In this article we explore De Facto Partnerships as a basis for obtaining immigration permission in Ireland.
What is a De Facto Partnership?
One of the reasons people get married is to formalise their commitment to stay in a relationship. Marriage comes with a lot of responsibilities but it also carries certain privileges. For example, people who hold an immigration permission, either based on citizenship or an employment permit, can extend their permission to their loved ones based on their marriage. In Ireland, under the conditions of a De Facto Partnership, you can enjoy this privilege without having to be married. However, you will need to provide evidence of a durable relationship and display commitment to stay in it. In practice your relationship has to resemble marriage.
What does that mean?
Most importantly, you will have to provide evidence of living together as a couple for at least two years. I will point out that the time spent cohabiting does not have to be in Ireland and that the rules do not disqualify same sex couples.
Evidence of durable relationship
We will now look at some documents that may be required as proof of a De Facto Partnership.
Proof of cohabitation
Living together is the main condition of a De Facto Partnership. Proving cohabitation essentially means showing that both partners shared an address at a given point in time.
We have discussed the best forms of proof of address in a separate article, but as a reminder, let's again list the most widely accepted ones:
- Tenancy Agreement
- Bank Statement
- Tax Credit Certificate
- Utility Bill
These documents have to clearly state your name, address and date of issue. The documents should either contain the names of both partners or have a corresponding date of issue if two separate documents are submitted.
Proof of financial interdependence
In addition to living together, it may be useful to display financial interdependence. This may take the form of:
- Joint account statements
- Receipts for large shared purchases
- Flight tickets purchased together
General proof of relationship
In some cases you may be asked to provide some general evidence of your relationship such as:
- Social media posts
Proof of sufficient means
As a Sponsor, the person holding the immigration permission has to prove that they have sufficient means to support his or her partner. This can be done by producing documents such as:
- Recent Payslips
- Letter from employer
Change in circumstances
If any of your circumstances change (address, job, etc.), you should contact the INIS as soon as possible.
Common De Facto Partnership categories
De Facto Partnership with an Irish citizen
In order to remain in Ireland as a De Facto Partner of an Irish national you will need to fill out and submit form RES4 [PDF-external].
Additional information can be obtained from the De Facto Relationships page [external link].
De Facto Partners of Irish citizens will receive Stamp 4 permission.
De Facto Partnership with an EU citizen
In order to remain in Ireland as a De Facto Partner of an EU citizen you will need to fill out and submit form EU1A [PDF-external].
Additional information can be obtained from EU Treaty Rights FAQ page [external link].
De Facto Partners of EU citizens will receive Stamp 4 permission.
De Facto Partnership with a Critical Employment Skills Permit (CSEP) holder or Non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement
In April 2019 the INIS have updated their policy regarding Non-EEA Family Reunification policy. This change affects De Facto Partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement.
Under the new rules De Facto Partners of CSEP holders and researchers can upgrade their visa permission from Stamp 3 (without the entitlement to work) to Stamp 1G (with entitlement to work full-time).
Going forward, De Facto Partners of CSEP holders and researchers will need to obtain a 'Preclearance letter of approval' before arriving in Ireland, which will lead to Stamp 1 permission.
For additional information, please visit the Family Reunification Policy page [external link].