USA and the UK
- What is the Ireland Marriage Visa?
- Who is eligible for the Marriage Visa to Ireland?
- What is the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa?
- Who is eligible for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa?
- How to apply for a Long-Stay Irish Spouse Visa in Ireland
- What are the required documents for an Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa?
- What are the waiting times and the validity of Irish Spouse Visas?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Ireland Marriage Visa?
The Marriage Visa to Ireland is a Short Stay ‘C’ Visa intended for non-EEA citizens who are in a relationship with Irish citizens or permanent residents and who wish to come to Ireland to marry their partner or enter into civil partnerships with them.
Citizens of EU/EEA countries, as well as citizens of Switzerland, can come to Ireland to get married without having to obtain an Irish visa. If you are a citizen of a non-EEA country, however, you must have a visa when arriving in Ireland. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to enter the country.
Before you start the visa application process for the Marriage Visa, you have to inform the Registrar of Civil Marriages in Ireland about your intention to get married in Ireland. To be able to proceed with the application, the Registrar needs to issue an acknowledgment indicating the date you officially notified them about your plans.
Who is eligible for the Marriage Visa to Ireland?
To be able to obtain the Marriage Visa to Ireland, you have to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You have a passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months past your planned stay in Ireland
- You are in a genuine and ongoing relationship with an Irish national or a person who is legally resident in Ireland
- You plan to travel to Ireland to get married or enter into a civil partnership
- You have enough money to cover your expenses in Ireland
- You can prove that your relationship is pre-existing
- You are able to provide details of your accommodation in Ireland
- You commit to obey the conditions of your visa and not become a burden on the State.
As part of the application process, you have to submit documents confirming that you meet these requirements. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for the Marriage Visa, talk to our lawyers. They will assess your circumstances and determine whether you qualify to apply for the Ireland Marriage Visa.
What is the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa?
The Spouse/Civil Partner Visa allows those already married to an Irish citizen or a person lawfully resident in Ireland to come to Ireland to join their partner. This visa belongs to the Join Family Visa category and is a Long Stay ‘D’ Visa, which means that its holders can spend more than 3 months in Ireland.
If you are married to an Irish national or an Irish permanent resident, they might be able to sponsor you to come to Ireland through the Family Reunification scheme. To do that, they have to agree to become your sponsor and take responsibility for you while you are in Ireland with them.
For your spouse/civil partner to be able to become your sponsor, one of the following categories of individuals living in Ireland has to apply to their situation:
- They are an Irish citizen living in Ireland
- They are a person lawfully residing in Ireland with an employment permit
- They are a person lawfully residing in Ireland with Stamp 4 immigration permission
- They are a person lawfully residing in Ireland with Stamp 5 immigration permission
- They are a Researcher who came to Ireland under a Hosting Agreement
- They are a Ph.D. student studying at an accredited Irish institution
- They are a Minister of Religion living in Ireland with Stamp 3 immigration permission.
Who is eligible for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa?
The exact requirements for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa vary depending on the individual circumstances of each applicant. Nevertheless, the general requirements everyone who wants to obtain the visa has to meet include:
- They and their partner are committed to staying in a relationship and living together permanently
- They and their partner are at least 18 years old
- They can prove that their relationship is genuine and pre-existing
- They have a marriage/civil partnership certificate recognized under Irish law
- Their relationship included a number of in-person meetings.
Keep in mind that you are not eligible for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa if your relationship developed solely over the internet or phone.
If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you do not have to meet any specific requirements to be able to travel to Ireland to join your partner.
How to apply for a Long-Stay Irish Spouse Visa in Ireland
If you are a visa-required national who entered Ireland to get married or enter into a civil partnership with your partner, you will need to apply for an additional Long-Stay visa to stay in Ireland. Applications for a Long-Stay visa must be made within the 90-day validity of your Marriage Visa.
Foreign nationals will need to visit the nearest Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration Office to apply for a Long-Stay Visa. When applying, visa-required nationals will need to submit the following supporting documentation:
- The applicant’s original passport
- The couple’s marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Any documents which show the joint address of the couple
- The passport of the Irish citizen or Irish legal resident
Furthermore, the couple will need to submit financial documents that prove the Irish citizen/legal resident can financially support their spouse/civil partner and any additional accompanying family members without heavily relying on benefits from the State.
