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Mcgrath Mullan Solicitors Dublin

What happens to my Stamp 4 EUFAM if my circumstances change?

A Stamp 4 EUFAM permission is dependent on a relationship with an EEA national, which means that if there is a change in this relationship it may impact the Stamp 4 EUFAM permission. Examples would include where a marriage or civil partnership with an EEA national ends, where the EEA national leaves Ireland or where the EEA national passes away.

In such cases, the first step for a Stamp 4 EUFAM holder will be to immediately inform the EU Treaty Rights Division about the change in circumstances.

It is possible in certain circumstances for the non-EEA national to apply to retain their residence permission – this is provided for by EU Directive 2004/38/EC, which is implemented in Ireland by the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015.

1. After a divorce / annulment of marriage or termination of civil partnership

Following the end of a marriage or civil partnership, the non-EEA national may be eligible to retain their residence rights if:

a) The marriage or civil partnership lasted for at least 3 years before the divorce / annulment / termination proceedings were started – in addition, the couple must have lived together in Ireland for at least 1 year before the divorce proceedings started, and the EEA national must have still been living in Ireland when the divorce / annulment / termination was granted.

It is also essential that the EEA national was still exercising their EU rights in Ireland when the divorce / annulment / termination was granted – this means they must have been working, self-employed, involuntarily unemployed or living with sufficient resources – studying is not included.

b) The non-EEA family member has custody of the EEA national’s children, either by agreement between them or by court order.

c) The non-EEA family member has a right of access to a minor child which a court has ruled must take place in Ireland.

d) There are particularly difficult circumstances, such as where the non-EEA national has been a victim of domestic violence while the marriage or civil partnership was ongoing.

In the case of a divorce, it will be essential that the divorce is recognised in Ireland – if the divorce took place in Ireland this will be straightforward, however if the divorce took place abroad it will become more complex.

In particular, it is important to be aware of the fact that a divorce will not be recognized in the State if both parties are still residing in Ireland at the time but obtain a divorce by proxy in the country where they were married. For such a divorce to be recognised in Ireland, at least one of the parties must be domiciled in the country where the divorce was granted.

2. After the death of the EEA national

If the EEA national passes away, their non-EEA family member may be able to retain their residence rights if:

a) They have lived in the State with the EEA national for at least one year prior to the death of the EEA national; and

b) They are employed or self-employed in the State or possess sufficient resources to support themselves and any dependents.

Alternatively, if the EEA national’s children who reside in Ireland are enrolled in education in the State for the principal purpose of following a course of study, then the child and the parent who has custody of the child will be entitled to reside in the State until their studies are completed. In that scenario, if the non-EEA family member has custody of the child, they will be able to apply to retain their residence right on this basis.

3. After the EEA national leaves the State

If the EEA national departs from Ireland, their non-EEA family member can retain their residence permission only if they have minor children with that EEA national who reside in Ireland and are enrolled in an educational establishment in Ireland. If so, if the non-EEA family member has custody of the children they will be entitled to continue to reside in Ireland until the children have completed their studies.


For all scenarios above, the application for retention is made using the Form EUTR5 available on the Department of Justice’s website, and must be submitted along with a range of supporting documents.

Applications can take up to six months to be processed. The Department of Justice may provide a temporary permission while the retention application is being considered – if so, this will usually be for a duration of six months.

If the application is successful, the non-EEA national will be given a Stamp 4 permission.

For any inquiries about these rules or any immigration matters in general, please feel free to contact us at or call us at 01-8735012.

Author Bio

Naoise Duffy

Naoise Duffy, Solicitor, can assist you in Immigration law, Judicial Review and Surrogacy law. Contact Naoise if you would like assistance with any of these matters. or +353 (0) 1 873 5012

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