EU Citizens Rights

The European Communities Free Movement of Persons Regulations 2015 provide rights to EU citizens to avail of free movement within the EU.

This also applies to qualifying family members, such as:

  • spouse / civil partner
  • direct descendant of the union citizen or the EU citizens spouse / civil partner and whose under 21 or dependant on the union citizen
  • dependant relative of the EU citizen or his/her spouse/civil partner

A permitted family member must apply to be recognised as a family member which is different to an automatic qualifying family member.

The family member of the EU citizen will likely not get a stamp on their passport from the immigration officer.

Permission to Enter into the State

An EU citizen with a passport unless the person suffers from a disease outlined in schedule 1 of the regulations or who represents a danger to public security has permission to enter the state.

Residence in the State

EU citizens have a right of residence for up to 3 months initially and then longer this if the person is employed or self-employed, has sufficient resources, or is enrolled in an educational institution by way of example.

Family Member Residence Card

A family member who isn’t a national of a member state can apply for a residence card and should do so within 3 months of the relevant date.

Residence cards can be revoked by the Minister.

If a person receives notification of revocation which will be in writing they have the opportunity to make representations if they are contesting it.

Right of Residence in the event of Divorce

If a divorce takes place, a family member who is a national of the EU will retain the right of residence.

If a non-member state family member keeps their right of residence after divorce is decided on a case by case basis. A number of conditions have to be met and the minister satisfied the marriage lasted 3 years and then there is the issue of residence being warranted considering important considerations such as custody / access.

Permanent Residence Certificate

An EU citizen who has lived in the state for 5 years can seek a certificate of permanent residence.

A family member who is not an EU citizen can apply for permanent residence by applying to the Minister for a permanent residence card.

If you are making an application for permanent residence you will likely need the following detail, for example :

  • Name / address/ date and place of birth
  • Nationality and passport of applicant
  • Duration of residence information
  • Occupation / duration of employment
  • PPSN
  • Immigration reference number
  • Photograph
  • Declaration of any criminal record
  • Documentary evidence regarding employment or educational enrolment and that you have sufficient resources

If you wish to contact an immigration solicitor with queries about employment permits you can contact us on 052 61 21999 or 01 546 1121.


Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.

Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.

EU Citizens Rights

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