Non EEA nationals who were granted residence in the State based on their relationship to an Irish, EU or non-EU national who has the right of residence in the State, and who are the victims of Domestic Violence which is inflicted by their sponsor, may apply to the Department of Justice and Equality for independent immigration permission.
It is important for applicants to note that domestic violence is not just physical violence. It is a broad term which covers physical and mental/emotional abuse, including threats by the perpetrator that a person’s immigration status will be revoked and that they will be deported from Ireland if they take any action against the sponsor. This is absolutely not the case and victims of domestic abuse should never be afraid to seek help and apply for immigration permission independent of their sponsor where they are the victim of domestic violence.
In order to apply for independent status as the victim of domestic violence, the non-EEA national applicant must have a valid immigration permission which is dependent upon a family member as above described. If a persons immigration status has already expired, we would advise them to proceed to apply and again not to be afraid if their permission has already expired.
Applications are submitted in writing to the General Immigration Section of the Immigration Service Delivery, Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
Examples of supporting documentation are as follows:
- A court order such as a barring order, protection order or a Safety Order
- Medical reports indicating injuries consistent with domestic violence – including emotional abuse.
- Garda report of incidents of domestic violence.
- Letters from domestic violence support groups, or the HSE.
- Any other evidence indicating experiences of domestic violence
The above is an example of supporting documentation only, and each case is assessed on its own merits at the discretion of the Minister of Justice & Equality.
If the Minister is satisfied that a person is the victim of domestic violence, they will be issued with permission to reside in the State independent of their sponsoring family member, on the same conditions as previously, e.g. Stamp 3, Stamp 4, Stamp 1G.
If a person had a Stamp 3 permission originally and they are seeking a change in status to allow them to work in addition to independent immigration permission as a domestic violence victim, this request may be facilitated provided evidence is submitted to prove the need to work.
Family members of EU nationals resident in the State pursuant to EU Treaty Rights may apply for retention of their residence card following divorce or annulment where they have been the victim of domestic violence. It is important to note that the divorce must be applied for before the EU citizen departs the State in order for a person to qualify for retention of their residence card on this basis as held in the case of NA v The Secretary of State for the Home Department.