The Irish are a very friendly people, and it is no accident that they are considered the Latins of northern Europe. In Ireland there is a saying: “There are no strangers, there are only friends you do not know yet”. Most Irish people like to talk and make new friends. That’s why it’s much easier to move to Ireland than to many other countries.
In the big cities, this attitude has diminished somewhat with massive immigration, but it is still present. Be sure to move to a small town to experience all the hospitality of these people.
Its sprawling character, the average age of the population (36, the lowest in Europe) and the presence of many students from all over the world make for an extremely lively atmosphere.
In my opinion, it would be the ideal place to live if it had the climate of southern Spain. I have lived abroad most of my life, in many countries, and Ireland is the country where I feel more at home than in any other.
Ireland (Eire in Irish) is an island bordering Great Britain (Northern Ireland). It is divided into 28 counties and three cities (Dublin, Cork and Galway). The official languages are English and Irish Gaelic, the national language, and if you learn it, you will have the key to the heart of all Irish.
The number of immigrants in Ireland is about 900,000, the largest community is Polish (100,000).
Move to Ireland
EU citizens, EEA citizens (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and non-EU citizens from a certain number of countries do not require a visa to enter Ireland:
Non-EU citizens from other countries require a visa to enter Ireland.
There are many types of visas, depending on the purpose.
Visa for a short stay (C visa)
If you want to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days, you should apply for a short stay visa. You should apply for this type of visa if you want to enter Ireland as a tourist, visitor, for a business meeting or to attend a course.
Long Stay Visa (D Visa)
If you want to travel to Ireland for more than 90 days to study, work, etc., you can apply for an extended stay visa.
Most popular visa types:
- Tourist visa, for tourists from third countries who wish to visit Ireland
- Business visa, third country nationals pursuing business purposes
- Visitor visa, third country nationals visiting a family member or friend legally residing in Ireland
- Cultural visa, third-country nationals pursuing cultural activities or sporting purposes
- Student visa, third country students who wish to study in Ireland
- Work visa, for third country nationals who wish to work in Ireland
- Work visa, allowing young people from some countries to gain work experience in Ireland
- Internship visa, third country nationals who want to do an internship in Ireland
- Investor visa, third country nationals who wish to invest in Ireland
- Family reunion visa, third country nationals wishing to join a family member resident in Ireland
See the government website for all visa information.
local immigration office
Irish Residence Permit
If you wish to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days, you must register with your local authority and apply for Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
Move to Ireland, useful resources
- Citizens information, useful information about Ireland
- Gov.ie, official government website
- GUIDE TO MOVING TO IRELAND, a small guide
- Relocating to Ireland, useful guide
Moving to Ireland, finding accommodation
Once in Ireland, the first step is to find permanent housing. The most popular solution is to rent a room.
The most popular rental portals:
- Daft, the most popular website, apartments, rooms for rent and shared flats
- Rent, website for rental
- My Home, very popular website
- Rentola, website for renting
If you have found the apartment, I hope you will not have any problems, but if there is a controversy with the landlord, I would like to point out this association: PRTB (Private Residential Tenancy Board), which regulates the relations between tenants and owners. I recommend you contact them if you have problems with your landlord.
Given the high demand for housing, which far exceeds supply, rental prices are very high. In Dublin, we are in the range of €800-1,000 per month for a room. In Cork, prices are lower, but be prepared to pay €700/800 per month for a room. Galways is the cheapest of the three cities, but housing is also scarce here. The cost of housing is even higher compared to the quality, which is generally poor.
Prices keep going up, despite Covid and war, we are in the middle of a speculative bubble and many are losing their sense of proportion. But to get an idea of this, just look at Daft. The availability and price of housing depends on the area, the further you get from the center the more the prices go down, but then you have to deal with transportation, which is expensive and not always very efficient. In addition to the lack of accommodation and the prices that are not cheap, to rent a house you need proof of salary and often references are required.
Do not think you will find an apartment in a few days, the search will be long and difficult. If you have animals, it will be an odyssey, because contrary to what you may think, Ireland is not a pet-friendly country. The housing problem affects all major Irish cities. Sure, rents are higher than ever in Dublin, but there are also more job opportunities. Outside the city there is a greater supply of housing and rents are lower, but then you usually need a car, which comes at a high cost.
One solution might be to rent a room through airbnb and then, once you have met the owners, ask if they are willing to sign a longer contract. This is not the final solution, but it can be a good option for starters, given the lack of available housing.
Move to Ireland, conclusion
The first document you must obtain in Ireland is the PPS (a unique reference number that helps you access social benefits, public services, etc.). You will need to make an appointment online and provide the following documents:
- certificate of residence, (rental contract, statement from the residence or landlord)
- employment contract or letter from your employer
The PPS is not mandatory to work, but if you do not have it, you will have to pay a 45% tax.
Regarding the health care system, depending on your income, you may be eligible for the Medical Card, which allows you to receive free doctor visits, medical exams, and many other benefits. However, you must have a very low income.
If you are not among the 30% of citizens who are entitled to the Medical Card, you still have the right to access the public health service, but you have to pay for many services: a medical consultation costs between €50 and €80, first aid at night and on weekends costs €75, medicines have to be paid for, etc. Not to mention the very long waiting lists to see a specialist. That is why most people take out private health insurance (from 600/700 € per year). Many companies pay 100% of the cost of health insurance as an allowance.