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What do I need before leaving?

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Are you a non-EU citizen living in Ireland and would you like to bring your non-EU family members to live with you there? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights your family members can enjoy during their stay.

Your ability to reunite with your family members in Ireland will depend on your right to remain in Ireland:
  • If you hold a green card permit, you can bring your family to live with you immediately;
  • If you hold a work permit, you can reunite with your family if you have been legally working in Ireland for one year. You must be in full-time employment when you apply and have an income above the threshold which would qualify the family for payment under the Family Income Supplement (FIS).

The following family members are eligible to join you:

  • your spouse;
  • your de facto partner;
  • your children under the age of 18 years;
  • dependants over the age of 18, in exceptional circumstances.

See published guidelines relevant to non-EEA family reunification.

See also published guidelines relevant to family reunification applying to persons with refugee status only.




Access to Employment

Non-EEA national family members are only permitted to work if they:

Family members of work permit holders who qualify under the spousal/dependant work scheme are not subject to a labour market test if the first work permit application was received before 1 June 2009.

Other family members of work permit holders must obtain a work permit in their own right and a labour market needs test is applied. Vacancies must be advertised on EURES and the Department of Social Protection (DSP) Employment Services website for two weeks and additionally in  a national newspaper and either a local newspaper or a  job website (other than DSP/EURES website) for three days.

Applications for spousal/dependant work permits, unless eligible under the Spousal/Dependant Employment Permit Scheme, will not be considered for occupations listed as ineligible for work permits.

Either the employer or employee can apply for the work permit, based on an offer of employment. Your spouse or dependant must have the qualifications, skills and experience required for the job. They must be directly employed and paid by their employer in Ireland.

The employer must be registered with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and with the Companies Registration Office and must operate his/her trading in Ireland.

A work permit cannot be issued if it causes a situation where 50% of the workforce employed in Ireland is from outside the EEA.

Proof of the labour market needs test must be included in the application.