Moving to Ireland
How to Move to Ireland from the US

Has your love for Guinness, green hills, and medieval castles finally gotten you to take the plunge on moving to Ireland? If you’re ready to embark on an adventure to the Emerald Isle, stick around for our complete relocation guide. Here we will cover moving costs, visa applications, costs of living in Ireland, and more!

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Moving to Ireland: How Much Does It Cost?

First things first, let’s talk money. Moving to Ireland is not going to be cheap, so it is important to understand the major cost factors upfront. How important can it be? Well, when the average cost to move a one-bedroom home is $1,600, your ears might perk up!

While there are multiple factors that impact the cost of your move to Ireland, generally the most important ones are the size and distance of your move.

SireloTip! Having trouble getting an accurate estimate of your moving volume? No sweat! Our handy moving space calculator will help get you to an approximate figure in just a few moments.

Moving to Ireland from the East Coast

To give you an idea of what to expect, below we have compiled the average costs of moving different household sizes to Dublin via sea freight from the East Coast.

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

Disclaimer: 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

For those in the western regions of the country, we have included the average costs of moving different household sizes to Dublin via sea freight from the West Coast.

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

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

Finding the Right Moving Company

By now you may have noticed that determining the cost of your move is neither simple nor an exact science. Your move is specific to you, which means you will never know what your move is really going to cost until you receive a quote from a moving company.

At Sirelo, we believe in making it easy to find the best price for your move. Let us do the shopping around for you by filling in the form below. After completion, you will receive up to five no-strings-attached quotes from reliable, trustworthy movers. Easy peasy!

Moving to Ireland?
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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 impact your final moving costs. Let us help you declutter properly!
  • 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 all know this is the most boring part of realizing your dreams, but it will be worth it! 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. This unique reference number allows you to 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.

Visas & Residency

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones with an EU passport in your back pocket, you’ll need to navigate securing a visa before moving to Ireland.

As an American moving to Ireland, luckily you will not need a visa to enter the country for longer than 90 days. However, after that, you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit to extend your stay.

Since we know that this subject can be a little bit dense, we’ve outlined the most important information below for you —just to make your life a little bit easier, you know. 😉

✅ Work Visas

To receive an Irish 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, depending on your employment situation.

However, two types of work permits are generally the most common:

  • Critical Skills Employment Permit: For positions falling under “highly skilled occupation”. Learn more about the full list of requirements, and see qualifying examples below:
    • 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 highly skilled, don’t fret! You can still apply for a general employment permit, which has its own list of requirements.

How much are the application fees? For critical skills employment permits, the fee is around €1,000 ($1,122). For general employment permits, fees range from €500-€1,000 ($561-$1,122).

Moving to Ireland

✅ Residency

Once you move to Ireland and start working, you will be able to apply for either temporary or permanent residency. 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

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 is actually eligible to receive free medical services, qualifying to be 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
  • Dependents

If you are not eligible, you will need to take out private health insurance. While there are many local Irish insurance agencies, if you feel more comfortable with American insurance, we recommend taking out international health insurance instead.

Taxes in Ireland

Now onto everyone’s favorite subject… taxes! Like in any country, Irish residents are subject to 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.)

SireloTip! Don’t forget that Uncle Sam still gets his cut! Because the US applies global taxation, your income is still subject to US taxes regardless of where you live. Learn more about what implications this might have for you.

Arranging Finances

Compared to other countries, opening a bank account in Ireland isn’t complicated. The best and easiest way to do it is by going to the bank in person after moving to Ireland. When you do, be prepared to provide the following two documents:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address in Ireland

Depending on your bank of choice, they might request an additional document known as the “character reference” letter. This letter proves you are in good financial standing and are not considered a financial risk or liability.

How to Find a Job in Ireland

As we mentioned earlier, you will need a work permit 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:

  • Technology
  • Accounting & Auditing
  • Innovation & Intellectual Property
  • Sustainability & Green Energy
  • Business services
  • Medical/Health services

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

Ireland: Houses

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 countries like Switzerland or Norway, Ireland is certainly not over the top. However, compared to the likes of Italy and Spain, the cost of living in Ireland can be quite steep.

