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Ireland De-Facto Visa

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Guofu
    Registered User


    Just rang the vaunted INIS helpline this morning to ask about getting a defacto visa for my Taiwanese girlfriend (I'm an Irish citizen) only to be told that it would only be considered after we'd been living together IN IRELAND for 2 years. Either the guy didn't know what he was talking about (I hope) or things have just got a lot more difficult. We've been in a relationship for 4 years and lived together in Australia and Taiwan for around 2 years all told.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,315 ✭✭✭ ballooba
    Registered User


    You could try get an appointment with crosscare or consult a solicitor. Doesn't sound like that would fly though. Might have to get married either. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,468 OldNotWIse


    I have heard varying reports as to how long decisions take for de facto relationships. We applied 2 months ago, and I had thought the normal "4-6 week" turnaround for visa applications applied? When we were coming through customs last week my partner showed docs to say she had an application pending and was told she can now only stay for a month. I'm not sure how this will pan out now as her visa has expired. If the month passes before we get word from INIS will she be staying on illegally, even though there's an app pending?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭ tatli_lokma
    Registered User


    no - if you have not heard anything before the visa expires, then you need to visit Brugh Quay together, advise them that there is an application pending, they can then check the system. They can either extend the visa, or they might not do this, but will instead ensure that there is no deportation order issued on her. It is really important that you do this. If she overstays her visa without their approval, chances are they will refuse your de-facto application. she cannot leave the country once the extension is given AFAIK.

    Many times immigration at the airport will only give a lesser visa period, as they have no way to check the system properly that what you claim is true about your ongoing application. Instead they give a minimum amount of time at the port of entry, and then it is up to you to request an extension. If you have an ongoing application they are usually fairly decent in allowing the extension.

    This is what happened for us. We ended up having to ask for 2 extensions (spouse visa) before the final decision came through, but there was no issue with them giving the extension. But if you overstay with out them approving it, you will screw your chances of getting the defacto or any other visa for that matter. It could also cause problems if she ever wants to travel elsewhere as it is not taken very kindly by any country if you overstayed a visa. She might even have trouble getting a schengen if she ever needed it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,468 OldNotWIse


    Little Ted wrote: »
    no - if you have not heard anything before the visa expires, then you need to visit Brugh Quay together, advise them that there is an application pending, they can then check the system. They can either extend the visa, or they might not do this, but will instead ensure that there is no deportation order issued on her. It is really important that you do this. If she overstays her visa without their approval, chances are they will refuse your de-facto application. she cannot leave the country once the extension is given AFAIK.

    Many times immigration at the airport will only give a lesser visa period, as they have no way to check the system properly that what you claim is true about your ongoing application. Instead they give a minimum amount of time at the port of entry, and then it is up to you to request an extension. If you have an ongoing application they are usually fairly decent in allowing the extension.

    This is what happened for us. We ended up having to ask for 2 extensions (spouse visa) before the final decision came through, but there was no issue with them giving the extension. But if you overstay with out them approving it, you will screw your chances of getting the defacto or any other visa for that matter. It could also cause problems if she ever wants to travel elsewhere as it is not taken very kindly by any country if you overstayed a visa. She might even have trouble getting a schengen if she ever needed it.

    oh sh1t, ok thanks for the information. Better head over on Monday as visa already lapsed. Thanks so much for your advice :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭ tatli_lokma
    Registered User


    just apologise, play stupid. Tell them you thought that the fact there was an application pending meant you didn't need to renew and only just discovered that in fact you need to extend it. Grovel a bit. plead ignorance. Hopefully they will be ok with it. Better that then she be refused the defacto or get refused upon her next entry as there is a deportation order against her.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 foreign99
    Registered User


    Hi all,
    I just want to share with you my (bad) experience with this de facto visa thing.
    My fiancé is irish, I am not european and we have been in a relationship for nearly 3 years, living together for nearly 2 and a half years now. We will get married in september.
    last year, in october, I applied for a stamp4 visa. (i have been living here with a student visa) I sent all the documents that you can imagine (even the pet passport of our cat) from the beginning of our relationship (july/2010) until october 2012. 2 weeks ago we got an answer. A letter asking us to send ALL the documents again. That is just ridiculous. We are sending back everything, but if they take another 5 months to give an answer, I will have to leave ireland.
    If someone has any suggestion to make the process run faster please tell us. We emailed them asking about the documents that we sent in october, but they just answered asking to send everything back again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭ tatli_lokma
    Registered User


    No you won't necessarily have to leave Ireland while they are processing. See my answer above regarding requesting an extension. Usually (not always but the vast majority of the time) they will either give an extension to your existing visa or they will put a non-deportation notice against your GNIB number. This basically means that whilst your application is being considered you can stay. You won't be able to travel outside of the state (because upon return you will have problems at the boarder) but you will be able to reside.

