Anyone who has been legally resident in Ireland for more than five years may apply for a residence stamp, which allows them to remain for a further five years. Those who have been legally resident for more than ten years can obtain a stamp entitling them to permission to reside indefinitely in Ireland. They will nevertheless still be required to maintain valid work permits, business permission and visas, if appropriate, as well as keeping their Green Book up-to-date.
Spouses & Dependants
Holders of a work authorisation may generally be joined by their spouses and dependent children once they have started work. Those with a working visa must have been in Ireland for at least a year and expect to remain at least another year before their spouses and children may join them. In both cases, permit holders must be able to support their families without them needing to work themselves (unless they have their own work permit or authorisation) or claim state benefits.
Dependants of EEA nationals who are eligible for residence permits may also apply for residence permits or, in the case of non-EEA dependants of an EEA national, a residence document – which is also a Registration Book. This is normally granted automatically, although non-EEA dependants must also register with the Gardaí and obtain permission to remain, which will be valid for the same period as that covered by the residence permit of the EEA national on whom they are dependent.
Dependants of economically active persons (i.e. those who are either employed or self-employed, or who are providing or receiving a service in Ireland) include the spouse, children under 21 (or older if still dependent) and the children’s spouses as well as ‘dependent direct lineal ancestors and descendants of the person and the spouse’. In the case of economically non-active persons (i.e. students, retirees and those of independent means), their dependants are as described above except that the age limit for children is 18. There are no special rules for fiancé(e)s or other relatives.
The parents or dependants of Irish citizens or of non-Irish citizens who have been legally resident for more than five years and are financially independent may apply for permission to reside for five years as visitors; those who have already been resident for five years or more may apply for a residence stamp, which allows them to reside in Ireland indefinitely. Spouses of Irish citizens who are registered or exempt from registration can apply for permission to reside for up to five years.