De Facto Relationship with an Irish National

Irish citizens who are in a De Facto relationship with a non EEA citizen may apply for a residence permission for their partner in certain circumstances and provided that certain specific criteria are met.

Applications made on the basis of being the de facto partner of an Irish citizen are made under an administrative scheme operated by the INIS and all criteria must be met in order for residence permission to be granted on this basis. Applicants must hold a current immigration permission in the State in order to make the application and applications from those who do not hold a current immigration permission or who have received a notice under Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999, that the Minister proposes to make a Deportation order in respect of them will not be accepted for consideration.

The Minster defines De Facto relationships for the purposes of immigration as follows:

A couple who have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others akin to a marriage or civil partnership in practice though not in law

and the relationship between them is genuine and continuing and they live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis and they are not related by family

Only couples who have been in a cohabiting relationship “akin to marriage” of two years duration are included, and it is necessary for the couple to provide dated documentary evidence of cohabitation for at least the preceding 2 years immediately prior to the date of application. Partners are also required to be living together at the time of application. Partners who are not living together at the time of the application are required to give compelling humanitarian reasons for this.

One of the new policies introduced in the INIS Family Reunification guidelines, December 2013, includes specific financial thresholds that are applied to a De Facto application. Namely, the Irish citizen sponsor must not have accessed a social welfare payment in the preceding two year period to the application, and must have earned a cumulative gross income of not less than €40,000 in the preceding three year period to the application.

The policy further requires that the Irish citizen has not sponsored another spouse/partner within the last 7 year period prior to the application, or that the Irish citizen himself/herself did not acquire lawful residence in the State on foot of a different spouse/partner within the last 7 year period.

Applications are made to the De Facto Applications Section of INIS, and a full assessment is carried out during the application processing.

On the basis that the criteria are met, the application will generally be successful and the applicant will be issued with stamp 4 permission for either a one or three year period.