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Spouse Visa Ireland

Irish nationals with a non-EEA spouse or civil partner have the chance to bring their partner to Ireland via the Spouse visa. This is typically part of the D category of long-stay Irish visas.

If you want to get a Spouse visa in Ireland, read this article and contact Immigration Advice Service for help with your application. You can call us at (+353) 061 518 025 or visit us online.

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    Spouse Visa Overview

    As someone who is married to an Irish national or is their civil partner, you don’t get an automatic right to citizenship. Instead, you will need to successfully apply for a Spouse/Civil Partner visa. This gives you the right to live and work in Ireland for up to three years before it will need to be renewed.

    You can learn more about the Irish Spouse visa by reading this article, which covers eligibility requirements, documentation required, the sponsorship process, rejections, and more.

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    Requirements of the Spouse Visa


    The Spouse/Civil Partner visa comes with a range of requirements that you must fit in order to join your Irish spouse. These requirements include the following:

    • You and your partner must be over 18 years old.
    • You must have had face-to-face contact. Internet and telephone-only relationships are not eligible.
    • You must be legally married or in a civil partnership.
    • You must provide evidence that your relationship is genuine.
    • You must commit to living together permanently.

    Sponsorship Requirements

    To get a Spouse visa, you will need to be sponsored by your lawful spouse or civil partner. Although it is most common for this to be an Irish citizen who resides or intends to remain in Ireland, there are a range of other categories that are eligible to sponsor a spouse for a visa. This includes foreign nationals who are legal residents with the following:

    • An Irish employment permit.
    • Stamp 4 permission to remain long-term in Ireland.
    • Studying for an accredited doctoral course in Ireland.
    • Ministers of Religion in Ireland with Stamp 3 permission.
    • Researchers with a hosting agreement or a Critical Skills Employment permit.

    Whatever type of sponsor you have, they must be able to support you financially. To determine this, the Irish government will check that the sponsor has not relied on benefits for the past two years and that they have earned a cumulative gross income of at least 40,000 euros in the three years before your application.

    Simply having an eligible sponsor is not enough to successfully apply for a Spouse visa. There are many other factors that decide whether or not you will be given a visa.

    Documents Required for the Spouse Visa

    To support your application, you will be required to submit a range of documentation. This includes the following:

    • A marriage or civil partnership certificate recognised in Ireland.
    • Your partner’s tax returns or payslips.
    • A valid passport,
    • A clean criminal record or a police clearance certificate.
    • Proof of medical insurance.

    Applying for a Spouse Visa


    The Spouse visa combines online and offline processes during the application. To begin, you will need to download the application form and complete it. The application form determines the type of visa you are applying for and asks you for a range of personal information. This will need to be printed out and signed, as well as submitted online.

    Once you have completed your online application, you will get sent a summary. This will tell you about which Irish visa office, Embassy, or Consulate you need to go to in order to submit your physical application. You will also be given details on the application fee and a reference number for your application.

    You then have 30 days to compile copies and originals of all your supporting documents alongside your signed application form and bring them to your closest Irish visa office. Please note that some visa offices abroad have additional requirements that you will need to complete as part of your application.

    Checking the Progress of an Application

    You will be able to check the progress of your Spouse or Civil Partner visa by visiting the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) website. Here, you can use your reference number to check on visas being processed by the Dublin Visa Office.

    You can still check on the progress of your visa application if you applied outside of Ireland. Simply contact the visa office that you applied through, and they will be able to give you information on your application’s progress.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your spouse visa. Get in touch! Contact Us

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      Coming to Ireland


      Having received your visa, you will be allowed to come to Ireland to join your spouse. When you arrive at the border, you must provide a range of documentation. The minimum documentation you need includes the following:

      • A valid passport (copies are not permissible).
      • Your “D” visa.
      • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate.

      Please note that these documents are a minimum. In some cases, the immigration officer might require additional documents to allow you to pass through the border.

      When you are let through the border, the immigration officer will stamp your passport. This stamp gives you permission to remain in Ireland for 90 days and will specify the date that the stamp is valid for.

      Registering with Immigration

      Your long-stay “D” visa alone is not sufficient to allow you to stay in Ireland for longer than 90 days because of the stamp on your passport.

      You will need to register with immigration as soon as possible. To do so, find your nearest Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration and present the following documents:

      • You and your spouse or civil partner’s passports.
      • The original copy of your marriage/civil partnership certificate.
      • Proof that you have a joint address.

      If your registration is approved, then you will receive Stamp 4 in your passport. This stamp will have a date indicating the end of the validity of your Spouse visa, which will usually be three years in the future from the date of your stamp.

      Once you have registered, you will have nearly total rights in Ireland. However, you are still obliged to inform the ISD if you change address within two days of moving or if your relationship breaks down. Failure to do so could risk getting in trouble with immigration services and even deportation.

