I have received my UK indefinite leave to remain using spouse of Irish citizen working in London, prior to Brexit. But now when planning short term travel to Ireland with my Irish spouse I can’t tell if my residence card is issued by non EEA, and if hence I need a visa, even though travelling together with marriage certificate.

  • What do you want? Permanently move to Ireland or just make a short visit? That's absolutely unclear. Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 15:46
  • 1
    @Andrey thank you for the comment, it is indeed short term visitation, and I have updated the question. Thank you!
    – Aruthawolf
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 23:11
  • Then you will need an Irish short term visa. And this question is definitely not for Expatriates. Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 10:03
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    @AndreyChistyakov it fits in both places, since it is about the short term travel of someone who is a long-term resident of a foreign country. In that light, it probably shouldn't have been migrated.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


I can’t tell if my residence card is issued by non EEA

It is. The UK is no longer in the EEA. Furthermore, the card is not a "residence card of a family member of a union citizen" in the meaning of the free movement directive. I'm fairly sure that you need a visa.

The Irish implementation of the free movement directive seems to be incorrect in a couple of respects. In particular, there are some situations that should fall under free movement law that are not acknowledged by the government:

  1. They do not seem to acknowledge that the free movement directive also applies to short-term travel.
  2. They do not seem to acknowledge that the free movement directive applies to Irish citizens who return to Ireland after exercising free movement rights in another EU country.

There might be a legal argument in there that would allow you to invoke free movement rights, but it depends on these two conditions that Ireland seems not to acknowledge, and then on top of that you'd have to establish that having used free movement rights to settle in the UK continues to trigger free movement rights on return to the home country. This would most likely be a long and costly legal battle, and if you succeeded it wouldn't relieve you of the visa obligation, only of the need to pay for the visa. It's far simpler just to get a visa.

  • Irish free movement directive applies to the permanent residence in Ireland only. It doesn't apply on visiting or permanent moving. Anyone who's not from visa free country should get short stay or long stay visa. Even before Brexit, any UK permanent resident needed a visa to visit Republic of Ireland legally. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 14:44
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    @AndreyChistyakov the free movement directive is EU law, not Irish law. Ireland doesn't get to decide whether it applies to visits. It clearly and explicitly does apply to visits (Directive 2004/38/EC Article 6: eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32004L0038). It also clearly applies to permanent relocation (articles 7 through 21). Anyone with a "residence card of a family member of a Union citizen" is exempt from any visa requirement when traveling to Ireland with the Union citizen family member, and this included the UK before Brexit.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 18, 2021 at 19:32
  • @AndreyChistyakov "European law applies to EU citizen except locals": there is an exception to that exception, which is point 2 in this answer: the family of EU citizens who reside in another EU country also enjoy free movement rights when traveling to the EU citizen's country of citizenship. See the Surinder Singh and Metock cases, for example.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 9:36
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    Yes, you right, I forgot about it Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 9:42

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