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You need a visa for Ireland

You need a Join Family Visa to join your spouse, partner, family member or child (who is an Irish citizen) living in Ireland, or to accompany them if they are moving to Ireland.

Your exact preparations depend on your plans and personal circumstances. Some of the most important are described below. Read this information carefully to make sure you have everything you need.

You are from a visa required country and you wish to join an Irish citizen family member in Ireland for longer than 3 months. Change your answers


Before you travel

Apply for a Join Family Visa

You must apply for a long stay Join Family Visa. All long stay visas are also called 'D' visas.

Only some types of family relationship are permitted for this visa. Read more about immigration permission to join a family member in Ireland.

When you travel

Prepare for border control

You will need to prove that you have a valid reason for entering Ireland to an immigration officer at border control.

To do so, you will need your passport, visa, proof of family relationship and other documents.

If you cannot satisfy the immigration officer, you will not be allowed into Ireland.

After you enter

Apply for permission to stay & register with immigration

After you enter the country, you must apply for permission to stay in Ireland and register with immigration before the date shown by the stamp in your passport.

If you don't get permission and register in time, you may have to leave the country.

During your stay

Travel to Northern Ireland & United Kingdom

You cannot travel to Northern Ireland using an Irish visa. You need a visa issued by the United Kingdom.

If you travel from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland and then wish to return to the Republic, you must have a valid multi entry visa or a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card.

Leaving & returning to Ireland

If you plan to leave Ireland for a short period and then come back again, you must you must have a valid multi entry visa or a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card.

If you leave Ireland without a valid multi entry visa or a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card, you will not be allowed back into the country. You will have to apply again for a full visa.

Application conditions

Family relationships

Only some types of family relationship are permitted when joining a family member in Ireland. This includes to join your:

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Long term, de facto partner
  • Other family member

Read more in the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification (PDF 330KB).

Visa application processing times

Applications for a visa are normally processed within 6 months, though this may vary.

Updates on processing waiting times are published on the INIS website every week.

You can cancel your application at any time, however fees will not be refunded.

How to apply

When to apply

You should apply for a visa at least 6 months before you intend travel.

You may need extra time to prepare documents to support your application, eg proof of family relationship.

How to apply

You must apply from your home country or a country where you are a legal resident:

  1. Read detailed instructions for the Join Family Visa
  2. Submit your visa application online
  3. Send your passport and other documents for processing

You will be given instructions where to send your documents when you apply online.

Visa costs

Extra charges may apply for some applications, eg consular fees.

Other costs

To register with immigration (after you arrive in Ireland):

Help & information


Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
Department of Justice and Equality
13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
D02 XK70

Email: (if you live in Dublin)
Email: (if you live outside Dublin)



If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 28 June 2021