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%.
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
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 !