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4 min read

Moving to Ireland: A Guide for Expats and Digital Nomads

Author

Gabriele Culot

Published

February 28, 2024

Last Update

June 27, 2024

Table of Contents

Step 1: Prepare your documents

Step 2: Manage your finances

Step 3: Arrange housing and accommodation

Step 4: Consider career opportunities and working arrangements

Step 5: Organize healthcare and education

Step 6: Ensure your safety

Step 7: Immerse yourself in Irish culture

Discover a warm welcome in Ireland

Key takeaways
  1. Ireland has emerged as a popular choice for expats and digital nomads in recent years.
  2. Applying for one of the many Irish visas and finding jobs calls for thorough research and careful planning.
  3. Deel’s step-by-step guide shows you how to effortlessly navigate the Irish visa process and settle into your new home.

The number of foreign residents moving to Ireland has steadily increased in recent years. The charm of the Emerald Isle, coupled with advancements in broadband infrastructure and the presence of multinational giants, are among the reasons Ireland is in high demand and considered one of the best places to move to.

The Republic of Ireland is widely recognized as a hub for tech companies and start-ups. It supports foreign nationals wishing to live, study, and work or even establish businesses in the country. However, while moving to Ireland can be incredibly rewarding, it also presents its own challenges. Thorough preparation can mitigate some of these hurdles. Our guide will guide you through the steps to make your move to Ireland as smooth as possible.

Step 1: Prepare your documents

Before you can move to Ireland, you must ensure you've all the necessary paperwork for entry and residency. Here's what you'll need to consider:

European Economic Area (EEA) countries

No visa is required if you're from an EEA country or Switzerland. You're free to live, study, and work wherever you like within Ireland.

However, no matter where you're from, if you plan to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days, you must register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

Visa Types in Ireland

The Irish government offers a range of visas to allow non-EEA citizens to enter the country. These include:

  • Short Stay (C) visa: Enables you to visit for tourism, business meetings, or conferences or to stay with acquaintances in Ireland for up to 90 days
  • Long Stay (D) visa: Allows you to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days to study, work, or for permanent residency, depending on your circumstances. You might also need to apply for an employment permit
  • Investor and Entrepreneur visa: Provide a detailed business proposal and demonstrate access to sufficient funding. Successful applicants can setup and manage businesses in Ireland
  • Working Holiday authorisation: Ireland has bilateral agreements for temporary work permits with several countries, allowing their youth to work and holiday in Ireland for up to a year.
  • Family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: If you're carried as a dependent by a citizen from one of these areas, you may be able to move to and live in Ireland

Visa Sponsorship

Unless you are an EU/EEA citizen or married to an Irish citizen, foreigners from non-EU countries will need a job offer from an employer registered with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, who will act as your sponsor, in addition to the other visa requirements.

Essential Document Checklist

Preparing all your documents ahead of the Irish visa application process can help you avoid delays and complications. Depending on your visa type, these documents may include:

✅ Passport: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay

✅ Passport-sized photos: These should be recent

✅ Visa application form: Complete the form according to the specific requirements for your visa type

✅ Proof of outbound travel: This can be a copy of your flight or ferry reservation

✅ Financial proof: Bank statement showing you can support your stay

✅ Accommodation details: Provide the address where you intend to stay for the duration of your visa

✅ Proof of employment: If you’re applying for a work visa, you’ll need to show your job offer letter or signed employment contract

✅ Educational certificates: You may need evidence of relevant qualifications for your chosen field

✅ Marriage and birth certificates: If you’re relocating with your family, these documents will be required for dependent visa applications

Importance of Authenticating and Translating Documents

Irish authorities may require you to legalize certain documents. If your country isn’t part of the Hague Convention, get your local Irish consulate or embassy to authenticate paperwork.

If your documents are not in English or Irish, you must provide translations by a professional service that can verify the accuracy of their translation.

Step 2: Manage your finances

Ireland is known for its moderate cost of living compared to other European countries. By budgeting wisely, you can maintain a good quality of life while potentially saving money. Let’s take a look at what you need to consider:

Cost of living in Ireland

Here’s a list of the costs you can expect when living in Ireland:

  • Renting: A one-bedroom apartment in Dublin can cost around €1,500 ($1,760) per month, while in smaller cities and towns, it can be slightly more affordable.
  • Buying property: Real estate prices in Ireland vary depending on the location, but overall, it can be expensive compared to other regions of Europe. Initial setup costs such as stamp duty and legal fees should also be considered.
  • Food and drink: Grocery prices in Ireland are generally reasonable, and a wide range of affordable options are available. Eating at local restaurants can vary in cost, starting from around €15 ($18) for a meal for two in a budget-friendly establishment.
  • Transport: Public transportation costs are typically reasonable, and Ireland has an extensive bus and train network. Fuel costs are comparable to other European countries.
  • Utilities: Electricity and heating costs in Ireland can be relatively high, and prices can vary based on the size of your accommodation.

Taxation

Understanding the tax system in Ireland is important when managing your finances. Income tax in Ireland is progressive, with rates ranging from 20% to 40% based on your income bracket. Additionally, there are various allowances and deductions available. It's advisable to consult with a professional tax service to ensure compliance.

