Application for permission to remain in the State on the basis of a De Facto Relationship
Defacto Permission to Remain in Ireland is a form of permission to remain granted by the Department of Justice and Equality to non-EEA nationals who are in a loving and durable relationship akin to marriage with an Irish national or non-EEA national who is legally resident in Ireland on a Stamp 1, 4 or 5.
In order to make such an application, the couple must be living together for two years prior to the application. If they were living abroad prior to living in Ireland as part of that two years, that time living abroad will be counted provided they can prove they were living together. If an Irish person is in a relationship with a non-EEA National and does not have proof of two years living together prior to the application, often the couple will decide to get married. In those circumstances, the non-EEA National partner would travel to Ireland on 90-day visas and ensure that those visas are not overstayed. Once the parties are married they would make an application to GNIB to go to GNIB with the marriage certificate, passports and proof of address. The GNIB will generally issue a stamp 4 there and then. This should be done within the 90-day visit. If the partner overstays the 90-day visit then the application would take at least a year to process.
Setting a date for a wedding does not allow the parties to stay here until the marriage takes place. There is no bridging visa or finance visa that can be obtained. Therefore, the person would still be coming in and out on the 90-day visa until the marriage takes place at which point they should obtain an appointment and attend GNIB with the marriage certificate within the 90-day period.
It is often easier for the couple to get married in the country of the non-EEA National and to return to Ireland. A lot of people go to Copenhagen because you only need to give a couple of days’ notice to marry there.
In April 2017 the Department of Justice and Equality reviewed the terms of this permission and reduced the cohabitation period from two years to one year. The immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors was delighted with this change as we felt that the two-year requirement was very restrictive for some couples who have been in long-term loving relationships but could not satisfy the two year cohabitation rule for various reasons such as all evidence of address being in the name of one of the parties only.
On the 1st of September 2017 following a review of the scheme, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service announced that the cohabitation requirement was returning to the original two-year period and this was applicable to all applications received by their offices from the 1st of September 2017.
This is a disappointing development in circumstances where the one-year cohabitation requirement offered the opportunity to a greater number of non-EEA nationals who are in loving and durable relationships with Irish or legally resident EEA nationals to apply for permission to remain on this basis and the return to the old rule will prohibit a number of people from benefiting from this application.
For any person planning to submit an application for Defacto Permission to Remain in the state it is very important that they are aware of this recent change as it could mean that they are no longer entitled to apply for the residency as although they satisfy the previous one-year requirement they do not satisfy the two-year cohabitation condition.
In order to qualify for this permission to remain in the state, the Applicant must be able to prove that they are in a loving and committed relationship with an Irish national or non-EEA national who is legally resident in Ireland on a Stamp 1, 4 or 5
and must be able to prove that they have been cohabiting for a minimum period of two years prior to the application.
Applications will only be accepted from Applicants who are lawfully present in the state on Visit Conditions for non-visa required nationals or Applicants who are resident in the state on another type of permission to remain – i.e. Stamp 1, 2 or 3.
Applications from individuals who are resident in the state without lawful permission and/or who are going through the International Protection Process and/or who are the subject of Deportation Orders/Notifications of Intention to Deport under s3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 will continue to be refused.
Visa required nationals who wish to apply for Defacto Permission To Remain will have to submit an application for a Join Partner Long Stay D Visa from outside of the state so all other conditions of the application remain unchanged.
Applications may be considered from Applicants who do not satisfy the two-year cohabitation requirement, however, this is only in extremely limited and exceptional cases.
All applications must be submitted with the application form dated 1 September 2017 which is available at the following link
The Applicant and their partner must swear a statutory declaration before a practising solicitor/peace commissioner/notary public/commissioner for oaths.
A supporting witness who can attest to the relationship and information submitted must also swear a statutory declaration.