Minister McEntee announces new post Brexit Visa Scheme for non-EEA family members of UK Nationals moving to Ireland


23 December 2020


The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee T.D. has announced that a preclearance/visa scheme is being introduced by her Department for the non-EEA family members of UK Nationals seeking to come to Ireland after 31 December 2020. Eligible non-EEA citizens can apply, before traveling to Ireland, for permission to live in the State and, once secured, they will be able to travel and live in Ireland with their UK National family member.


Announcing the new Scheme, Minister McEntee said,


At the end of the transition period, UK  Nationals who wish to move to Ireland and bring their non-EEA family members will no longer be able to apply under the EU Free Movement Directive. To ensure an alternative pathway is in place immediately following the UK withdrawal from the EU, the Preclearance Scheme will be open for applications from 1 January 2021.”


UK citizens will continue to enjoy existing arrangements under the Common Travel Area including the freedom to live and work in the State after the UK exits the EU. The UK  National will be able to sponsor their eligible non-EEA family members to join them in Ireland.


Providing more detail on the new arrangements, Minister McEntee continued,


This Scheme only applies where the UK citizen has come to live in Ireland after 31 December 2020 or, if living in Ireland before 31 December 2020, is not a beneficiary of the Citizens Rights provisions under the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union.


“If they are living in Ireland on or before that date they, and their eligible non-EEA family members living with them, will in most cases be a beneficiary under the Withdrawal Agreement. The non-EEA family members can simply replace their current residence permission granted under EU law with a domestic permission under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement”.


The policy document ( sets out the eligibility criteria for the scheme and how to apply. Applications are only required from those planning to stay in Ireland for longer than 3 months. All applications must be made from outside of Ireland and applicants must remain outside the State while their application is being processed.


Applications can be made online from 1 January 2021 at:




Notes for Editors