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Brexit Update: Details of the process for non-EEA family members of UK nationals relocating to Ireland after 31 December 2020

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What is the change?

Previously non-EEA family members of UK nationals could avail of EU Treaty Rights in Ireland, if eligible. If their application was successful, they would receive ‘Stamp 4 EU Fam’ permission. The UK has now left the EU as of 31 December 2020. This means that non-EEA family members of UK nationals will no longer be able to avail of EU Treaty rights from this date. However, UK nationals will be able to act as a sponsor for their non-EEA family members should they wish to live in Ireland, and meet the eligible criteria. Depending on the nationality of the non-EEA family member, they will be required to apply through either the preclearance or visa scheme, before entering Ireland.

Key points:

Implementation time frame: This change is set to take effect from 11pm on 31 December 2020, following the end of the Brexit transition period. This will be a permanent policy update.

Who is affected: This affects non-EEA family members of UK nationals who come to live in Ireland after 31 December 2020. This does not affect non-EEA family members of UK nationals who have been living in Ireland prior to 31 December 2020. These individuals will most likely be considered a beneficiary under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can read more about this here

A non-EEA family member of a UK national living in Ireland may be eligible to avail of this scheme if they are:

  • A non-EEA, non-Swiss national
  • Being sponsored by an eligible UK national
  • Ordinarily resident outside of Ireland
  • Of good character and good standing
  • In a position to show documentary evidence of your relationship to the UK national
  • Intend to live together permanently with your UK family member in Ireland
  • Have medical insurance from a company authorised by the Health Insurance Authority of Ireland
  • And fall into one of the following categories:
    1. Category One: Spouse, civil partner or de facto partner of the UK national
    2. Category Two: A dependant child of the UK national, or a dependent child of the UK national’s non-EEA spouse, civil partner, or de facto partner.
    3. Category Three: A dependant parent (aged 66 or older) of the UK national or a dependant parent of the UK national’s non-EEA spouse, civil partner, or de facto partner.

Next Steps:

UK nationals and their non-EEA family members, should check whether they meet the eligibility criteria if they wish to enter Ireland and reside there after 31 December 2020. If the non-EEA family member is visa required national, then they will need to apply for a Join Family Entry Visa, outside of Ireland. If successful, they will receive an Irish Entry Visa Endorsement in their passport. If the non-EEA family member is not a visa required national, then they will need to apply through the preclearance scheme, outside of Ireland. If successful, they will receive a preclearance approval letter. A list of countries that require a visa to enter Ireland can be found here.

Both application types can be made online on the AVATS application system. Following the submission of the online form, applicants will need to file their full applications and supporting documents in line with local Irish Embassy policy. Non-EEA family members of UK nationals should not enter Ireland until they have been granted their entry visa or preclearance approval letter.

Once in Ireland, the non-EEA family member of the UK nationals, will need to register their permission at their local immigration office/Garda station.

Analysis & Comments:

Deloitte welcomes this update on the immigration process for non-EEA family members of UK nationals after the Brexit transition period ends.

Individuals should note that eligibility to apply to the above does not mean that it is automatically assumed that the non-EEA national’s application will be granted under the Scheme.

If a non-EEA family member of a UK national wishes to enter Ireland as a visitor, then the above does not apply.

If you have employees or potential new hires who may be impacted by the above changes, please contact the Deloitte immigration team to assist.

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