All Irish sponsors will need to have earned at least a cumulative gross income of €40,000 in the past 3 years in order to be considered.
What are the required documents for an Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa?
Spouses and civil partners who would like to apply for an Irish Spouse/Civil partner will need to submit the following documents:
- A completed visa application form
- A marriage or civil partnership certificate
- The foreign national’s passport and birth certificate
- The passport and birth certificate of the Irish citizen/legal resident
- Divorce papers from former marriages (if applicable)
- Bank statements from both partners (these must be dated from the 6-month period prior to application)
- Financial documents that prove the Irish sponsor meets the financial support requirements for an Irish Spouse/Partner Visa
- Receipt of visa fee
- Proof that the foreign spouse/civil partner has private medical insurance
- Any evidence showing joint accommodation (rental agreements, mortgage payments, property deeds, etc.)
- Any supporting documentation addressed to both applicants at their address (utility bills, TV license, letters from their child’s school, etc)
All documents submitted will need to be in their original form along with photocopies. The photocopies will be retained on file and the original documents will be returned to the application after processing.
What are the waiting times and the validity of Irish Spouse Visas?
Suppose you are applying for a Marriage Visa to come to Ireland to marry your partner or enter into a civil partnership with them. In that case, you will have to wait around 8 weeks to hear the decision regarding your application. Nevertheless, processing times vary depending on the workload of the immigration office and the complexity of your case.
If your application for the Marriage Visa is approved, you will be able to spend up to 3 months in Ireland. After this period, you will have to return to your home country. It is not possible to extend the Marriage Visa because it is a Short Stay ‘C’ Visa.
The processing of applications for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa takes longer as it is a Long Stay ‘D’ Visa. According to the Irish Department of Justice, applications take at least 6 months to be processed. Applications are reviewed in chronological order so how long you will have to wait depends on how many people are applying at the same time as you.
Those who successfully obtain their Spouse/Civil Partner Visa can come to Ireland to live with their partner and spend more than 3 months there.
How can IAS help?
Applying for Irish Spouse Visas can be a complicated process if you are going through it on your own. If you hire one of our immigration lawyers, they can help you determine which visa you should apply for and can help you submit your application.
At IAS, we have a team of experienced lawyers who are committed to helping international couples avoid separation. They can help you ensure that your case is as strong as possible and that you submitted all the documents needed to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements for your chosen visa.
By hiring an immigration lawyer you can maximize the chances of your visa application having a positive outcome.
Get in touch today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how we can help.
Last modified on October 12th, 2022 at 5:32 am
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Those who successfully obtain the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa and receive permission to come to Ireland to join their partner who is an Irish citizen receive Stamp 4, allowing them to work in Ireland without having to obtain an employment permit. That means that if you hold the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa, you have the right to work in Ireland
However, if you come to Ireland on a Marriage Visa to marry your loved one, you will not be able to work. The purpose of your visit to Ireland has to be to get married or enter into a civil partnership with your partner. Moreover, your stay cannot exceed 3 months.
Once an immigration officer reviews your application and documents, they will notify you about the decision regarding your application. If you are successful, you will receive a letter explaining what your next steps should be.
If your visa application is rejected, you will be issued a refusal letter outlining the reasons for the negative decision. The letter will also indicate whether you can appeal. It is not uncommon for visa applications to be approved after appealing the initial decision but you should consult an immigration lawyer before starting the process.
If you came to Ireland on the Spouse Visa to join your spouse or civil partner but your circumstances changed and you two separated, you have to notify the local Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration Officer. You need to do it within 7 days of the separation and provide them with details surrounding the separation.
Based on this information, they will determine whether you can remain in Ireland. Generally, to be able to keep your immigration status in Ireland you have to have been married or in a civil partnership with the person for at least 3 years before the separation.
Immediate family members such as spouses, partners, and children under 18 years of age (including adopted and step-children) can join a family member in Ireland under a Family Reunification Visa (Join Family Visa).