Visas to Ireland

Sinnott Solicitors have years of experience in advising our clients regarding their visa applications.  We are proud to say that we have successfully navigated thousands of visa applications over the years.  Those include long stay visas, short stay visas, visa appeals, judicial review applications in respect of visa refusals, employment visa applications, business visa applications, advice in relation to student visa applications, visa applications for family members of EU Nationals and visa applications for spouses and dependents of Irish Nationals.

What is a Visa?

A visa is a paper document which is attached to a page of the holder’s passport.  A visa permits a person to travel to the State during the dates that are stated on the visa.  A visa does not guarantee entry in to the State as the Immigration Officer at the point of entry has the authority to grant or deny admission to the State.  An Immigration Officer also has the authority to decide on the duration a person may remain in the State.

Visa and non-visa required Countries for Ireland.

Applicants from the following countries need a visa to travel to Ireland:

  • Afghanistan

  • Albania

  • Algeria

  • Angola

  • Armenia

  • Azerbaijan

  • Bahrain

  • Bangladesh

  • Belarus

  • Benin

  • Bhutan

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina

  • Burkina Faso

  • Burma

  • Burundi

  • Cambodia

  • Cameroon

  • Cape Verde

  • Central African Republic

  • Chad

  • China

  • Columbia

  • Comoros

  • Congo

  • Cote d’Ivoire

  • Cuba

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Djibouti

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • Egypt

  • Equatorial Guinea

  • Eritrea

  • Ethiopia

  • Faro Islands

  • Gabon

  • Gambia

  • Georgia

  • Ghana

  • Guinea

  • Guinea-Bissau

  • Haiti

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Iran

  • Iraq

  • Jamaica

  • Jordan

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kenya

  • Kosovo

  • Kuwait

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Laos

  • Lebanon

  • Liberia

  • Libya

  • Madagascar

  • Malawi

  • Mali

  • Marshall Islands

  • Mauritania

  • Mauritius

  • Micronesia

  • Moldova

  • Mongolia

  • Montenegro

  • Morocco

  • Mozambique

  • Namibia

  • Nepal

  • Niger

  • Nigeria

  • North Korea

  • North Macedonia

  • Oman

  • Pakistan

  • Palau

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Peru

  • Philippines

  • Qatar

  • Russia

  • Rwanda

  • Sao Tome & Principe

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Senegal

  • Serbia

  • Sierra Leone

  • Somalia

  • South Sudan

  • Sri Lanka

  • State of Palestine

  • Sudan

  • Suriname

  • Syria

  • Tajikistan

  • Tanzania

  • Thailand

  • Timor Leste

  • Togo

  • Tunisia

  • Turkey

  • Turkmenistan

  • Uganda

  • Ukraine

  • Uzbekistan

  • Venezuela

  • Vietnam

  • Yemen

  • Zambia

  • Zimbabwe

The Following countries need a transit visa if the person plans to travel through an Irish Airport on their way to another destination:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania

  • Cuba

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Ethiopia (unless travelling to USA & Canada)

  • Eritrea

  • Ghana

  • Georgia

  • Iran

  • Iraq

  • Lebanon

  • Moldova

  • Nigeria

  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka

  • Ukraine

  • Zimbabwe

Applicants from the following Countries are not required to have a visa to travel to Ireland:

  • Andorra
  • Antigua & Barbuda

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Belgium

  • Belize

  • Bolivia

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Brunei

  • Bulgaria

  • Canada

  • Chile

  • Costa Rica

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Dominica

  • El Salvador
  • Estonia

  • Fiji

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Grenada

  • Guatemala

  • Guyana

  • Honduras

  • Hong Kong

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Israel

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Kiribati

  • Latvia

  • Lesotho

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxemburg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia

  • Maldives

  • Malta

  • Mexico

  • Monaco

  • Nauru

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Nicaragua

  • Norway

  • Panama

  • Paraguay

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • St. Kitts & Nevis

  • St. Lucia

  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Samoa

  • San Marino

  • Seychelles

  • Singapore

  • Slovak Republic

  • Slovenia

  • Solomon Islands

  • South Africa

  • South Korea

  • Spain

  • Swazi Land

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Taiwan

  • Tonga

  • Trinidad & Tobago

  • Tuvalu

  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom & Colonies

  • United States of America

  • Uruguay

  • Vanuatu

  • Vatican City

Contact Sinnott Solicitors Today! We have Solicitors specialising in Visa Applications.

