Immigration to Ireland

If you are a non-Irish national but would like to remain in Ireland, there are a number of ways in which you can do so. Gibson & Associates specialise in helping people to secure residency in Ireland.

Use the quick links below to find out more about the immigration services we offer.

Whatever your situation we advise talking to a specialist. Speaking to an immigration solicitor will allow you to establish what rights you have, and will make you aware of the various options available to you with regard to citizenship, residency, refugee status, work permits and travel documents.

Immigration to Ireland

I have been refused refugee status

If you are an Asylum Seeker and your application for refugee status has been refused, you have 15 working days to appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

If your application for refugee status has been refused by the Minister for Justice and Equality, you will be issued with a notification of intention to deport. This will be sent in writing to you, and your legal representative if known, and will advise you on what your options are next. At this point, you can either choose to leave the State voluntarily, consent to deportation, or to apply for Leave to Remain temporarily in the State.

You have 15 working days to appeal to the Minister for Justice and Equality. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, and are examined against these eleven factors:

  • Your age
  • How long you have lived in Ireland
  • Your family and domestic circumstances
  • Your connection with Ireland, if any
  • Your employment record (including self-employment)
  • Your employment prospects (including self-employment)
  • Your character and conduct both in and (where relevant and ascertainable) outside of Ireland, this includes any criminal convictions
  • Humanitarian considerations
  • Any representations duly made by yourself, or on your behalf
  • The common good
  • Considerations of national security and public policy


I am living in Ireland but have not yet been issued with notification of intention to deport

If your application for refugee status has been refused you will receive an intention to deport.The time frame for the issuance of the notification of intention to deport can vary from applicant to applicant. Generally it will be issued in approximately 4-6 weeks but in some cases it can take up to a number of months.

If you are living in Ireland and your visa has become invalid or expired, but you have not yet been issued with a notification of intention to deport, you can appeal to the Minister outlining your circumstances for Leave to Remain in the State.

I am married to/in a civil partnership with or in a long term relationship with an Irish national

If you are married to/in a civil partnership with an Irish national, and you are a non EEA national, you must apply for permission to remain in Ireland.

If you are successful, you may be granted permission to stay for an initial period of 12 months, or you may be granted Stamp 4 immigration status, which gives you permission to stay and work in Ireland without a Work Permit.

You and your (Irish national) spouse/civil partner will be required to go to your local Registration office, to register you as a resident on the basis of being the Spouse/Civil Partner of an Irish national.

If you are in a long-term relationship with an Irish National, you will need to apply for De Facto Partnership Immigration Permissions (DFPIP).

This type of Permission to Remain may be given to both opposite and same sex partners, who are together in a relationship similar to marriage or a civil partnership (though not in law) and are committed to a shared life together, excluding all others. You need to have been living together for at least two years. The permission is conditional on the relationship i.e. if the relationship ends the permission ends.

Along with your application, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship, including dated evidence that you have lived together for at least two years before date of your application.

You may also need to provide Police Clearance Certificate from any country you have lived in over the last 5 years. The Certificate should be no more than six months old on the date of application.

Partners who are not living together at the time of the Application will be required to give compelling reasons for this.

I want to apply for naturalisation/citizenship

To apply for naturalisation/citizenship you need to have lived in Ireland for at least five years* out of the last nine. All applications are decided on with the absolute discretion of the Minister for Justice and Equality. There are strict rules about applying for Irish citizenship, as set out below.

If you wish to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (you must be married if you are under 18) or,
  • Be a minor born in the State (from 1 January 2005)
  • Be of good character (criminal records and ongoing proceedings will be taken into consideration)
  • Have lived in Ireland for a year before the date of your application, and lived in the State for at least four out of the last 8 preceding. Altogether, you must have a total of five years* reckonable residence out of the last nine.
  • Intend in good faith to continue to live in Ireland after naturalisation
  • Make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and undertake to observe the laws of the State and respect its democratic values.

The minister for Justice and Equality has the power to waive one of more of the conditions in the following circumstances:

  • If you are of Irish descent or Irish associations, or if you are a parent of guardian applying on behalf of a minor child of the same.
  • If you have an entitlement to Irish citizenship if you were born on the island of Ireland
  • If you are a naturalized parent applying on behalf of a minor child
  • If you are the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen or naturalized person
  • If you have been resident abroad in the public service – If you are recognised as a refugee or a stateless person

You must use the current versions of the application forms on the INIS website.

*If you are a refugee, stateless person, or person of Irish associations, the Minister will normally waive two of the five years’ reckon-able residence requirement.

I am a non-national living in Ireland and want to apply for a travel document

If you are a refugee living in Ireland, you may apply for a travel document should you need to travel outside of the State. People granted subsidiary protection are also eligible.

An alternative travel document maybe issued in some very exceptional cases to someone who has be granted leave to remain in the State and does not have a national passport. This alternative travel document would only be issued in exceptional circumstances like if you need urgent medical treatment, or to procure a national passport. The Applicant would have to provide evidence of a refusal of their national passport from their nearest embassy or consulate providing the reason for such refusal.

It takes approximately 6-8 weeks to process the application, and you should not make any travel arrangements until you have received your travel document.

An Irish Travel Document is not a substitute or replacement for a national passport.

I am the Parent of an Irish Citizen Child – How can I Apply for Residency?

