Wednesday, February 2, 2011

De Facto Relationships with Irish Citizens (December 2010)

In the middle of December, our immigration team gave some guidelines on  what applicants must show in order to establish a de facto relationship with an Irish citizen. This may be of interest to applicants who are not married but are in a settled relationship with an Irish national.


Residency in the State based on being the partner of an Irish citizen is generally granted on a case by case basis.  Such applications must be accompanied by submission of documentary evidence to show that the relationship has been of at least two years duration.  Where the couple does not reside together this can prove to be a difficult task.  In a recent case, our clients who have been together for just over two years made such an application in order to regularise the status of the non-Irish/non-EEA partner of an Irish citizen.   We submitted an application to the De Facto Applications Unit of the Department of Justice and Law Reform however we were concerned that we could not provide the requisite documentary evidence to show that our clients had been together for over two years.  They had not been living together and do not share a bank account.  The application was refused on the basis that the duration of the relationship could not be supported.  In this instance we were pleased however that the deciding officer employed the least restrictive measure by permitting the non-Irish partner to reside under Stamp 3 conditions for one year.  He had recently become undocumented.  The clients were also invited to make a further application once they could establish the duration of their relationship through documentary evidence.  

We would be interested in hearing your experiences with these types of applications.  As always we welcome your feedback and comments! 



  1. This is nice. great blog and good info. Very interesting. I'll subscribe to your feed mate.

  2. Hello!! Great blog! I have few doubts about the facto relationship visa and maybe you could help me out to understand an apply for the Visa.
    I was studying in Ireland for almost 3 years and came back to my country. My boyfriend is Irish and we`re together for 2 years now. He came to visit me and now Im going back to Ireland. We`ll live together and are going to apply for the visa. We have plenty of documents such as photos of all this time, phone bills, letters from both families, friends and workmates, and once we are going to live together, we`ll have bills with the same adress.
    Is there any chance to have the visa refused? Could be a problem the fact that Im going as a tourist to wait for the Visa?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  3. Hi Julia,

    Many thanks for your comment! We're pleased to hear that you find the blog interesting.

    Thank you for your query also. We would suggest that you consider the guidelines on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration (INIS) website: and proceed with an application ensuring that you provide the relevant supporting documentation. Unfortunately it is possible that the application will be refused but you can seek a review of that refusal.

    Please contact our office directly at and we would be happy to assist further on this matter.


    Brophy Solicitors

  4. Hiya,

    Myself (Aussie in Ireland on a sponsoered work permit) and my Irish fiance are just about to apply for a change of my visa status under the defacto option but I've not been able to find out from anywhere if this type of visa status change is something that's likely to be processed more quickly than an applicant who has no rights to live/work in Ireland already?
    Basically I've been in ireland nearly 5yrs now but as my 1st year was on a working holiday visa I've been told I can't apply for normal citizenship until August 2013 meaning I can't change employer or get a 2nd job to earn extra $$ (we're saving for a house deposit & our wedding). My fiance & I have been together for over 2 years and whilst we rent a room in a share house there's no bills in our name, but we do have 2 joint bank accounts and all of our bank accounts are listed with the same address including our individual ones as well as the ones together.
    We're moving in with a good friend of ours soon too and have a letter from her stating this but I'm just wondering if you think there's still a chance that they could reject our application without bills in joint names? Most suppliers like ESB or Sky refuse to have more than 1 name on the account anyway so it seems silly to try and prove joint bills when the supplier won't allow 2 names on an account!
    Sorry for the essay there - I just thought I'd check with you on whether you've come across a similar type of application status such as ours and could give any advice on what their outcomes were?


  5. Hi,
    I am in a same sex relation with a non EU national.
    My partner does not live in Ireland .I want to invite him here as a tourist. How is the best way to prove the relationship ?
    I can show a bank account and passport stamps as I have been visiting there over 2 years.


  6. Dear Derrick,

    Thank you for taking an interest in our blog and our services. If you wish to seek legal advice please contact our office by email at or by telephone at 01-6797930.

    Kind regards,

    Brophy Solicitors

  7. Hi, this information is great!! Iv been in a relationship with my Ozzie boyfriend for 4 years, the first two years we were able to live together through working holiday visas for both countries but we have been doing the long distance thing for the last two, going back and forth on holiday visas! We have a lease agreement from 2009/10 in Ireland and we also had a joint bank a/c it is inactive now as it was pointless with him working in Australia!! Iv seen a migration agent about applying for a de facto visa for Australia and she told me we would more than likely be unsuccessful, I am just wondering if we would stand a chance in Ireland!! It's very frustrating because all we want is to be together in the same country but can't because of visas n one of the main requirements to get this visa is proof of living together!!!

  8. Hi,

    My girlfriend received a letter today stating that our application for defacto had been refused. I am Irish, she is Brazilian and we are together 2 years and 3 months.

    They refused on grounds that there is not enough proof that we are together long for 2 years. Does anyone have any advice on what we should do. :(

    We included about 50 photos of various times over the period, trip to Paris, my visit to Brazil for Christmas, pictures with my family etc..

    We included snippets of our conversations on Facebook, where we organised our first date(the date was on this conversation as well)

    We have a lease agreement together since May but nothing before that, as my lease agreement is renewed every 6 months, and she moved in a month after I had signed the last one. We don't have joint accounts together so not sure what we can do now..

    Is there an appeal process or something? They are extremely difficult to talk to, as they only answer post(no email) and only available on phone on Thursday for a few hours (if you get through)


  9. My cousin had a similar problem with her partner not long ago. She wanted to move to be with him in his native country, but wasn't sure she could get a visa since they weren't married. Luckily she found out about this option and was able to qualify for it. They are now together, married, and happy!