A new preclearance/visa scheme is being introduced for non-EEA family members of UK Nationals seeking to come to Ireland after 31 December 2020.

Eligible non-EEA citizens can apply before traveling to Ireland, for permission to live in the State and, once they have residence permission, they will be able to travel and live in Ireland with their UK National family member, under the EU Free Movement Directive.

To ensure an alternative pathway is in place immediately following the UK withdrawal from the EU, the Preclearance Scheme will be open for applications from 1 January 2021.

UK citizens will continue to enjoy existing arrangements under the Common Travel Area including the freedom to live and work in the State after the UK exits the EU. The UK  National will be able to sponsor their eligible non-EEA family members to join them in Ireland.

This Scheme only applies where the UK citizen has come to live in Ireland after 31 December 2020 or, if living in Ireland before 31 December 2020, is not a beneficiary of the Citizens Rights provisions under the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union.

If they are living in Ireland on or before that date they, and their eligible non-EEA family members living with them, will in most cases be a beneficiary under the Withdrawal Agreement. The non-EEA family members can simply replace their current residence permission granted under EU law with a domestic permission under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. For more information on this read our next article.

  • Applications are only required from those planning to stay in Ireland for longer than 3 months.
  • All applications must be made from outside of Ireland and applicants must remain outside the State while their application is being processed.

Applications can be made online from 1 January 2021 at the INIS website.

Read here for more information on the eligibility criteria and on how to apply.

If you require any further information relating to the this information, please do not hesitate to contact a caseworker via our contact form here.