I had read an official document in the past that stated that EU citizens exercising their right to free movement within the EU must be a citizen of (or have lived in) an EU country for at least 5 years in order to exercise their right to move to Ireland.

However I cannot find the document now.

Is this fact true?

Example: If you just naturalized as a French citizen, you wait at least 5 years to exercise free movement rights to move to Ireland.

  • Is there any chance that you read this document before the 2004 free movement directive came into effect?
    – phoog
    Aug 27, 2020 at 14:00
  • No there's no chance of that haha:) I read it a few weeks ago. But thanks for asking:) I am recalling whether it was about non-EU family reunification. Is there any such requirement upon the EU national (the new French citizen) to bring their non-EU family member (perhaps extended? (as the requirement should be proportional to how close the family member is, right?)) to Ireland? Aug 27, 2020 at 14:51
  • So I am now searching for a family reunification document of Ireland that mentions anything like this. If I find one I will update it here. Aug 27, 2020 at 14:53
  • 2
    There could be something like this relating to extended family members. Still, any requirements for a given time period would be more likely to concern the relationship between the EU citizen and the extended family member, not the EU citizen him- or herself. If you do find that this is what you saw, I would suggest posting it as a new question.
    – phoog
    Aug 27, 2020 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


No, this is not true. See the information from the Citizens' Information Board.

You may have been confused by the five-year residence period that leads to the right of permanent residence, or perhaps by the transition period that EU countries may apply to the nationals of countries newly joining the EU (although I don't remember whether Ireland imposed such a transition period, and the member that joined most recently did so more than 5 years ago).

  • I strongly believe that I am definitely not confusing it from the things you mentioned. Which is why I am wondering what that sentence exactly was, but I do remember that at the time I read it, I had imagined in my mind that I would be waiting for 5 years after becoming a French citizen to exercise my rights to go to Ireland. I might have misread but my memory is so strong in this case that I think I could not have misread it. The problem is that now I can't find that document. So finally should I rely on your answer for my future plans? Aug 27, 2020 at 13:35
  • Also note that Ireland is not part of the Schengen Agreement. So it is possible that even though Ireland follows EU guidelines, but may be Ireland imposes this extra requirement? What do you think? Aug 27, 2020 at 13:37
  • @YashveerSingh unfortunately, I can only speculate about what you may have seen. Free movement is definitely entirely independent of the Schengen area, so I am quite certain that Ireland does not impose an extra requirement because it is outside the Schengen area. If you want to test my answer then I suggest you try traveling to Ireland immediately after you receive your French passport.
    – phoog
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:50
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    @YashveerSingh yes, the page I linked to also covers those wanting to move to Ireland. The directive doesn't actually say that you have to register if you're staying for more than three months; it only says that countries may require you to do so. Ireland does not: "When you come to Ireland you do not need to register with the local immigration officer and you do not need a residence card to live here." So there isn't even any point in the process where they could check how long you've been a citizen of France.
    – phoog
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:59
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    (+1) Another potential source of confusion is the 5 years it takes for a third-country national to become a long-term resident. This status facilitates movement between EU countries so it could be confused with freedom of movement but it is obviously much more restrictive. It doesn't apply in Ireland.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 27, 2020 at 15:53

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