How to move to Ireland from the US – Complete Guide

Moving to Ireland from the US is an exciting opportunity, but there are some important considerations to make. Our guide will get you started.

Are you contemplating a move to Ireland from the United States? If so, you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of Americans make the journey across the Atlantic in pursuit of new opportunities and experiences.

From its stunning natural beauty and friendly people to its thriving economy and rich cultural heritage, Ireland is the perfect place for anyone looking for adventure living abroad.

Moving to Ireland can be an exhilarating experience, but you’ll need to complete some research and preparation before taking the plunge.

This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to move to Ireland from the US successfully. We will cover topics such as visas, job hunting tips and finding somewhere to live.

So if you’re ready for your own Irish adventure – let’s get started!

1. Research Ireland’s visa requirements for US citizens

Understanding Ireland’s visa requirements for US citizens to live in Ireland can be pretty challenging. Take advantage of all viable resources – locate your closest Irish embassy – for guidance and information to help make this transition smoother.

The Irish Immigration Service, also known as The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), is another great resource for figuring out your best options.

You’ll also find up-to-date information about moving to Ireland on Ireland’s Citizens Information website.

To live in Ireland, you’ll need a long-term visa, sometimes called D visas. The most used long-term visa types are:-

  1. Study Visa – When planning to study for over 90 days on a recognized course.

  2. Retirement Visa – Issued to people of independent means who won’t take up employment. You need to show an individual income of 50,000 Euros per year.

  3. Investor Visa – You will require a minimum of 1 million euros invested in an approved investment fund for at least three years (Also see our EU Golden Visa Guide).

  4. Employment Visa – If you want to work in Ireland, you must have an Employment Permit issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE).

  5. Join Family Visa – If you have family members in Ireland, this route may be possible, but it’s complex, and you should seek advice.

  6. Working Holiday Visa – For young people who want to stay in Ireland longer than permitted with a tourist visa and wish to support themselves via work.

You may benefit by engaging an immigration service to help with your visa application.

2. Moving to Northern Ireland

If you’re planning to move to Northern Ireland, you must follow United Kingdom guidance. Get started with our Living in The United Kingdom guide.

2. Getting Irish Citizenship By Decent

One thing that can’t be looked over for many Americans is their Irish ancestry. If you have a grandparent born on the island of Ireland, you will qualify for Irish citizenship.

You will also qualify for Irish citizenship if you have a parent who was an Irish citizen when you were born, even if the parent wasn’t living on the island of Ireland at the time.

You can apply for Irish citizenship via the foreign birth registration application. If you can become an Irish citizen straight away, moving to Ireland becomes significantly easier.

3. Finding employment and working in Ireland

Finding employment in Ireland as a US citizen is extremely difficult. As part of the European Union, Ireland has to have a good reason to employ a US citizen rather than an EU citizen.

It is possible, especially if you have skills which are in demand, but it’s not straightforward, and you won’t receive immigration permission to work in Ireland without an employment permit.

Let’s take a look at the primary employment permits and visas that are available in Ireland.

Critical Skills Employment Permit

Ireland replaced the original Green Card employment permit with the Critical Skills Employment Permit. The permit is designed to attract highly skilled individuals into Irish industry and commerce.

The scheme actively encourages skilled employees to take up permanent residence in Ireland.

The most sort after occupations are professional engineers, ICT professionals, other technologists and Health and Social Services Directors and Managers. You should visit the Critical Skills Occupations List on the government website for the latest information.

General Employment Permit

This is a catch-all permit that Ireland uses to attract foreign nationals for occupations experiencing a skills shortage.

A General Employment Permit is issued for a two-year period and can later be renewed for a further three years. After five years, you would be able to apply for permanent residency.

Visit the Irish government’s enterprise website for information about all employment permits and eligibility criteria.

Working Holiday Visa

Ireland’s Working Holiday Visa is primarily for young people who want to travel to Ireland for a longer period than possible on a tourist visa and also support themselves via working while they are in Ireland.

