USA and the UK
What is the Join Family Long Stay Visa?
The Join Family Long Stay Visa allows non-EEA citizens to join their spouse, civil partner, or another family member in Ireland and remain in the country longer than 3 months. To be able to apply for this visa, your family member in Ireland has to be an Irish citizen or be lawfully living there.
Your family member in Ireland has to agree to sponsor you to come to Ireland. To be able to sponsor you, one of the following has to describe their immigration status in Ireland:
- They are an Irish citizen
- They are a citizen of an EU/EEA country exercising their EU Treaty Rights in Ireland
- They are a non-EEA citizen living in Ireland on an employment permit
- They are a non-EEA citizen living in Ireland on Stamp 4 or Stamp 5
- They are a Ph.D. student enrolled in an accredited program in Ireland
- They are a researcher who came to Ireland under a Hosting Agreement
Unfortunately, it is not possible to apply for the Join Family Long Stay Visa without a sponsor.
If your application for the visa is successful, you will be able to stay in Ireland for longer than 3 months.
What are the different routes to apply for the Join Family Visa?
There are several routes that you can venture down when applying for the Join Family Long Stay Visa depending on your relationship with the family member living in Ireland. You can apply as:
- De Facto Partner
- Civil Partner
- Adult Dependent
- Child Dependent
- Dependent of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder
Each of these routes comes with different requirements and a different set of documents that you need to provide. For this reason, it is recommended you seek advice from an immigration lawyer before submitting your application.
Irish citizens do not have an automatic right to bring their non-EU family members to Ireland so, to be able to join your loved one living in Ireland, you need to go through the visa application process and obtain immigration permission to be able to stay in the country with them.
What are the eligibility requirements?
The exact requirements you have to meet to qualify for the Join Family Long Stay Visa depend on which route you decide to venture down. Nevertheless, the key requirements that all applicants have to meet include:
- You can prove that your relationship with the person living in Ireland is genuine
- You can prove that your relationship with the person living in Ireland is pre-existing
- You have a valid passport
- You can provide evidence confirming that your family member is living in Ireland legally
- You can demonstrate that your family member has enough money to support you financially after you join them in Ireland
- You can provide information about any other family members living in Ireland or other EU member states.
If you are applying as a dependent of the person living in Ireland, you also have to be able to prove that you are dependent on them.
As part of the application process for the Join Family Visa, you have to submit documents confirming that you meet the requirements.
What is the application process for the Join Family Long Stay Visa?
To apply for the Join Family Long Stay Visa, you have to complete an online application form online through the AVATS system that can be found on the Irish Immigration Service Delivery Department website. This form will require you to provide personal details of you and your family member in Ireland and explain why you want to come to Ireland. You also have to indicate which route you want to use to apply for your visa.
After you submit the form, you will see a web page with your application summary sheet. Make sure to print it as you will need to include it in your portfolio of evidence. By checking the application summary sheet you can also find out where to send your documents for processing.
The next step after completing the form is to start gathering documents that prove your eligibility for the visa. Talk to our lawyers and they can explain to you in detail what evidence you have to submit.
Once you have all the documents ready, you have to pay the visa application fee. You can make the payment online and you have to keep the receipt and include it in your documents file.
What supporting documents are required?
To prove that you qualify for the Join Family Long Stay Visa, you have to submit a number of documents. These include:
- Signed and dated application summary sheet
- A valid passport or another valid travel document
- Receipt for the visa application fee
- Two passport-size photographs in color
- The application letter detailing the reason for your trip to Ireland is
- Proof that your family relationship with the sponsor in Ireland is genuine and pre-existing (a marriage or civil partnership certificate, birth certificate, adoption certificate, etc)
- Bank details of you and your family member in Ireland
- Details of your accommodation in Ireland.
Only original documents will be accepted. If you submit photocopies, they will be rejected and the processing of your application might be delayed. Moreover, all the documents that were issued in a language other than English or Irish have to be translated by an official translator.
How can IAS help?
Applying for the Join Family Long Stay Visa to Ireland can be complex as there are many different routes applicants can venture down and each of them comes with different criteria that need to be met.
At IAS, our lawyers have expert knowledge of Irish immigration law so they assess your circumstances and explain to you in detail what requirements apply to you. They can also help you prepare documents that confirm your eligibility for the Join Family Member Visa.
Thanks to the help of our expert immigration lawyers, you can be sure that your case is as strong as possible and that there are no mistakes in your application.
Our lawyers are committed to helping clients avoid separation from their loved ones and they can help you make the application process stress-free.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how we can help.
Last modified on October 14th, 2022 at 4:26 am
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Regardless of what your relationship with the family in Ireland is, the fee for applying for the Join Family Visa is €60 for a single entry permit and €100 for a multiple entry visa. You have to pay the visa fee online and include the receipt in your portfolio of evidence. The fee is non-refundable even if your application is rejected or withdrawn.
How long you will have to wait to hear the decision regarding your Join Family Visa application depends on the immigration status of your family member in Ireland. If they are an Irish citizen, your application should be processed within 6 months. If they are a non-EU/EEA citizen lawfully residing in Ireland, you will have to wait for up to 12 months.
Keep in mind, however, that applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis so, if your circumstances are complex, you might have to wait longer. Also, applications are processed in chronological order so if a lot of people are applying at the same time as you, the processing time can take longer.
If you came to Ireland on the Join Family Long Stay Visa to join your spouse or civil partner but your relationship ended after you arrived, you have to notify the Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration Office about it within one week. You need to explain the circumstances surrounding the breakup and ask for permission to remain in Ireland.
Irish immigration authorities will analyze the situation and decide whether you can stay in the country. If you are working in Ireland, it is more likely that you will be granted the right to remain there.
Having a sponsor in Ireland is an important eligibility requirement for the Join Family Visa. Unfortunately, if you do not have a sponsor in Ireland, you cannot apply for the Join Family Visa. Individuals who can sponsor you to come to Ireland are:
- Irish citizens
- Citizens of EU/EEA countries who now live in Ireland
- Non-EEA citizens who obtained an employment permit and legally live in Ireland
- Non-EEA citizens who are in Ireland on Stamp 4 or Stamp 5
- Ph.D. students studying at an Irish accredited program
- Researchers who are in Ireland under a Hosting Agreement