Ireland has a special relationship with the UK because of The common travel area (CTA) which has existed between us since 1922 and formally brought about in 1952. The CTA exists between Ireland, the UK, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. This CTA is independent of the membership of Ireland and the UK of the European Union. The CTA agreement is based upon legislation and bilateral agreements between Ireland and the UK. Due to Brexit, the Irish and UK Governments have signed a memorandum of understanding committing to ensuring that the rights derived from the CTA for the benefit of its citizens continue to be protected.
Ireland recently enacted the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Act 2020. There are provisions contained in that act to maintain the integrity and operation of the CTA thereby ensuring that the established rights associated with the operation of the CTA continue for its citizens. The UK-EU Brexit Trade Agreement expressly states that the agreement is without prejudice to any arrangement made between the two jurisdictions in respect of the CTA. Consequently, after 1st January 2021, the citizens of each jurisdiction will continue to have the same rights associated with the CTA to include the right to wok, study, vote and access to health and social welfare benefits. Citizens of both jurisdictions will continue to be able to travel freely between both States without the necessity of border controls on travel within the CTA post 1st January 2021.
The rights of Non-EEA family members and dependents of British Citizens who come to Ireland after Brexit
The rights of Non-EEA family members and dependents of British Nationals who wish to become resident in Ireland are currently outlined in a Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification which was published by the Irish Naturalisaion and Immigration Service, now called Immigration Service Delivery in 2016. The policy document outlines the entitlements of certain categories of individuals to apply for residence in Ireland based on their relationship with another person already entitled to live in Ireland. As stated in the new Scheme in relation to Non EEA Family Members of UK Citizens intending to reside in the State and in line with the 2016 Policy Document, UK citizens have no automatic entitlement to have a non-EEA national family member reside with them in the State.
New Scheme in relation to Non EEA Family Members of UK Citizens intending to reside in the State
On 23rd December 2020, The Department of Justice published a scheme in relation to Non-EEA family members of UK citizens who intend to reside in the State. Under the scheme British Citizens will be permitted to make an application to sponsor an Non- EEA National family member or dependent to reside with them in Ireland. The new scheme policy document does not outline any automatic entitlement of British citizens to have their Non- EEA family member or dependent live with them in Ireland. Under the scheme British Citizens will be permitted to sponsor an application for permission for a specified non-EEA national family member or dependent to reside with them in Ireland.