Our lawyers can help you determine whether you are eligible to apply for the Spouse/Civil Partner Visa. If so, they will assist you with the immigration process and help you complete your application to the highest standard before submitting it.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for the Civil Partner Visa, you have to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Both civil partners are at least 18 years old
- You and your civil partner intend to live together long term after you join them in Ireland
- You can prove that your relationship is genuine and pre-existing
- Your civil partnership certificate is recognized under Irish law
- You and your partner have accommodation adequate for a couple
- You and your partner have enough funds to cover all your expenses after you join them in Ireland.
Keep in mind that if your relationship developed solely over the Internet or phone, you do not qualify for the Civil Partnership Visa. You and your civil partner have to have met in real life for you to be able to apply.
Depending on your individual circumstances, there might also be additional requirements you have to meet. Hence, it is advisable to consult an immigration lawyer before applying.
What are the requirements for my partner to sponsor me?
For your spouse or civil partner to be able to become your sponsor, one of the following has to describe their immigration status in Ireland:
- An Irish citizen permanently living in Ireland
- A foreign national who is lawfully residing in Ireland with an Employment Permit
- A foreign national who is living in Ireland on Stamp 4
- A foreign national who is residing in Ireland on Stamp 5, which means their residence in the country has no time limits
- A researcher who is in Ireland under a Hosting Agreement
- A Ph.D. student studying at an accredited academic institution in Ireland
- A Minister of Religion who is living in Ireland on Stamp 3.
If your spouse or civil partner does not fall under one of these categories, unfortunately, they are not eligible to sponsor you to join them in Ireland. If you hire one of our lawyers, they can analyze your partner’s immigration status and Ireland and tell you whether they can become your sponsor.
My civil partner is an Irish citizen. How can I join them in Ireland?
A civil partnership or marriage with an Irish citizen does not automatically grant you the right to move to Ireland. If you are a non-EEA spouse or civil partnership, you have to obtain a visa to join your partner.
For you to be able to obtain the Civil Partner Visa, your sponsor must not have relied on state benefits for a continuous period of 2 years immediately prior to you submitting your application. Moreover, over 3 years preceding your application they have to have earned at least €40,000.
If your application is successful, you will have the right to travel to Ireland. Then, after you get permission to enter the country, you have to register at an immigration office to be granted the right to stay in Ireland for more than 3 months. To register, you have to go to your local Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration and you need to show them your civil partnership certificate, your valid passport, your partner’s valid passport, and evidence of a joint address.
My civil partner is an EU citizen living in Ireland. How can I join them?
EU nationals have the right to move to any EU member state thanks to EU Treaty Rights. They can come to Ireland to work or study without having to apply for a visa.
If your civil partner exercises their EU Treaty Rights in Ireland, they have to apply for a Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen. To apply to bring a civil partner to Ireland, they have to apply for the residence card for a qualifying family member of a European Union citizen.
The processing of applications takes up to 12 months. You might temporarily be granted permission to reside in Ireland until a decision regarding your application is made. If you receive the permission and you want to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days, you have to register to extend it.
My civil partner is a non-EEA citizen residing in Ireland. How can I join them?
If just like you or your partner is a non-EEA citizen but are now residing in Ireland, you can only apply to join them if they are in Ireland as one of the following:
- A holder of the Critical Skills Employment Permit
- An Investor or Entrepreneur
- A holder of a Business Permission
- A Researcher under a Hosting Agreement
- A student enrolled in an INIS approved scholarship programme
- A Ph.D. student
- A full-time non-locum doctor.
Alternatively, your civil partner may sponsor your application to join them through family reunification after 12 months if they are a non Critical Skills Employment Permit holder if they are in Ireland with Stamp 4, or if they are a Minister of religion.
If none of these categories applies to your partner’s situation, unfortunately, they will not be able to sponsor you to come to Ireland.
What are the required documents for a Civil Partner Visa?
In addition to the application form, you will need to submit a variety of documents in order to apply for a Civil Partner Visa. Some of these documents may include the following:
- Completed and signed application summary form
- Two-color passport-sized photographs (no more than 6 months old)
- A valid passport and copies of any previous passports
- A signed letter stating your reason for coming to Ireland, details of your spouse/civil partner in Ireland who is sponsoring your application, and details of any other family members residing in Ireland
- Any evidence detailing the sponsor’s immigration status in Ireland (i.e. whether they are an Irish citizen, EU or non-EEA national residing in Ireland) and their eligibility to sponsor (your sponsor will be your spouse/civil partner)
- Any evidence of your relationship history with your spouse or civil partner
- Evidence that demonstrates that both you and your civil partner have the necessary sufficient funds to finance your stay in Ireland
- Any evidence you may have of your financial and social dependency on your spouse/civil partner (if applicable)
- Any document demonstrating that you have acquired private Medical or travel insurance
How can IAS help?
Applying for Family Reunification in Ireland can be a complex process. There are many requirements that you and your partner have to meet and numerous supporting documents that will need to be submitted along with enough evidence to prove to an immigration officer that your relationship is genuine.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they will help you navigate through the visa application process, making it easy and stress-free. At IAS, we have a team of highly qualified immigration experts who have years of experience helping people apply for Join Family visas. We are committed to helping people avoid being separated from their loved ones.
By hiring an immigration lawyer, you can maximize the chances of your application being approved.
Call us today at +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how we can help.
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If you meet all the requirements and you provide documents that prove your eligibility for the visa, you should not have problems obtaining the Civil Partner Visa. Nevertheless, if you fail to provide extensive evidence confirming that your relationship is genuine, your application might be rejected.
Generally, the processing time of applications for the Civil Partner Visa takes at least 6 months. Nevertheless, the processing time of applications varies as each case is different. If your situation is complex, the waiting time can be longer. Similarly, if you fail to submit some of the required documents, the processing of your application might be delayed.
If your civil partner residing in Ireland is an EU citizen, the waiting time can take up to 12 months. While waiting to receive the decision you might be issued temporary permission to reside in Ireland, however.
If your situation changes after you arrive in Ireland and your partner and you decide to separate, you have to notify your local Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration Officer within 7 days of the change.
You also have to inform the Spouse of Irish National Unit in writing about the change in your circumstances at least 3 months prior to the expiration of your visa. In this letter, you will need to provide details surrounding the separation. The Immigration Service Delivery will analyze your situation and determine whether you can stay in Ireland.
In general, you may stay in Ireland after a divorce or separation if you have been married or in a civil partnership for at least 3 years (with 2 years of residence in Ireland) before the dissolution of the relationship.
If you receive temporary permission to reside in Ireland while your application is being processed, you will have the right to join your partner and wait for the decision in Ireland. Nevertheless, you will not be allowed to enter employment.