Are you Irish and have been living overseas for a number of years? Perhaps you are looking to start a family and want to raise your children in Ireland? Are you retiring and looking to return home? Whatever your reasons for returning, there will be a period of readapting. Here is a brief guide of how to navigate through your return journey. We also recommend that you contact Crosscare Migrant Project which is based in Ireland and offers guidance to those returning to live in Ireland. Another very useful resource is the Department of Foreign Affairs site. They have complied a very interesting report on the challenges faced by returning emigrants. Click here to view the report.



Marriage to an Irish national does not confer an automatic right of residence in the State. A non EEA national who wishes to reside in the State on the basis of their marriage to an Irish national must make an application for permission to remain. The route depends on your nationality and how you entered the state. Those granted permission to remain are given a residency visa called ‘Stamp 4’

A. If you are U.S. citizen who has entered the Republic of Ireland legally within the last 90 days or if you are a visa required national and you are within the period of permission to remain granted to you on arrival in the State (except short stay ‘c’ visas):, or if you have current permission to remain in the State on an alternative basis both you and your Irish national spouse/civil partner should attend at your local Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration office with the following documentation:

  • Your original marriage/civil partnership certificate

  • Your original passport

  • Your Irish spouse’s/civil partner’s original Irish passport

  • Evidence of your joint address in your current country of residence

B. If you do not have current permission to remain in the State please visit, to assess what immigration route best fits your circumstances.

Application form to request Stamp 4 as the spouse of an Irish citizen

Read more about this residence permission.


A key requirement for those applying through this channel is that their Irish and non-EU partners had evidence of at least 2 years cohabitation.

An Irish citizen wanting to sponsor their common law partner to reside with them in Ireland must be able to show that their combined gross income for the three years prior to the date of application is at least €40,000.

 Here is a link to the application form to request Stamp 4 as the common law partner of an Irish citizen.

You can read more about this residence permission, and find an explanatory leaflet to help in filling out the form here.