What is the new Pre-Clearance Process?
At present non-EEA de facto partners of Irish citizens who wish to relocate to Ireland with their Irish citizen partner must begin the application process for residence after their arrival in the State. This is set to change from 1st November 2019.
Who does it apply to?
A non-EEA de facto partner refers to both opposite or same sex partners, one of whom is an Irish citizen, who have been in a relationship similar to marriage, have been living together for at least two years, and have a mutual commitment to a shared life together.
How will it benefit non-EEA de facto partners of Irish citizens?
Until now, the residence process has generally taken up to one year or more to complete. This has resulted in difficulty for non-EEA de facto partners as their legal status in the State expires while they are waiting for a decision to issue.
As of 1st November 2019, all applications can be made from outside the State and if successful, preclearance (in the form of a letter) will be granted and the non-EEA citizen can then travel to Ireland and register their permission following their arrival.
What does the application process involve?
The application process involves first applying for preclearance by submitting various supporting documents in respect of both the non-EEA applicant and the Irish citizen partner. If preclearance is granted and the non-EEA citizen is not from a visa required country, they can simply travel to Ireland and present their preclearance letter at their point of entry and then register their permission within the following 90 days.
If, on the other hand, the non-EEA citizen is from a visa required country, they will then need to apply for a visa and submit the preclearance letter as one of the supporting documents.
If you are seeking to apply for residence in Ireland on the basis of your de facto relationship with an Irish citizen partner, and would like to discuss this new pre-clearance process in detail, please feel free to contact our office.
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.