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Moving to Ireland

Moving to Ireland

Moving to Ireland from Dubai in 2021 takes careful planning and attention to details and documentation. We provide everything you need to know before moving from Dubai to Ireland. Start your move today by obtaining up to 6 competitive moving to Ireland quotations FREE.

Moving to Ireland conjures up lush landscapes, hospitable people in a modern fast-changing society. But what are the key challenges people face when relocating to Ireland?

The key when relocating to Ireland is research and preparation. Work permits and visas can be a little tricky if you are moving from outside the EU. Housing in certain areas is expensive and employment, healthcare and finances are all notable considerations ahead of your move to this amazing country. 

Fortunately, we cover all this and much more in our ultimate moving to Ireland guide.


Ireland may be small compared to other world-famous destinations, but it surely has so much to offer. The Emerald Isle, with its rolling green vistas, lively people, diverse talent, and rich cultures are obvious reasons why tourists love this country.

It’s much the same story for those who want to settle in Ireland. People looking for greener pastures could find better work opportunities here. US tech giants like Amazon, Google, Airbnb, Twitter, Facebook, and Apple chose to set their European headquarters in Ireland. If you're lucky to land a job in any of these international companies, you can enjoy an average salary in excess of 2,000 EUR per month. And even if you don't get to work in these companies, the chances of you getting hired elsewhere is high.

In addition, the country is relatively close to the US and Canada. You can travel to these countries anytime you like. On top of that, the crime rate in the country is low. The country has one of the strictest gun laws. It is illegal to possess and own a firearm if you don't live on a farm. With this in mind, you can say that this country is a safe place for you to call your new home.

In addition, you can also be a dual citizen. For as long the other nation acknowledges dual citizenship, you don't have to give up one citizenship for another.

All permanent residents of the country are entitled to healthcare benefits. If your income falls within a certain threshold, you might also get a medical card that serves like a free pass that will answer all your medical needs 

Ireland is also a tax haven because its laws and economic policies favour corporations and establishments. If you are engaged in research, innovation, and development, then you will find the country's economic environments working in your favour.

Living/Lifestyle in Ireland

When relocating to an entirely new country, it's crucial to understand the social etiquette and cultural norms observed by the people there. If you don't know about these social taboos, it's highly likely that you'll find yourself in an awkward, potentially embarrassing situation.

This is unlikely to lead to serious consequences. Nevertheless, it would still be better if you know of the country's cultural and social expectations. Through this, you can easily fit and adapt to your new community.

Country Facts

Capital City: Dublin
Population: 4.95 Million
Languages: English
Currency: Euro
Time: GMT +1
Driving Lane: Left Hand Side
Domain: .ie
Dialing Code: +353

Is it OK to discuss religion in Ireland?

It is fair to say, Catholicism has a significant role in everyday politics and lifestyle. Compared to other parts of Europe, Ireland took time before it legalized marriage equality and abortion. 

As an ex-pat, you should be more sensitive when discussing issues related to the Catholic Church or those that are deemed controversial within such religion. You have to remember that at its core, Ireland is a conservative country. Though Conservatism is slowly loosening as time passes, as a foreigner in the country, it's always the right thing to respect the Irish people's views.

How is family life regarded in Ireland?

Family is at the core of the Irish culture as families here are close-knit. It is common for Irish families to gather during holidays, special occasions such as weddings, and funerals and many families attend mass every Sunday.

What is Irish humour like?

Irish humour plays a huge role in people's daily conversations. It's so important that there are even two words used to describe it -- craic and slagging. The first word means quick wit, while the latter meant teasing. Even in casual conversation, the Irish people love to make jokes and quick-witted remarks. People of other nationalities might find this aggressive or rude, but this is just normal for the Irish people. Since they have a rich and long storytelling history, humorous and engaging banters are evident even in everyday conversation.

How do Irish people greet each other?

A firm handshake, coupled with direct eye contact, is the customary greeting in Ireland. You should take note of this practice. It's common for women to greet someone they know very well with a kiss on the cheek. If you're an ex-pat man, remember never to do this at the first meeting. Wait for the other person to initiate instead of doing it yourself.

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Cost of Living in Ireland

By now you already know that the cost of living in Ireland has been on the rise in recent years. But despite this, you will be pleased to know that the costs are not as exorbitant when compared to other European countries like Sweden or the UK. With this in mind, ex-pats should know that it may be challenging to save a lot of money living here. Plus, you can't expect to live a luxurious life if you earn a modest amount of money. But you can live a decent life in Ireland without breaking your bank account.

Do you need lots of money to live comfortably in Ireland?

No, you don't need to have a lot of money in your bank account to live a decent life in Ireland. There are plenty of ex-pats who live a comfortable life in the country only with their salaries. The reason why the prices for everyday essentials like food, groceries, and fuel are high is mainly that they had to be imported into the country. This explains why driving and eating dinner in a restaurant are more expensive compared to other mainland countries in Europe.

Moving to Ireland - Limerick is a very picturesque city

King John's Castle and Thomond Bridge in Limerick. Limerick has become an increasingly expensive city in which to live.

What are the most expensive Irish cities to live in?

Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, and Galway are the most popular cities for ex-pats. The first two are considered as the most expensive cities, with Limerick quickly catching up. If you want a more affordable cost of living, choose Galway. But if you want to spend less, choose a smaller town or the countryside.

What is the average cost of utilities in Ireland?

When in Ireland, you can always find rental accommodations that already include utilities' costs in the monthly rent. But just in case you find yourself paying for your utilities separately, it's great to know that your water, electric, gas, and heating cost could be anywhere between 100 to 160 EUR per month. If you live in Dublin, expect the prices to get even higher. Basic internet with regular speed will cost you around 50 EUR per month.


Tax laws FAVORABLE to employees and businesses
Higher cost of living compared to some other countries 
A culturally rich and diverse country with great landscapes
certain areas of the Healthcare system not free for all
Offers more employment opportunities for skilled workers
certain areas of society can be Strict and conservative 
Higher salary for skilled workers and employees
There are taboos that you need to be mindful of
Easy for TRAVELERS to access other American and European countries
Stricter policies for visa and work permit from non-EU/EEA nationals

Relatively low crime rate throughout the country
Dreary weather for lengthy periods of the year

Moving to Ireland - Requirements

When moving to Ireland from Dubai, with Household Goods and Personal Effects

  • Copy of passport
  • Transfer of Residence
  • Lease/purchase agreement
  • Work permit/Letter of employment
  • Two original copies of utility bills form overseas (not more than 12 months old)
  • Letter from protocol section of Irish Dept. of Foreign Affairs
  • Original packing list
  • Bill of lading / AWB

For a more in-depth look at documentation please check the International Association of Movers.

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Visas / Legal

The Irish visa application process and requirements would largely depend on your country of origin. If you're from an EU/EEA country, it would be easier to get an Irish visa. Residents of these countries who wish to move to Ireland can do so without a work permit or visa. They can also stay in the country even if they're not gainfully employed for three months. After this period, they have to declare their residency in Ireland and provide proof that they are financially capable of supporting themselves while in the country. 

Residents of no-EU/EEA countries will have to take the longer route. Being a national of a third party country, they need to go through the full visa application process. They also have to verify that they are qualified for the issuance of an Irish visa. In the verification process, you have to prove either the following - job offer in the country or interest in investing a great deal of money into the Irish economy.

What are the requirements for an Irish work visa?

The requirements for an Irish work visa would depend on the type of visa you are aiming for, but in general, these are the standard requirements you need to prepare: 

  • Work visa application form
  • Work permit 
  • Valid passport 
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Proof of residence from your country of origin 
  • Letter indicating that your travel purpose is to gain employment 
  • Evidence of accommodation in the country 

To be issued a work visa, you need to secure a valid work permit from Ireland's Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation (DBEI). Currently, there are nine types of work permits, with Critical Skills permit as the most common. This is also referred to as the Green Card. To qualify for this permit, you should not be employed in a profession indicated in the ineligible jobs list.

Euro coins and note with Irish flag colours

Money & Taxes

The next you need to know before you plan your move to Ireland is knowing how you can manage your finances and taxes. Since you will be working and living in this country, it's convenient for you to open an Irish bank account.

Can a foreigner open an Irish bank account?

Yes, you definitely can. It's easier to open an Irish bank account compared to other countries. Here, you no longer need to present your tax number or Personal Public Service number. All you have to do is visit the bank in person. You can open an account online, but this is largely dependent on the bank you are opening an account with.

How about opening an Irish bank account as a non-residents?

Non-residents only need to present two requirements - proof of your address and proof of identification. Your proof of identity can be any of the following - copy of your Irish visa, European/Irish driver's license, or valid passport issued by your home country. Your proof of address can be in the form of your housing lease or utility bill. If you haven't established residency yet or haven't stayed in the country long enough to have a utility bill, you can use the bank statement or utility bill from your last residence. Some banks accept mobile phone bill statements of account.

Who is considered a taxable resident of Ireland?

For ex-pats, you can be considered a taxable resident if you satisfy either of these residency criteria:

  • If you lived in the country for 183 days within one taxable year, or
  • If you lived in the country for 280 days with the last two taxable years. 

Foreigners can be considered 'ordinarily resident' or residents of Ireland if they can prove their intent to live in Ireland for at least a year. If you want to be considered an Irish resident immediately, you need to show that you have accepted a job in the country. If you start paying tax in the country, you need to apply for a Personal Public Service (PPS) number.


Wet, mild, and maritime influenced - these are the words that you can describe the Irish climate. From May until the middle of September, you can expect a warm and dryer climate. During summer, the temperature can fall within 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. Sometimes, the climate can go as high as 25 degrees Celsius or higher.


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Housing - Rent/Buy

The competition in the real estate market is tough, but Irish landlords cannot discriminate against you because you're from a foreign country. The least they can require from you is to prove that you have the legal ability to live in the country for over a year. If you plan to rent a one-room apartment within the city, you can expect to pay 1,252 EUR per month. Outside the center of the city, you can expect to pay 1,025 EUR per month. A three-room apartment within the city center is usually priced at 2,038 EUR per month. The same apartment size outside the city center is usually priced at 1,638 EUR.

Can foreigners buy a property in Ireland?

Yes, you can. There are no restrictions on foreigners buying real estate properties in the country. This rule applies to both non-EU/EEA and EU/EEA nationals. It's more difficult for Irish nationals to own real properties than foreigners. When you apply for a mortgage, you might be required to present different documents to defend your intent to own such property and your financial capacity.

A typical Irish terraced house on a Dublin street
A typical terraced house on a street in the city of Dublin

Healthcare in Ireland

The best thing about the healthcare system in Ireland is both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA citizens can access such a healthcare system. But unlike the healthcare systems in other countries, you don't have to pay your Irish tax or social insurance to take advantage of the public health service. The only thing you need to prove is the fact that you are an 'ordinarily resident.' This is the term the government uses to refer to foreigners who intend to stay in Ireland for at least one year.

How can you prove your' ordinarily resident' status?

Immediately after you arrive in the country, you need to submit any of these documents to the Health Service Executive (HSE): 

  • Deed of Sale or housing lease
  • Employer statement
  • Employment contract
  • Evidence showing the transfer of money to your Irish bank account; or
  • Work permit or visa

The more documents you present, the better and quicker you get your 'ordinarily resident' proven. For citizens of Switzerland, EEA, and the EU, you can access the country's public scheme using their government-issued European Health Insurance Card or EHIC. And for you to take advantage of all the benefits provided by the public healthcare provider, you only need to sign up via HSE.

Does the country have free public healthcare?

The country's health services can only be accessed for free by those who possess and own a Medical Card. With this card, you don't need to pay to see a doctor. You also don't have to pay for prescribed medicines. The same Medical Card also provides coverage for dental checks, ear and eye consultation, outpatient services, and public in-patient services.

Who is eligible to apply for an Irish medical card?

Anyone who resides in Ireland can get a medical card if they meet the government's criteria. These cards are issued to low wage earners and those who need government assistance due to disability, illness, or family situation. A person's eligibility is assessed on a case-to-case basis. To know if you're eligible, you only need to submit these pieces of information to the HSE: 

  • Household expense
  • Marital status
  • Number of dependents 
  • Proof of income

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Moving to Ireland with Kids

The school system in Ireland has fairly the same standard to other systems in the world, especially in North America and Europe. Compulsory schooling commences as soon as the child turns six. They can also participate in a preschool form of education when they reach two years old and eight months.

Most ex-pat parents choose to enrol their kids in private schools because they believe that the level of schooling in these private schools is higher. Fortunately, the quality of private and public education in Ireland is very similar. Ireland has a very high standard for education, and the same standard is enforced among private, public, and religious academic institutions. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the only difference between private and public schools is class size and cost.

Public education in Ireland is free. Parents will only have to pay for school materials, lunches, and school uniforms. Private education, on the other hand, is quite costly. Since you have to pay higher, you can expect that the class sizes will be generally smaller - a size that's ideal for kids who need specialized attention.

When you're choosing between private, public, or religious schools, bear in mind that with the latter, students who can prove they were previously baptized are most likely to be given precedence.

Handy School Database

Mother and daughter on pink background

Final Thoughts

Moving to a different country can be daunting, and if you don’t get on top of things it can become quite stressful. Moving to Ireland presents its own set of unique challenges, but if you follow the guidelines we have provided, we feel certain you can experience a smooth relocation to Ireland.

You can start the ball rolling by completing our simple form, allowing international movers to get started on your quotation, today!

Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to Ireland and for information purposes only. Customs regulations can and do change at any time, usually without notice. Your mover will provide you with more information.