Understand EU Treaty Rights in Ireland with our comprehensive guide. Learn about your rights and how to secure them for residence and work.

EU Treaty Rights in Ireland

The European Economic Area (EEA) allows its citizens to come and live, study, work, and enjoy social security and healthcare benefits in Ireland these rights are in the European law and open a new world of possibilities to nationals and their families. This paper will look at the rights, how they are used, and what you should know to benefit from them.

Understanding EU Treaty Rights

It refers to the rights of EU nationals and their family members to freely move within the European Union’s territory and these rights are governed by Directive 2004/EC, which was incorporated into Irish law by the European Regulations Act 2015 and its primary focus was on facilitating the free movement of individuals within the EU.

The Importance For EU Treaty Rights in Ireland

It allows individuals from the EEA and their family members to have the right to travel freely, study, live, and work in Ireland. The key to unlocking these rights is active involvement in the host country’s economic activities like employment, study, self-employment, or financial independence.

How Long Can an EEA National Stay in Ireland Without Restriction?

Visa-free travel and freedom of movement in Ireland are given to EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland for up to three months and to extend your stay beyond this time frame you must meet some requirements like being employed or self-employed, having sufficient funds and health insurance, or participating in vocational training or a student program.

Working in Ireland

EEA nationals coming to Ireland for employment can stay for up to six months and during this time they can claim unemployment benefits from their home country for a period of 3 to 6 months. The definition of a worker in the EU is broad, including those employed under someone else’s direction or those self-employed in a genuine and productive job.

Claiming Permanent Residency

If you’ve lived in Ireland as an EU self-employed individual or worker for five years, you can claim permanent residency, even in periods of unemployment due to various reasons like illness, maternity, or involuntary unemployment it will not affect your worker status and it will even give you access to social welfare payments.

When Can Entry Be Denied to EEA Citizens?

Due to the EU’s free movement policy, very few circumstances can prevent an EEA national from entering Ireland but these could be due to carrying a severe contagious disease or posing a risk to public safety based on past convictions.

EU Treaty Rights for Family Members

Family members of EEA/EU or Swiss nationals can join them in Ireland, provided the qualifying citizen exercises their EU Treaty Rights. Family members are divided into two categories:

Qualifying Members:

  • Direct descendants below 21 years.
  • Direct descendants over 21 and still dependent.
  • Dependent parents/grandparents and their spouses.

Permitted Family Members:

  • Dependents or household members requiring long-term care.
  • Partners with a durable relationship of at least two years.

Issuing Visas and Residence Cards

Visas and European Family Residence Cards for family members of EU citizens are issued through an accelerated procedure, these cards prove the right to live and work in Ireland for up to five years and after five years of lawful residence, permanent residency can be claimed.

Non-EEA Family Members

They can also join EEA citizens in Ireland under EU Treaty Rights. Depending on their nationality, they may require an entry visa and an Irish Residence Permit. This type of residency card is usually issued to a family member.

Application Process For EU Treaty Rights in Ireland

Required Documents For EU Treaty Rights in Ireland

For Irish residence card applications, supporting documents are essential to establish the relationship with the EEA national and the exercise of free movement rights. The specific documents depend on the family member’s status and purpose of stay.

De Facto Partners

Are those in a long-term relationship for at least two years? They can also apply for an accelerated visa and residence card if they are nationals of an EEA country. Certain criteria, such as the absence of blood relation and the intent to stay together indefinitely, must be met.

Irish Residence Permit

Application Process

Relatives of EEA citizens may need to apply for permission to reside in Ireland upon arrival. The IRP is typically required for foreign nationals not citizens of Switzerland or an EU/EEA country, staying in Ireland for over 90 days, and aged 16 or older.

IRP Required Documents

When applying for an IRP, individuals must submit their passport, health insurance documents, proof of financial support, and other relevant documents. Specific requirements may vary based on the purpose of the visit.

The Irish Residence Permit

Understanding the IRP

It is a credit-card-sized plastic card that includes essential information such as the holder’s name, photo, birth date, and registration number. It also contains a summary of immigration authorization, along with a microchip bearing the holder’s photo, personal data, and fingerprints.

Special Cases: Brits in Ireland

Do citizens of Britain have to Exercise Their EU Treaty Rights to Reside in Ireland?

British citizens in Ireland benefit from the Common Travel Area agreements, which provide rights similar to those of Irish citizens, including visa-free travel, work without a permit, access to healthcare, and voting in general elections. However, non-EEA family members of British citizens may have different requirements.

Losing EU Treaty Rights

While EU Treaty Rights are expansive, they can be revoked if an individual poses a threat to public safety or health. Criminal records do not automatically lead to deportation, but individuals facing expulsion have the right to appeal the decision.

Applying for Permanent Residency

After lawfully residing in Ireland for five years, both EEA nationals and their relatives qualify for permanent residency. Different application forms are available for various situations, such as family members from EEA member states or non-EEA citizens seeking permanent residence based on their relationship with an EU national.

Summary of Forms Required for EU Treaty Rights

To help you easily go through the application process, here is a summary of the forms needed for EU Treaty Rights, depending on your circumstances:

  • Form EUTR1: Qualifying family members who are non-EEA nationals.
  • Form EUTR1A: Permitted family members who are non-EEA nationals, including de facto partners.
  • Form EUTR2: EU nationals residing in Ireland for at least five years.
  • Form EU3: Family members who are non-EEA nationals and have lived in Ireland for at least five years.
  • Form EU4: For requesting a review of a denied Irish Residence Permit.
  • Form EU5: For retaining an IRP after divorce or separation from the qualifying family member.

Work, Study, and Beyond

Do EU Treaty Rights Extend to EU Workers in Ireland?

Yes, they can work in Ireland without restriction, even between jobs. You can also receive unemployment benefits from your previous country for a limited period if you are employed in Ireland.

Studying in Ireland

To study in Ireland under EU Treaty Rights, you must enroll in an approved college, be financially self-sufficient, and have full health insurance. After completing your studies, you can continue your stay through employment or financial means.

In conclusion, EU Treaty Rights in Ireland offer a wealth of opportunities for EEA nationals and their families, providing the freedom to live, study, work, and access social benefits. If you understand the application processes and the necessary documents you can make the most of these privileges. Whether you are an EEA national or a family member, Ireland welcomes you to explore its rich culture, vibrant economy, and diverse society under the umbrella of EU Treaty Rights.

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