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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Ireland

As a member state of the European Union, Ireland has so much to offer foreign nationals who are planning on moving to Ireland. However, there are a lot of things to consider, from moving household items to getting a visa or employment permit.
Therefore, if you are looking to make the decision of living abroad in Ireland or you simply want to visit Ireland, our professional immigration lawyers are here to make your plans stress-free.

Contact us on +1 844 290 6312 for immediate support regarding your case and to get started.


Why Should I Move to Ireland?

Ireland is home to a dynamic culture, breathtaking beauty and wildlife, great schooling, and a good healthcare system among others. Depending on personal circumstances, there is a range of reasons why people decide on moving to Ireland.

These reasons include but are not limited to the desire for a better life, persecution in their home country, and a job offer.

Visas and Employment Permits

The most important things to plan for when moving to Ireland are permissions or visas, documentation, and funds. When these are settled, it would be easier to tick the rest of your checklist.

Due to the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement which was reaffirmed after Brexit, British and Irish nationals can travel to, and work and live in either country without restrictions. Northern Ireland remains a part of the UK and travels from Northern Ireland to Ireland are allowed under the CTA.

For those who are not EU/EEA citizens, the immigration process can be time-consuming and frustrating if they do not use the correct information.

Therefore, non-EU/EEA nationals are advised to always check the immigration information on the Irish government website to stay updated on the changes and adjust accordingly.

Foreign nationals who plan to move to Ireland do so for reasons such as:

  • Study.
  • Work.
  • Family reunification.
  • Retirement.
  • Investment.

Such individuals must obtain the right permit that applies to their circumstances and register the permission with the local immigration office.

Individuals who desire to relocate to Ireland under the investor program can do either of the following:

  • Make investments in approved trusts or funds from 1,000,000 Euros.
  • Make donations of at least 500,000 Euros to a project in health, culture, art, sport or education.

Family Reunification

Those who have an Irish parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent can apply for permanent residence based on family ties.


Those who can demonstrate to the Irish government that they can support themselves financially without needing public funds.

Things You Should Know About Ireland

Knowing the following beforehand would make it easier for you to settle in Ireland. You would also have a good idea of cost, lifestyle, and location among others.

Ireland is One of the Most Diverse Nations

Research has shown that Ireland is currently one of the most diverse nations in the EU.
report released in January 2021 revealed that only a few countries such as Luxembourg, Malta, and Estonia had a higher proportion of foreign nationals than Ireland.

Irish nationals come from at least 200 countries according to a 2016 census, and this diversity can be seen in the varieties of food and events.

things you should know about ireland

Driving With a Foreign Licence is Permitted

You can drive in Ireland with a UK driving licence if you are visiting. But if you live in Ireland, you are not permitted to drive with your UK driving licence.
Instead, you should exchange it for an Irish driving licence if it is still valid or its expiry date is not over a year.
A driving licence issued by the UK, an EU or EEA country can be exchanged for an Irish driving licence provided you do so within 10 years of its expiry date
You can also apply to change your driving licence if it was issued by any of the following non-EU/EEA countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Saskatchewan only)
  • Gibraltar
  • Guernsey
  • Isle of Man
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • South Africa
  • Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Switzerland
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • UK

Both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland drive on the left and the legal age to drive is 17 years.

If you have any questions about your Moving to Ireland and eligibility, our team is happy to assist you.

Ireland is an Expensive Place

Moving to Ireland can be challenging if you are not financially prepared or if you do not get a good job. A good job fetches you at least 50,000 to 60,000 Euros annually. Ireland is an expensive country to reside in and this applies to consumer prices, renting accommodation, and grocery stores.

You should make a financial plan depending on the city you intend to stay in and save money. Dublin has been found to be the 6th most expensive city in the world for people looking to rent a place. While many Irish families choose to purchase houses or apartments, it is difficult for foreigners and so they choose to rent rather than buy property.

While Dublin is the most expensive, at least 1.9 million people (39% of Ireland’s population) live in the Greater Dublin area owing to the city’s vibrance, music, and art.

There is much to explore and cheap shops to pick things needed at home. Young people usually like to leave the rural areas and move to big cities like Dublin where there are more accessible amenities, work opportunities and great nightlife. Fuel is also expensive in Ireland. Compared to the United States, you can expect to pay double to fill up your car tank. Getting a place to live or a mortgage loan can be difficult, especially for expats.

The Irish healthcare system is one of the best

Ireland has a healthcare system that is one of the best in the world and currently stands at the 11th position according to research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

It is easy to opt for private healthcare as private health insurance is affordable and generally offers satisfactory care.

Ireland’s public transportation system is cheaper

You can use Ireland’s public transport, which is cheaper and more convenient when you consider the compounded costs involved in driving, to get around. The easiest way to pay your fare when using Ireland’s public transport is by purchasing a ‘leap card’.

The leap card is a prepaid card used for paying fares on Ireland’s public transport such as buses, trams, trains, and the Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART).

It is cheaper than cash tickets and you don’t need to carry cash once it is topped up.

Irish Citizens Have the Right to Enter and Live in Other EU Countries

Those who are Irish citizens and hold Irish passports can enter and live in other EU countries for up to three months as EU citizens if they fulfil certain conditions. UK citizens have separate permission to live and work in Ireland through the Common Travel Act.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens have the right to move freely within the territory of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland. When they are lawfully in one of those countries, they should not be treated differently from citizens of that country in terms of:

  • Access to employment
  • Working conditions
  • Taxation
  • Access to training
  • Access to trade unions
  • Access to (for example) housing, and education for themselves and their children

Ireland is a safe country

Ireland is generally a safe place to visit and live. According to the 2020 Global Peace Index, it was ranked the 12th safest country in the world. putting it ahead of some notable countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, the US, and France.