Even with the work visa, if you intend to stay longer than 90 days, you will have to register for an Irish Residence Permit after you arrive in Ireland.

You can apply directly or via post at your nearest Irish Embassy. The fees at the time of writing are $360 USD. After you’ve submitted your application and been approved, you will need to provide a return plane ticket and evidence of medical insurance.

4. Identify potential job opportunities in your field of expertise

Despite it being harder for Americans to gain employment in Ireland, there are ways, and with some perseverance, you can succeed. The best way to start the process is to find potential work opportunities.

Start researching job opportunities via online resources such as Indeed or LinkedIn there are also several Ireland-dedicated job sites such as and

You can also send your CV over to recruitment agencies who work in your skills sector. If you’ve got in-demand skills set, you can get results very quickly.

You will need to check whether your US qualifications will be accepted; this tends to vary depending on your skills and qualifications.

5. Move to Ireland for retirement

A move to Ireland is an incredible opportunity for US citizens. However, it’s only possible when you can demonstrate full financial independence.

If you have the financial means to support yourself, you will need to apply for a D-reside visa which, if approved, will be able to settle permanently in Ireland.

5. Finding somewhere to live in Ireland

Moving to Ireland from the US as an expat needs more planning than if you were staying within the US. One of the most important things to consider is finding somewhere suitable to live.

The most popular choice for expats starting out in Ireland is renting either a home, flat, or apartment.

Renting offers more flexibility, and it gives you chance to get familiar with the local area and learn more about house prices before making any commitments. It is also usually much cheaper than purchasing a property outright.

Renting in Ireland is usually relatively straightforward – search for what’s available in your preferred area, is Ireland’s most popular property search website.

You can contact the landlord or estate agent and make plans to see the property before visiting Ireland.

If you’re a single person looking for a simple apartment to get you started, you may be happy to enter into a contract before visiting Ireland.

However, if you’re bringing family and children, you really need to visit Ireland to look at both the property and the area before committing.

Don’t forget to check if the local schools have spaces available for your children. The more popular schools are often close to capacity.

If you’re planning to start off as simply as possible, it’s also worth considering homestays or student accommodations. Homestays often offer competitive rates compared with other alternatives and provide a distinctive cultural experience while you’re there too!

Homestays may also offer additional benefits, such as laundry and meals, which can make life a little easier in the beginning.

Finally, research rental prices in advance, so you don’t overpay for your accommodation. Dublin is the most expensive city, and rental costs vary considerably depending on which area you’re looking at.

Dublin 4, Glenageary and Blackrock are the most expensive areas, while Ballyfermot and Finglas are more affordable areas to take a look at.

6. Make sure you have enough money to cover relocation costs

Relocating to Ireland from the US can be an expensive procedure. It’s essential to make sure you have enough money or funding to cover the costs involved. This includes your airfare, housing costs and any security deposits, shipping of personal belongings, pet transportation and other expenses related to your move to Ireland.

It’s also worth mentioning that Ireland has a wet and cold climate. Depending on where you currently live in the US, you may need to rework your wardrobe significantly.

It is also advisable to set aside some funds for everyday living expenses and bills that will occur during the first few months of moving to Ireland, as there may be a period of time before your salary or retirement income clears into your Irish bank account.

7. Arrange valid health insurance

Having valid health insurance is essential when living in Ireland, as this will cover any medical costs associated with unexpected illness or injury while living in the country. International Health insurance can be obtained online before you leave the US.

It’s important to research your options to find a health plan that best meets your needs. You can compare the costs of the leading health insurance providers via our insurance comparison page. To be transparent, we do receive a small referral fee, but that won’t affect what you’ll pay in any way.

Final Thoughts

Moving to Ireland from the US can be an incredibly exciting adventure. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the Irish culture, make new friends and explore the country.

And don’t forget, Ireland’s close proximity to the rest of Europe and the United Kingdom opens up a brilliant opportunity for even more exciting trips.

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