I am a British citizen and would like to go to Ireland and work, possibly settle down. I want to bring my non-EU family (mum, dad and 2 sisters, 22 and 17 years old).

Can they apply for their visa before I travel, so we go to Ireland at the same time, or would I need to go to Ireland first and work for a certain period before my non-EU family can apply for their visas?

I have not been outside the UK before, so I have not worked in a European country. Please explain the steps needed, to get my non-EU family visas and then potentially settle with me in Ireland.

1 Answer 1


You can bring your parents and sisters under EU freedom of movement rules only if they are dependent on you or are members of your household (that is, if they have been living with you). If they qualify, then you can apply for their visas before you go to Ireland.

(If you have a spouse or other partner, or any children aged under 21 years, it is not necessary to prove that they are dependent on you or that they are members of your household.)

This is controlled by article 2, paragraph 2, and article 3, paragraph 2, of directive 2004/38/EC:

Article 2



  1. ‘family member’ means:

(a) the spouse;

(b) the partner with whom the Union citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the legislation of a Member State, if the legislation of the host Member State treats registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage and in accordance with the conditions laid down in the relevant legislation of the host Member State;

(c) the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependants and those of the spouse or partner as defined in point (b);

(d) the dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined in point (b);


Article 3



  1. Without prejudice to any right to free movement and residence the persons concerned may have in their own right, the host Member State shall, in accordance with its national legislation, facilitate entry and residence for the following persons:

(a) any other family members, irrespective of their nationality, not falling under the definition in point 2 of Article 2 who, in the country from which they have come, are dependants or members of the household of the Union citizen having the primary right of residence, or where serious health grounds strictly require the personal care of the family member by the Union citizen;

(b) the partner with whom the Union citizen has a durable relationship, duly attested.

If your parents or sisters are not dependent on you or members of your household then you may be able to bring them through another immigration route under Irish law, but I do not know whether such a route exists.

  • My non eu family are dependent on me because I send regular money to keep the family running.
    – user14657
    Feb 27, 2018 at 16:27
  • Do you know of any solicitors who I can approach to help me with the visa application. I’ve looked for local solicitors, they insist I should first go to Ireland for 6 months and work before I can apply for my non eu family to join me.
    – user14657
    Feb 27, 2018 at 16:30
  • @Halima Are these Irish or British solicitors? If the latter, they probably assume that you're asking about bringing them to the UK, in which case the six month delay makes sense. The determination of dependence of your relatives is left to national governments, so you should ask an Irish immigration lawyer about that with reference to bringing them to Ireland. Unfortunately, I do not know any immigration lawyers.
    – phoog
    Feb 27, 2018 at 16:42

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