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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.



Where to apply Family members must obtain a D visa, unless they are visa-exempt.

Visa applications must be made online unless your family member is already living in Ireland and is making a re-entry visa application.
Grounds for rejection Grounds for rejecting an application for family reunification include:
  • inability to support oneself (or accompanying dependants) financially;
  • intention to work without authorisation;
  • suffering from a medical condition listed on the International Health Regulations or specified in the Immigration Act;
  • conviction of an offence punishable by imprisonment in excess of one year;
  • not holding a valid visa or passport;
  • existence of a deportation order or other reasons relating to the public good, national security or public policy;
  • intention to travel to the United Kingdom, if the family member would not have qualified for admission if he/she had arrived from elsewhere in the world (Immigration Act, Section 4).
Documents required
  • Your income must exceed the amount that would qualify for payments under social welfare law.
  • You must prove the family relationship and in case of minor children, if both parents will not be resident in the host country, the consent of the overseas parent is required.
  • You must provide a tax payment.
Duration of validity of permit The duration of your family member's permit cannot exceed the duration of your permit, unless he/she is subsequently granted permission to reside in Ireland independently.
Further requirements Following admission to Ireland, family members aged 16 years and older must register with the GNIB/local immigration officer and obtain a certificate of registration.

If you are in Dublin this is with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. Otherwise it is with the District Headquarters in other Garda districts. Currently, children aged below 16 years old are not required to register.


Appeals must be in writing and posted to the Visa Appeals Officer. Faxed or emailed appeals will not be considered. Only one appeal can be made for each application. If the appeal is rejected, a new visa application must be submitted.

More on appeals

Further information More on family reunification in Ireland

More on visas

More on registration



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.