    I have heard of them requesting information several times. This happened to us too for the original stamp 4 application - we sent copies of everything and they asked us for a lot of the same stuff again. When we asked why they need it again, they said they never received it first time, which is bullsh!t because if they have half the stuff and everything was sent in the one parcel then the only reason why half of it is missing is because they lost it! funnily enough, when we got the visa granted and they sent everything back, there were 2 copies of some of the stuff - wonder where they came from :rolleyes:

    Well for anyone who is interested, we sent the citizenship application off with certifications done by the embassy. It has been 'initially' processed 3 times now! How you can initially process something more than once I don't know. Anyway, first letter we got back is because the bank statements and wages we provided were for the period Aug - Jan (6 mth period as requested). I sent the application by registered post on the 27th Feb, they received it 28th Feb. But because it entered processing on the 1st March, they said that our bank statements and wages were out of date!! :eek: They wanted one for February. It took them a week to send us a letter asking for this. I sent it off immediately. Four days later got a receipt in the post for the fee and I thought grand, it must be ok so.

    But no! last week we then got a letter asking to confirm where we lived between x and y date. I was fuming - because this information WAS IN THE APPLICATION!!!! I swear to god! they highlighted the first line and said you have only specified where you lived from 2009 to present, please advise where you resided prior to 2009. They must be blind or stupid because literally the box below the one they highlighted has the address we were at up to 2009. It literally could not be clearer. I highlighted the form where the information was and sent it back. We've have no more letters since, but it's only been a week. So it has taken them 1 month, and it is still in initial processing. My hopes of having it in 6-8mths are receeding quickly! But so far it would seem that they have accepted the certifications we sent, so that at least is something.

    What is really infuriating is that it appears that as one processer gets the application they go through it until they find an issue (or non-issue because they are incapable of reading! :rolleyes: ). At that point everything halts, they send you a letter. You reply with what they want and then it gets passed to a different person who resumes the 'initial' processing. If they find another issue again it halts and they write to you. All this stop-start malarky is such a waste of resources - surely it would make more sense to go through the form, make a list of all and everything extra you need and then send one letter. This piecemeal approach is a joke. It is no wonder it takes so bloody long for them to get an application processed.

    Anyway, rant over! But I just wanted to give a heads up for anyone else applying.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 foreign99
    Registered User


    Little Ted wrote: »
    No you won't necessarily have to leave Ireland while they are processing. See my answer above regarding requesting an extension.
    Hi Little Ted, thanks for the answer. Yes, I know that I don't need to leave ireland while they are processing my application, but i probably will do that because I can't stand this situation anymore. I can't get a proper job with a student visa, so I feel like my career is going to the rubbish...
    I don't know what happens to the people that check the documents for the visa. either they are really stupid, or they don't really like their job. But I think that they are really stupid:pac:.
    well, let's wait and see how long this joke will take. I will keep you updated of the process. I really hope that it doesn't take more than 2 months from now. Good luck!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 elizabeth11
    Registered User


    Hi all,
    Thanks for this thread it has been really useful. I am an American citizen and applied last month for a defacto visa to remain here with my Irish boyfriend. We have been together for just over 2 years and long distance the whole time (although I was living in nearby London).
    I received the letter confirming our application about 2 days after we posted it. We included a huge binder with everything we could think of, all separated month by month.
    I am planning on calling the immigration number when they are open on Thursday to ask for an update. I have had to turn down a couple of job offers due to the fact that the visa hasn't come through yet so I may tell them this in the hopes of speeding it along.
    Just thought I'd share my story as well and I will keep you updated to our progress.
    Good luck all! :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 KPJP
    Registered User


    Hi all,

    Very interesting thread with lots of great information. My girlfriend (US citizen) and I (Irish citizen) have been together about 2 and a half years. Long distance the whole time but with lent of back and forth visits totalling about 4 months so far. We are looking at moving her here in September and applying for the de facto visa.

    One question which I have is in relation to the basic mechanics of the move as we obviously want to avoid doing any detrimental to our chances of a successful application.