Also, according to a 2019 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report by the safety and security sector of the World Economic Forum, Ireland took the 26th position out of 140 countries. As long as they take normal precautions, Ireland is safe for solo travellers, female travellers, and group travellers.

ireland is a safe country

Checklist for Moving to Ireland

To ease the stress of moving to Ireland, you need to plan adequately and create a checklist. You should check the processing time for the immigration route you intend to apply for to help you determine when to start making your application.

For example, the processing time for applications from people who want to retire to Ireland is four months. In this case, you should have commenced active preparation for the transition starting with an immigration application about eight months before your intended relocation date. You should also renew your passport or apply for one, whichever applies to you. You could divide your checklist into stages for ease as outlined below.

Stage 1

This period is within six to twelve months before moving to Ireland. Before your relocation, you should:

  • Get your passport ready and apply for your desired immigration route.
  • Check the notice period on the employment contract of your current job to determine when you will resign.
  • Create a budget based on estimated costs and research to give you an idea and add actual costs as you tick those tasks.

Stage 2

This is usually at least six months before your relocation and when your immigration application has been approved. You should:

  • Check relevant job boards for job opportunities and apply.
  • Make flight reservations once your immigration application has been approved.
  • Start putting your things together and dispose of the ones you would not need. Research into accommodations in Ireland as well.
  • Research and contact schools or childcare establishments if you have children.
  • Make arrangements for transportation if you are bringing a lot of luggage.
  • Check Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food website for an up-to-date, full, and detailed guide to bringing pets into Ireland. This will help you make adequate provisions for your pets.
  • Hire an international moving company based in your country to move your things. If you are bringing a car, be ready to pay vehicle taxes and other related costs.
  • Make digital copies of important documents and keep both copies (digital and non-digital) safe.
  • See your general practitioner and make sure your whole family including you perform general checkups to deal with any medical issue that may adversely affect your relocation.

Stage 3

This stage is usually within the remaining three months before moving to Ireland. You should:

  • Find a suitable time to resign to have time, depending on your employment contract, to execute your relocation checklist.
  • Pay off outstanding bills and apply for your bank and tax statements.
  • Unsubscribe from utilities when the time is near to avoid delays.
  • Arrange to set up online banking and access to any bank account you wish to leave open for activities such as domestic payments.
  • Open a bank account in Ireland. Alternatively, arrange with your bank to have traveller cheques or travel debit cards to have access to enough cash if you were not able to open a bank account.
  • Get suitable health and travel insurance.
  • Buy some euros to have some cash you can spend on necessities when you arrive in Ireland.
  • Separate the things you will bring with you from the things luggage to be moved by the moving company. Also, make an inventory of everything that will be transported by the moving company.
  • Prepare for rental property search when you arrive in Ireland if you have not found a place already.
  • Say farewell to family and friends, and notify the relevant persons and associations you belong to of your relocation.

When you arrive in Ireland, you should do the following:

  • Apply for an Irish Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) which grants you access to services such as driver’s licences, social welfare, and child immunisation.
  • Get an Irish SIM card to eliminate international calling fees and open a bank account if you have not already done so.
  • Apply for a medical card or a GP visit card to access healthcare.
  • Explore Ireland and check out events and entertainment.

Do you need help applying for a Moving to Ireland. Our lawyers can assist you.

How Our IAS Lawyers Can Help You

The application process for moving abroad to Ireland can be quite daunting and stressful but it is a rewarding decision. You need to include all important documents when applying to avoid a refusal and ensure relevant authorities in your home country are notified.

We will help you through the whole process such as applying for the immigration route you qualify for, ensuring that your application as well as that of your family members are correctly filled, and ensuring the right supporting documents accompany the application.

Contact us today on +1 844 290 6312 or chat with us online to explore your options and to get answers to your inquiries or questions.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You can move to Ireland through the following routes:

  • Investing in Ireland: The Immigrant Investor Program requires interested persons to invest a certain amount of money and meet other eligibility criteria before they are allowed to reside in Ireland.
  • Retirement: This route requires interested persons to be financially independent and meet other conditions before they are allowed to reside in Ireland.

There are other routes such as applying to be reunited with your family or as a child or grandchild of an Irish citizen.

Due to the Common Travel Area (CTA) agreement between the UK and Ireland, British and Irish citizens can work and live freely in each other’s country without the need to apply for a visa.

Therefore, if you are a British citizen, you can choose to experience life on the Emerald Isle.

You can join social media pages or Facebook groups to meet friends or expats in Ireland. That way, you can try out new places together with friends and have great craic (fun).

Popular tourist sites include the Dingle, the Connemara, Dublin city, and Doolin. You could also visit an Irish pub as the Irish love to do.

You will have fun trying out traditional Irish cuisines such as the Irish lamb stew, Irish soda bread. For those who like to golf, Ireland has some of the best golf courses in Europe.

According to the 2016 Census, 98% of the Irish population speaks English, 40% claim to speak Irish and 0.3% speak Ulster Scots. The foreign languages among the immigrant population are French (20%), German (7%), and Spanish (3.7%).

The Irish people speak English just like their British neighbours across the Irish sea. However, you might still experience some language barriers due to the accents and slang in the Irish language even if you are a native English speaker.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland in 1993 and same-sex marriage was legalised in 2015, granting the LGBTQ community legal protection, adoption rights, and the right to change their legal gender by self-identification.

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