- Statutory Instrument S.I. No. 226 of 2006 European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 (to implement Directive 2004/38/EC in Ireland). There is also a 2008 ammendment which corrects the earlier incorrect transposition of the Directive by the Irish government and subsequent solid defeat before the ECJ.
- Ireland finally recognizes (Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2011) the Residence Cards issued by other EU member states – so no more wasting time on an Irish visa.
How well has the Directive been implemented?
- Compliance Study (Directive 2004/38/EC): Ireland (PDF file from 2008)
- Table of correspondence for Directive 2004/38/EC: Ireland (PDF file from 2008)
- See the section named Problems below
Government Web Sites
- http://www.inis.gov.ie/ The Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS)
- http://dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=8605 Department of Foreign Affairs issues visas abroad
- http://www.justice.ie/ Department of justice are responsible for the laws and correct transposition of European law
- http://www.entemp.ie/labour/workpermits/marriedtoeu.htm (Page has been moved. Original is available here) This is for family of EU citizens wanting a work permit before the Residence Card is approved (Note that your right to work in Ireland begins the moment you arrive in the country)
- Press release from the Department of Justice about European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006. This is now only available on the (now defunct) Progressive Democrat’s web site as a press release.
As Irish legislation does not treat registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage Ireland is not be obliged to recognise registered partners as family members. However, Ireland is obliged to facilitate the entry and residence of the partner with whom the Union citizen has a durable relationship, duly attested. In doing so an extensive examination of the personal circumstances of such relations must be undertaken.
Online discussion forums
- http://www.immigrationboards.com/viewforum.php?f=34 has discussion of problems surrounding the issue of EU residence permits in Ireland
European Commission in Ireland
Enforcement of European Union Rightsin Ireland
- The Immigrant Council of Ireland have a decent web site, answer questions, and do interesting publications.
- Migrant Rights Centre Ireland has interesting documents and publications
Apparently a number of EU citizens and their families are having difficulties exercising their rights of freedom of movement in Ireland. Problems include:
- Visas not being issued properly. The Irish permanent representative to the EU, Bobby McDonagh, provided a copy of the Irish guidelines for issuing visas to family members of EU citizens and said that “The visa should be a Multiple Journey “D” Visa” (bold emphasis from the original), and that the majority of applicants should have an answer within 5 days. The document also clearly lays out documents required.
- Residence cards (EU1) are not being issued within required 6 months (many complaints)
- Residence cards (EU1) issued with a validity of only one year rather than the required 5 years (several complaints)
- Petition 0216/2005 by Mr R. D. (Dutch), on the unnecessary formalities by application of 3rd national spouse visa:
Mr. R. D., a Dutch national, works in the United Kingdom and resides there together with his spouse, a third country national. He complains that the Irish Consulate in London required his spouse to produce a 3 months bank statement, a hotel reservation and a letter from her employer when she applied for an Irish tourist visa to accompany him on his business trip to Dublin. He considers that those were unnecessary formalities as she is entitled to free movement because of her marriage to a Union citizen.
As the right to move for a third country family member of a Union citizen derives from the family relationship alone, the Member State’s requirement to present any supporting documents beyond those establishing the identity and family link would be an obstacle to free movement.
The Irish Permanent Representation replied by letter of 13 April 2006 in which they acknowledged the problems Mr R.D. and his spouse encountered while travelling to Ireland and they conceded that the requirements did indeed violate Community legislation.
They also informed that for the past twelve months, the requirements for third country family members accompanying a Union citizen travelling to Ireland are as follows – passports of the applicant and Union citizen, the original marriage certificate and three photographs. Moreover, all Irish Embassies and Consulates have been reminded of these requirements.
- Fees being charged for visitors visas issued to family members of EU citizens
- Complaint to the EU from a German citizen married to an Russian woman (the couple lives in London) about onerous requirements from the Irish embassy before issuing a visitors visa to the wife
- Petition 0016/2006 by Ms. Sinéad Quinn (Irish), on Spanish and Irish legislations on residence and citizenship related rights leading to restraints to the freedom of movement within EU Member States:
Community law also obliges Member States to grant family members a residence card as soon as possible and in any event no later than six months from the date of application for the permit. In this regard it is noted that Spain has been recently condemned by the Court of Justice in its judgment of 14 April 2005 in case C-2003/157, inter alia, for failing, in breach of Community law, to issue a residence permit as soon as possible and in any event not later than six months from the date on which the application was submitted
Concerning the allegation that the petitioner’s husband was not allowed to work or travel during those 10 months, it is recalled that, as confirmed by the Court of Justice in the judgment against Spain, the right of entry into the territory of a Member State granted to a third country national who is the spouse of a national of a Member State derives from the family relationship alone. Therefore, the issuance of a residence permit to such a family member is to be regarded, not as a measure giving rise to rights but as a measure by a Member State serving to prove the individual position of a national of a third country with regard to the provisions of Community law. It was, therefore, not necessary for the petitioner’s husband to wait for the issue of the residence card in order to work in Spain or to request a visa to travel to Ireland.”
- Petition 0207/2006 by Ms Kelly Welch (British), on lack of response from Irish embassy to an application for a visa made by her husband, a Nigerian national residing in Belgium
- Petition 0646/2006 by Hanna Sobczak (Polish), on the rejection by the Irish authorities of her Bulgarian spouse’s application for a permanent residence permit in Ireland
By its judgment of 9 January 2007 in case C-1/05 Jia, the European Court of Justice confirmed that Community law does not require Member States to make the grant of a residence permit to nationals of a non-Member State, who are members of the family of a Community national who has exercised his or her right of free movement, subject to the condition that those family members have previously been residing lawfully in another Member State. Section 3(2) of the 2006 Regulations would appear to be contrary to Community law as the right of residence in Ireland cannot be made conditional upon having resided legally in another Member State before arriving in Ireland. The Commission services envisage drawing the attention of the Irish authorities to this judgment and require that the Irish legislation fully complies with Community law.
- Petition 0905/2006 by Mr Carlo Buono (Italian), on the rights of same-gender couples under EC Directive 2004/38 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the Member States
In order to comply with provisions of Directive 2004/38/EC, Ireland brought into force the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006. Regulation 3(2) of the 2006 Regulations excludes from its personal scope all family members of a Union citizen (including same-gender partners) who were not lawfully resident in another Member State before seeking to enter Ireland to reside there with the Union citizen.
The Commission believes that such an interpretation of Community law on the right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the European Union, based on the judgment of the European Court of Justice in case Akrich , cannot be applied to all family members seeking family reunification with a Union citizen who has exercised his or her right to move and reside freely.
Such interpretation is supported by recent judgment of the Court in case Jia where the Court ruled that Community law does not require Member States to make the grant of a residence permit to nationals of a non-Member State, who are members of the family of a Union citizen who has exercised his or her right of free movement, subject to the condition that those family members have previously been residing lawfully in another Member State.
The Commission received recently a number of complaints concerning refusal by the Irish authorities of residence card applications of third country family members of Union citizens residing in Ireland on the grounds that the family members have not resided in a Member State before coming to Ireland. A case is pending before the Irish High Court on legality of Regulation 3(2) of the 2006 Regulations. The judgment is scheduled for 15 June 2007.
The Commission envisages addressing the compliance of Regulation 3(2) with Community law within the overall examination of compliance of the Irish legislation with Directive 2004/38/EC, as interpreted by the Court in case Jia. The examination is expected to be completed shortly.