Returning to Ireland: Visas for children and partners

Non-Irish family members may need to apply for a visa or residency to live here

Irish people who are returning to live in Ireland with a non-Irish family member, such as a child, spouse, civil partner or de facto partner, should be aware that the person might need a visa before entering Ireland. Even if they are the child of an Irish citizen, or are married to an Irish citizen, people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are not automatically entitled to live here and must apply for residency.

Residency can be granted based on marriage, civil partnership or a de facto relationship if certain conditions are fulfilled.

You must be in Ireland to apply. After registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, you can submit your application for residency based on your relationship. This must be done in person to the GNIB if you are the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen.

Crosscare Migrant Project has published a detailed information leaflet on residency for non-EEA family members and partners of Irish citizens who would like to live here, with information on how to apply to enter the country, register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, and apply for residency based on a relationship with an Irish citizen.


Click here to download the booklet.

Details are correct at time of update on May 25th, 2016, but readers are advised to check official websites linked to in the guide for the most up-to-date information. 

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny, founding editor of Irish Times Abroad, a section for Irish-connected people around the world, is Editor of the Irish Times Magazine