    Specifically what she say when going through immigration on her way into Ireland? She will be coming in on a tourist visa but should she declare her intention to apply for the de facto at that sage or just wait until we go to the immigration bureau and make the actual application?

    Also, has anyone had an issues with one way tickets? Obviously given the unknown amount of time he application will take we don't want to go booking her a return flight to the US but does that cause issues at the border when coming into the country?

    You help on these questions as well as any other advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭✭ perfectblue
    Registered User


    Hi all,
    Wondering if anyone has applied in the last 4-5 months and if anyone has a sense of how long the wait time is?

    I just applied (I'm American, boyfriend is Irish) at end of April, and wondering what we're in store for in terms of waiting. I'm not in a hurry to get a job as I do independent contract work (for orgs based in the US and Africa), but it would be nice to know if I get to stay here or not long-term, as BF and I have gotten an allotment and would like to get a dog. :)

    For the record, we submitted a HUGE binder of photos, facebook photos, facebook posts, screenshots of BF's email inbox, printouts of emailed flight confirmations, cards to/from each other and others, a couple of wedding invites, and a couple of letters. Also my CV, grad school transcript, copy of my medical insurance card (international), 6 months bank statements (both), utility bill with both our names on it, timeline of relationship, and letter from both of us. We mailed it (was told that was preferred) and then got the confirmation letter a few days letter via mail.
    We've been long-distance the whole time (3 years) having met in Asia. I came here in early-mid March and we currently live together. I'm heading back to the US in mid-June (approx 90 day mark) and back to Ireland about a month later. When I come through immigration again, I will let them know that I have an application pending (will have the letter with me), though I believe this means they might only give me 30 days instead of the usual 90? We'll be taking a road trip in September to Portugal, so hoping it comes before then, or it will be the same coming back. I'm not sure if going and coming is frowned upon?

    Anyway, would love to hear people's current experiences, especially with current wait times!

    Thanks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭✭ perfectblue
    Registered User


    "Specifically what she say when going through immigration on her way into Ireland? She will be coming in on a tourist visa but should she declare her intention to apply for the de facto at that sage or just wait until we go to the immigration bureau and make the actual application?"

    I came through in March from the US and did not tell them at Immigration that I would be applying. They asked if I was visiting a friend, and I said "my boyfriend, who is Irish", and stamp and on my way (there was some banter there about traveling alone and not being alone for long before that).

    "Also, has anyone had an issues with one way tickets? Obviously given the unknown amount of time he application will take we don't want to go booking her a return flight to the US but does that cause issues at the border when coming into the country?"

    I had a one-way ticket and had a huge issue boarding at JFK. I came on a US carrier (US Airways, I think), and they wouldn't let me board without a ticket out of Ireland (usually a roundtrip, but could be a ticket to another country). I ended up sitting there at the gate and booking my ticket back to the US (had planned this anyway, but was going to wait to buy the ticket). I booked a roundtrip (DUB-DCA-DUB), and then had to show the email confirmation to the gate attendants before they would let me board. My ticket back to US is actually at 92 days, but they let me board anyway. They told me they are strict about this because if Irish immigration sends me back at the border, the airline is fined $10,000. That being said, no one at Irish immigration has ever asked me about leaving or about a return ticket (this was my 4th trip in 3 years), so I think they over-worry, but they are in charge! So be warned about the one-way ticket. At least consider a cheap outward ticket (within 90 days) to somewhere else in Europe. And make sure to have the email confirmation of that flight.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,857 ✭✭✭ Cushie Butterfield
    Registered User


    To confuse matters a bit further, also have a look at this thread: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055529883&page=8


  • Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭✭ perfectblue
    Registered User


    Just wanted to follow up on my own message. Got my approval today! So it took about a month. Will hopefully go this week or next for the official stamp and registration card.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,857 ✭✭✭ Cushie Butterfield
    Registered User


    Just wanted to follow up on my own message. Got my approval today! So it took about a month. Will hopefully go this week or next for the official stamp and registration card.
    Congratulations!

    Naturally, every application wouldn't be as straightforward as yours must have been, but it just goes to show that putting in a bit of research & submitting clearly laid out documentary evidence is the way to go, ensuring less delays & a speedy outcome.

    Approaching the application submission with the mentality of making the job of whoever is dealing with it as easy as possible, without them having to blindly search through reams of paper for any particular document goes a long way towards it being dealt with in a swift manner.


  • Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭✭ perfectblue
    Registered User


    Well, we've been together for 3 years entirely long-distance. I was worried that wasn't enough. But, we did include everything we possibly could think of (it was massive). And yes, very clearly laid out. I did sections (labeled) by type of documentation (emails, facebook, flight info, etc, etc) and then chronological in each section. Also a timeline of our relationship up front. Good luck to others.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,315 ✭✭✭ ballooba
    Registered User


    I would think that it depends on the case officer you are assigned as much as anything else.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 vij
    Registered User


    Hi there actually I need some hope some1 can help with that. I have applied my defacto visa since last year but my visa been expired ,am on a student visa and at work they are asking me my visa just want to know wen I have a case pending can I still work even my visa is expired. thnx anyone could help appreciate that


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭ tatli_lokma
    Registered User


    vij wrote: »
    Hi there actually I need some hope some1 can help with that. I have applied my defacto visa since last year but my visa been expired ,am on a student visa and at work they are asking me my visa just want to know wen I have a case pending can I still work even my visa is expired. thnx anyone could help appreciate that

    I'm afraid that no you can't work if your visa is expired regardless of you having a defacto application pending. When was the last time you heard anything about how your defacto is progressing? Since when last year have you been waiting? I would have expected for you to have heard something by now


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3 vij
    Registered User


    Hi little actualy they sent me a letter 2 weeks ago to provide medical Insurance and payslip,6 months bank statement for my partner and i and more proof the commencement of our relationship minimum 2 years all been post to them and i got an acknowledgement letter on wednesday but they did nit mention work nothing am just wondering i will check with them on Tuesday i will go to burgh quay


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭ tatli_lokma
    Registered User


    vij wrote: »
    Hi little actualy they sent me a letter 2 weeks ago to provide medical Insurance and payslip,6 months bank statement for my partner and i and more proof the commencement of our relationship minimum 2 years all been post to them and i got an acknowledgement letter on wednesday but they did nit mention work nothing am just wondering i will check with them on Tuesday i will go to burgh quay

    so it sounds like you didn't provide a lot of the basic information required in the first place - this is why your application is taking so long.

    as for working, your visa is expired. When it expired you should have renewed it regardless of you now applying for defacto. Have you ever gone to burgh quay to tell them that you have an application pending? They will not necessarily know this unless you advise them. What you need to do is tell them you have an application pending and they will either extend your student visa - and you can continue to work, or they will not extend it but they put an order of non-deportation on your record- you can't work but you can stay in the country while the defacto is being processed. You should not be working on an expired visa - they will not look kindly on this if they discover it. In addition if your employer gets audited by the department of enterprise they will be in big trouble because in effect you are working illegally.

    Get to burgh quay first thing Tuesday and try to sort it - but be prepared that you may be told you cannot continue to work. It is also part of the requirements of the defacto that you can support yourself even if you are not working so it is really important that you get this sorted ASAP.

    Good luck


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 vij
    Registered User


    Hi there am glad I got a letter today to inform me that I been granted a stamp 4 so am going to burgh quay to get my gnib done this Afternun....:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Ronnygenius
    Registered User


    Hi all
    Got a letter today from INIS asking me to send them my private insurance cover .... I have purchased an insurance with the VHI and hope to get the document by next week and send them back to INIS


  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭✭ The_Bot
    Registered User


    Hi all, quick question I hope someone will be good enough to help me with.

    My girlfriend and I (I'm Irish she is American) made our defacto application in mid June. She currently has a 1 year post graduate permission to stay with 40 hours a week working. This expires at on 31 October which leaves us with about 4.5 months to get approval before her permission to stay & work will expire.

    I am confident that we will get approval for defacto status (living together for 2 years next month, more than a year in relationship before, have bills in our names for months etc and have sent them a full lever arch folder on relationship history, finances, passports, medical insurance, photos etc all sectioned out so easy to follow).

    However, I have heard that the defacto applications can take up to six months to get approved at the moment. If we end up on the tail end of that her current permission to stay/work will expire before we hear back from INIS. If this happens, does anyone know if INIS would be willing to give her a temporary extension (e.g. 3 months) to her permission to stay and work while we wait to hear back? Obviously she wants to stay and not lose her job while the application is working its way through the system.

    Thanks


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,468 OldNotWIse


    The_Bot wrote: »
    Hi all, quick question I hope someone will be good enough to help me with.

    My girlfriend and I (I'm Irish she is American) made our defacto application in mid June. She currently has a 1 year post graduate permission to stay with 40 hours a week working. This expires at on 31 October which leaves us with about 4.5 months to get approval before her permission to stay & work will expire.