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Short Stay C Visa Application

A short stay C visa is a visa which lasts for less than three months.  Prior to making a short stay C visa application, it is important that the applicant is aware of the policy of the Department of Justice & Equality in respect of those visas.

Short Stay C Visas Policy for Consideration

Applicants for a short stay C visa must show that they have sufficiently strong family, social or economic ties to a place of residence in a country other than Ireland so as to assure the Visa Officer assessing the application that the stay in Ireland will be temporary and in accordance with the duration and conditions of the permission granted by the Immigration Department upon arrival in Ireland.  The maximum stay allowed for a short stay C visa is 90 days.

It is absolutely essential that an application demonstrates substantial ties to a country other than Ireland and the burden is on the Applicant to show that when applying.

Criteria for granting a Short Stay C Visa

The Applicant will be required to show the following:-

  1. That the Applicant will leave Ireland before the visa permission expires
  2. That the Applicant has sufficient resources to look after themselves while staying in Ireland
  3. That the Applicant is of good character and that the Applicant has been truthful in the visa application
  4. That the Applicant is not using the visa as a way of gaining unlawful entry to the UK or the rest of the EU.

Assessment criteria for a Short Stay C Visa

A Visa Officer will have regard to the following matters when assessing an application for a short stay C visa:-

  1. That the Applicant will leave Ireland at the end of the visit
  2. That the Applicant or relatives or friends in Ireland who are sponsoring the visit have enough money to support the Applicant without the requirement for the Applicant to work or access public funds
  3. That the Applicant has proof of return or onward travel arrangements
  4. That the Applicant will not breach the common travel area by seeking to enter the UK without a valid UK visa
  5. That the Applicant provides immigration history in relation to Ireland, the UK, the Schengen zone and other countries
  6. Any other matter that the Visa Officer deems relevant.

If the Applicant has a history of serious crime or serious breaches of previous visa conditions, those matters can be grounds for refusal of a visa.

It is important that the Applicant does not submit any false or misleading information or documents with the application.  The Applicant’s visa could be refused if any of the documentation is found to be false or misleading.

In some circumstances, an Applicant may not be allowed to appeal a visa decision in addition to being blocked from gaining entry into the country for a further five years.

Documents required for short stay visas

  1. Two colour passport size photographs, not more than six months old with the Applicant’s name and visa application reference number printed clearly on the back
  2. The Applicant’s current passport and a full copy of any previous passports. The current passport must be valid for at least six months after the Applicant’s intended date of departure from Ireland.
  3. If the Applicant is not a national of the country from which he or she is applying for a visa, evidence of the permission to be in that country (for example a residence card). The Applicant must also have at least three months permission to be in that country after the intended date of departure from Ireland.
  4. A signed letter from the Applicant including the following:
    • Full contact details
    • Outline of the reasons for wanting to come to Ireland
    • Statement of how long the Applicant intends to stay
    • Details of any family members of the Applicant’s family who are currently in Ireland or in any EU Member State
    • Details of where the Applicant intends to stay while in Ireland
    • Statement that the cost of the trip is being borne by the Applicant or if that is not the case, details of the party funding the cost of the trip
    • An undertaking that the Applicant will observe the conditions of the visa, not become a burden on the State and will leave the State on the expiry of the permission to remain in the State
  5. Details of accommodation and travel
  6. Details of finances including a bank statement on headed paper showing what money has been paid in and out of the Applicant’s account over the six months prior to the application. The bank account name and number must also be visible on the statement and any lodgements must be explained.  If the statement is from a deposit account, the Applicant will require a letter from the bank confirming that the Applicant is allowed to withdraw money from the account.  If a third party is covering the Applicant’s costs, the Applicant must show how he or she is linked or known to that person.
  7. Evidence of the Applicant’s obligations to return to his or her country of permanent residence including the following:
    • If employed, three recent payslips and a letter from the employer stating how long the Applicant has been employed, the dates he or she will be on leave and the date he or she will return to work
    • If a student, a letter from the Applicant’s college stating the course of study, how many years the Applicant has been a student and how many years the Applicant has left on the course of study and that the Applicant will be returning there after the visit to Ireland
    • Details of any family members living in the Applicant’s country of residence. If the Applicant is married, he or she must submit his or her marriage certificate.  If he or she has children, he or she must submit their birth certificates
    • Evidence of any property owned or rented
  8. Details of any previous visa refusals in the past for any country. Non-disclosure of such refusals will result in refusal.

