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EU Treaty Rights Information

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January 2017

SOLVIT Ireland has been in contact with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) regarding the delay in processing EU Treaty Rights applications at the Dublin Visa Office and at the Embassies and Consulates. INIS are making every effort to process EU free movement applications on an accelerated basis, however, processing times can vary and due to an extreme volume of applications, and there is now a backlog which they are working hard to address.

SOLVIT presently cannot offer any additional assistance with these cases as no EU application will be prioritised by INIS over any other. All EU applications are being dealt with in turn, and will be processed to a conclusion in due course.

SOLVIT was set up as an informal problem solving network and it has no legal or enforcement powers. SOLVIT cannot insist or take an action against any Irish authority in areas where they will not meet the requirements of EU law.

The next option available for applicants is to submit a formal complaint to the European Commission in relation to the Irish authority's inability to meet the terms of the Directive and issue visas for qualifying family members under the accelerated process. Please follow the link below:

17 December 2009 Travel over the Christmas period

  • The Irish SOLVIT Centre regularly gets requests for help in relation to travel issues over the Christmas holidays

Non-EU family members of EU citizens who require a visa should contact the Embassy of the Member State they intend visiting in good time before finalising their plans.

Please note, SOLVIT can only act where there has been a misapplication of EU law by a public body and cases can take up to 10 weeks to resolve:

21 January 2009,Document PDFEU Commission Report on how Document PDFDirective 2004/38/EC is transposed into national law and how it is applied in everyday life.

1 August 2008, The Department of Justice Document PDFissued a press release on the Metock and Others V the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform judgement.

The following information is taken from the Department of Justice website.

In light of the decision of the European Court of Justice on 25 July 2008 "Metock & others", The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform introduced European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 (Statutory Instrument No.310 of 2008) amending the above Regulations. See SI 310 of 2008.

What will the Regulations mean in terms of registration and residence in Ireland?

For EU Citizens - Under the Regulations an EU citizen does not need to register his/her presence in the State with the immigration authorities.

The right of residence of an EU citizen remains subject to conditions. He/she must be, either,

  • engaged in economic activity (employed or self employed); or
  • a person with sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State; or
  • enrolled as a student or vocational trainee; or
  • a family member of an EU citizen in one of the above categories.

For Family Members - A Family Member (i.e. spouse, child, dependant relative, other family member requiring the personal care of the EU citizen on health grounds, member of the household of the EU citizen, partner) who is not a national of an EU Member State must apply for a Residence Card which will confirm that he/she is a family member of an EU citizen residing in Ireland. This Residence Card can be used in place of an Irish re-entry visa, where the holder wishes to leave Ireland on a short journey and return to the State.

What other changes result from the Regulations?

Permanent Residence - EU citizens and their family members may apply, respectively, for a Permanent Residence Certificate or Permanent Residence Card after they have resided for a continuous period of 5 years in Ireland. Residence Card for Children - A particular feature of the Regulations is that non-EEA nationals of whatever age who are family members of EU citizens resident in Ireland should apply for the appropriate Card. Prior to the introduction of the Regulations, children under 16 years of age were specifically excluded from the requirement to register their presence in Ireland.

Partners of EU citizens - The Regulations allow for the facilitation of the admission of the partner of an EU citizen where they are in a durable relationship which is duly attested. The permission granted to such partners for the purposes of admission and residence in the State does not involve the recognition of such partnerships for other purposes. It will be noted from the Application Form that documentary evidence is required to establish that the partnership has existed for a reasonable duration. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) would expect that clear evidence be provided that the partnership has existed for at least 2 years prior to the application in order to issue the relevant card. In examining an application, INIS is obliged to undertake an extensive examination of the personal circumstances of such relationships.

End of information taken from the Department of Justice website.

28 July 2008, The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Friday 25th July 2008 in the case of Metock and Others V the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform is currently considering the judgement and its implications and expect to be in a position to provide information shortly. Any such information will be posted on their website
ECJ Document PDFPress Release (pdf document, 437kb)
ECJ Judgement

25 July 2008, EU Commission welcomes Metock case clarification on free movement of citizens by ECJ.

January 2008, New rules on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals with regard to employment permits have been issued. Further information can be found at

High Court Judgment (Kumar Case), 28/05/07 (this will open a page on the Irish Courts website, click the back button to return here)
What happens now if an application for a Residence Card under EU Treaty Rights has been refused according to Regulation 3(2)?

If the applicant was legally resident in the State at the time of the application and had one of the following Stamps in their passport:
Stamp 1- Issued to non-EEA nationals in possession of a work permit and to persons granted permission to engage in business in the State
Stamp 2 - Issued to full-time students
Stamp 3- Issued to visitors, tourists, spouses of work permit holders, persons receiving medical treatment and retired persons - employment is prohibited to holders of this Stamp
Stamp 4- Issued to spouses and dependents of EEA nationals, spouses of Irish nationals/parents of Irish citizens who have been granted permission to remain in the State on that basis, persons granted refugee status under the terms of the 1951 Geneva Convention, former asylum seekers granted humanitarian leave to remain and Programme refugees. Holders of this Stamp do not require a work permit or business permission. This Stamp is also issued to holders of Work Authorisations or Working Visas
Stamp 5- Issued to persons who have dual citizenship through; birth in Ireland; parent(s) born in Ireland; grandparent(s) born in Ireland (Foreign Births Register Certificate required from Department of Foreign Affairs); naturalization or post nuptial citizenship
Stamp 6- Issued to non-EEA nationals who have resided in the State for at least 8 years. It is issued based on the individual merits of each application;

  • the applicant can return to the local Immigration Registration Office to enquire about a renewal, or regularization, of permission to remain in the State. However, the applicant should only do so where the refusal letter instructs him or her what to do next. Where the applicant has previously received a refusal letter, which does not contain an instruction as to what to do next, he or she should now write to EU Treaty Rights Section, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 seeking a review of their case.

If the applicant was not lawfully resident in the State at the time of the application, i.e. the applicant did not have an entry visa or permission to remain had expired, the applicant will be issued with a notification under Section 3(4) of the Immigration Act, 1999 (as amended) by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). The applicant will be informed of the alternatives open to him or her, which include removal from the State and, in that context, will be given an opportunity to make representations as to why the applicant should not be removed.

INIS can be contacted at 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
LoCall No.: 1890 221 227
INIS website is found at

The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) can be contacted at:
13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. Telephone: (01) 666 9100