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EU Treaty Rights

EU Treaty Rights are rights afforded to the citizens of the European Union and family members under Directive 2004/38/EC. In Ireland this Directive is given effect through the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 (the “Regulations”). EU treaty rights allow for free movement within the Member States of the EU. This right to free movement is typically derived from an EU citizen’s involvement in the economic activity of the host member state. Examples of such involvement include working, studying or being self-sufficient.

To qualify for a visa to Ireland under the Directive, the Applicant must prove that they are either:

  • a qualifying family member or;

  • a permitted family member of an EU citizen exercising or planning to exercise free movement rights.

Qualifying Family Members:

  • the spouse of the EU citizen;

  • the partner of the EU citizen where the State recognized the registered partnership as equivalent to marriage (this is same sex partners only in Ireland);

  • direct descendants (sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters) of the EU citizen and/or their spouse or partner under the age of 21;

  • direct descendants over the age of 21 where they are dependent on the EU Citizen and/or their spouse or partner;

  • parents and grandparents of the EU citizen and the spouse or partner where they are dependent on the EU citizen and/or their spouse or partner.


Permitted family members:

  • other family members who, in the country from which they have come, are dependents of members of the household of the EU citizen. The level of dependency must be sufficient to render independent living by the family member in their home country impossible if that financial and social support were not maintained;

  • the partner with whom the EU citizen has a duly attested durable relationship. This requires a relationship for a period longer than two years.


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.

Immigrant Advice Bureau has vast experience dealing with applications involving European citizens, British citizens and their non-European family members. Book a consultation with us to plan your future in Ireland with certainty. 

Family Portrait 4
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