Documents required for short stay visa for a child under 18

  1. The child’s birth certificate
  2. If the child is travelling alone or with a person other than his or her parent/legal guardian, written letters of consent from both parents/legal guardians accompanied by copies of the consenting parents passport which clearly show their signatures.
  3. If the child is travelling with one parent or legal guardian, a signed letter of consent by the other parent/legal guardian accompanied by a copy of the consenting parents/legal guardians legal passport or national identity card
  4. Where one parent has sole custody, a Court order bestowing sole custody of the child on the parent concerned should be submitted.

Long Stay D Visa applications

A long stay D visa is generally issued to visa required applicants who wish to reside in the State for the purposes of employment or study, or to join and reside on a long term basis with a spouse, civil partner, de facto partner or parent already residing in the State.

An applicant should apply for a long stay visa up to three months prior to the applicant’s proposed date of travel to Ireland.  An applicant visiting from another State before travelling to Ireland must have the relevant visa for that State on the applicant’s passport before applying for an Irish visa.  All applications for D visas are made online.

Once the online application is completed, the online system will generate a summary application form stating the next steps in the process including identifying where to submit supporting documentation.  This is usually at a consulate or visa office either in the State where the applicant resides or the nearest available consulate or visa office (visa application centre).

The current long stay visa schemes are as follows:

  • Join family visas
  • Employment visas
  • Employment scientific research visas
  • Employment Vander Elst visas
  • Study visas
  • Lay volunteer visas
  • Minister of Religion visas

Documentation required for a long stay D visa

The documentation required will depend on the specific type of visa applied for.  Sinnott Solicitors have a lot of expertise in applying for long stay D visas and we are proud to say that we have had enormous success in successfully obtaining multiple long stay visas for our clients.

The documents required for a long stay visa which are required for every long stay visa type are as follows:

  1. The summary sheet
  2. Two coloured passport sized photographs no more than six months old. The applicant’s name and visa application reference number must be printed clearly on the back
  3. The applicant’s current passport and a full copy of any previous passports. The current passport must be valid for at least twelve months after the applicant’s intended date of arrival in Ireland.
  4. A signed letter of application including the information required under the particular scheme
  5. Details of any visa refusal in the past for any country. The original letter issued by the authorities of the refusing State must be provided.  Non-disclosure of such previous refusals will result in refusal.

Other documents that may be required are as follows:

  1. Letters from a business, company or other organisation
  2. Proof of earnings and financial information
  3. Personal statements
  4. Travel insurance
  5. Medical insurance
  6. Marriage, birth and death certificates
  7. Any other documents that we consider relevant in support of the applicant’s long stay D visa application

We have Solicitors specialising in Short Stay C Visa Application and Long Stay D Visa applications. Contact Sinnott Solicitors Today!

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Employment Visa Applications

Visa required nationals who are granted an Employment Permit from the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation to work in the State must submit an application to the Immigration Service Delivery for a Long Stay D Visa in order to be granted entry to the State to commence employment.