    I am confident that we will get approval for defacto status (living together for 2 years next month, more than a year in relationship before, have bills in our names for months etc and have sent them a full lever arch folder on relationship history, finances, passports, medical insurance, photos etc all sectioned out so easy to follow).

    However, I have heard that the defacto applications can take up to six months to get approved at the moment. If we end up on the tail end of that her current permission to stay/work will expire before we hear back from INIS. If this happens, does anyone know if INIS would be willing to give her a temporary extension (e.g. 3 months) to her permission to stay and work while we wait to hear back? Obviously she wants to stay and not lose her job while the application is working its way through the system.

    Thanks

    She'll get temporary permission to stay, but I dont know about working.

    We applied in January and we are still waiting :( They must drink an awful lot of coffee at INIS


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭ tatli_lokma
    Registered User


    OldNotWise is correct - they usually give a temporary permission to stay whilst your application is being processed. Sometimes you are lucky and they will extend her current visa type, meaning she can continue to work, however it is at their discretion and they could also just give a 'non-deportation' order which is basically she has no visa, but if she flags in the system as being an overstayer, they won't take any action as it is noted on her file that an application is pending. Usually during the extension or non-deportation period she can't leave the state. They don't usually like to do people out of a job, so in your case I think it would be fairly likely you will get an extension.

    If you have not had a reply by the start of October, email them, explain that she has a job and wishes to continue working whilst here, but her visa expires at the end of the month. If she is working they *tend* be be a bit more flexible about the extensions and sometimes they will even speed things up a bit. It happened for us with my husbands spousal visa - he had an offer of a job but we were still waiting on a decision to his visa. So we emailed them, explained that he has a job offer, provided proof of the offer, and that he is very keen to start earning and become a contributing member of Irish society etc etc. Got an email back that they would do their best to expedite the application and a week later they issued the visa. So it is worth a try.

    If by mid-October you still have had no decision just head into Burgh Quay or to your Immigration Garda and explain you have an application pending, show your paperwork, reference number etc and request an extension. Hopefully they will give it, but at worst they will give a non-deportation order.


  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭✭ The_Bot
    Registered User


    OldNotWise is correct - they usually give a temporary permission to stay whilst your application is being processed. Sometimes you are lucky and they will extend her current visa type, meaning she can continue to work, however it is at their discretion and they could also just give a 'non-deportation' order which is basically she has no visa, but if she flags in the system as being an overstayer, they won't take any action as it is noted on her file that an application is pending. Usually during the extension or non-deportation period she can't leave the state. They don't usually like to do people out of a job, so in your case I think it would be fairly likely you will get an extension.

    If you have not had a reply by the start of October, email them, explain that she has a job and wishes to continue working whilst here, but her visa expires at the end of the month. If she is working they *tend* be be a bit more flexible about the extensions and sometimes they will even speed things up a bit. It happened for us with my husbands spousal visa - he had an offer of a job but we were still waiting on a decision to his visa. So we emailed them, explained that he has a job offer, provided proof of the offer, and that he is very keen to start earning and become a contributing member of Irish society etc etc. Got an email back that they would do their best to expedite the application and a week later they issued the visa. So it is worth a try.

    If by mid-October you still have had no decision just head into Burgh Quay or to your Immigration Garda and explain you have an application pending, show your paperwork, reference number etc and request an extension. Hopefully they will give it, but at worst they will give a non-deportation order.

    Thanks for the helpful info folks. We did clearly highlight on our cover letter that her current permission to stay/work expires on 31 October and that she is working (the file contains a copy of her employment contract and a number of recent payslips) and this could therefore be an issue.

    Hopefully they will give her a stay & work extension if it comes to it. I think we will write in seperately over the next few days, set out our concerns and get INIS's views on it at present.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭ tatli_lokma
    Registered User


    I wouldn't write to them just yet. It's only July, you only put in your application in June and the current visa doesn't expire until the end of Oct. If you write now, you will either get the standard 'we are processing your application and will be in touch' standard PFO letter or they will ignore you.

    Just wait and give it a chance first. Mid to late September is time enough to go chasing them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭✭ The_Bot
    Registered User


    I wouldn't write to them just yet. It's only July, you only put in your application in June and the current visa doesn't expire until the end of Oct. If you write now, you will either get the standard 'we are processing your application and will be in touch' standard PFO letter or they will ignore you.

    Just wait and give it a chance first. Mid to late September is time enough to go chasing them.

    Ok thanks that makes sense.


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