- ‘Category A’ Family Reunification
- ‘Category B’ & ‘Category C’ Family Reunification
- Work eligibility for partners of non-CSEP holders
- Work eligibility for partners of CSEP holders
- Stamp conditions for partners of CSEP holders
- Application to join my non-EEA partner in Ireland
- Frequently asked questions
- How can I get help from the IAS?
Joining your Non-EEA Partner who Holds an Employment Permit in Ireland
If you are the partner/spouse of a non-EEA national who is an employment permit holder residing in Ireland, you may be considering the ways in which you can join your partner. Unfortunately, this can be a long-winded, intricate endeavour as the requirements vary.
However, with the help of one of IAS’ OISC-accredited immigration consultants, we can help to relieve some of the accompanying stress and devise a clear plan of action.
Some employment permits do not allow for immediate family reunification, meaning that your partner is unable to sponsor you until they have worked and lived in Ireland for a specific period of time. Therefore, the ability to join your non-EEA partner/spouse in Ireland depends on the type of employment permit your partner holds.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) updated its immigration policy on non-EEA family reunification in 2016. Further amendments were made to this policy in March 2019 regarding the family members of non-EEA nationals who either hold a Critical Skills Employment Permit or are residing in Ireland as a Researcher under a Hosting Agreement.
Non-EEA nationals who hold an employment permit in Ireland are split into two main categories: those with what is deemed ‘Category A’ eligibility and those with ‘Category B’ eligibility.
The purpose of these categories is to establish when/if a non-EEA national who is residing in Ireland under an employment permit is able to sponsor their spouse/partner to join them.
One of our experienced immigration law specialists in Ireland can assess both yours and your partner’s eligibility, ensuring that you meet all requirements before beginning your application process.
Contact IAS on (+353) 061 518 025 to enquire.
Category A Permission for Family Reunification
Non-EEA nationals who fall under Category A are eligible to sponsor their spouse/partner to join them in Ireland immediately.
They are also entitled to be accompanied by their spouse/partner upon arrival to the State.
This means that if your partner is a Category A sponsor, you are able to apply to join them in Ireland prior to any earnings being accrued as a certain level of income can be assumed.
Those with Category A permission (and who are therefore eligible to sponsor applications for immediate family reunification) are:
Category B & Category C Permission for Family Reunification
Non-EEA nationals who fall under Category B are only eligible to sponsor an application for their spouse/partner to join them in Ireland after 12 months.
This means that your partner must have worked and resided in Ireland under their specific employment permit for 12 months before they can sponsor you to join them.
Those with Category B permission (and who are therefore able to sponsor applications for family reunification after 12 months) are:
- Non Critical Skills Employment Permit Holders (those who hold an employment permit that isn’t the CSEP)
- All Stamp 4 holders who are not covered by other more favourable arrangements
- Ministers of Religion
Those who fall under Category C are not eligible to sponsor their spouse/partner or any dependant to join them in Ireland.
This includes all other non-EEA nationals.
Work eligibility for partners of non-CSEP holders
If you have been granted immigration permission to join your non-EEA partner/spouse who holds an employment permit in Ireland, your eligibility to work is dependent on the type of permit they hold.
If they do not hold a Critical Skills Employment Permit – and are not Researchers on a Hosting Agreement – you will be subject to employment permit requirements as operated by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
This means that you must apply for immigration status in your own right under the various channels available (student, work permit, business permission etc.) as you are not automatically granted the right to work/study.
Work eligibility for partners of CSEP holders
If your partner holds either a Critical Skills Employment Permit, or if they are a Researcher on a Hosting Agreement, recent changes to Irish immigration policy means that you are now eligible to work in Ireland without having to apply for an employment permit first.
This change was implemented in March 2019, therefore those who have been granted permission to join their partner (Critical Skills/Researcher) no longer need to apply for an employment permit to access the labour market. It applies to both visa required and non-visa required non-EEA nationals.
You are not, however, permitted to establish or operate a business, nor are you permitted to be self-employed.
Which stamp will I receive as the partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder in Ireland?
After registering your immigration permission, you will be given a stamp which indicates the conditions of your residency in Ireland.
Initially, the partner/spouse of a CSEP holder received Stamp 3 conditions.
However, since 6th March 2019, partners/spouses receive Stamp 1G conditions as this allows access to the labour market without an employment permit.
To renew your Stamp 1G permission, registration must be applied for annually. After 5 years on a Stamp 1G, you may apply for a Stamp 4.
Time spent on Stamp 1G is considered as reckonable residence when making an application for Citizenship/Naturalisation.
Can IAS help with my application to join my non-EEA partner in Ireland?
Our immigration consultants in Ireland are highly qualified in all areas of immigration law, just like an immigration lawyer.
We can assess your eligibility as the de facto partner/spouse of a non-EEA national who holds an employment permit in Ireland. Similarly, we will establish your partner’s eligibility to sponsor your application – an essential aspect of the process.
As mentioned previously, this depends on the employment permit your partner holds and whether it allows for immediate family reunification, family reunification after 12 months or does not permit reunification at all.
We can then assist with the completion and submission of your application, ensuring that you provide the required supporting documentation. We know what makes a strong application and will also provide a written Letter of Representation to highlight the strengths of your particular case.
Call IAS on (+353) 061 518 025 to find out more.
Last modified on February 10th, 2023 at 2:11 pm
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From 1st April 2019, a new preclearance policy was introduced, requiring both visa and non-visa required nationals to seek permission to reside in Ireland as the family member of a CSEP holder prior to their arrival in the State.
This policy aims to reduce processing times and provide clarity for family members.
Those who are granted immigration permission as eligible de facto partners will receive Stamp 1 conditions meaning there is no need to obtain a DPSEP (Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit) from DBEI.
If you are a non-EEA national and require further information, contact IAS on (+353) 061 518 025.
At the time of applying for family reunification in Ireland with your de facto partner/spouse who is an employment permit holder, you must be at least 18 years of age.
Marital relationships or civil partnerships must be monogamous, freely entered into by both parties, lawfully conducted and recognised under Irish law.
For marriage or civil partnerships, no minimum duration of marriage is required. De facto Partnerships are required to have existed in a relationship akin to marriage (including cohabitation) for 2 years prior to any application for family reunification.
A primary requirement is that both you and your partner must commit to live together permanently either as married partners, civil partners or de facto partners upon your arrival in Ireland.
If you and your partner do not have children, your partner will simply be required to earn a minimum gross income of €30,000.
Those with children, however, will be required to meet the following net incomes per week:
1 child: €511
2 children: €612
3 children: €713
4 children: €834
5 Children: €96