A note from the admin team here on the old versus new INIS (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service) which has now become ISD (Immigration Service Delivery) website. Although this was announced in 2019, we assume with Covid and the length of time it takes to set things up, the creation of the new website has only gone live 28th-29th July 2021. They have said they will be keeping the old one active for a while, although will not be making updates to it. You may want to therefore use both sites or only the new one.
We have tried in the creation of our website to remember to call it ISD, or INIS/ISD but you may see on our related website it is still referred to as INIS, it's hard to remember to use the new term. So, please be patient with us as we endeavour to change over old habits.
Also, in term of this website SA2Eire, we will be providing, for a while, links to both the old and the new site.
You will see this tagged as INIS OLD link and then ISD throughout.
We are working on this as a project and hope to get this changed as soon as we can, again please be patient with us.
If in doubt ask on our Facebook page or google "ISD xyz" whatever the query or question relates to.
There have been no stand-out changes to any of the procedures in terms of South Africans moving to Ireland.
However, one aspect that may cause some confusion is in regards to entry visas and pre-clearance visas "long stay D visas."
On the ISD site there is a lovely new eligibility tool for joining family members:
REMEMBER: The vast majority of people looking at the ISD website will be coming from entry visa required countries!!!!!
The ISD website is designed for everyone.
We however, at SA2Eire specifically are for South African passport holders!!!
Who needs Entry visas/ Pre-clearance?
As long as you and your spouse/ children/ family are SOUTH AFRICAN and/or Irish/EU/British then different rules apply.
If all your eligible dependents are South African passport holders, they do not need an entry visa into Ireland. This is because Ireland and South Africa have a special agreement that allows South Africans to enter Ireland “visa free.” This entry, however, is subject to having the correct paperwork with you.
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF:
1. If one member has a British passport and the other members are South African passport holders... ALL the South African members need a pre-clearance vis BEFORE coming to Ireland
2. If one member is a WORK PERMIT holder and the spouse is a De Facto (unmarried) South African passport holder... the South African members need a pre-clearance visa BEFORE coming to Ireland
3. If one member is a IRISH passport holder and the spouse is a De Facto (unmarried) South African passport holder... the South African members need a pre-clearance visa BEFORE coming to Ireland
If your passport combinations are as described as 1, 2 or 3 above you DO need an Entry visa/ Pre-clearance letter (whichever term is used).
If your passport combinations are not as described as 1, 2 or 3 above you DO NOT need an Entry visa/ Pre-clearance letter (whichever term is used).
In various places on the ISD website you will see this list. This is the visa required/not required countries list.
It is a .PDF and you can download it HERE (this will download to your downloads file of your PC or device).This list will show that on the whole, SA passport holders do NOT need entry visas to come to Ireland. However the exceptions 1, 2 and 3 above are going to need the pre-clearance/ entry visa.
Travelling together or apart:
Where the intention is a holiday (Under 90days) and the intention is to return to SA within that 90day period, please see the info here on Holiday'ing/visiting in Ireland.
In most cases, you cannot come to Ireland and "change plans" the plans to remain must have been made PRIOR to coming to Ireland and relevant permissions in place. You could in most cases, be refused and deported (or asked politely to leave) if you "change plans" in that 90 days and apply from South Africa.
Where the intention is to come to Ireland to live, reside and work over 90days:
The Irish/ EU / British/ Work permit holder (The Sponsor) can ALWAYS travel, if they choose to, in advance of their family (Dependants), to Ireland as they have permission to be in Ireland.
The South African passport holding Spouses/ De Facto partners/ Children (Dependants), cannot travel BEFORE their Irish/ EU / British/ Work permit holder (The Sponsor) unless they have a Work permit in their own right.
The Irish/ EU / British/ Work permit holder (The Sponsor) can travel WITH their Spouses/ De Facto partners/ Children (Dependants) as long as the Dependants in the case of 1,2 and 3 points above have their pre-clearnace documents or relevant proof for their immigration and the Entry into Ireland documents ENTRY INTO IRELAND
We hope this adds some clarity for South African passport holders as the rules for SA people is slightly different due to the agreements in place for our passports.
If you have any question please do ask on our associated Facebook group.