      Registering as the Spouse of an EEA Citizen

      If your sponsor is not an Irish citizen, then you cannot simply register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. Instead, you will need to apply for a Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen.

      Note that this is a lengthy process that can take up to 12 months to process. However, after you have submitted your application, you will receive a letter from immigration authorities that will give you the right to remain in Ireland until your residence card has been approved.

      There are different routes to obtain a spouse visa in Ireland. Speak to our immigration experts today. Contact us

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        Reasons for Rejection of Spouse Visa Applications


        The Irish state gives out thousands of Spouse visas each year. However, many are rejected for a range of reasons. The most common reasons include the following:

        • Your partner has insufficient finances to support you in Ireland.
        • You are only in a civil partnership or marriage to get residency in Ireland, and you cannot prove a prior close relationship.
        • You or your partner have previously immigrated illegally or have a criminal record relating to immigration offences.
        • You or your partner have been determined a threat to the Irish public.

        Appealing a Rejected Spouse Visa in Ireland

        When you get a refusal for your Spouse visa, the immigration office you applied to or the Dublin Visa Office will send you a letter outlining the reasons for your refusal.

        If you don’t agree with the reasons for refusal, you will be able to submit a letter of appeal to the resident visa office. This should outline your personal details and the reasons that you think you should be eligible for a Spouse visa. Make sure that you submit this appeal within two months of receiving the decision.

        Note that sending an appeal will not give you the right to travel to Ireland. You must wait until your visa or preclearance letter has been granted.

        Transferring from a Spouse Visa to Citizenship


        Having started your new life in Ireland with your partner, you might want to transition to Irish citizenship so you can remain there indefinitely without a visa required. This is possible because all Stamp 4 holders are accumulating “reckonable residence” while they are in Ireland.

        Citizenship by naturalisation in Ireland requires you to have five years of “reckonable residence” (1825 or 1826) days within the past nine years, including one year of continuous residence the year before you make your application.

        Application Fees for Irish Citizenship by Naturalisation

        If you decide to apply for citizenship in Ireland, you will need to pay an application fee of 175 euros. Once your application is approved, a fee of 950 euros is needed for your Certificate of Naturalisation. This confirms your citizenship formally.

        You will need to apply for citizenship for any of your children separately. This comes with the same application fee and a lower certification fee of 200 euros.

        Meanwhile, if your Irish spouse dies while you are on a Spouse visa, you might still be able to apply for citizenship by naturalisation. In this case, the lower 200 euro certification fee still applies, but you must pay the same application fee.

        How Can IAS Help?

        Coming to Ireland as a spouse of a legal resident or citizen is complicated because the process doesn’t end once you have received your visa. You must also go through the process of entering Ireland and registering with the immigration authorities in order to stay in the country long-term. Having settled in Ireland, you may also need to renew your Stamp 4 permission to remain or apply for Irish citizenship.

        With so many stages to this process, many South Africans are working with Immigration Advice Service. Having contacted us, you will be paired with an expert lawyer who is knowledgeable in cases like yours. They can help you to apply for your visa, register with immigration authorities, and even apply for citizenship.

        If you decide to get help from IAS, please call us today at (+353) 061 518 025. Alternatively, you can reach us online.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The first fee to pay is the application fee for the visa itself. This will be 60 euros if you want to enter once or 100 euros if you want multiple entries. This fee is non-refundable if your application is refused.

                  You will also need to pay a registration fee once you are in Ireland to permit you to remain in the country for more than 90 days. This fee is 300 euros.

                  The only occurrence where a Spouse visa will not be required to stay in Ireland long-term with your Irish spouse is if you are a citizen of an EEA nation. This does not apply to South Africans who are not within the European Economic Area.

                  However, a Spouse visa is only needed to come to Ireland on a long-term basis. If you are planning on coming to Ireland for 90 days or shorter, then you can apply for a “C” visa. This type of visa applies for tourism, marriages, medical treatment, and visiting friends or family in Ireland.

                  Many spouses of Irish citizens will want to bring their children with them when they move to Ireland. This is possible but cannot be done on a Spouse visa alone. Instead, all children will require their own visas to move to Ireland long-term.

                  Many immigration authorities allow applicants to pay to have their applications prioritised and processed faster. However, the Irish government has a strict policy of processing applications in the order that they are received, so everyone has to wait the same amount of time.

                  The only way to have a faster application is if you need to come to Ireland because of an emergency. Irish immigration authorities will prioritise applications for urgently required visas. They usually prioritise applications for visas needed to visit dying or ill relatives and other emergency situations. Please note that you will need evidence that these circumstances are genuine, such as a doctor’s note.

                  To get your visa prioritised, email [email protected] with the subject line “EMERGENCY TRAVEL REQUIRED.” Provide your visa application number, and a customer services representative will be in touch to find out about the emergency circumstances.