Are you looking for a new adventure? Maybe your career has forced you to relocate? Ireland, with its gorgeous green landscapes, rich history and a growing economy could be the perfect place for you – especially with the uncertainty that Brexit brings for many UK nationals. Here, Universal Partners FX provides a comprehensive guide for anyone thinking about moving to Ireland, what you’ll need to move as well as working and living in Ireland.

For expats considering moving to Ireland, the first thing that should be recognised is that the island is technically home to two nations. The Republic of Ireland, consisting of 26 of the island’s 32 counties, resides in the South. Northern Ireland, made up of the remaining six counties and is part of Great Britain, is found in the north. Despite being part of Great Britain, Northern Ireland does have its very own devolved government and is not governed by the United Kingdom. Generally, when people speak of Ireland, they are often referring to the Republic and not Northern.

A history of Ireland

Shortly after arriving in Ireland, you will quickly become aware of its long and well-documented history, of which its residents are extremely proud. Irish history, from its historic period all the way up to modern times, is one that is characterised by trade with the international community. As you travel around Ireland, the signs and sites can be seen throughout the country, and information of its rich past can be found in museums and tours. However, the most obvious examples of foreign influence across the island are inarguably those of the British Empire. As a result of being under British reign for over eight hundred years, the remnants of colonialism can be seen far and wide, stretching from the architecture all the way to the political and economic structures of the country. An important note to remember for anyone moving to Ireland is that the British Empire and Northern Ireland can be quite a touchy subject for those that live in the south!

Places to move to in Ireland

For most people moving to Ireland, their destination may have already been decided. Whether it’s a result of work or family commitments. However, many expatriates moving to Ireland may be looking for their next job opportunity. Thankfully, Ireland is home to a choice of large cities and centres of industry that stand as excellent places to both live and work.

  • Dublin – Dublin, the capital and largest city in Ireland, is the cultural and economic epicentre of the nation. Home to approximately 1.8 million people, Dublin accounts for nearly 40% of the entire population. As the considerable majority of offers on online job portals are in Dublin, the enticement of moving to Ireland’s heart is unrivalled. In addition, with superb transport links directed to the capital, it is an extremely easy place to travel in and around and to and from.

 

  • Cork – Cork is Ireland’s second-largest city and is ideal for anyone looking to find work within the industry sector. Residing in the southwest of the country, Cork remains the heart of the local industry, in particular, the IT, pharmaceutical and oil sectors. Global brands such as Apple, Amazon and Logitech all have subsidiaries and European headquarters there.

 

  • Galway – If you prefer a smaller city, Galway is a great choice. A small, coastal city in the west of Ireland, Cork is home to a large student population and a growing market for start-up companies, perfect if you’re thinking about setting up your own business. The compact city has good infrastructure and is only around two hours away from the capital along the motorway.

 

  • Limerick – A major economic hub for Ireland, Limerick is found on the west side of Ireland and is home to the Shannon Free Zone, Business and Technology Park. As a result of the appealing tax terms in this free trade zone, many international organisations opted to move to Limerick to set up shop. It is also located adjacent to one of the busiest airports in the country, Shannon Airport. Making the move to Ireland’s heartland a breeze.

 

Visas

Just like most countries, Ireland has a variety of visa options for you to choose from depending on your length and purpose of stay. If you are a citizen of the EEA, Switzerland or any country on this list, you will not need a visa to enter Ireland. Nationals from various countries outside of the EEA will require a visa, however. Even if you are the dependent if an EU citizen, as non-EEA national, you may need a visa to enter and move to Ireland if you do not acquire the respective family member residence card.

Expatriates interested in moving to Ireland will most likely need either the Long Stay Visas or Business Visas. For an overview of all visa types available when entering Ireland, as well as other important information for relocating, visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. The cost of applying for an Irish visa is around 60-100 EUR.

Once you move to Ireland, unless you are an EEA or Swiss citizen, you are required to register with the local immigration authority if you plan on staying in Ireland for more than 90 days. To do this, simply visit the local Garda District Headquarters where you will receive a Certificate of Registration, costing 300 EUR, which proves that you are legally residing in Ireland.

Work Permits

Just like visas, there is a choice of work permits to choose from in Ireland depending on the nature of your work and how much you will earn. In total, there are nine different types of work permits, but the most popular are:

  • The General Employment Permit – In order to be eligible for this permit, you must usually have a minimum annual salary of 30,000 EUR or in some exceptional cases 27,000 EUR. You must also have the qualifications, skills and experience required for the job.
  • The Critical Skills Permit – Formerly known as the Green Card, this permit is issued by the Department of Job, Enterprise and Innovation. You may be eligible for this permit if you earn more than 60,000 EUR per year or if your job is on the Highly Skilled Occupations List and you earn more than 30,000 EUR per year.
  • The Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit - Spouses, recognised partners, civil partners, and dependents of researchers and holders of Critical Skills Employment Permits and former Green Card permits are eligible for this permit. However, you must be a legal resident in Ireland in order to apply for this permit.

