• An initial letter must be sent to INIS FR Section requesting an application questionnaire. The Irish Refugee Council drop-in centre may assist people to write and send this letter. The letter must contain the applicant’s ID number; the full name, relationship, date of birth and address of the family member/s. Applicants should include a copy of their protection declaration letter.
  • A questionnaire will be sent to the applicant within a few weeks. Any change of address should be relayed to the FR section immediately to ensure that the applicant receives the questionnaire.
  • The questionnaire should be returned within indicated time frame (usually 28 days). All relevant documentation must also be attached. The documents must be originals – no copies will be accepted. More time to return questionnaire may be requested if the applicant cannot submit within 28 days.
  • The applicant will receive a decision in writing. The decision will be: a grant of Family Reunification for all family members, a grant for some family members but refusal of others, or a refusal of all family members.
If successful:

If family members do not have a travel document, it is recommended that they begin process of obtaining one as soon as possible – ideally even before the FR application process begins in Ireland. The family member must apply for an Irish visa. The minister may indicate a time limit for entry of the family member. UNHCR, IOM and the Irish Red Cross operate a travel assistance scheme which may provide financial support to family members for entry to Ireland once FR has been granted.

If unsuccessful:

There is no appeal mechanism for negative decisions.

A person may write a letter to the minister to review the decision and/or exercise his discretion in exceptional circumstances.

Make a fresh application if circumstances have changed (deadline still stands)

Initiate judicial review proceedings, which requires a lawyer and may be expensive and very protracted.