USA and the UK
- What are EU Treaty Rights?
- What does exercising EU Treaty Rights mean?
- Can I bring my family to Ireland through EU Treaty Rights?
- Who are qualifying family members of EEA nationals?
- Who are permitted family members of EEA nationals?
- Do EU Treaty Rights cover non-EEA family members?
- How can my family member apply for residency permission in Ireland?
- How can my de facto partner apply for residency in Ireland through EU Treaty Rights?
- How much does the Irish Residence Permit cost?
- Do I need a job offer to move to Ireland under EU Treaty Rights?
- What is the processing time of applications for residence cards?
- Can my family member remain in Ireland while their application is being processed?
- What can I do if my EU Treaty Rights application is rejected?
- Can EU/EEA nationals be denied entry to Ireland?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are EU Treaty Rights?
EU Treaty Rights are rights afforded to citizens of EU/EEA countries and citizens of Switzerland. EU Treaty Rights allow them to travel freely within territories of countries that belong to the EU/EEA. Thanks to these rights, citizens of eligible countries can also move to an EU/EEA country without having to meet any specific requirements and they have the right to bring their family members with them.
Ireland is a member state of the EU, which means that citizens of other EU/EEA countries are allowed to move to Ireland without having to obtain a visa. The only requirement they need to meet is having a valid national identity card or passport that proves their EU/EEA/Swiss citizenship.
Generally, citizens of EU/EEA countries have the right to remain in Ireland for up to 90 days visa-free. Nevertheless, EU/EEA nationals who decide to exercise their treaty rights in Ireland are permitted to stay in the country for longer than 3 months.
What does exercising EU Treaty Rights mean?
Even though citizens of EU/EEA countries have the right to move freely between EU/EEA member states, they do not have the automatic right to stay there forever unconditionally. Visa-free travel, which includes going to another country to work or study, is initially permitted for up to 3 months. After this period, however, individuals who want to stay longer can exercise their EU Treaty Rights.
Exercising your EU Treaty Rights means that, after the first 3 months, you have the right to remain in an EU/EEA country, such as Ireland, as long as you can prove that you engage in one of the following activities there:
- You work full-time or part-time
- You study at an academic institution
- You work on a self-employed basis
- You are enrolled in a vocational training
- You have enough funds to cover your expenses and support your family if they come with you.
Your passport from an EU/EEA country serves as evidence that you hold EU Treaty Rights. Generally, there is no limit as to how long you can stay in the country if you decide to exercise your EU Treaty Rights there. As an EU/EEA national, you do not have to present yourself to immigration officials upon arrival and you do not need to obtain a residence card to stay in the country.
Can I bring my family to Ireland through EU Treaty Rights?
In addition to being able to move to any EU/EEA country, citizens of EU/EEA countries can bring their families with them. That means that if you are an EU/EEA citizen, your family members might be able to come to Ireland to join you even if they are not EU/EEA nationals themselves.
They need to apply for a residence card as a family member of an EEA nationals to have a right to reside there, however. If their application is approved, they will receive permission to live in Ireland for up to 5 years. During this period they will have the right to work, study, and do business in Ireland.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to use a residence card issued in another EU/EEA country to get the right to reside in Ireland. Family members joining their EU/EEA relatives living in Ireland need to obtain a residence card issued by Irish authorities.
To be able to apply for a residence card as a family member of an EU/EEA national, your relative has to be either a qualifying family member of an EEA national or a permitted family member of an EEA national.
Who are qualifying family members of EEA nationals?
To be considered a qualifying family member of an EU/EEA national residing in Ireland, one of the following has to describe your loved one’s relationship to you:
- They are your spouse or civil partner
- They are a direct descendant of you or your spouse or civil partner (child or grandchild up to 21 years of age)
- They are a dependent direct descendant of you or your spouse or civil partner (child or grandchild)
- They are your parent or grandparent.
For them to be able to apply for a residence card as a qualifying family member, you, as the EEA national, have to be exercising your EU Treaty Rights in Ireland and you have to be employed, self-employed, studying at an Irish institution or be living in Ireland with enough money to support yourself and your family.
If your loved one meets the requirements to apply for a residence card as a qualifying family member, they should complete Form EUTR1. While their application is being processed, they might be granted temporary immigration permission to remain in the country.
Who are permitted family members of EEA nationals?
To be considered a permitted family member of an EEA national, your loved one has to be:
- Your de-facto partner
- Your dependent or family member who requires long-term personal care because of illness or disability
- A member of the household in your country of origin.
For your permitted family member to be able to apply for a residence card, you have to be exercising your EU Treaty Rights in Ireland and you have to be employed, self-employed, or be living in Ireland with enough funds to support yourself and your family.
To apply for a residence card, permitted family members have to complete Form EUTR1A.
Do EU Treaty Rights cover non-EEA family members?
