Making the decision to move countries is always stressful, but with good planning and plenty of organisation, you can make the move go as smoothly as possible.
If you are planning to work when you move, this will likely influence where you choose to live. Although many companies have moved to remote working practices, the majority of the Irish population lives and works in Dublin.
Ireland’s cost of living is significantly higher than the UK. Consumer prices (including rent) are 18.4% higher in Ireland than in the UK.
Before making the decision to move, it is important to research jobs, housing, healthcare, taxes, and quality of life to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Rights of UK citizens in Ireland
For UK nationals who wish to emigrate to Ireland, the process is relatively easy when compared to emigrating to other countries. The reason for this is the Common Travel Area (CTA) agreement between Ireland and the UK.
This agreement benefits both Irish and British citizens. It facilitates the free movement of Irish and UK passport holders across the island of Ireland and the island of Britain.
The citizens of each country may work, study, and vote in some elections, as well as access social welfare benefits and health services without restrictions. This also means that you do not need a work visa or travel visa.
It is important to note that if you have family members who are not British or Irish citizens, the freedoms of the CTA do not apply.
Non-Irish or non-British dependents will need to adhere to the relevant immigration rules based on their circumstances in order to live and work in Ireland.
If you are eligible to apply for an Irish passport, you can enjoy the benefits of holding dual Irish and British citizenship.
Checklist for moving to Ireland from the UK
Emigration is a major life choice for anyone, no matter where they live or where they are moving. The below checklist will help you to prepare for the big move:
- Gather all your essential documents (including passport, travel arrangements, birth certificates, marriage certificates, driving licence, proof of address and identity, bank account statements, etc.)
- Use a calendar to schedule key dates (including booking a moving company, give notice for your current home’s lease, sell your house, give notice at your workplace, etc)
- Contact all relevant companies to close your account or notify them of your new address
- If you have any pets, ensure they have all the shots they need as well as a pet passport
- Identify whether you can bring your car to Ireland duty-free or whether you need to pay a customs charge
When you arrive in Ireland, you should be ready to do the following:
- Open an Irish bank account
- Use a good currency transfer service to convert your British currency
- Find a private healthcare insurance plan for you and your family (if relevant)
- Apply for an Irish driving licence (as your UK licence will not be valid in Ireland)
Working and living in Ireland
Naturally, the systems governing the two countries are different and British nationals moving to Ireland should be aware of their rights and obligations under Irish law. This section outlines some of the most important steps in the process of moving to Ireland.
Working in Ireland
As a British national, you do not need an employment permit and you are allowed to undertake any form of legal employment, including starting a business.
If you are searching for jobs in Ireland, you should start by updating your CV to include your Irish location and Irish phone number. You can also update your LinkedIn profile to show where you are available to work.
Websites that you can search to find Irish jobs include Indeed, LinkedIn, IrishJobs.ie, and Jobs.ie. It is recommended to register your availability with a recruitment agent or reach out to contacts to find work.
Finding housing in Ireland
Unfortunately, one of the most difficult aspects of moving to Ireland is finding appropriate accommodation. Housing in Ireland is in short supply, can be poor quality, and is prohibitively expensive.
There is a housing crisis in many areas of the country, and while it may be easier to rent than to buy, both options can be less than attractive options.
The average monthly cost for a one-bedroom apartment in a UK city centre is £750, while the same accommodation in Ireland will cost £1,097.
Taxes and healthcare systems in Ireland
As a UK resident, you will likely have a National Insurance (NI) number assigned to you. The equivalent in Ireland is the Personal Public Service (PPS) number.
This number is required for the Irish Tax and Customs Revenue service (equivalent to HMRC) to determine your appropriate tax band.
The tax rate in Ireland on taxable earned income is as follows:
- People without dependent children: 20% on the first €33,800 you earn
- Single or widowed people: 20% on the first €37,800 you earn
- Married couples: 20% on the first €42,800 you earn
- All categories: 40% on the remainder of the earned income
Corporation tax in Ireland is famously low (12.5%, and was previously 10%), leading to the establishment of many multinational organisations’ headquarters in the country.
The Value Added Tax rate in Ireland is relatively high at 23%, (compared to the UK’s 20%) and applies to most goods and services.
Healthcare in Ireland
Another point to be aware of is the major differences in the healthcare system. The Irish healthcare sector has a two-tier public and private system.
The public system is government-funded, while the private system is paid for by patients. However, it does not mean that the public system is exactly like the UK’s NHS system.
If you attend an Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, you are likely to have to pay €100 as a flat rate charge. Similarly, if you need urgent appointments or scans, you will likely be waiting for a long time before being seen in the public system.
If you qualify for a medical card, you will be able to access some healthcare services for free or at a reduced cost.
Private health insurance can be expensive, with an average annual cost of €2,059. As well as this, dental care and the cost of medicines and prescriptions can be costly with or without private insurance.