Home Knowledge Irish Immigration Update: One Year on from the end of the Brexit Transition Period

Irish Immigration Update: One Year on from the end of the Brexit Transition Period


On 31 January 2020, the UK left the EU under the terms set out in the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. A transition period was implemented allowing for EU rules to continue to apply to the UK until 31 December 2020, while the UK and the EU negotiated their future relationship. 

The Common Travel Area in place between the UK and Ireland means that to a large extent, not much has changed for UK nationals living or coming to live in Ireland since 31 December 2020. UK nationals continue to be able to reside and work in Ireland, similar to EU nationals. However, one aspect of the Irish-UK immigration regime has significantly changed.  A non-UK, non-EEA national who is the dependant of, married to, in a civil partnership with, or in a defacto relationship with a UK national living or working in Ireland must now seek a specific visa or pre-clearance from the Department of Justice to reside with their UK family member in Ireland.

Previously, non-EEA nationals that fell into these categories could come to Ireland and seek permission to remain and work in Ireland under EU Treaty rights after their arrival. Since 11pm on 31 December 2020, pre-clearance must be sought before travelling to Ireland in order to comply with new immigration policies in place. 

Details of the scheme, and process to be followed, can be found on the Department of Justice website here. The process varies depending on whether the non-EEA national requires an entry visa to travel to Ireland.

This pre-clearance scheme does not apply where a UK national was living in Ireland on or before 31 December 2020. Instead, such UK nationals and their eligible non-EEA national family members benefit from rights under the Withdrawal Agreement referred to above.

Non-EEA family members of UK nationals are entitled to apply for a new residence document under the Withdrawal Agreement if they were residing in Ireland under EU Treaty rights by 31 December 2020. The Department of Justice had previously requested that such applications be made by 31 December 2021. On 22 December 2021, the Department of Justice extended the application deadline to 30 June 2022.

Details of the process to follow to apply for the residence document can be found here

How Can We Help You?

Our Employment and Corporate Immigration team is here to help with any legal questions you have about your workforce’s immigration status. For further information, and to ensure you are kept up to date on the Irish corporate immigration regime, please contact our Corporate Immigration Team


Contributed by Lucy Horan