 

Living in Ireland

Before moving to Ireland, many people have an image of the ‘Emerald Isle’ that consists of a lot of rain, greenery and moderate pace in a way of life. These expectations are accurate to some extent but once you arrive you will quickly realise that the Republic of Ireland is amazingly similar to many other nations of a similar nature. It does, however, possess a number of ‘rules’ that you will need to be aware of.

The road system

In Ireland, motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road. Road conditions are generally on par with any other industrialised country and will only take a few days or so before you become normalised to the roads and countless roundabouts you are sure to encounter. Outside of the city centres, the roads can become a little trickier as a result of curvier, narrow and rockier roads.

Traffic regulations

If your stay in Ireland exceeds 12-months, you will be required to apply for an Irish driver’s license in order to keep driving your vehicle. If you are from the EEA or one of the residing states, however, you can simply exchange your driver’s license for an Irish one. The Irish driving system works off of a penalty point system, which was introduced in 2002 as a result of the increasingly high number of traffic-related deaths. If a driver receives more than twelve points, they will be suspended from driving for six months and must submit their license to the authorities. You can view the 62 offences that can incur points on your license here.

Healthcare

Ireland provides an exceptional, tax-funded healthcare system. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for providing extensive healthcare assistance to every Irish resident. The majority of healthcare in Ireland is free, however, some services such as hospital stays and emergency care do come with a charge. A good thing to note is that if your income and assets are below a certain limit, you are able to apply for a medical card or a GP visit card, which makes you exempt from certain or even all healthcare fees. If you earn about the threshold, you will have to pay to some healthcare fees.

If you have decided to move to Ireland to work for more than a year, you will need to contact the HSE as soon as possible to confirm your status as an ordinary resident. Expats coming from within the EEA are also entitled to receive certain medical services free of charge.

How Universal Partners FX can help you

If you’re planning on moving to Ireland, you will need to make a number of transactions at one time or another. Whether it’s to pay for initial accommodation fees, healthcare or to simply exchange money. When doing so, you’ll want to get the most out of your money, which can be a problem when high transaction fees and poor exchange rates are involved. Here at Universal Partner FX, you avoid all that. With zero transactions fees and bank-beating rates, you ensure a safe and secure money transfer, as well as getting the absolute most out of your money.

With our easy-to-use online money platform, you can send your money to Ireland in just a few simple steps. But first, be sure to sign-up for a personal account with us to be assigned your own personal foreign exchange specialist. To learn more about how Universal Partners FX can make moving to Ireland easier and smoother for your finances, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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Nowadays, currencies seem to be hitting all-time highs and all-time lows more often than ever before. Exchange rates are constantly fluctuating, causing somewhat of a headache for frequent travellers and international businesses around the world. But why do currencies fluctuate so often? The answer is relatively simple; supply and demand. The definition of supply and demand is ‘the amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price.’ Simply put, the cost of something depends on how much is available against how many people want to buy it.

The majority of the world’s currencies are bought and sold based on flexible exchange rates, meaning their prices fluctuate based on the supply and demand in the foreign exchange market. Increased demand for a particular currency or a shortage in its availability will result in a price increase. A decreased demand or an influx in supply will lower its price. The supply and demand of currency are connected to several interrelated factors, including monetary policy, inflation rates and the conditions involved with the political and economic environment. So, let’s take a look at these individually.

Monetary Policy

Through monetary policy, a country is able to stimulate its economy. Central banks attempt to control the demand for currencies by increasing or decreasing the money supply and/or benchmark interest rates. The money supply is pretty self-explanatory; this is the amount of money that is in circulation within a country. As money supply increases and the accessibility to a currency rises, the cost of borrowing money decreases. The interest rate is the price at which money can be borrowed. With low-interest rates, people are businesses are more willing and able to borrow money. With more money being borrowed and ultimately spent, the economy begins to grow. However, if the amount of money in the economy is too high and the supply of good and services do not match, prices of these goods and services may begin to inflate.

Inflation Rates

Another factor which has a huge bearing on the fluctuations of currencies is the rate of inflation. The inflation rate is defined as ‘the rate at which the general price of goods and services is increasing.’ A small amount of inflation generally indicates good economic growth, however, too much of an increase can cause the economy to become unstable, leading to depreciation and decline in value of a currency.

The interest and inflation rates of a country have a huge influence on a country’s economy. If the inflation rate gets too high, the central bank may counteract the issue by increasing interest rates. The encourages people to stop spending and save their money instead as well as stimulating foreign investment and increasing the amount of capital entering the marketplace, which results in an increased demand for a currency. Therefore, an increase in interest rates can lead to an increase in the value of a currency. Similarly, a decrease in interest rates can result in a reduction in the value of a currency.

The Political & Economic Environment

The political and economic environment of a country is the final factor that can impact fluctuations of currency. Despite investors enjoy high interest rates, they also appreciate the predictability of an investment. This is why currencies from countries that are politically stable and have a solid economy tend to have a higher demand, which results in higher exchange rates.

Markets are constantly monitoring the current and predicted economic conditions of a country. As well as money supply, interest and inflation rates, other key economic indicators such as GDP, housing, unemployment rates and trade all have an influence on the economy of a country. If these factors show a strong and growing economy, its currency will tend to rise in value as demand increases.