The following is an example of the documentation which should be submitted in support of an Employment Visa Application:

  1. Signed application summary.
  2. Two passport sized photographs no more than 6 months old.
  3. Original current passport (valid at least 6 months after intended departure date) and full copy of any previous passports.
  4. Signed letter of application from the applicant including full contact details – must outline reasons for wanting to come to Ireland, how long intend to stay, details of any family members in Ireland, details of where intend to stay while in Ireland, and undertaking observe conditions of the visa, not become burden on the State and will leave on the expiry of permission to remain.
  5. Letter from Employer signed on headed paper confirming employment, outlining job title, description and the duration of the contract, the salary that will be paid and confirming that accommodation will be included (if applicable).
  6. Original Employment permit issued by the DBEI
  7. Copy signed contract of employment.
  8. Up to date bank statement for the previous six months showing what money has been paid into and out of the account and showing sufficient funds to cover costs. Bank statements must be on headed paper (internet printouts are not acceptable). Name, address, account number and account type must be visible on the statement. Any large lodgements must be explained. If sending a bank statement from a deposit savings account, must also include a letter from the bank confirming permission to withdraw money from the account.
  9. Evidence of qualification and work experience.
  10. Previous Visa Refusals – if refused a visa for any country previously the original letter issued by the authorities of the country refusing.
  11. Visa application fee.
  12. Evidence of health travel/health insurance – this may be requested at the processing stage but may be requested. It required at the time of entry to the country.
  13. Visa application fee – €60.00

Any document not in English must be accompanied by a full translation. Each translated document must contain: confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document; the date of the translation; the translator’s full name and signature; and the translator’s contact details.

In order to work in Ireland a non-EEA National, unless they are exempted, must hold a valid Employment Permit. The Employment Permits Section of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Employment Permits Section administers the Employment Permits system.

Sinnott Solicitors have a detailed section on our website about Employment Permits. Please see this link to find out more: https://sinnott.ie/immigration/work-permits/

Business Visa Applications

short stay ‘C’ business visa allows you to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days for activities related to your job, including to:

  • Attend meetings
  • Negotiate or sign agreements or contracts
  • Work for 14 days or less

This visa does not allow you to:

  • Work in any way (paid or unpaid) for 15 days or longer
  • Rely on Irish public services, e.g. public hospitals

Policy and Assessment criteria for all Short Stat C Visa applications.

Policy for consideration of short stay ‘C’ visas

All applicants for a short stay ‘C’ visa (whether for a single entry or multiple entries) must show that they have sufficiently strong family, social or economic ties to a place of residence in a country other than Ireland to assure the visa officer assessing the application that the projected stay in Ireland will be temporary and in accordance with the duration and conditions of the permission granted by the immigration authorities on arrival in Ireland. The maximum stay allowed under a short stay ‘C’ visa is 90 days.

The responsibility for demonstrating substantial ties to a country other than Ireland rests with you. The burden of proof in all cases is on you to satisfy the visa officer. The visa officer may verify any evidence submitted in support of your application.

There is no right to a visa nor is there one set of documents or circumstances of application that will guarantee the approval of an application. However, the documents normally required in support of an application are set out in the ‘Guide to Supporting Documentation’ for each type of short stay ‘C’ visa.

Assessment criteria

In assessing an application, a visa officer may look at the following issues:

  • that you will leave Ireland at the end of your visit;
  • that you, or relatives or friends in Ireland who are sponsoring your visit, have enough money to support and accommodate you, without you working or accessing public funds;
  • that you have proof of return or onward travel arrangements;
  • that you will not breach the Common Travel Area by seeking to enter the UK via Ireland without a valid UK visa;
  • your immigration history in relation to Ireland, the UK, the Schengen Zone and other countries; and
  • any other issue which the visa officer deems relevant.

History of serious crime/immigration abuses

If you have a history of serious crimes or a history of serious breaches of Irish or UK immigration law these can, of themselves, be reasons for refusal of a visa.

Submission of false/misleading information/documentation

Important: Do not include false or misleading information or documents in your application. If you do, your application may be refused. In some circumstances, you may not be allowed to appeal the visa decision and may be blocked from getting an Irish visa for 5 years.

This is the norm in many countries.

Summary

In summary, you will need to show clearly, the following:

  • that you will leave Ireland before your visa/permission to remain expires;
  • that you have sufficient resources to look after yourself while you are here;
  • that you are of good character and have told the truth in your application and have not left out anything important; and
  • that you are not using a visa to Ireland as a way of getting around lawful entry to the UK or the rest of the EU.