If you are an EU/EEA national, your non-EEA family members have the right to apply for residency in Ireland through EU Treaty Rights. After they come to Ireland, however, they have to obtain a residence card. To apply for it, they have to complete Form EUTR1 or Form EUTR1A, depending on whether they are your qualifying or permitted family member.
In addition to that, if they are coming from a visa-required country, they need to apply for an entry visa to Ireland. If they arrive in Ireland without a valid visa, they will be refused entry. Get in touch with our lawyers and they will explain to you in detail which Irish visa your family member should apply for.
As part of the application process for the Irish residence card, your family member has to submit extensive evidence confirming their relationship to you. Moreover, you, as a EU/EEA national, have to submit documents that prove that you are exercising your free movement rights in Ireland and that you are living there.
After your non-EEA family member joins you in Ireland, they will have to register with immigration to receive permission to stay in the country for longer than 3 months. When they successfully register, they will receive a certificate confirming that they obtained their Irish Residence Permit.
How can my family member apply for residency permission in Ireland?
After your family member comes to Ireland to join you through EU Treaty Rights, they will have 90 days from their arrival to register at an immigration office. Make sure to check their landing stamp that they received at the border, however, as sometimes the period for them to do the registration might be shorter. If so, the landing stamp will indicate how much time they have to register. Unfortunately, it is not possible for them to register before they arrive in the country.
If your family member’s registration is successful, they will receive permission to reside in the country and they will be issued an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) that proves their right to live in Ireland. The Irish Residence Permit has the form of a plastic card the size of a credit card. After they complete the registration, their IRP will be sent to them by post. They have to carry it with them at all time.
The fee for obtaining the Irish Residence Permit is €300.
If you and your family member will be living in Dublin, they can register at Burgh Quay Registration Office. In other parts of Ireland, they have to make an appointment at a local immigration registration office or at the local Garda District Headquarters. Typically they can book their appointment online. Another way to schedule an appointment is to call or email the local registration office.
How can my de facto partner apply for residency in Ireland through EU Treaty Rights?
De facto partners of EU/EEA nationals qualify as permitted family members and so they can apply for residency in Ireland through EU Treaty Rights. To apply for it, they have to complete and submit Form EU1A. To be able to do it, however, both them and you have to meet a number of eligibility requirements. These include:
- You have been in a relationship for at least two years
- You have been living together for at least two years
- You intend to stay together after your partner comes to Ireland
- You intend to live together as a couple permanently
- You and your partner are not related by blood
- You and your partner are in a genuine and pre-existing relationship
- Any previous marriages or civil partnerships that you or your partner were involved in have been terminated.
As part of the application process for your de facto partner to join you in Ireland, they have to submit documents that prove that your relationship is genuine. If you hire one of our lawyers, they can determine whether you and your partner meet the eligibility requirements and, if so, they can help you gather evidence necessary to prove it.
How much does the Irish Residence Permit cost?
If your family member wants to join you in Ireland through EU Treaty Rights and apply for residency permission, they need to pay a fee of €300 to cover the cost of getting the Irish Residence Permit.
The fee can be waived if one of the following applies to their situation:
- They are living in Ireland with refugee status
- They have subsidiary protection status in Ireland They have been granted leave to remain under Section 49 of the International Protection Act 2015
- They are younger than 18 years of age
- They are married to an Irish citizen
- They are a family member of an EU citizen.
Do I need a job offer to move to Ireland under EU Treaty Rights?
If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you have the right to move to Ireland to live and work there freely thanks to EU Treaty Rights. That means that you do not have to hold a job offer to be able to move to Ireland. You can arrive first and look for employment once you are in Ireland. As an EU/EEA citizen you can work in Ireland without any restrictions and you do not need an employment permit or a visa to do it.
Moreover, if you receive unemployment benefits in your home country, you might be able to transfer them and receive payments in Ireland for up to 3, or sometimes even 6, months. On top of that, you might be entitled to Jobseeker Allowance in Ireland if you meet the eligibility requirements. If you are not sure what criteria you have to meet and whether you qualify, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will assess your circumstances and will help you find answers to all your questions.
What is the processing time of applications for residence cards?
The waiting time for decisions regarding residence card applications can vary depending on complexity of each case. The EU Treaty Rights Division receives many applications so it can take up to 6 months for a decision on your residence card to be made. Once the division reviews your application and all the documents you provided, they will send you a letter by post.
Applications are processed in chronological order from the date they are received. It is not possible to prioritise a specific case.
While your application is being processed, you can send an email to the EU Treaty Rights Division to ask for an update. In your email you have to include your Application ID number and your Person ID number. Alternatively, if you have not yet received these numbers, you have to provide personal details such as your name, address, and date of birth. You also have to give the name of your EEA family member living in Ireland and the date you submitted your residence card application.
Can my family member remain in Ireland while their application is being processed?
