Ireland imposes restriction on spouses, dependents in need of multiple-entry visas

24 Sep 15



What is the change? Ireland’s visa office has imposed a new restriction that requires spouses and dependents registering for multiple-entry visas to reside in the country for at least one month before applying for their visas.

What does the change mean? The visa office will no longer accept multiple entry visa applications from spouses and dependents who have resided in Ireland for less than one month. Spouses and dependents who require a multiple-entry visa to leave and return to Ireland should not travel during their first month in the country.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Multiple-entry visas for spouses and dependents.
  • Who is affected: Spouses and dependents in need of Irish multiple-entry visas.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times themselves are not impacted, but the change significantly adds to the time it takes for a spouse or dependent to obtain a multiple-entry visa upon arriving in Ireland.

Background: Previously, spouses and dependents could apply for a multiple-entry visa immediately upon receiving their GNIB card in Ireland.

The change was made in an effort to more closely regulate the residency of visa-required spouses and dependents, who begin to accrue reckonable residency—which can eventually be used when applying for long-term residence or naturalization—immediately upon registering with GNIB. Authorities were concerned that a number of visa-required spouses and dependents were entering with principal visa holders, registering with GNIB and then returning to their home countries for substantial periods of time. The one-month requirement is designed to ensure that dependents are more “settled” in Ireland before applying for a multiple-entry visa.

Principal visa holders are not affected and can still apply for a multiple-entry visa once they have their GNIB card

BAL Analysis: Spouses and dependents should take note of the change and are advised against traveling outside of Ireland during their first month in the country. Doing so may delay their ability to obtain a multiple-entry visa.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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