Hi, How Can We Help You?
  • Call: (+353) 1599 301610

Family Reunification Applications

Family Reunification.

  • At present family, reunification decisions are made on the basis of a connection between the person seeking residence in Ireland and some other person who has a status within the State (either as a citizen or a non-EEA resident). This person is referred to as the sponsor. The application is seen as a joint undertaking and pursuant to a shared wish that the applicant is allowed to live in Ireland. However, the term “sponsor” cannot be an empty one. That person must be seen as assuming certain responsibility for the family member they are seeking to bring to live in Ireland. It is intended in any event to formalise the role and responsibilities of the sponsor within the system.
  • An application for family reunification should be made jointly by the sponsor and the family member where the latter is an adult and by the sponsor only in the case of a child.
  • The Sponsor of an application for Family Reunification may be one of the following
  • an Irish citizen residing or intending to reside in Ireland;
  • A lawfully resident foreign national as an Employment Permit Holder7;
  • A lawfully resident foreign national with an immigration stamp 4 (including long term residents). Where the Stamp 4 holder is a beneficiary of international protection.
  • A lawfully resident foreign national with an immigration stamp 5 (denoting that their residence is without condition as to time);
  • a Researcher under a Hosting Agreement; This includes those holding what are referred to as Critical Skills Employment Permits
  • a PhD student studying for a doctorate accredited in Ireland;
  • a Minister of Religion with an immigration Stamp 3. Eligibility to make an application as a sponsor in no way prejudges the outcome of the application or confers of itself an entitlement to obtain family reunification.
  • In all other cases, the applicant will be required to apply in their own right as opposed to being sponsored by another person. This does not however prevent their including in the set of relevant circumstances pertaining to their application a relationship with another person resident in Ireland or entitled to be so.
  • Persons who are resident in Ireland as students, other than those pursuing a PhD, are not currently eligible as sponsors. There are some limited exceptions provided in respect of students, for instances where they come within a scholarship programme from another country. However, it is considered there may be other students who would be in a position to make full financial provision for their dependents during their stay and that such persons could also be eligible to act as sponsors although perhaps not in the initial stages of their stay. However, once the student has demonstrated academic progress and evidence of the necessary funds to support family members then they could be permitted to be joined by family members. This category of student would need to be pursuing an Irish degree award at a minimum of honours bachelor level9. Family Member
  • An application for family reunification is a function of two people, namely the sponsor and the family member and is based on their association. Not all family members have the same potential access to family reunification and there is also differentiation among the various category of the sponsor. Therefore, combining both elements, the probability of success must inevitably vary considerably. For instance, an application for family reunification of the spouse of an Irish national will have a much stronger case than that of a sibling seeking reunification with a non-EEA national.
  • A person aged over 18 years of age would be permitted to apply where he/she is dependant on the care of the parent sponsor, directly or indirectly, due to a serious medical or psychological problem that makes independent life in the home country impossible. Adopted children and children in the care of a sponsor are included in this definition provided that the adoptions are recognised under Irish law. In the latter cases, INIS may undertake an extensive examination. This can be extended to a maximum age of 23 where the child is in full-time education and remains dependent on the parent
  • circumstances to confirm that the sponsor is caring for the child and, where relevant,
  • that the other parent has agreed to the child’s move to Ireland. In cases involving a child, the best interests of that child will be a key consideration in any decision made.
  • The onus will be on the applicants for family reunification to satisfy the immigration authorities that the familial relationship is as claimed. This is particularly important where children are involved. In certain cases where reasonable doubt exists, the parties may be asked to provide DNA evidence in support of the claimed relationship.
  • Adopted children are dealt with in the same manner in family reunification cases as other children. In addition to the regular considerations regarding children, the key considerations are that:
  • the adoption has either been carried out in Ireland or, in the case of foreign adoption, is recognised under Irish law;
  • there has been a genuine and complete transfer of parental responsibility, with emotional and financial support now provided by the adoptive parents;
  • the adopted child has the same rights as any other child of the adoptive parents
  • the child is under 18 years of age.
  • It is recognised that as marriages end and other relationships form there will be households that include children other than those of the sponsor. Where it can be clearly established that the step-children of the new marriage or civil partnership are full-time members of the sponsor’s household they will be eligible to be treated as part of the nuclear family on the same basis as any other children the couple might have. Where shared/joint custody arrangements are involved (i.e. where the non-sponsor adult has only partial custody of the child), consent will be required of the other parent to the child residing in Ireland.
  • It must be understood in such cases that the presence of the child in Ireland confers no rights whatever to the other parent to visit or reside in Ireland and consent would have to be informed accordingly.
Call Our Immigration Consultant Now