Guide Moving to ireland in 2024

Moving to Ireland can be an exhilarating adventure, whether you are relocating for work, study, retirement, or simply seeking a new beginning in a country rich in culture, history, and stunning landscapes. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about moving to Ireland, from visa requirements and finding accommodation to navigating the healthcare system and embracing the local culture.

Why Move to Ireland?

Ireland, often referred to as the “Emerald Isle,” offers a unique blend of modern cities and quaint countryside. With its friendly people, vibrant arts scene, and a strong economy, Ireland has become a popular destination for expatriates moving to Ireland.

Economic Opportunities

Ireland boasts a robust economy, particularly in sectors like technology, pharmaceuticals, and finance. The presence of major multinational corporations like Google, Facebook, and Pfizer has created numerous job opportunities. Dublin, the capital, is a bustling tech hub, while Cork, Galway, and Limerick also offer plenty of employment options.

Quality of Life

Ireland consistently ranks high in global quality of life indices. With excellent healthcare, education, and public services, it’s an attractive place to live. The natural beauty, from the Cliffs of Moher to the rolling green hills, provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

Rich Culture and History

Ireland is steeped in history and culture, with ancient castles, vibrant festivals, and a strong tradition of music and dance. Whether you’re exploring Dublin’s historic Trinity College or enjoying a traditional Irish music session in a local pub, there’s always something to do.

Visa and Immigration Requirements

Types of Visas

1. **Short Stay Visas (C Visa):** For those visiting Ireland for tourism, business, or family visits for up to 90 days.

2. **Long Stay Visas (D Visa):** For those planning to stay for more than 90 days, including work, study, and family reunification.

Work Permits

If you’re moving to Ireland for work, you’ll need a work permit. There are several types of work permits, including:

– **General Employment Permit:** For occupations with an annual salary of at least €30,000.

– **Critical Skills Employment Permit:** For highly skilled workers in occupations with critical shortages.

– **Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit:** For the dependants of holders of certain employment permits.

How to Apply

1. **Determine the Type of Visa/Permit:** Identify the visa or work permit that suits your purpose.

2. **Gather Required Documents:** Typically, this includes your passport, application forms, proof of employment or study, financial statements, and health insurance.

3. **Submit Your Application:** You can apply online via the [Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS)]( website.

4. **Attend an Appointment:** You may need to provide biometric information and attend an interview.

5. **Await Approval:** Processing times vary, so apply well in advance of your planned move.

Finding Accommodation

Renting a Home

Renting is a popular choice for newcomers moving to Ireland. Websites like and are excellent resources for finding rental properties. Major cities like Dublin, Cork, and Galway have a range of options, from city-center apartments to suburban houses.

Buying a Home

If you plan to stay long-term, buying a property might be a better option. The property market in Ireland is competitive, especially in Dublin. Engage a local real estate agent to help navigate the process.

Temporary Accommodation

Consider booking temporary accommodation, such as an Airbnb or a short-term rental, for your initial weeks in Ireland. This gives you time to explore neighborhoods and find the perfect long-term home.

The Healthcare System

Public Healthcare

Ireland has a public healthcare system, the Health Service Executive (HSE), which provides services to residents. While some services are free, others require a fee. EU/EEA citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can access public healthcare.

Private Healthcare

Many expatriates opt for private health insurance to avoid long waiting times in the public system. Providers like VHI, Laya Healthcare, and Irish Life Health offer various plans.

Registering with a GP

It’s essential to register with a General Practitioner (GP) upon arrival. GPs are your first point of contact for health issues and can refer you to specialists if needed.

Education and Schools

Primary and Secondary Education

Ireland has an excellent education system, with public, private, and international schools. Public schools are free for residents, while private and international schools charge tuition fees. Research and visit schools to find the best fit for your child before moving to Ireland.

Higher Education

Ireland is home to prestigious universities such as Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and University of Galway. International students will need to apply for a student visa and meet the entry requirements for their chosen institution.

Cost of Living


Housing costs vary significantly depending on the location. Dublin is the most expensive city, followed by Cork and Galway. Check the prices before moving to Ireland. Expect to pay around €1,500-€2,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in Dublin.


Utilities, including electricity, heating, water, and waste disposal, can add around €150-€200 to your monthly expenses.


Public transport in Ireland is efficient and affordable. Monthly public transport passes cost around €120 in Dublin. Owning a car involves additional expenses such as insurance, tax, and fuel.

Food and Groceries

Grocery costs are reasonable, with an average monthly spend of €250-€350 for a single person. Dining out can be more expensive, with a meal in a mid-range restaurant costing around €20-€30.

Cultural Integration

Embracing Local Customs

Irish people are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Engage with locals, participate in community events, and be open to new experiences. Learning some basic Irish phrases before moving to Ireland. can also be appreciated.

Public Holidays and Festivals

Ireland has numerous public holidays and festivals. St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th is the most famous, celebrating Irish culture with parades and festivities. Other notable events include Christmas, Easter, and various local festivals.

Expat Communities

Joining expat groups can help you settle in and make new friends. Websites like Babylon Radio and Meetup offer opportunities to connect with other expatriates in Ireland.

Practical Tips for Living in Ireland

Banking and Finances

Opening a bank account is essential for managing your finances. Major banks include Bank of Ireland, AIB, and Ulster Bank. You’ll need proof of address, identification, and a PPS number (Personal Public Service number) to open an account.

Mobile and Internet Services

Ireland has several mobile and internet providers, including Vodafone, Three, and Eir. Compare plans to find the best deal for your needs.

Driving in Ireland

If you hold a driving license from an EU/EEA country, you can use it in Ireland. Non-EU/EEA licenses can be used for up to one year, after which you need to apply for an Irish license. Familiarize yourself with local driving laws and regulations.

Utilities and Waste Management

Setting up utilities such as electricity, gas, and water is straightforward. Major providers include Electric Ireland, Bord Gáis Energy, and Irish Water. Waste management services vary by county, so check with your local council for details.

Embracing the Irish Lifestyle

Exploring Ireland’s Natural Beauty

Ireland’s landscapes are breathtaking, offering numerous outdoor activities. Visit the Cliffs of Moher, hike in the Wicklow Mountains, or explore the Ring of Kerry. Ireland’s coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches and charming seaside towns.

Enjoying Irish Cuisine

Irish cuisine is hearty and delicious. Try traditional dishes like Irish stew, soda bread, and seafood chowder. Dublin, Cork, and Galway have vibrant food scenes with numerous restaurants and food markets.

Participating in Local Sports

Sports play a significant role in Irish culture. Gaelic football, hurling, and rugby are popular. Joining a local sports club is a great way to stay active and meet people.

Overcoming Challenges


Ireland’s weather can be unpredictable, with frequent rain and mild temperatures. Invest in good-quality rain gear and embrace the ever-changing climate.


Navigating the bureaucracy can be challenging. Be patient and ensure you have all necessary documents for visa applications, bank accounts, and other official processes before moving to Ireland.


Feeling homesick is normal. Stay connected with family and friends back home through video calls and social media. Exploring Ireland and making new friends can help alleviate homesickness.

Moving to Ireland promises to be an exciting and rewarding experience. With its strong economy, high quality of life, and rich culture, Ireland is an ideal destination for expatriates. By understanding visa requirements, finding suitable accommodation, and embracing the local lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to making Ireland your new home. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling cities or the serene countryside, the Emerald Isle has something to offer everyone. Slán go fóill (Goodbye for now) and best of luck with your move!

Seamus Holland
Seamus Holland


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