Ireland’s Visa System: What’s the Difference Between Stamp 0 to Stamp 6?

Ireland offers several long-term visa options for immigrants looking to relocate their families, but the immigrant investor programme provides unique advantages. By obtaining a Stamp 4 visa through investment, families can secure unlimited residence rights, educational opportunities for children, and a streamlined pathway to future citizenship.

Ireland issues visas from Stamp 0 to Stamp 6, each conferring different rights of stay in the country. The main types are:

  • Stamp 0 is for short visits and does not allow work. Must have own finances or sponsor.
  • Stamp 1 allows work with a permit. Cannot work without employer permit or INIS letter.
  • Stamp 1A for trainee accountants to study/work.
  • Stamp 1G for job-seeking graduates (1 year) or dependents of critical skills workers. Can work full-time.
  • Stamp 2 for students on eligible courses, allows part-time work.
  • Stamp 2A for exchange students on ineligible courses, no work allowed.
  • Stamp 3 for volunteers, ministers, or family members. No work without a permit.
  • Stamp 4 for various long-term stays. It is Ireland’s investor visa, issued through the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP). It confers unlimited residence and work rights in Ireland.
  • Stamp 5 for 8+ years residence. Valid indefinitely.
  • Stamp 6 for Irish citizens with dual citizenship.

The key stamps for long-term residence and work are 1, 3, 4, and 5. Stamp 4 offers the most flexibility as an investor visa. Only some stamps allow work or count for citizenship. Stamps 1, 3, 4, and 5 count as reckonable residence for citizenship after 5 years (3 years for spouses). Stamps 0, 1A, 1G, 2, and 2A do not count for citizenship residence.

The Benefits of Stamp 4 for Families 

The Ireland Investor Immigrant Programme presents an excellent opportunity for investors to establish a foothold in a thriving economy and enjoy the benefits of Irish residency (Stamp 4). The IIP has highly flexible residency requirements compared to other countries. Investors only need to be physically present in Ireland for 1 day per calendar year to maintain residency status.

This minimum requirement provides ample flexibility for investors to continue conducting business, managing investments, and spending time with family globally while retaining Irish residency.


Obtaining a Stamp 4 visa through the IIP offers significant advantages for families relocating to Ireland:

– Unlimited right to live and work in Ireland, with visa renewals of up to 5 years

– Visa status extended to dependent children up to age 24

– Children entitled to free primary and secondary education

– Access to universities at reduced EU tuition fees after 3 years

– Visa holders are only required to visit Ireland once per year

– Pathway to Irish citizenship after 5 years

– Ability to travel freely in the EU and access the UK

The Stamp 4 stands out as Ireland’s premier immigrant investor visa for families looking to relocate. Its benefits far surpass other types of Irish visas. Despite the closure of the program, applications already submitted are still being processed. The applicants may need a more professional team to navigate the IIP application process, such as working with Eterna International with years of experience in the IIP.

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