1) Criteria all sponsors and applicants must meet in order to qualify
According to the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification a de facto partnership (whether heterosexual or same sex) must have existed in a relationship akin to marriage including cohabitation for 2 years prior to application for family reunification.
- It is a strict condition that the couple must provide the Minister with dated evidence of continuous cohabitation for at least a two year period. Where there are gaps in such cohabitation, it is quite likely that the application will be refused, unless there are humanitarian reasons rendering the couple unable to cohabit together. Even so, the couple must show at least two years cohabitation in all such cases.
- A standard requirement in all such cases is a clear commitment from both parties that they will live together permanently as de facto partners/ husband and wife / civil partners, immediately following the outcome of the application in question or as soon as circumstances permit. A declaration to this effect will form part of the application process.
- If the couple claim they have maintained their relationship during the two year period by visiting each other, this will not suffice to meet the criteria of cohabitation to demonstrate a relationship akin to marriage.
- The applicant and the sponsor must currently live in Ireland or intend to live in Ireland.
- The applicant and sponsor must be financially self sufficient – sponsor must be able to demonstrate that they can financially support the applicant
- The applicant must have current permission to be in the State if the application is made from within the State – eg. The applicant is on a Stamp 1, 2 or 3 – the applicant can also be on a visit visa if non-visa required (Please note that applications are not accepted from applicants who are resident in the State on a C visit visa, when they are from a visa required country)
- If the applicant is unlawfully present in the State INIS will refuse the application
- If the applicant is a visa required national who is outside the State they must apply for a join partner D reside Visa.
- The Sponsor may only sponsor one Applicant in any seven year period
- Applicants must be of good character
2) Conditions of an Irish citizen sponsor
Where the sponsor is an Irish citizen, if the applicant (non-EEA national) is successful, they will be granted Stamp 4 permission to reside with their partner and the applicant will be allowed to work without the need to seek a work permit.
3) Conditions of a Non EEA national sponsor
If the sponsor is a non EEA national, in order to sponsor their partners application for a de facto visa they must be resident in the State on Stamp 1, Stamp 4 or Stamp 5. The sponsor cannot be resident on Stamp 2 student permission or Stamp 3 permission in order to apply for a de facto visa for their partner.
If the sponsor was resident in the State on an employment permit (Stamp 1 basis) before 30th June 2009, the successful applicant may be granted Stamp 3 permission. If the applicant is granted Stamp 3 permission they are unable to work without being in the possession of an Employment Permit. Stamp 3 granted on the basis of a sponsor being resident on Stamp 1 permission prior to 30th June 2009 will allow the applicant to apply for a Dependent Employment Permit with the Department of Jobs and Enterprise. Dependent Employment Permits are more easily granted than any other type of employment permit as the conditions to be met are more favourable and the application is free of charge.
If the sponsor was resident as an employment permit holder resident in the State after 30th June 2009 the successful applicant may be granted Stamp 3. In this case, the applicant is not eligible to apply for a Dependent Employment Permit. If the applicant wishes to work they will have to apply for an employment permit in their own right.
Finally, if the sponsor is resident on a Stamp 4 or Stamp 5 the successful applicant may be granted a Stamp 3. This Stamp 3 does not allow the applicant to apply for a Dependent Employment Permit unless the sponsor previously help an Employment Permit – ie. (a critical skills employment permit holder will be granted Stamp 4 permission after two years)
BROPHY SOLICITORS IMMIGRATION TEAM