Earlier this year the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) eased their policy regarding the length of time a "de facto" or unmarried couple were required to have lived together in the State for the purposes of a residency application. We wrote about that development here: http://www.mcgrathmcgrane.ie/news/change-to-the-cohabitation-requirements-for-de-facto-partners-seeking-residency-in-the-state.html
The INIS have increased the required cohabitation time again to two years, effective from 1st September 2017. Partners are now required to show with documentary evidence that they have lived together for at least two years prior to the date of the residency application.
As before, other factors remain relevant to the application, and need also to be proven with documentary evidence, such as that the partners have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others and that the relationship between the couple is genuine and continuing. Any permission granted is, as before, conditional on the relationship i.e. if the relationship ends, the permission ends.
Applicants must apply via the application form introduced earlier this year which contains Statutory Declarations to be sworn by the Irish citizen/Irish Resident, the non-EEA applicant partner and a Supporting Witness. The Supporting Witness is required to indicate how often they have been in contact with the couple in question and whether they believe the relationship is genuine and continuing, and their reasons for that belief.
If you have any questions regarding the process of obtaining residency in Ireland on the basis of a de facto partner relationship with an Irish citizen/Irish resident and/or need assistance with an application, we can advise you.
If you are thinking of engaging a lawyer, why not contact us today to see if we can assist? Any of our solicitors will be delighted to speak with you without obligation.