Banking and currency exchange

Ireland has a well-established and reliable banking system. You can choose from several local and international banks to open an Irish bank account. Visit a nearby branch with the necessary documents, including proof of identity, address, and employment.

The official currency of Ireland is the euro (€). Currency exchange services are available in banks, currency exchange bureaus, and some post offices.

Step 3: Arrange housing and accommodation

Finding housing is a crucial step when moving to Ireland. Here, we'll explore the available housing options and the necessary steps.

Renting vs. buying

Renting is a common choice, especially for expats who have recently moved to Ireland. It provides flexibility and avoids the upfront costs associated with buying property. Rental prices are generally higher in Dublin compared to other areas of the country.

Finding suitable housing

Ireland offers various types of accommodation, from apartments to houses. Popular rental websites like Daft.ie and Rent.ie are great resources to search for available properties. You can filter your query based on location, rental price, and accommodation type.

Once you've found a suitable property, carefully review the lease agreement. The contract should include:

  • Description of the accommodation
  • Monthly rental amount
  • Duration of the lease
  • Security deposit details (usually one to two months' rent)
  • Your responsibilities as a tenant
  • Any specific rules or restrictions regarding pets

Step 4: Consider career opportunities and working arrangements

Most expatriates find the job market welcoming, with sectors such as technology, pharmaceuticals, and finance offering ample opportunities. Although the cost of living can be high, salaries generally match the living expenses, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle.

Job market overview

Familiarizing yourself with the current industry trends in Ireland is fundamental. Platforms like IrishJobs.ie and Jobs.ie are great starting points for job seekers, as is LinkedIn for a more international approach. Ireland's technology sector is booming, with many global tech companies establishing their European headquarters in Dublin. Additionally, there's a strong demand for professionals in healthcare, education, and construction.

For more specialized searches, websites such as Tech/Life Ireland offer insights and job listings in the tech sector, highlighting the country's need for IT professionals. While English is the primary language used in business, proficiency in Gaelic can be beneficial in certain public sector jobs and adds to cultural integration.

Understanding work culture in Ireland

The Irish work culture emphasizes a good work-life balance, with typical working hours from 9 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Irish people are known for their friendliness and sociability, which extends into the workplace with a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration. Business meetings often start or end with informal conversations, and networking is usually conducted in more relaxed settings, such as cafes or pubs.

Punctuality is valued, and while the work environment is generally less formal than in some other countries, professionalism is always expected. Adaptability and a good sense of humor will help you integrate into the Irish work life.

Step 5: Organize healthcare and education

Moving to Ireland offers access to its public healthcare system and a variety of educational institutions for those relocating with families.

Healthcare system in Ireland

Ireland has a mixed public-private healthcare system. All residents have the right to public healthcare services, which are either free or available at reduced costs, depending on eligibility. However, due to waiting times for specific treatments, many opt for private health insurance for quicker access to services.

Education options in Ireland

Education is highly valued, with many public, private, and international schools available. Public education is free for all residents, but the demand for certain schools can be high, so it’s wise to research options well in advance of moving. For families considering international schools, Dublin especially offers institutions that follow the British and American curricula, though fees can be significant.

Step 6: Ensure your safety

Ireland is renowned for its low crime rate and is, in fact, one of the safest countries. While petty crime exists, particularly in urban areas, walking around cities and towns at night is generally safe. As always, exercise common sense and take standard precautions to protect your belongings.

In case of emergencies, the national emergency number is 112. Ireland is largely free from natural disasters, though it's good practice to familiarize yourself with local safety protocols, especially in coastal areas where warnings for severe weather can be issued.

Step 7: Immerse yourself in Irish culture

Adapting to life in Ireland involves engaging with its rich and complex cultural heritage and its modern outlook on the present and future.

  • Cultural integration: Ireland has a vibrant cultural scene, from traditional music and dance to literature and theater. Participating in local festivals and community events is a great way to immerse yourself in Irish culture.
  • Social norms: Irish society values friendliness, politeness, and a strong sense of community. A good sense of humor and a willingness to engage in lively conversation are essential for making connections.
  • Relations with Northern Ireland**:** The relationship between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is complex, shaped by historical events, including the partition of Ireland in the early 20th century and the Troubles of the late 20th century. Peaceful cooperation has improved markedly following the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Understanding this context is vital, as it influences many aspects of life on the island.
  • The Irish Diaspora: Millions of Irish people have left Ireland over the centuries. This has led to a significant Irish presence in countries around the world, most notably in the the USA, the UK, Canada, and Australia. The influence of the Irish diaspora is considerable, with cultural, political, and economic impacts felt far beyond Ireland's shores.

Discover a warm welcome in Ireland

From the rugged charm of the Wild Atlantic Way to the historic streets of Dublin, Limerick, or Cork, Ireland is a fascinating destination for digital nomads and expats looking for a new home. You can enjoy a high quality of life, robust healthcare system, a variety of career opportunities, rich cultural experiences, and stunning landscapes.

Careful research and planning can ensure a smooth relocation if you're considering a move to Ireland. For extra support, Deel can guide organizations and their employees through the visa application process and help them shop for insurance plans.

Discover how Deel can help you obtain the necessary visa, or explore the Deel blog for more information on relocating abroad.

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