Immigration Status of migrants for victims of domestic violence.

Updated: Aug 18

Minister of Social Protection Heather Humphreys has called for a 'whole-of-government' response to the epidemic of domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence, as well as the permanent provision of rent assistance to victims of domestic abuse. However, many migrants who are unaware of their rights are fearful of using such services due to the ambiguity surrounding their visas.



Nobody should be compelled to stay in an abusive relationship in order to maintain their status in the State. If you have been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of a dependent family member, you may be eligible to petition for independent residence in the State. A dependent immigration permit is a right of residency provided by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) to non-EU nationals who are married to or have a connection with an Irish, EU, or non-EU person who has the right of residence in the State.


The term domestic violence doesn’t just mean physical violence. It can involve emotional abuse, isolation from family or friends of support networks control of daily routines, such as access to money, personal items, food, outside contact or transport.

- Immigrant Council of Ireland.

Contact the Immigrant Council of Ireland's Helpline on 01-674-0200

Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri 10am-1pm to speak with one of their team members.


Permission to stay in the state, and "dependent" immigration statuses, are those issued by the INIS to non-EEA nationals based on their marriage to or connection with another. Several examples include the following:

  • Spouses of work permit holders

  • De-facto partners of Irish nationals (same-sex or opposite-sex couples)

  • Spouses/civil partners of Irish nationals

  • Family members of refugees who are here on Family Reunification

  • Spouses of EEA nationals who have been granted residence in the State on the basis of Directive 2004/38EC

The Immigration Service Delivery issues dependent spouses and partners, as well as all other lawful residents of the state, a Certificate of Registration (often referred to as an "IRP card").


How to apply?


All applications must be made from inside the State. To apply, the applicant must be a dependant of an Irish citizen or a foreign national granted permission to reside in Ireland. If their immigration status has expired, they may still apply, but their application must include a detailed explanation of why their permission was not renewed.


Applicant's proof of eligibility can be supported by the submission of the following documents:

  • Protection Order, Safety Order or Barring Order from the Courts;

  • Medical reports indicate injuries consistent with domestic violence. Details of doctor and dates of consultation should be supplied;

  • A Garda report of incidents of domestic violence;

  • A letter from a State body (such as the Health Service Executive) indicating that it is dealing with your case as an issue of domestic violence;

  • A letter of support from a domestic violence support organisation;

  • Any other evidence indicating that you are the victim of domestic violence.

Ref: Victims of Domestic Violence Immigration Guidelines


The application must be submitted in writing, either via a solicitor or directly by the applicant. The application must specify the domestic violence endured and make a request for self-sufficiency. Any relevant family circumstances, particularly the presence or absence of children, should be stated. Additionally, whether the applicant or the abuser has left the family home is included. It is critical to provide as much information as possible to substantiate your complaint of domestic abuse.


In most cases, the immigration status issued will be the same as that previously had as a dependant (normally Stamp 3). The primary distinction is that this status is no longer contingent on the applicant's spouse or partner, who will have no influence in whether the application is allowed to remain in Ireland. Permission to work will be considered if it becomes essential for the victim to support themselves or family members legitimately living in the State.


Perpetrators of Domestic Violence


One of the standard conditions of a foreign national’s immigration permission is that the holder shall be of good character. Engaging in domestic violence can be regarded as breaching this condition and this could lead to revocation or non-renewal of the perpetrator’s own immigration status.


Where to Apply?


You should make your application in writing via REGISTERED POST to:


Unit 2 Domestic Residence and Permissions Division Immigration Service Delivery Department of Justice 13-14 Burgh Quay Dublin 2 D02 XK70 Ireland


There is no application fee.


The effects of abuse are devastating and far-reaching. Domestic violence speaks many languages, has many colours and lives in many different communities.

- Sandra Pupatello


I hope this is of assistance to you.


I will be speaking on this subject matter on November 24th, register here to attend: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/international-day-for-the-elimination-of-violence-against-women-tickets-196994615197


To Empower!

Shashank Chakerwarti Speech 24/11/2021 – End Violence Against Women @ Scientology CC


"As a male, there is a widespread belief that I lose the right to speak out on violence against women, but today I am here as your friend who has observed and experienced the psychological impacts of domestic abuse.


I moved to Ireland at the age of 12 and was raised by my father, with my mother joining us later at the age of 15. Prior to this, I lived in India with just my mother. I've seen them miss each other and verbally fight to the death with one another; both have their drawbacks.


I had no idea that this continual fighting was referred to as marriage, which is why I am still single and without prospect of marriage. At this age of 28, believe me when I say that this is no longer a topic for discussion in the future, but a family catastrophe. When I am questioned, I always respond that I am not prepared; the fact is that I am frightened of repeating those same mistakes.


There is fear inside me that I am not sure I will ever conquer, and hence I am here today to ask for your assistance in overcoming this collective fear of not standing up for yourself, because I am certain that we can overcome it by empowering one another for collective growth.


Every person has the right to live in an environment free of violence and abuse. You are not alone if you are a victim of abuse. There is support available to you.


We understand that taking the initial step, such as picking up the phone, may be intimidating and frightening. However, domestic abuse services use highly trained and experienced personnel. They are available to listen to and address your concerns. They will make no attempt to compel you to make any choices.


The Irish Police Service, An Garda Sochána, takes domestic and sexual abuse very seriously and is here to assist. Domestic abuse may manifest itself in a multitude of ways; it can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or financial. It may happen inside a family, between family members. It may involve a current or former partner of any gender or sexual orientation.


However, when it comes to migrants, there is added stress because the majority of spouses are on dependant visas and must adhere to marriage norms as defined in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service delivery guidelines, which brings us to the topic of immigration status for victims of domestic violence.


Nobody should be forced to remain in an abusive relationship in order to keep their status. If you have suffered domestic abuse at the hands of a dependant family member, you may be qualified to petition the State for independent residency.


The Immigrant Council of Ireland defines “The term domestic violence doesn’t just mean physical violence. It can involve emotional abuse, isolation from family or friends of support networks, control of daily routines, such as access to money, personal items, and food, outside contact or transport.”


All applications must be made from inside the State and submit proof such as:

· Protection Order, Safety Order or Barring Order from the Courts;

· Medical reports indicate injuries consistent with domestic violence. Details of doctor and dates of consultation should be supplied;

· A Garda report of incidents of domestic violence;

· A letter from a State body (such as the Health Service Executive) indicating that it is dealing with your case as an issue of domestic violence;

· A letter of support from a domestic violence support organisation;

· Any other evidence indicating that you are the victim of domestic violence.


Apply to Unit 2 Domestic Residence and Permissions Division in writing, either via a solicitor or directly via Registered Post.


In a cover letter, the application must detail the abuse and ask for self-sufficiency. The presence or absence of children should be indicated. Also included is if the applicant or abuser has left the family home. It's vital to offer as much detail as possible to support your domestic violence case.


The bearer of a foreign national's immigration permit must be of good character is a criterion for Irish Residency Permit. Hence, domestic violence may be considered a violation of this requirement, leading to the perpetrator's own immigration status being revoked or not renewed.


The effects of abuse are devastating and far-reaching. Domestic violence speaks many languages, has many colours and lives in many different communities.

- Sandra Pupatello


I thank Adrienn Underwood at Scientology Community Centre Dublin for giving me the opportunity to empower such a wonderful audience and we pledge to share this knowledge because together we can, together we will and together, we make Ireland the safest country in the world for women and children."


- END






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