While your expected living costs will vary greatly depending on your city and lifestyle, a family of four requires € 4,500 on average to live comfortably. To get into a bit more detail, we’ve broken down the most common living costs below:

Housing

We have all seen the headlines about housing crises around the world, and they have not spared Ireland. Accommodation in Dublin is not only getting harder to find but is also becoming more expensive compared to other Irish cities.

To give you an idea, at the time of this writing average monthly rent nationwide is €1,525, compared to €2,150 in Dublin! 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 prope,rty, and your city of choice.

Food and Groceries

We imagine that swallowing these rental prices will have you swapping out your weekly restaurant meal with home-cooked goods. To help you prepare your budget accordingly, we compiled a list of common grocery items and prices 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

Ireland’s great public transport system will get you from A to B in no time. Everyone’s biggest complaint? For some reason all connections lead to Dublin…

Public transport costs and services will vary by city but tend to fall within a narrow range. For rail services, expect solid coverage between cities and within metropolitan areas, whereas buses cover more local routes. See common costs below:

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)

What is it Like Living in Ireland?

While we all have certain ideas about Irish culture and living, is GGuinnessand gossip really what Ireland is all about? Of course, there is a grain of truth in every stereotype, but there is much more to it than that.

To know what living in Ireland will be like, do you plan on moving to Dublin or anywhere else? For some quick insight into what you may choose, we have compiled this (very) brief overview of Ireland’s various regions:

✅ Dublin:

The capital and surrounding areas, Dublin Is the metropolitan and economic hub of Ireland. In recent years it has been highly internationalized, and there is often a sharp cultural difference from people in Dublin and the rest of the country.

✅ West Ireland:

With the smallest population of any region in the country, Ireland’s western regions are famed for their striking natural beauty. Despite having a sizeable landmass, only 8% of the population lives here.

✅ Midland East:

Generally considered the poorest region in Ireland, the natural landscapes of the Midland region attracts outdoors enthusiasts from all over Europe. In addition, all the best Irish castles and early Christian structures exist in this area.

✅ Cork-Kerry:

The image of craggy coastlines and isolated poet’s cottages come alive in the Cork-Kerry area at Ireland’s southern tip. While sparsely populated, this area is a favorite among travelers seeking out scenic lookout points.

Americans Moving to Ireland

Even though English is the most commonly spoken language in Ireland (even if we cannot always understand it), Americans moving to Ireland are nonetheless bound for a culture shock.

But don’t worry! If you get homesick, know that it is not all too difficult to reconnect with your fellow Americans. As of the 2016 census, there were more than ten thousand non-dual citizens living in Ireland, and plenty more with double passports!

How to get connected? Get online! By joining expat social media networks and attending expat meetups, you will broaden your circles easily in no time.

Living in Ireland: Pros and Cons

So how does living in Ireland boil down to a few points? While a few pros and cons can never give the full picture of what moving to Ireland will be like, we still think there are a few standout areas that you should be aware of:

Pros:

  • ✅ Proximity to much of Western Europe
  • ✅ Abundant natural pastures and forests
  • ✅ Welcoming the local population
  • ✅ Very low crime rate

 

Cons:

  • ❎ Socializing without alcohol can be challenging
  • ❎ High cost of living
  • ❎ Little sunshine, and lots of rain
  • ❎ Limited career prospects outside of Dublin

Things to Do in Ireland

When the Irish go out, they know how to have a good time (or as they say, have the craic). It is fair to say that you are unlikely to get bored after moving to Ireland!

If you were wondering 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

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, opening in 900AD.
  • Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal driving route in the world.

Moving to Ireland Made Easy at Sirelo!

We hope that by now you feel totally prepared to start your new adventure in the Emerald Isle! Need further assistance with your move to Ireland? Then check out the articles linked below for further reading. Good luck! 🙂