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Returned to Ireland from Brazil with Brazilian Spouse

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BK9255
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:42 pm
Ireland

Returned to Ireland from Brazil with Brazilian Spouse

Post by BK9255 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:33 pm

Hi all, I wish I knew about this forum before, there's no substitute for qualified legal advice but I might have saved myself from shelling out a small fortune !

Mods, feel free to merge this thread with another if my situation has already been covered, but so far I haven't found anything that matches my situation 100%.

My situation

I met my future wife in August 2017 in Dublin, the following year, in October, we decided to move to Brazil to a year to spend time with her family, and her 2 children who stayed behind. In March of the following year (2019) we decided to tie the knot and one month later we welcomed a new baby boy into the world :D

Shortly after this, I take advice from a legal firm in Dublin specializing in immigration matters. I spend an hour detailing my situation and my spouse's previous Irish immigration history and are told that as long as I have all my original documents translated (birth certificates, marriage certificate etc.) then I should have few or no difficulties. Fast forward to November 17th 2019 and our year in Brazil is up, we decide to return to Ireland.

Two weeks into our stay we try and register my wife with the local immigration officer. We live in a semi-rural area so our local immigration officer works for the main part as a Garda Detective. When my wife and I went to the Garda station for her appointment we were asked about our background, level of education, kids, relationship history etc., all the usual, basic questions. Having looked at the INIS website before, I thought it would be a case of:

Non-EEA, non visa required national - check
Application for permission made with 90 days of legally entering the State - check
Irish spouse - check

And that'd be it. Instead, he asked my spouse to write a letter to the Spouse of an Irish National Unit outlining her situation and a detailed history of our relationship and ties to Ireland and in 10 working days a response should be issued. I didn't think she'd need to do that because she appeared to have satisfied the above conditions but I thought, 'Okay, it's not too much to ask, write a letter and this should be done and dusted in two weeks'.

Two weeks later and I received a response from the Spouse of an Irish National Unit asking me for bank records, wedding photographs, completed RES6 form and everything that goes with it. I couldn't believe it.
The immigration lawyer told me it'd be straightforward, the immigration officers at Dublin Airport offered to put our details 'on the system' so it'd speed things up when we went to apply for permission for my spouse to reside in Ireland, I even phoned the Garda immigration officer in the nearest city to ask how my spouse should go about applying for permission to reside with me in Ireland and was told 'it shouldn't be too difficult at all'

Was our local immigration officer correct in doing this ? I imagine there is some level of discretion afforded to him but I just have this nagging feeling that I shouldn't have to go through all of this when my wife seemingly fits the non-eea non visa required/withing 90 days/Irish spouse/joint living conditions.

Any help, suggestions, or even a good 'bollocking' for being so naïve about the whole process are greatly appreciated !

littlerr
Senior Member
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:14 pm
China

Re: Returned to Ireland from Brazil with Brazilian Spouse

Post by littlerr » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:14 pm

Immigration officers do have some level of discretion but this sounds a lot.

Normally, the immigration officer can asks you to apply to SOIN unit if the officer is not satisfied that the current details are sufficient to issue a residence permission right away. Once your case is referred to SOIN, it is correct for them to ask for a lot of additional details (because straightforward cases won't go to them anyway).

This happens mostly only to people who have a bad immigration history (overstay in Ireland or other EU countries, suspected marriage of convenience, residence permission expired, denied entry in the past etc).

Has your wife had any issue with the immigration authority in the past? Either in Ireland or other EU countries? If not, it's very difficult to think of a reason why they gave you hard time like this.

BK9255
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:42 pm
Ireland

Re: Returned to Ireland from Brazil with Brazilian Spouse

Post by BK9255 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:01 pm

Thanks for your input, littlerr.

The only, but at the same time, not insignificant, blot on my wife's immigration history is her overstay of 9 months. She was in Ireland as an English language student. Apart from that, everything was done above board: she entered Ireland legally and with the correct visa, she never made any social welfare claim or came to the attention of An Garda Síochána.

We've always been open about this with anyone we've dealt with regarding her joining me as a SOIN. The immigration lawyer said that depending on the immigration officer they might frown on it, or,they might feel that since I have provided financially for all three of our children since I moved to Brazil, that one of them has Irish nationality and that the two other children are enrolled in school, that this combined might go some way to balancing out the overstay. My wife has full custody of these two children from her previous marriage and has the original document and sworn translation confirming this.

But as you say, they do have discretion, and obviously an overstay is a more than legitimate ground to dig deeper into someone's case. I'm currently trying to get in contact with our immigration officer to see if he'll tell me what exactly he isn't 100% convinced by.

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