Visas for Family Members of EU Nationals

Family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens seeking to reply on Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive) – type of visa for which you should apply

If you are a non-EEA national:

  • who does not hold a document called “Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen” as referred to in Articles 5(2) and 10(1) of Directive 2004/38/EC on the rights of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States, and
  • wishes to accompany or join an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen family member who is moving to or residing in Ireland pursuant to the Directive 2004/38/EC,

You can apply for a single journey short-stay C visa which will permit you to enter and reside in the State for up to 3 months.

In the event that you wish to remain in the State for more than 3 months as a family member of an EU citizen exercising their free movement rights, you must apply (when in the State) for a Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen.

How to apply

You must apply online for a visa.

When you have completed the online application process, you must follow the instructions on the summary application form that is created by the online system. The summary form will contain information on where you are to submit your supporting documentation. The summary form which you must print, sign and date must be submitted with your supporting documentation.

You may be required to provide your Biometric Information as part of the application process.

Fees

The visa fee for a short stay single entry visa is €60.

If you are a ‘qualifying family member’ of an EU/EEA /Swiss Citizen you are exempt from the visa fee.

The list of ‘qualifying family members’ is as follows:

  • Spouse
  • Child ( under 21 years)
  • Child (under 21 years) of the spouse
  • Adopted child (subject to adoption papers)
  • Dependent parent
  • Dependent parent of the spouse
  • Other dependent family members in the direct ascending line ( e.g. grandparent) or descending line( e.g. grandchild)
  • Other dependent family members of the spouse in the direct ascending (e.g. grandparent) or descending line ( e.g. grandchild)

If you attend a VFS Centre to lodge your application, a logistics/ administrative fee may be applied by VFS. You are exempt from any other administrative fees relating to the processing of your visa application and may lodge your application in person at the relevant Irish Embassy/Consulate/Visa Office. Any postage or courier charges associated with the submission of your application are at your own expense.

If you are a family member other than a ‘qualifying family member’ you are required to pay the visa fee. Such family members are referred to in the relevant Irish statutory provisions as ‘permitted family members’

If you are required to pay the visa fee you may be able to pay the fee in local currency. You may be subject to additional charges relating to the submission of your documents. The website of the Visa Office/Embassy/ Consulate will have details about additional charges and local payment options.

How long it will take

Applications for a residence card should be decided within six months. However t there have been significant delays n that regard. Sinnott Solicitors can assist any applicant who has experienced a lengthy delay in processing time or an application whose application has been refused. We have taken judicial cases before the High Court on behalf of our clients and those cases made their way to the European Court of Justice

Applications from ‘qualifying family members’ are processed on an accelerated basis.

Applications from ‘permitted family members’ are not subject to the accelerated process. Processing times can vary..

Supporting documentation

In order for you to establish that you are a ‘qualifying family member’ or a ‘permitted family member’ you must prove:

  • that there is an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen from whom you can derive rights under the Directive,
  • the existence of the required family relationship to that citizen including where relevant dependency or membership of the household,
  • that you will be accompanying or joining that citizen who is exercising free movement rights in Ireland or provide a declaration or statement of confirmation that the citizen will be exercising those rights at the time of your arrival in Ireland.

The proofs that may be required are:

  • proof of identity e.g. valid passports for the applicant family member and the EU citizen,
  • proof of family link e.g. a valid marriage or birth certificate – this is so that the visa officer can ascertain that the applicant is a family member of the EU citizen,
  • where relevant, proof of dependency or membership of the household,
  • proof that the EU/EEA/Swiss citizen is exercising free movement rights in Ireland e.g. proof that the EU/ EEA/Swiss citizen already resides in the State or a declaration or statement of confirmation that the EU/EEA/Swiss citizen will be exercising those rights at the time of the applicant family member’s arrival in Ireland – this is so that the visa officer can ascertain that the applicant family member will be residing in the State together with the citizen concerned.

If you submit a document that is not in English/Irish, it must be accompanied by a full translation. Each translated document must contain:

  • confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
  • the date of the translation;
  • the translator’s full name and signature; and
  • the translator’s contact details.

All letters submitted from a business, company or other organisation should be on official headed paper and give full contact details so that they can be verified. These must include a full postal address, name of contact, position in the organisation, telephone number (landline), website, and email address (email addresses such as Yahoo or Hotmail are not accepted)

Visa Applications on behalf of a child (person under 18)

If a child under the age of 18 is travelling alone their birth certificate must be submitted with their application.

