World Rugby has voted to increase the residency rule from three years to five.
It means players born overseas who want to represent the country they now play in, will have to wait longer to be eligible.
The likes of CJ Stander, Jared Payne and Richardt Strauss have benefitted from the residency rule to play for Ireland in recent years.
The change comes into effect from the end of 2020, so won’t affect the likes of Bundee Aki and Tyler Blyendaal, who are already on course to qualify for Ireland over the next 8 months.
CJ Stander and Richardt Strauss. Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
World Rugby says the rule change will "protect the integrity and credibility" of the international game.
“This reform of Regulation 8 governing eligibility is an important and necessary step to protecting the integrity and credibility of international rugby”, said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.
“This is an historic moment for the sport and a great step towards protecting the integrity, ethos and stature of international rugby”, added Vice-Chairman Agustín Pichot.
“National team representation is the reward for devoting your career, your rugby life, to your nation and these amendments will ensure that the international arena is full of players devoted to their nation, who got there on merit.