Political conditions also have a resounding impact on the value of a currency. If a country is in the middle of political unrest or global tensions, take Brexit for example, the currencies of that country become less attractive and demand falls. On the other hand, if a market sees the introduction of a new government that shows signs of strong economic growth, a value of the currency may grow as people begin to buy based on the good news. It can be confusing though. Many would assume that the recent resignation of Sajid Javid as Chancellor would have negatively affected the pound. A key figure and supposed close ally of the Prime Minister would surely show the world that the UK is in yet more chaos and would affect confidence. However, the pound was given a boost by this, as the expected result is that Boris Johnson will have more control over spending, and the indications is that the budget will show higher spending than previous years.

 

In the end, there is not one single factor that can answer the question ‘why do currencies fluctuate?’ Instead, a host of factors related to demand and supply affect the values of currency and with more knowledge regarding these factors and their implications for fluctuations, the more accurate the predictions of value become.

With Universal Partners FX, however, you limit the risk of currency fluctuations massively thanks to our innovative online money platform. Here, you are able to select your chosen currency and lock in an exchange rate that suits you, so you never have to worry about losing out on your money further down the line. Simply sign-up to a personal or business account to begin and one of our currency specialists can help you the rest of the way.

Personal Account >         Business Account >

 

For more information on how Universal Partners FX can help you with your online money transfers, be sure to get in touch with us today.

 

The business trade cycle, or simply ‘the trade cycle’ is the cycle that countries experience as all-round economic activity increases and decreases.

The trade cycle is a process that is important for countries to monitor as it has an impact on employment rates, inflation, economic performance and consumer spending. Central Banks also keep tabs on trade cycles as it influences monetary policies as well as short-term interest rates.

 

Stages

Each business trade cycle is made up of four different stages. These are expansion, peak, contraction and trough. These do not occur at regular intervals, however, they do have very recognisable features that help you to define when they do occur.

  • Expansion – This stage occurs between a trough and a peak and is defined through a period of economic growth. Typically during this period, gross domestic product (GDP), which measures economic output, increases at around a 2/3% range. Unemployment levels reach their natural rates of around 4/5% and inflation is around its 2% target. The stock market is also in a state known as a ‘bull market’, where an investment’s price rises over an extended period. A well-managed economy can remain in the expansion stage for many years, this is known as a Goldilocks economy. However, this stage can reach its end when the economy starts to overheat. This is when the GDP growth rate reaches greater than 3%, inflation is higher than 2% and investors are in a state of irrational exuberance.
  • Peak – This is the second stage of the business trade cycle. It is the period when the expansion stage transitions into the contraction phase. Here, the maximum limit of growth is attained, Economic indicators do not grow further as they are at their highest point. This stage marks the reversal point in the trend of economic growth where consumers being to restructure their budgets.
  • Contraction – The third stage of the business trade cycle, contraction starts at the peak and ends at the trough. Here, economic growth weakens as GDP falls below 2%. When it turns negative, this is when a ‘recession’ occurs, resulting in increases in unemployment rates, people selling their homes, income decreases, stocks entering a bear market and investors beginning to sell. Three types of events can trigger the contraction stage. These are a rapid increase in interest rates, a financial crisis or runaway inflation.
  • Trough – The fourth phase of the trade cycle is when the economy is at its lowest point. As a result of further declines in the prices and the demand and supply of both goods and services, the economy eventually reaches its negative saturation point. Here, there is extensive depletion of national income and expenditure. Before the economy can reach a new expansion stage, consumers must regain confidence again, often as a result of intervention with monetary or fiscal policies.

 

Who measures the business trade cycle?

The business trade cycle stages are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research using GDP growth rates. It uses monthly economic indicators such as the sales of goods and services, employment and income levels to analyse the economy and classify which stage of the trade cycle a country is in.

 

Who manages the business trade cycle?

The government manages the business trade cycle and legislators use fiscal policy to influence the economy, using expansionary fiscal policy when they want to end a recession. Contractionary fiscal policy is implemented to keep economies from overheating. Central banks also influence the stages of a business trade cycle through the implementation of various monetary policies that impact the level of interest rates. The goal of economic policy is to keep the economy growing at a sustainable rate. It needs to be strong enough to create jobs for everyone who wants one but slew enough to avoid inflation.

Three factors are responsible for the initiation of each stage of the trade cycle, these are; the forces of supply and demand, the availability of capital and consumer confidence. The most important factor, however, is confidence in the future. Economies grow when there is faith in the future and in policymakers. Without this confidence and faith, economies tend to fail. This not only impacts interest rates but exchange rates also as the value of certain currencies begin to decrease. This, of course, has a massive impact on people who wish to send or transfer funds internationally as they begin to lose out by not getting value for their money.

With Universal Partners FX, you avoid the risk of poor exchange rates and losing out on your money with the ability to select and lock-in desired exchange rates using our online money platform. To learn more about how Universal Partners FX can help you with your international money transfers, be sure to get in touch with one of our currency specialists today!

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