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Moving to Ireland

If you’re moving (or thinking of moving) to Ireland, you probably have lots of questions about living and working here. The web links on this page will give you all the practical information you need about such things as visas and work permits, driving, public transport, health and education, finance and accommodation.

Visas and Work Permits

People from certain countries need a valid Irish entry visa before arriving in the State, whether by air, sea or land. An Irish visa is a certificate placed on your passport or travel document to indicate that you are authorised to land in the State subject to any other conditions of landing being fulfilled. For more information click here.

Personal Taxation

When you move to Ireland you will need to apply for a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number. This is the Irish equivalent of a social security number and is a unique reference number for the payment of taxes, social welfare benefits and personal services in Ireland. When taking up employment in Ireland you need this number to register with the Revenue Commissioners.

A PPS number is always seven numbers followed by either one or two letters. For more information on applying for a PPS Number, registering with the Irish Tax System and our tax and social insurance rates click here.

The majority of employees in Ireland pay tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. Ireland’s tax rates are divided into two bands; 20% on the first €33,800 earned and 40% on the remainder of your salary. You will also pay a social insurance contribution (PRSI) and a Universal Social Charge, a tax that has replaced the health and income levy.

Here are a few estimations of what you can expect to receive in terms of net disposable income if you move to Ireland and are single:

Age Gross Pension Net Income
25 €27,000 0% €23,042
35 €45,000 5% €32,142
45 €52,000 7% €34,832
55 €65,000 8% €40,472

To estimate your tax contributions and net income click here.

Housing & Accommodation

It is important that you familiarise yourself with price trends in Ireland; both in terms of the rental market and the buyer’s market. It is also important that you research the area in which you intend to live. For more information on buying or renting property in Ireland click here.

Annual Holidays and Leave Entitlements

In accordance with The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, the minimum annual paid leave entitlement for employees in Ireland is 4 weeks. However, it must be noted that many employers offer additional leave as an incentive to join their organisations.

In addition to annual leave entitlements, Ireland has a number of public holidays throughout the year:

  • January 1 (New Year’s Day)
  • March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Easter Monday (no fixed date as it changes every year but is typically between the end of March and the end of April)
  • First Monday in May
  • First Monday in June
  • First Monday in August
  • Last Monday in October
  • December 25 (Christmas Day)
  • December 26 (St. Stephen’s Day)

For more information on annual leave and holidays in Ireland click here.

Driving in Ireland

If you have a valid driving licence issued by an EU/EEA member state, there is no issue with driving in Ireland. If you wish to exchange your licence for an Irish licence you must do so within 10 years of your foreign licence expiring and you must have certified details or a letter of entitlement from the issuing authority. Ireland also has a licence exchange with a number of countries outside the EU/EEA, including:

  • Australia
  • Gibraltar
  • Guernsey
  • Isle of Man
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • Ontario (Canada)

If you are not from any of the above countries, (e.g. United States), and you hold a national driving licence or an international driving permit from your own country, you may drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months).

If your stay in Ireland will be more than 12 months you can apply for an Irish driving licence but you will need to go through the full driver licensing procedure. You must first pass a driver theory test, apply for a learner permit, complete a course of Essential Driver Training (EDT) and pass your driving test in Ireland. If you pass your driving test, you can then apply for a full Irish driving licence.

For further information: click here.

Health & Education

Any person, regardless of nationality, who is accepted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) as being a resident in Ireland is entitled to free public hospital services. For more information on public health entitlements click here.

There are also a number of private health care services available to residents in Ireland. You must pay the full costs of treatment if you opt for private health care. Residents of Ireland can also avail of private healthcare insurance from a number of providers, including VHI, Aviva and Laya Healthcare. For more information click here.

For medical situations (other than emergencies), the standard procedure in Ireland is to visit your local General Practitioner (local doctor). A GP will recommend you see a specialist if they feel necessary following a preliminary examination. The average cost of a visit to a GP is €50-€60.

Education is compulsory for children in Ireland from the ages of six to 16 or until students have completed three years of second-level education.

The Irish education system is made up of primary, secondary, third-level and further education. State-funded education is available at all levels, unless you choose to send your child to a private institution. For an overview of the Irish education system click here.