Join Family Visa
If you want to join a family member who is living in Ireland – and you want to stay for more than three months – you’ll need a long stay (Join Family) visa. This applies to non-UK, non-EEA and non-Swiss nationals.
We specialise in Irish immigration law and can help you get a Join Family visa. Contact our solicitors today to start the application process.
Can I join my family member in Ireland?
The rules around family reunification in Ireland are complicated. The type of immigration permission you need depends on where you (the applicant) are from, and where your family member (the sponsor) is from.
If you are a citizen of the UK, Switzerland or an EEA member state, then you do not need a visa to live, work or study in Ireland. If your family member is living in Ireland, you can join them as and when you want.
If you are not a citizen of the UK, Switzerland or an EEA member state, then you need immigration permission to join your family member in Ireland. If you’re from a visa required country, then you need to get a Join Family visa. Specifically, if your family member in Ireland is:
- An Irish citizen, then you’ll need to a long stay Join Family visa
- A citizen of Switzerland or an EEA member state (non-Irish), then you may be able to move to Ireland under EU Treaty Rights
- A non-EEA or non-Swiss citizen, then you’ll need to a long stay Join Family visa
- A UK citizen, then you’ll need a preclearance approval letter or a long stay ‘D’ Join Family UK National Visa
- A person with protected status in Ireland, then family reunification can be requested through the Department of Justice
How to get a long stay Join Family visa Ireland
To get a long stay Join Family visa, the applicant must be sponsored by someone who is legally resident in Ireland. This must be a qualifying family member, such as a:
The sponsor must have earned a certain amount of money prior to the application. The exact income requirement depends on the sponsor’s status in Ireland and the nature of their relationship with the applicant.
If the sponsor has an employment permit (other than a Critical Skills Employment Permit), a Stamp 4 or is a Minister of Religion, then family reunification can only take place after 12 months.
If your child is an Irish citizen
The rules are slightly different for non-EEA nationals wanting to join an Irish citizen child in Ireland. In these cases, the child is not considered to be a ‘sponsor’ and is not expected to meet any financial requirements.
Read more about residing in Ireland as the non-EEA parent of an Irish citizen child.
Documents required for a Join Family visa
Join Family visa applications are made via the AVATS online application facility. The application is made by the person who wants to move to Ireland. As part of the application, you must supply various documents, including:
- Two colour passport size photographs not more than six months old
- Your current passport and full copy of all previous passports
- A signed letter of application including your full contact details
- Proof of your sponsor’s status in Ireland
- Evidence of your relationship with the sponsor
- Evidence of your finances
- Evidence of your sponsor’s finances, showing that your sponsor meets the minimum level of earnings required
- Evidence that you are dependent on the sponsor
- Medical/travel insurance
- Information regarding any previous visa refusals
Get help with your Join Family visa
Join Family visas are amongst the most complex types of immigration visa in Ireland. The eligibility requirements differ from situation to situation. An extensive amount of documentary evidence must also be provided. The Visa Officer will want confirmation of your relationship, dependency and income. If you do not include sufficient proof, your application will be rejected. This will be extremely upsetting, as no doubt you are desperate for your family to be reunited.
To ensure your application runs smoothly, contact our immigration solicitors for help. We specialise in Irish immigration matters and have helped countless families with their Join Family visas. We understand that you want to be with your loved ones, and will do everything we can to make this happen.
When you contact our Irish immigration solicitors, we can explain the eligibility requirements in more detail. This will help you to verify:
- Whether you can join your family member in Ireland/whether your family member can join you in Ireland; and
- What the eligibility requirements are, including how much the sponsor must have earned; and
- What kind of evidence you need to include in your application
If you meet the eligibility requirements, we can manage the application process on your behalf. Join Family visa applications often seem overwhelming, but we’ll make the process simple and straightforward.
Contact us now
We work with individuals and corporations across the globe. We can be contacted outside of Irish office working hours and can communicate with you via phone, email and WhatsApp.
Join Family visa Ireland – quick facts:
Can my family members join me in Ireland?
Your family members do not need immigration permission to join you in Ireland if they are citizens of the UK, Switzerland or an EEA member state. Otherwise, immigration permission must be sought. In certain situations you must act as their sponsor, which means you must meet certain eligibility requirements.
Who can sponsor a family member in Ireland?
A sponsor can be:
- An Irish citizen
- A non-Irish EU/EEA citizen
- A non-EU/EEA national, residing lawfully in Ireland through an Employment Permit
- A foreign national living in Ireland on a Stamp 4 or Stamp 5 permission
- A Researcher residing in Ireland under a Hosting Agreement
- A PhD student, studying in an Irish accredited programme
- A Minister of Religion who holds an immigration Stamp 3
What family members can I bring to Ireland?
If you are legally residing in Ireland, the following family members may be able to join you (provided you meet the eligibility requirements):
- Your spouse
- Your de facto partner, meaning you have been living together for at least two years
- Your civil partner
- Your children, including adopted children
- Your step-children, if they are permanent members of your household
- The elderly parents of you or your spouse/partner
What are the earning requirements for sponsors?
The sponsor must have earned a certain amount of money prior to the application. The exact income requirement depends on the sponsor’s status in Ireland and the nature of their relationship with the applicant. This is outlined in chapters 17 and 18 of the Policy Document on non-EEA Family Reunification.
Can Irish nationals bring their spouses and partners home?
Irish nationals are not automatically entitled to bring their spouse or partner to Ireland to live. If you are an Irish citizen and your partner/spouse is not from the UK, Switzerland or EEA, the necessary immigration permissions must be obtained.
Does a Join Family visa allow you to work in Ireland?
If you are an immediate family member of an Irish citizen or a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder, you will receive a stamp 4 immigration permission. This allows you to work in Ireland without an employment permit. Everyone else will have dependent status only. You will have to apply for an employment permit if you want to work in Ireland.
Can I apply for family reunification immediately?
If the sponsor has an employment permit (other than a Critical Skills Employment Permit), a Stamp 4 or is a Minister of Religion, then an application can only be submitted once the sponsor has lived in Ireland for 12 months. In all other situations, a Join Family visa application can be submitted immediately.
Do you need help with a Join Family visa for Ireland?