All non nationals in the State are required by law to have the appropriate legal permission to remain which is regulated by the Minister for Justice and Equality, with the assistance of the Garda National Immigration Bureau who act as agents for the Minister.
Permission to remain is a statement of the conditions upon which the non national may remain in the State. It is issued in the form of a stamp in the passport, and a residency card, also called the Certificate of Registration, which is issued for the same period of time as the stamp. Certificates of Registration are most commonly referred to as GNIB cards.
Non-EEA nationals who enter the State purposes other than a visit visa, must register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau at 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 within the specified period of their entry stamp. Usually, where the non national has previously acquired the appropriate long stay visa, the immigration officers will then issue the corresponding residence permission stamp and the GNIB card. The residence permission is usually issued for a one year period at the outset, but in some cases can be issued for a three year period. Your permission letter should outline how you are to renew your residence permission. Some non- EEA nationals are required to present at GNIB to renew their permission, whilst others are required to write for renewal a specified time before expiry of their current permission.
The most common categories of persons resident in the State, as evidenced by particular stamps, are as follows:
- Stamp 0: this stamp is described by the INIS as a low level immigration permission that entitles the holder to reside in Ireland for a specified period. The holder of this stamp is not entitled to work in Ireland or operate a business. The holder of this stamp must be a person of independent means or is the dependant family member of an Irish of Non-EEA national resident in the State. This Stamp is usually granted on a 12 month basis and the holder must write to renew their stamp on an annual basis. INIS state that this stamp is not reckonable towards citizenship by naturalisation. Holders of this stamp are not entitled to make an application for any family member to join them in the State.
- Stamp 1: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland and to enter employment on the basis that he or she has obtained an employment permit. Stamp 1 is conditional that the holder does not enter employment unless he or she has obtained an employment permit, does not engage in any business or profession without the permission of the Minister for Justice and Equality and does not remain after a specified date.
- Stamp 1G: the holder of this stamp is resident in the State on the basis of the Third Level Graduate Scheme, after a course of study in the State. The holder of this stamp is entitled to work on a full time basis for the duration of the stamp. This permission is granted for a period of 6 months to 1 year, dependant on the study completed by the holder.
- Stamp 1A: The holder of this Stamp is resident in the State for the purposes of training as an accountant
- Stamp 2: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland for the purposes of attending a full-time course which is recognised by the Department of Education and Skills. The holder of this Stamp is restricted in their hours of employment and this stamp is not reckonable towards citizenship by naturalisation.
- Stamp 3: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland on the basis that they are dependant on another person who is lawfully resident in the State. The holder of a stamp 3 permit is not permitted to work or claim any State welfare benefits. For example, a Stamp 3 permit can be issued to a retired person of independent means or the spouse or dependant of an employment permit holder.
- Stamp 4: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland until a specified date and permitted to enter employment without restriction during that period. The permit is usually granted initially for a one-year period, and on extension for another one year or three year period. Examples of circumstances where a stamp 4 permit may be issued include:
- Spouses or De Facto Partners of Irish nationals
- Spouses or De Facto Partners of stamp 4 holders
- Convention and Programme refugees
- Persons who are granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain of Subsidiary Protection
- Stamp 4EUFam: the holder of this Stamp is the holder on an EU Fam Residence card on the basis of Directive 2004/38/EC and the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015.
- Stamp 5: This person is resident in the State- “without condition as to time” having been lawfully resident in the State for a period of at least 8 years.
- Stamp 6: The holder of this Stamp is issued a “without condition” stamp in their passport, where they are a dual citizen of Ireland and of another country.