How to Gain Long-Term Residence in Ireland
In the last decade, Ireland has experienced strong interest from migrants from around the world, with around 85,000 people moving there each year. Ireland, like its closest neighbour, the UK, is expected to experience a strong economic rebound in 2021 and 2022. This is partially due to the impact of Brexit, which has caused some businesses to relocate from the British mainland for greater access to the EU market, but also the ongoing economic recovery from COVID-19. According to the European Commission’s Spring Economic Forecast, Ireland’s GDP should grow in the region by 4.6% in 2021 and 5% in 2022. These forecasts exceed those of the wider EU, which is expected to see economic growth of 4.2% in 2021 and 4.4% in 2022. The same report also highlighted that Ireland was the only EU country to record positive growth during 2020 due to the strong performance of multi-national businesses and pharmaceutical companies based there. In addition to its strong economy, Ireland also offers migrants from around the world a safe, friendly, and culturally rich place to live. It has excellent schools and universities and a wide range of skilled job vacancies with competitive rates of pay. In this article, we will discuss how immigrants to Ireland can secure long-term residence.
How Can I Gain Permanent Residence In Ireland?
Non-EU/EEA nationals who have lived and worked in Ireland for a continuous period of five years can apply for a long-term residency permit. It is also possible to apply if you are the spouse or dependant child of an Irish citizen or settled person in Ireland. The permit is granted for a period of five years and is renewable. One of the main benefits of holding a long-term residency permit in Ireland is that holders are not required to continue applying for work permits. The guidance published by the Irish government states, “Persons who have been legally resident in the State for a minimum of five years (i.e. 60 months) on the basis of work permit/work authorisation/working visa conditions may apply to this office for a five-year residency extension. In that context, they may also apply to be exempt from employment permit requirements”. It is important to note, however, that, unlike long-term residency workers, spouses and dependants will still need a work permit.
Not all visa holders are eligible for long-term residence in Ireland, however, including:
- Student visa holders.
- Intra-Company Transfer visa holders.
- Employees of a foreign embassy in Ireland.
- Working Holiday visa holders.
- Green card permit holders (note, however, that if you hold a combination of work permits and Green Card (Employment) Permits, then you can apply for Long Term Residency).
- Those Ireland under Business Permission.
- Those in Ireland under the Turkish Agreement.
- Those in Ireland under humanitarian grounds.
- Those with Refugee Status.
- Those with permission to remain in Ireland under the IBC and IBC-05 (Irish Born Child) schemes.
What Are The Eligibility Rules For A Long-Term Residency Permit In Ireland?
In order to make a successful application for a long-term residency permit in Ireland, in addition to the five-year residence requirements, applicants need to take into account the following eligibility requirements:
- Only legal residence in Ireland on a work permit, work authorisation, or working visa conditions will be counted as ‘reckonable residence’ for the purposes of your long-term residency application.
- Reckonable residence must be reflected by either a Stamp 1 or Stamp 4 endorsement on your passport - and not by the dates on your work permits, working authorisation, or working visa.
- For those applying for long-term residency as a spouse/dependant, the time spent in Ireland with a Stamp 3 (or, in some cases, a combination of Stamps 1 and 3) will be taken into account.
- Your current permission to stay in Ireland must not have expired by the date you apply for a long-term residency permit
- You must be in paid employment when you apply and during and after the application process.
- You must be of good character.
- Any period of time for which you do not have permission to remain is not counted when calculating your reckonable residence.
If you are granted long-term residency as a worker in Ireland, you will be given a Stamp 4 for a period of five years. Spouses and dependants will receive a Stamp 3 (dependant stamp).
How Do I Apply For A Long-Term Residence Permit?
Long-term residence applicants are required to draft a covering letter of application listing the start and end dates of each relevant Irish passport stamp and how this equates to residency of five years or more. This must be posted to the following address:
Long Term Residency,
Unit 3 - Domestic Residence and Permissions,
Immigration Service Delivery,
Department of Justice,
13/14 Burgh Quay,
Applicants also need to include their work permits, Certificate of Registration (i.e. their Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card), and clear and legible copy (or copies) of their passport(s), including all endorsements. On receipt of your application, it will be reviewed to ensure you are eligible for long residency and then placed into a queue for final processing. The current processing time for an Irish long-term residency permit is between five and eight months. Thankfully, under the Irish immigration rules, the application fee of €500 is only payable once you receive a positive decision (you will have 28 days to pay this once requested to do so). Once the fee is paid, and all of the other requirements met, the applicant will be issued with a letter confirming the grant of long residence and what will happen next).
While the long-term residency permit in Ireland only lasts for five years (and this can be renewed), it is also possible to acquire residency ‘Without Condition As To Time Endorsement’ after eight years, meaning that holders can effectively remain indefinitely (this is referred to as a Stamp 5). This can then be used towards Irish citizenship (Stamp 6). If you need any help with securing long-term Irish residency, speak to an immigration lawyer who will be glad to assist you and your family to settle in Ireland.