Stamp 0 clarifications from a current applicant
One of the most frequent questions I get from readers is to help clarify the Stamp 0 application process. Many US emigrants, as well as people wishing to move to Ireland from other non-EEA countries, look to use this immigration status as a means to moving to Ireland. However, this status is considered a low level immigration status, and is not intended to result in Long Term Residence or Citizenship.
I did reach out to the appropriate government department a while back, and they provided some guidance (you'll find it here) which has been helpful to many of you.
You might be happy to hear that one of our readers has kindly offered to share her first-hand experience with the Stamp 0 process, and she has some very helpful insight. The lady in question prefers not to be named, but it's important to note that she has recently applied for the Stamp, and is now waiting for a response. She has generously offered to update us when she hears more.
Here is what our reader has shared with me so far (her comments in quotes) (March 2016):
Stamp 0 application process details
The INIS requires the following information from you when considering your application (list taken from a screenshot of an INIS letter sent to me)
* Clear- and legible copy of your passport (all pages), including the visa on which you entered the State
* Copy of your birth certificate
* Copy of marriage certificate
* Reason for request for permission
* Details of all family members resident in the State and their legal status in the State
* Details of Irish Associations
* Evidence of all finances available to you (i.e. six months of bank statements, payslips)
* Evidence of your finances verified by an Irish based accountant listing yearly income and any financial liabilities. Investment sums are not normally reckonable - finances must be in the form of pension income or readily accessible funds.
* Evidence of private medical insurance with full cover in private hospitals
* Police Clearance Certificate
* Health Declaration
* Any other information you consider relevant to your case
"Some, but not all, of this is on the INIS website. This is what must be submitted in order for the application to be considered complete and then it is up to them to evaluate what is submitted."
"There is no application form or stated process for this stamp; but once you apply you do get a Person Number and a Reference Number. "
"Also, we did find out that none of this can be done prior to coming to Ireland; as far as making application, you must have an address here in order to begin the process. "
Strangely, you do not meet with a person when applying. This lady's husband went in person and was told that "no one would see him but they would see that our application materials would be delivered to Helen Fogarty's Dept."
For income verification to meet the 50k/annum requirement: "We showed our bank statements showing our pension incomes; so a person could show direct deposits from whatever income source they have. You must also show a complete statement of your assets and holdings; they care most about those that can be liquidated easily in case of emergency. "
"I don't know if this helps but we also took out a travel policy from Allianz, a company that conducts business in Ireland. It is an emergency medical, dental and emergency medical evacuation plan. The cost was reasonable for a year coverage, purchased from AAA and it over and above our medical policy which also covers us overseas."
"You submit a cover letter stating you are asking for a Stamp Zero and outline all the documents you are submitting. Basically that is what we did and they responded that we are now in queue, with no more requests for documents."
"For our police clearance we went to the Sheriff's records office from our home county and asked that they run a criminal background check. They provided an official stamped document that we were free of any criminal history."
Issues you may face after applying
Our reader has already faced a few issues since recently applying. For one, she has not been given a timeline for when a decision will be made. The maximum allowable stay on a visitor visa is 90 days, so she is hoping to receive a response before that initial allowance runs up. In the meantime, she is unsure if she can travel outside of Ireland.
Also, she would've preferred to apply from her home country. I'm guessing this couple moved to Ireland to enjoy the culture, sights, and life in a new environment. I can imagine how the hassle of running around and gathering documentation detracts from that. Add to that the unease of not knowing if you will be approved or not, and I'm sure it makes life a little uncomfortable.
Lastly, our reader has received mixed information from her local consulate and the Gardai (Irish police force) in Ireland (which is why I'm so thankful to her for sharing her first-hand info with us here). The consulate informed them that they only need register with the Gardai "if we are not working and not staying longer than a year".
As mentioned in previous posts/forum topics, this immigration status is not exactly designed to allow people of independent means a way to move to Ireland on a long term basis. The application requirements must be met every year, and whether or not you would receive an extension is completely at the discretion of the immigration officer at the time.
***update May 2016***
I just received an update on this topic from our reader. Here's her email: