A new preclearance has been announced today to help non-EEA partners of Irish citizens live and work in Ireland.
The process will make it easier for Irish emigrants to return home with de facto (long-term) partners from outside the European Economic Area.
The partners will now be allowed to apply for permission to reside in Ireland before they travel.
Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan said the streamlined preclearance will “provide greater certainty for people considering or planning on moving back home to Ireland with their non-EEA de facto partner.”
Under the previous system, the application process for de facto partners could only begin upon their arrival in the State and may have taken up to a year to complete.
The change means that, reflecting the diversity of modern relationships and families, the immigration situation of de facto partners will be more akin to non-EEA spouses and civil partners of Irish citizens.
Now, once preclearance has been granted, applicants can arrive and register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) immediately and then have access to the labour market straight away.
Full details and further information on the revised arrangements, including the criteria for obtaining preclearance, are set-out in the INIS website www.inis.gov.ie