If a child under the age of 18 is travelling either alone or with a person other than their parent/legal guardian (e.g. adult relative), a written letter of consent from both parents/legal guardians is required.

These signed consents must be accompanied by copies of the consenting parent/legal guardians’ passports or national identity cards, which clearly show their signatures.

If the child is travelling with one parent/legal guardian, the consent of the other parent/legal guardian is required. This signed consent must be accompanied by a copy of the consenting parent/legal guardian’s passport or national identity card which clearly shows their signature.

Where one parent has sole custody, a Court Order bestowing sole custody of the child on the parent concerned must be submitted.

EU family member Visa Approval

If an application for a residence card is successful the Minister shall issue a letter granting the family member a residence card (Stamp 4EUFAM) for a period up to five years. There is no automatic entitlement to a Residence Card on the basis that you were granted a visa. Residence Card holders can travel between European member states without the requirement of a visa when accompanied by their EU citizen family member. Please see our detailed section about EU Residence cards on our website https://sinnott.ie/immigration/eu-treaty-rights/

In the event that your visa application is approved you will be issued with a single journey short stay ‘C’ visa which will permit you to enter and reside in the State for up to 3 months.

If you are granted a short stay ‘C’ visa on the basis of the Directive and are joining an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who is exercising free movement rights in the State you are advised to ensure that, on arrival in the State, you have proof of the EU/EEA/Swiss citizen’s residence in the State in your possession for production on request to the Immigration Official at the port of entry.

Failure to provide such proof may result in you being refused entry to the State and a visa warning being entered on your passport.

If you are granted a short stay ‘C’ visa on the basis of the Directive and accompanying an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who intends to exercise free movement rights in the State you must, on arrival in the State, be accompanied by the EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.

Failure to be accompanied by the EU/EEA/Swiss citizen may result in you being refused entry to the State and a visa warning being entered on your passport.

In the event that you wish to remain in the State for more than 3 months as a family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen exercising their free movement rights, you must apply (when in the State) for a Residence Card of a family member of a Union citizen.

What if the circumstances of the applicant change?

A family member may in very specific circumstances retain their right of residence if the EU citizen dies, leaves the State or obtains a divorce/annulment. A family member may also retain the right of residence if they have been the victim of domestic abuse. An application for retention of a residence card (EU5) would be made in those circumstances. Sinnott Solicitors have a detailed section on the website about retention of residence cards here: https://sinnott.ie/immigration/eu-treaty-rights/#Retention_Residence_Applications

Long term residency Application

If the EU citizen continues to exercise their free movement rights after five years of residence the family member may apply for permanent residence by completing an EU3 application form with documentary evidence confirming the requirements for permanent residence have been established. If granted permanent residence the family member retains the right of residence for a period of 10 years.

What happens if your application is not successful?

If an application for a residence card is refused the family member may seek a review of the decision and explaining why there was an error in fact/law.

If a family member of an EU citizen has been refused residency after a review they may be subject to a removal order/deportation. It is important that you obtain legal advice if you find yourself in that situation.

Judicial Review of EU Residence Card Refusals

Ultimately if your application for a residence card is refused, you may be entitled to make an application for judicial review to the High Court in respect of the refusal. For a detailed discussion on the Judicial Review Process, please see the judicial review section on our website as follows: https://sinnott.ie/judicial-review/

Visas for Family Members of EU Nationals – Contact Sinnott Solicitors Today!

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Student Visa Applications Ireland

You need a Study Visa to come to Ireland to study, e.g. degree level course, English language course or any programme on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). Your exact preparations depend on your plans and personal circumstances.

You must enroll on and pay for your course of study before you apply for a visa. Read how to apply for permission to study full time in Ireland, including undergraduate, postgraduate, language study, semester abroad & more.

After you have paid for your course, you can apply for a long stay Study Visa. All long stay visas are also called D visa’s. Please see above for detailed information on D visa Applications.

You will not be allowed to come to Ireland without a visa.

You will need to prove that you have a valid reason for entering Ireland to an immigration officer at border control.

