Step by step guide to moving to Ireland

This guide has been made with the intention of helping you, step by step, understand what you should do to move to Ireland. 

The first question that comes to your mind when you want to leave your country is: Where should I go? Ireland is always a good choice: green landscapes, the Atlantic breeze, very nice people, traditional food and the home of Guinness. If you are thinking about it, you can read this to get a fairly realistic portrait of Ireland that might help you decide. 

Leaving aside all of the nice things that entice you to move to a different country, there are a few things you should know before you move. This article is aimed at everyone looking to move to Ireland, so I invite you to continue reading as we clear up some of the steps for you.

Before landing in Ireland, you should check out the following first.


This is the first thing you look to secure when you intend to move somewhere. Many websites offer you different options: sharing a room or house or buying an apartment/house. The documents you usually need to have are: photo ID, bank statements, and sometimes, in some student residences, documentation that verifies that you are a student. 

Renting in Ireland: all the info you need to know – Babylon


Obtaining a Visa is dependent on which country you come from. For the most part, EU residents don’t need one, while non-EU residents will. Check if you will need to get one here. 

There are multiple types of Visa. You should check which one fits your situation the best, as they differ depending on how long you are going to stay in Ireland and why you are coming. Once you have established what type you need, you must read the terms and conditions and apply for it. The application decisions are published every Tuesday on this page. You should download the Visa Decisions document and search for your visa application number. If you are a student you must check the documentation you need for applying for the Students Visa.

Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB)

If you are a non-EU resident and looking to stay in Ireland for longer than 3 months, you must register with the GNIB within three months of arriving. This is a stamp system that indicates the activities you can do during your stay and how long you are permitted to stay in the country. Check out more on how to apply for an Irish Visa and the Stamp System here

Bank account

When choosing a bank in Ireland, it is advisable to gather information on each bank and check out what they offer. The most popular types of bank accounts are current accounts and saving accounts. Current accounts are usually used for paying for everyday items and business transactions. Saving accounts are just for saving money, which builds interest over time. The documents you may need when opening an account with an Irish bank are:

  • Personal details: An address and Irish phone number
  • Photo identification: Such as passport or a full Irish drivers licence – they may also accept any EU drivers licence.
  • Evidence of your Irish residential address: Documents that have your ID, dated within the last 6 months, such as bank or credit card statement; or utility bills (electricity, internet, water, etc.). 
  • PPS Number: This is not essential but they may ask you for it if you are working and paying your salary into the account. 

FAQs: Opening a bank account in Ireland – Babylon

SIM Card

While most foreign mobile numbers will work in Ireland, it will make life easier if you obtain an Irish phone number. If you want to open a bank account here or get a PPS number you will find it easier to use an Irish number.

It is also cheaper to call from an Irish number within Ireland. In Dublin, any of the choices will work well. Sometimes, some companies have special offers for students. Check out mobile phone plans.

Mobile phone plans in Ireland compared


The Personal Public Service (PPS) number is a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, driver tests/license, Revenue schemes and more in Ireland.  Here is a list of the companies and services that may require you to have a PPS number.

Allocation of PPS numbers is done by a face-to-face interview, you should attend the PPS Number Allocation Centre in the county that you intend to live in. You should also check the government’s complete list of documents required as evidence of your identity, and that you have them available. 

Check out our article on Irish Government Services: A Comprehensive Guide, to see what services you can avail of

Health insurance
  • If you are European and are temporarily staying in Ireland, you can apply for the European Health Insurance Card. This is a free card that gives you access to essential, state-provided healthcare, during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, under the same conditions and at the same cost as people insured in that country.
  • If you are an EU resident coming, or returning, to live in Ireland, you must prove to the HSE that you are, or will be, “ordinarily resident” here. This means that you have been living in Ireland for at least a year, or you intend to live here for at least one year. If you are here for a shorter period, you are regarded as a visitor and you do not have any entitlement to free or subsidized health services. You may wish to consider taking out travel insurance. For non-EU residents looking to live here, if you have Stamp 4, you may apply for a medical card.
  • For more information, you can check your entitlement to health services.  
  • If you want to live here longer, whether you are European or non-European, you can register on either the public or private Irish Health Care System
Social Security entitlements

For those aiming to move here more permanently, it is advisable to apply for Social Security Entitlements. There may be some significant differences between the system in Ireland and your home country, that’s why you should check how the social welfare system works here. If you are coming from an EU country, your pensions from the other country are protected when you move to Ireland. 

Social Welfare Means Testing in Ireland – Babylon

Inscription in the Consulate

When you move to a new country, you should be aware of all the rights and duties that you have. That’s why we advise you to register at the consulate. Although this procedure is generally not mandatory, it will offer you several advantages such as: assistance in case of an emergency or accident abroad; receiving information from the nearest embassy or consulate; streamlining of various administrative procedures.

These are only some of the things you need to know if you are thinking about studying or working in Ireland. We have more articles on our website that you can check out, or drop us a question below. If you want to read more specific information about topics like this, we recommend you to check the following articles

Judit Sadurni
Judit Sadurni

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