If the person you are bringing to Ireland through EU Treaty Rights is a qualifying family member and they have submitted the required documents, they might receive temporary permission to reside in Ireland. If that is the case, they will receive an immigration stamp in their passport indicating that they have the right to be in Ireland while their application is being processed.
Permitted family members might also receive temporary permission if their application to be treated as a permitted family member has been assessed by the Minister who confirmed that they qualify for this category. If they receive temporary permission, it will be valid while their residence card application is being processed. Nevertheless, if they fail to provide sufficient documents with their application, they might not receive the permission.
When your family member is in Ireland with temporary permission while their application is under consideration, they can travel overseas as long as these are brief absences. Short trips will not have an effect on their application. If your family member needs to go on an extended period of travel, however, they should inform EU Treaty Rights Division about the duration and the purpose of the trip. If the division believes that the journey can have an impact on their application, they will let them know.
What can I do if my EU Treaty Rights application is rejected?
If your EU Treaty Rights application is rejected, you can apply for review of the decision to reject your application. To do it, you have to complete Form EU4 and submit it within 15 working days of receiving the letter stating that your application has been unsuccessful.
In addition to the form, you can include new or updated documents that might make your case stronger. Nevertheless, you do not have to submit the documents that you previously provided again.
To maximise the chances of your application having a positive outcome, you should hire an immigration lawyer. They can help you make sure that your case is as strong as possible right from the start. They can also help you gather all the documents that are necessary to prove that you meet all the requirements.
Your immigration lawyer can also come up with a solution if you received a visa refusal letter. Make sure you consult them before you submit the request to have the decision reviewed.
Can EU/EEA nationals be denied entry to Ireland?
EU Treaty Rights grant EU/EEA citizens the right to travel freely between EU/EEA member states, without having to obtain visas or meet any entry requirements. EU Treaty Rights are afforded to all EU/EEA citizens regardless of which member country they are from.
If you are an EU/EEA national and you travel to Ireland, it is unlikely that you will be denied entry. This could only happen in exceptional circumstances such as:
- You have been found to be carrying a contagious disease that could pose a threat to Irish society
- You have been found a threat to national security based on your past convictions
- You are not in possession of a valid passport or national id card that proves your EU/EEA nationality.
An immigration officer should inform you about the reason for the entry refusal in writing. If you got denied entry to Ireland, call our lawyers. They can explain to you what your options are and can help you make a decision regarding what to do next.
How IAS Can Help
At IAS, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who can assist in explaining to you how EU Treaty Rights work and how you can exercise them in Ireland. Our lawyers are committed to providing clients with expert support and helping them make the process of moving to Ireland as straightforward as possible.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they can guide you through the process of bringing your family to Ireland through EU Treaty Rights. And, if your family member is a non-EEA citizen, your immigration lawyer can tell you which Irish Visa they need to obtain to be able to join you in Ireland. Thanks to their help, you will be able to avoid long separation from your loved ones.
We take pride in offering the highest quality services and we can give you professional advice across a variety of areas of the Irish immigration system, including EU Treaty Rights.
If you have any questions regarding exercising your EU Treaty Rights in Ireland or bringing your family members to Ireland, our lawyers can answer them.
Get in touch today by calling +1 844 290 6312 and find out more about how we can help.
If your family member is eligible to apply to come join you in Ireland as a qualifying family member, they have to complete Form EUTR1. Permitted family members, on the other hand, must submit Form EUTR1A. In addition to these forms, they have to provide a valid passport and documents that prove their relationship with the EEA national exercising their EU Treaty Rights in Ireland.
If you want to bring your non-EEA child to Ireland through EU Treaty Rights and you want them to stay in the country for more than 3 months, you have to fill the application form on their behalf. Your child is considered to be a qualifying family member so you have to complete and submit Form EUTR1. As part of the application, you also have to provide their birth certificate. After your non-EEA child has been living in Ireland for 5 years, you can apply for Irish permanent residence for them.
By deciding to exercise your EU Treaty Rights in Ireland, you gain the right to remain in the country for more than the initial visa-free 3 months. However, to be able to do so, you have to prove that after the first 3 months of you living in Ireland you:
- Are employed or self-employed
- You are enrolled in an educational or vocational programme
- You have enough money to be self-sufficient.
If you qualify, you can keep residing in Ireland and stay there long-term without having to obtain a visa.
EU Treaty rights are rights afforded to citizens of countries that belong to the European Union, or the European Economic Area, as well as to citizens of Switzerland. They allow individuals to visit or move to other EU/EEA countries freely. Moreover, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens have the right to bring their family members to the country where they are residing through EU Treaty Rights.
If you are not sure how you can exercise your EU Treaty Rights in Ireland, or any other EU/EEA member state, talk to our lawyers. They will explain the whole process to you in detail and will answer all your questions.