To do so you will need your passport, visa, proof you have enrolled on a course (eg printed confirmation) and other documents.

If you cannot satisfy the immigration officer, you will not be allowed into Ireland. 

After you enter the country, you must apply for permission to stay in Ireland and register with immigration before the date stamped on your passport at border control.

If you don’t get permission and register in time, you may have to leave the country.

Bringing your family to Ireland

In general, you cannot bring your family with you to Ireland as a student. There exists some exceptions to that rule. For more on that please see the Departments policy as follows http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Guidelines%20for%20Degree%20Programme%20Students.pdf/Files/Guidelines%20for%20Degree%20Programme%20Students.pdf

Working while you study

In some circumstances, you may be allowed to work while you study. However, there are limits as to what you can do and the total hours you can work.

Non-EEA students who are permitted to reside in the State on a stamp 2 immigration permission are allowed to avail of a work concession.  Under this concession a student may work in Ireland  in a casual part-time capacity without a work permit.

Students holding a valid  immigration stamp 2  permission are permitted work 40 hours per week only during the months of June, July, August and September and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive.

At all other times students holding Immigration permission Stamp 2 will be limited to working 20 hours per week.

It should be noted also that the hours specified are the maximum that a student can work in any given week and not an average over time.  A student who is working for more than one employer remains subject to the overall limits (e.g. during the period when the 20 hour limit applies a student could not work 15 hours each for 2 employers).

The permission to work ceases on the expiry of the students Stamp 2 immigration permission.

You should apply for a visa 3 months before you travel.

Visa Appeals

The Aliens Act 1935 and the Immigration Act 2004 govern Irish law on visas.  The Minister will have recourse to the policy document on non-EEA family reunification when setting out criteria for the grant of a long stay D class join family visa.

A decision to refuse to grant a visa may be challenged on the basis of a clear breach of Article 41, family rights under the constitution of Ireland or Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which concerns the rights of family members.

The Minister for Justice and Equality administers a visa appeals system.  If a visa is applied for an refused, an appeal against that refusal may be submitted to the visa office in writing enclosing any relevant information to the Visa Appeals Officer.

Time Limits for appeal

Visa appeals must be submitted within two months of receipt of the notice of the refusal of the visa.  There is no statutory fee applicable to a visa appeal and in general the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service takes up to six weeks to process a visa appeal.

If a visa refusal is refused by the Minister, that refusal must be very clearly set out and the Minister must give the Applicant clear reasons for the refusal.  The Minister must provide the applicant with such information that is necessary to enable the applicant to consider whether he or she has reasonable chance of appeal or judicially reviewing the decision according to McDermott J in the case of Tar .v. Minister for Justice & Equality 2014 IEHC385 High Court

The following reasons may be used by a Visa Officer for refusing a visa application:-

  1. Insufficient documentation
  2. Finances
  3. The granting of the visa may result in a cost to public funds
  4. The granting of a visa may result in a cost to public resources
  5. Reference reasons
  6. Relationship history/applicant has not shown evidence of a relationship being in existence prior to the visa application/marriage
  7. Immigration status of the reference in Ireland
  8. Immigration history of the applicant
  9. Work permit may be required instead of a visa
  10. One year rule – work permit holder not in the State twelve months with work permit renewed for a further twelve months
  11. Not the general policy to allow spouses or children visas to accompany or join spouse or parent on short term business/training trip
  12. Passport
  13. Previous visa refusals
  14. Visit is not short term in nature exceeding 90 days
  15. Inconsistencies with application
  16. Student profile/gaps in education or employment not accounted for etc
  17. Profile of school not currently being issued for the school
  18. Obligation to return to home country not shown
  19. Observing the conditions of the visa/visa officer concerned that the conditions would not be observed
  20. Family member – minor child not a family member

Sinnott Immigration Lawyers have won many visa appeals on our clients behalf  in respect of visa refusals.

Judicial Review of Visa Refusals

Sinnott Immigration Lawyers have brought many judicial review applications before the High Court in respect of visa refusals. Some of those cases have gone all the way to the European Court of Justice.  You will find a detailed discussion on judicial in the judicial review section of our website. https://sinnott.ie/judicial-review/

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