Irish people are habitually a migratory people who, for centuries, have sought opportunity and adventure beyond the shores of this island. Some Irish emigrants never return, but some do. And sometimes, they come back with a non-Irish spouse or partner. But how does this work as far as immigration to Ireland and an Ireland spouse visa is concerned?
This short guide has the answers for couples who comprise of one Irish citizen and one non-Irish citizen, and are interested in learning more about what many people refer to as an Irish spouse visa. In order to be eligible, the partnership may take the form of a marriage, civil partnership, or common-law partnership.
Non-Irish family members from an EU/EEA country
The good news is that you may both come to Ireland without needing to apply for an Ireland spouse visa. To learn more about the rights of EU/EEA citizens in Ireland, please visit this page.
EU/EEA countries are listed here.
Non-Irish family members from a non-EU/EEA country
A first trip to a spouse or partner’s home country — Ireland, in this case — may simply be a visit. Perhaps the non-Irish person wants to meet the family, explore the island, enjoy the many cosy pubs and cafes and meet the people within, or even begin networking for future opportunities. Whatever the case, it may be appropriate to plan a short-term visit to Ireland before pursuing long-term status in the country.
Citizens of any country listed in the slide below (click to open) do not need a visa to visit Ireland.
Countries whose citizens do not require a visa to visit Ireland
Antigua & Barbuda
Hong Kong (Special Admin. Region)
Macau (Special Admin. Region)
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom & Colonies
United States of America
Citizens of any country listed below need a visa to visit Ireland, if traveling on a passport or travel document issued by that country.
Countries whose citizens require a visa to visit Ireland
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
Papua New Guinea
Sao Tome and Principe
State of Palestine
For further information on visiting Ireland, please visit this page.
Staying in Ireland
If the visit went well and you feel that Ireland is the place to build your lives and careers, then the non-Irish spouse or partner will need to apply for status in Ireland, either through one of the many economic programmes and employment permit options that are available or, more likely in the case of couples, based on the ongoing relationship with an Irish citizen – what you may more commonly refer to as an Ireland spouse visa.
Again, non-Irish family members who are citizens of an EU/EEA country do not need to pursue this route, as their citizenship bestows residency rights in any EU/EEA country, including Ireland.
For citizens of other countries, however, now is the time to gather knowledge and get moving on your application to live and work in Ireland. Everything from Ireland spouse visa requirements and Ireland spouse visa processing time considerations need to be taken into account.
Our friends at the Crosscare Migrant Project have produced expert guides for exactly these types of situations. Their guides are comprehensive, reliable and well-sourced, and we recommend using them without hesitation. This advice will help with queries you have relating to Ireland spouse visa processing time, Ireland spouse visa requirements and much more.
Download the relevant Crosscare essential guide for everything you need to know: