Moving to Ireland
How to Move to Ireland from the US

Has your love for Guinness beer, Irish pubs, beautiful green hills and castles finally made you give the idea of moving to Ireland a go? If you’re ready to embark on an adventure to the Emerald Isle, we recommend that you stick around and check out our detailed guide on how to move to Ireland!

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Before you start, why not listen to some nice Irish pub tunes to get into the mood while you read the article? 😉

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

Moving to Ireland: How Much Does It Cost?

Probably the first step to take when planning your move to Ireland is figuring out much it will cost. Generally, there are multiple factors can make the costs of your move to Ireland higher or lower, but generally the most important ones are the size and distance of your move.

Moving to Ireland from the East Coast

So you can get an idea of what you can expect in terms of pricing, below you can find the average cost of moving different household sizes to Dublin via sea-freight from the East Coast of the United States.

Property SizeTimeAverage Costs
1-bedroom6 – 9 weeks$2,700 – $3,700
2-bedrooms3 – 5 weeks$3,600 – $5,000
3-bedrooms3 – 5 weeks$6,100 – $8,300
4-bedrooms3 – 5 weeks$6,700 – $9,100

Please keep in mind that the rates shown above are just estimates and thus will vary depending on your actual point of departure.

Moving to Ireland from the West Coast

As well, below you can find average cost of moving different household sizes to Dublin via sea-freight from the West Coast of the United States.

Property SizeTimeAverage Costs
1-bedroom7 – 10 weeks$3,200 – $4,500
2-bedrooms5 – 7 weeks$4,300 – $5,800
3-bedrooms5 – 7 weeks$7,500 – $10,200
4-bedrooms5 – 7 weeks$8,100 – $10,900

Please keep in mind that the rates shown above are just estimates and thus will vary depending on your actual point of departure.

At the end of the day, to know exactly how much your move will cost you will need to request quotes. By filling out the form below, you will be able to receive up to 5 free moving quotes, which will ultimately help you save money on your move to Ireland!

Moving to Ireland?
Choose the size of your move below to receive up to 5 free moving quotes!

How to Move to Ireland: Checklist

  • Do your research: Ireland is full of great opportunities, make sure you find the one that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
  • Declutter: Remember that the size of your move will have a great impact on your final moving costs. So, make sure that you properly declutter!
  • Choose an international mover: We recommend checking out our top 8 international moving companies.
  • Gather important documents: Ensure that all the paperwork (visas, birth certificates, medical records, etc.) you might need is in check.
  • Notify others about your move: Keep in mind that there might be governmental and tax organizations you might need to notify about your move to Ireland.
  • Pack: We know that this is probably one of the most boring parts about moving, but unfortunately we all gotta go through it if we want to be able to reach the city of our dreams! We recommend that you label boxes as you pack and that you keep an inventory list.
  • PPS number: You will need to get a PPS number when moving to Ireland. It’s basically a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland. You should apply for a PPS number as early as possible.

Interested in a full moving abroad checklist to make sure every little detail will be covered? Don’t worry, we got you! Just follow this link and you’ll be all set to go.

Major Cities in Ireland

Even though Ireland is full of wonderful cities and towns, there are a few cities that are the most popular moving destinations among expats. Among those we can find:

  • Dublin;
  • Cork;
  • Galway;
  • Waterford;
  • Limerick.

Moving to Ireland: Visas and Requirements

As an American moving to Ireland you will need to go through a full study or work visa application process –unless you also possess an EU citizenship. The requirements for student visas, work visas and residency permits can be found below.

Work Visas

The general requirements for work visa applications in Ireland include:

  • Two color passport sized photographs not more than 6 months old;
  • Current passport and a full copy of all previous passports;
  • Signed letter of application including your full contact details;
  • Work permit;
  • Employment contract;
  • Letter from employer in Ireland;
  • Evidence of qualifications and previous work experience;
  • Proof of sufficient funds (e.g.: bank statements from the previous six months);
  • Medical/Travel insurance;
  • Details of previous visas (approved and rejected);

Moving to Ireland

To be able to receive a work visa, you must first obtain a valid work permit from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. There are nine different types of work permits offered in Ireland. The one you will apply for will depend on your employment conditions as well as the type of job you have. However, there are two types of work permits that are the most important:

  • Critical Skills Employment Permit: In order to apply for this type of work permit, you must ensure that your job qualifies as a “highly skilled occupation”. For a full list of requirements, we recommend that you check out the following page. Examples of careers that are currently deemed “highly skilled” include:
    • Engineering;
    • Health services;
    • Teaching and education;
    • Architecture;
    • Media;
    • Business, research and administration;
    • Sales and marketing.
  • General Employment Permit: If your career doesn’t qualify as a highly skilled one (and it’s not part of the ineligible list of occupations) don’t fret, you can still apply for a general employment permit. A full list of requirements for such can be found here.

Depending on which type of work permit you apply for, the application fee will be higher or lower. For critical skills employment permits, the fee is around €1,000 ($1,122). For general employment permits, the fee will range between €500-€1,000 ($561-$1,122).

Moving to Ireland

Student Visa

If the reason why you’re moving to Ireland is to study, you will also need to go through a visa application procedure. The general requirements for this type of visa include:

  • Two color passport sized photographs not more than 6 months old;
  • Current passport and a full copy of all previous passports;
  • A signed letter of application including your full contact details;
  • Evidence that you are enrolled on a privately funded course (letter of acceptance from college);
  • Proof that fees have been paid to college;
  • Evidence that you have the academic ability to follow your chosen course;
  • Proof of English language proficiency;
  • Proof of  sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland;
  • Private medical insurance;
  • Previous visa refusals.

Residency

Once you move to Ireland and start working, you will be able to apply for either temporary or permanent residency. Of course, for either of these you will need to meet certain criteria. To apply for a temporary residency, you must:

  • Be employed or self-employed in Ireland for at least three months;
  • Be enrolled as a student or a trainee;
  • Have enough financial means to sustain yourself in Ireland;
  • Have a health insurance policy;
  • Be a family member of an EU citizen who meets one of the previous requirements.

When it comes to permanent residency, the general requirements include:

  • Lived and worked in Ireland for a minimum of five years;
  • Have a valid Irish Residence Permit;
  • Are currently employed at the time of application;
  • Have a good character.

Taxes in Ireland

As in any country, residents of Ireland are subjected to pay a series of taxes. Examples of these include:

  • Income tax, which is calculated through a “Pay As Your Earn” system;
  • Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI);
  • Universal Social Charge (USC);
  • Property tax;
  • Tax on extra income (e.g.: money from rentals, social welfare, etc.).

Do keep in mind that as an American citizen, your income is still subject to U.S. income tax regardless of where you reside. So it’s super important that you carefully check what the tax implications are when moving abroad.

Financial Arrangements in Ireland: Banking

Compared to other countries, opening a bank account in Ireland isn’t too complicated. The best and easiest way to do it is by going to the bank in person. It’s very likely that you will only need to provide the following two documents:

  • Proof of identity (e.g.: passport, Irish/European driver license, Irish visa);
  • Proof of address in Ireland.

Depending on the bank you decide to go for, they might request an additional document known as the “character reference” letter. The purpose of this letter is to prove that you have been in good financial standing and are not a financial risk or liability.

Costs of Living in Ireland

If you’re wondering whether living in Emerald Isle is expensive, the answer is both yes and no. Compared to other European countries, like Switzerland or Norway, Ireland is certainly not that expensive. However, compared countries like Italy and Spain, living costs in Ireland can be a bit steep.

At the end of the day, your living costs will be largely influenced by the lifestyle you expect to carry and the city you decide to move to. Because we know this might sound a little vague, we’ve broken down the most common living costs below to give you an idea of what you can expect.

Housing Costs in Ireland

Like in most countries, accommodation in the capital of Dublin is not only harder to find, but also more expensive compared to other cities in Ireland. To give you an idea, in the first quarter of 2020 the average monthly rent nationwide stood at €1,418.

Below you can find a summary of the average rent prices for different property sizes in Ireland.

Property SizeAverage Rent (€)Average Rent ($)
One-bedroom in the city centre€1,239.61$1,389.68
One-bedroom outside the city centre€1,050.94$1,178.17
Three-bedrooms in the city centre€2,052.66$2,301.16
Three-bedrooms outside the city centre€1,646.29$1,845.59

Please keep in mind that the prices reflected above are just estimates. The rent can vary depending on location, characteristics of the property and your city of choice.

Ireland: Houses

Food and Groceries

Although we can imagine you’d love to indulge in all the amazing food and beer offered in Irish pubs and restaurants, we can also imagine that at one point or another you will have to cook for yourself. To help you prepare your budget accordingly, we compiled a list of common grocery items and their respect costs below.

Grocery ItemAverage Cost
1 lb. of chicken filet€3.80 ($4.26)
1 lb. of round beef€4.18 ($4.68)
1 gallon of milk€3.63 ($4.07)
A loaf of bread€1.33 ($1.49)
1 lb. of local cheese€3.65 ($4.09)
1 lb. of potatoes€0.75 ($0.84)
1 head of lettuce€0.96 ($1.08)
Bottle of wine€10 ($11.20)

Transport

If you’re not into driving, don’t worry, Ireland is fully equipped with a great public transport system that will get you from A to B in no time. Public transport costs can vary depending on the city, but generally prices are not too far from each other. Examples of what you can expect to pay for public transport in Dublin include:

Public TransportPrice
Bus
  • One-day ticket: €6.2 ($6.9)
  • Three-day ticket: €13.5 ($15.1)
  • Five-day ticket: €22 ($24.6)
  • Ten-day ticket: €19 ($21.3)
Tram
  • Single trip ticket: €1.5 – €2.5 ($1.7 – $2.8)
  • Travel card (7 days): €12 – €22 ($13.4 – $24.6)
Taxi
  • Taxi ride around the city 7 km: €14 ($15.7)
Train
  • Train from Cork to Dublin: €65 ($72.8)

Leisure

When the Irish go out, they definitely know how to have a good time or, as they like to refer to it, have the craicSo, it’s fair to say that it’s very unlikely that you will get bored in Ireland. In case you’re curious about the prices of common entertainment activities in Ireland, check out the list below:

  • Dinner for two in a nice pub – €37;
  • Two movie tickets – €22;
  • One ticket to the Guinness Storehouse – €25;
  • Two theater tickets – €102;
  • Monthly membership – €45;
  • One ticket to the Little Museum of Dublin – €10;
  • Cappuccino in a local café – €3.71.

Moving to Ireland for Work

As we mentioned prior, as a foreign worker you’ll need a work permit in order to legally work in Ireland. Even though you will probably be able to find a job in any industry in Ireland, the following are the most popular ones:

  • IT/Computer services;
  • Accounting and auditing;
  • Innovation and Intellectual Property related enterprises;
  • Green sector (e.g.: renewable energy, environmental and energy-efficient technologies);
  • Business services;
  • Medical/Health services.

We recommend the following platforms to scout for a job in Ireland:

Healthcare in Ireland

As in many European countries, Ireland provides universal healthcare to its citizens. However, there’s a small catch. Only around 30% of the population in Ireland can actually get free medical services, as those are the ones who meet the qualifications to become a “medical card holder”.

Being eligible for a medical card depends on your circumstances. When you apply, the Health Service Executive will carry out an assessment in which they will examine your:

  • Work permit/visa;
  • Employer statement;
  • Employment contract;
  • Evidence of transferring money to an Irish bank account;
  • Housing lease;
  • Resident permit;
  • Income;
  • Expenses;
  • Marital status;
  • Dependants.

In case you’re not eligible to become a medical card holder, you will need to take out a private health insurance. There are multiple healthcare agencies in Ireland to do such, but if you feel more comfortable having an American insurance, we recommend taking out an international health insurance instead.

Internation health insurance when moving to New Zealand

Did You Know…?

  • St. Patrick was actually born in Wales, not in Ireland.
  • The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia –quite a mouthful to say the least!
  • Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, was born in Dublin. Dracula is said to have been inspired by the Irish legend of Abhartach.
  • Ireland is home to one of the oldest pubs in the world, it opened in 900AD.
  • Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal driving route in the world.

We hope that after reading this article you feel ready to start a new adventure in the Emerald Isle! If you feel like you still need some extra help, we recommend that you check out the articles below. 🙂