EU Treaty Rights in Ireland for Non EEA Nationals-What You Should Know

EU Treaty Rights

If you are a Non EEA (European Economic Area) National you may qualify for permanent residency or even citizenship in Ireland.

An EC Directive-2004/38/EC-gives the right of citizens of the European Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.

In Ireland this Directive is given effect through the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 (the “Regulations”).

Article 5 of the Directive gives the Right of Entry to member states of the EU, Article 6 deals with Right of Residence for up to 3 months and Article 7 deals with Right of Residence for in excess of 3 months.

If you are a non EEA family member and have been given permission to remain under this EU Treaty Rights entitlement you will be issued with a residence card by your local immigration office with the stamp 4 EU FAM.


Holding a 4 EU FAM card means you do not need a visa (even if you are a visa required national) and you do not need an employment permit or business permission to work here.

After 54 months of residence you can apply for a permanent residence card (use Form EU3) in Ireland; after 60 months you can apply for Irish citizenship.

EU Treaty Rights

So, how do you obtain EU Treaty Rights?

You make your application by registered post to the EU Treaty Rights Unit, Residence Division of the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service.

You need to use Form EU1 to apply for a residence card, and it can take up to 6 months for a decision to issue.

While you are waiting for the decision you may be issued with a temporary immigration stamp on your passport which covers you while the decision is being made, that is a maximum of 6 months.

You can make the application yourself or through a solicitor and you will need a mixture of original and copy documents for your application.

You can also apply for a EU1 residence card if you are the de facto partner of an EU citizen but you will need to prove that you have been living together in a durable relationship which has subsisted for two years or more, and satisfy some other conditions.

You also need to apply for all children if you intend staying in Ireland for longer than 3 months with the children.

You can find more information about EU Treaty Rights for Non EEA Nationals at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service web page here.

If you need a solicitor to assist you with your application, or submit it on your behalf, Terry Gorry & Co. Solicitors is happy to provide this service.

The European Commission has created a booklet explaining more about the right to the free movement of persons. You can download it here.