I know that under the Common Travel Area a UK Citizen can live and work/retire in Ireland, but what i'm trying to determine is how would that apply to the spouse of the uk citizen if they are a non-eu spouse? I know under the current EU free movement that it won't matter, but I'm trying to find out under the CTA in case the UK ends up voting to leave the EU.


1 Answer 1


British citizens are apparently immune from deportation from Ireland. Under Irish law, they have many of the rights afforded to Irish citizens. Since this state of affairs is not due to the countries' EU membership, it seems likely that the law would remain the same should the UK leave the EU.

As for the non-EU spouse, it seems likely that Ireland would impose the same rules that they now impose on the non-EU spouses of Irish citizens. They could also make up new and different rules, however; we can only guess. I do not know enough about the pre-EU laws to know whether they would offer any guidance about the likely approach.

Information about immigration for non-EU spouses of Irish citizens is available here: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/WP07000024

  • But what about the non-EU spouse? I would guess free movement would be no problem. But would the non-EU spouse be able to work, attend school, or just simply stay without restriction in Ireland?
    – ouflak
    Jan 13, 2016 at 7:44
  • @ouflak I overlooked that part of the question. Thanks for pointing it out. I've edited the answer.
    – phoog
    Jan 14, 2016 at 1:10
  • Thanks for the insight. That is what I was thinking might be the case. I'm hoping they don't vote to leave the EU as it keeps things simple, but must try and cover all bases. :) Jan 20, 2016 at 16:36

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