If you are a Non-EEA parent of an Irish citizen child, you can apply for permanent residency in Ireland. Applications are granted depending on whether applicants have not been involved in any criminal activity during their prior residency. 

I want to be Granted Permission to Remain in Ireland (long-term residency)

If you have been living legally in Ireland on a work permit/authorization/visa for at least five years you are able to apply for Long Term Residency, you may also apply to be exempt from employment permit requirements.

The spouse and/or dependant(s) of the applicant may also be granted permission to remain, (also known as Long Term Residency) if they too have lived in Ireland legally for a minimum of five years.


I want to apply for a work permit

There are nine types of employment permit including a General Employment Permit, a Critical Skills Employment Permit, and a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.

General Permits are issued by the Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Either the employer or the employee can apply for a permit which must be based on an offer of employment. The employer must be trading in Ireland, and registered with Revenue, and with the Companies Registration Office.

You must have the qualifications, skills and experience required for the job, and you must be directly employed and paid by your employer. Depending on the application, you may also need to include evidence that you have carried out a labour market needs test.

I have been granted refugee status and want to be reunited with my family

If you have been granted Refugee Status and wish to apply for family members to join you in Ireland you must apply in writing to:

The Family Reunification Section,
INIS, Department of Justice & Equality,
13/14 Burgh Quay,
Dublin 2.

If your application is successful, your family member(s) will then need to apply for a visa to enter Ireland.

I want to study, travel or holiday in Ireland for under 90 days

You can apply for a visit (tourist) visa if you wish to come to Ireland to study, travel or holiday for less than 90 days.

If you wish to visit family or friends who are resident in Ireland then you need to apply for a visit (family/friend) visa.

If you are visiting another state before travelling to Ireland, you must have the relevant visa for that state in your passport before applying for an Irish visa.

You can apply for this visa online, but you will need to print, sign and date the summary form and submit it to the Visa Office/Embassy/Consulate with your supporting documentation.

Though it does vary, you can generally expect a decision within eight weeks of your application. Do not purchase your travel tickets before you know the outcome of your visa application.

I want a visa that lets me stay longer than 90 days

If you wish to travel to Ireland for more than three months, you can apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa for a single entry. Make sure you are familiar with the immigration arrangements that apply. If you are granted your visa and wish to stay longer, you will need to register and obtain a residence permit.

I have dual citizenship and want a stamp 6

In order to qualify for Without Conditions Endorsement (Stamp 6) you must hold or be entitled to hold an Irish passport.

If a person acquired their citizenship through descent, they must provide the following:

1. If you acquired citizenship through one of your parents: When one of the applicant’s parents was born in the State, the following original documents are required:

  • Mother’s or father’s long-form civil birth certificate
  • If claiming through mother, civil marriage certificate is required because of possible change of maiden name
  • Applicant’s long-form civil birth certificate
  • Applicant’s current passport

2. If you acquired citizenship through one of your grandparents: The applicant must produce both the Foreign Births Registration certificate issued by Dept. of Foreign Affairs as well as the applicant’s passport.

3. Naturalisation/Post Nuptial Citizenship (PNC): Applicant must produce original naturalisation certificate/Post Nuptial Citizenship (PNC) certificate or current Irish passport plus applicant’s passport.

4. Previously Stamped: Any applicant who has a previous Without Condition Endorsement (Stamp 6) may have this stamp renewed in their current non Irish passport on production of both expired non Irish passport containing the endorsement and their current Irish passport. If a person has previously had the Without Conditions Endorsement (Stamp 6) in their non Irish passport but has subsequently given up their Irish citizenship, they will not be entitled to the Without Conditions Endorsement.

If an applicant has a parent who was granted citizenship by naturalisation/PNC/parentage/etc before the applicant in question was born, it is also open to him/her to obtain a Without Condition endorsement in his/her foreign passport.

I have been approved by INIS for a limited & specific stay in Ireland and want a Stamp

To apply for Stamp 0 immigration status, you need to be self-sufficient i.e. not on State benefits. There are three types of people eligible to be granted Stamp 0:

  1. Elderly and Dependent Relatives: The financial criteria required to allow a person to sponsor an elderly dependent relative are set out in Chapter 18 of the Family Reunification Policy Document.
  2. Persons of Independent Means: To be considered a person of independent means, you will need to be earning at least €50,000 per person, per annum, plus have a lump some of money to cover any unexpected major expenses. You will need financial documentation certified by and Irish Accountancy Firm to support your application. Applications are dealt with on a case by case basis.
  3. Visiting Academics: Visiting academics must be paid from outside of the State and here to work for less than nine months.


I’m in Ireland but I don’t have a Visa – What should I do?

If you’re currently residing in Ireland without a valid visa, you need to speak to an immigration expert as soon as possible. You may be residing in Ireland on an expired permit, or you may have entered the country without a visa. Depending on your circumstances you may be granted temporary residency, however it’s important you seek assistance as soon as possible to ensure your stay in ireland is granted. You can find more information about Visas here.

To speak to an immigration lawyer about your immigration matter, please get in touch with Gibson & Associates today. Our dedicated immigration solicitors in Dublin can offer you specialised advice regarding your position, helping you understand what action to take next. Once you have obtained this initial advice, an immigration lawyer can take your case forward, working diligently to protect your rights in this country.

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