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.
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.
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.
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.
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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