Are you thinking about moving to Ireland? Many people are drawn to Ireland because of its great food, beautiful landscapes, and lively towns.
The good news is that Ireland is often regarded as a favorable destination for immigration. This remarkable country ranks among the top 8 developed nations globally and has a strong economy, great job opportunities, and high living standards.
However, deciding to move to a new country is a big choice. It’s important to do some research and evaluate the pros and cons of living in Ireland.
But don’t worry! We’ve put together a helpful guide about living in Ireland to answer any questions you have before you make your move.
What are the pros of immigrating to Ireland?
Convenient base for traveling within Europe
Ireland boasts a unique combination of business opportunities and tourist attractions. Being a part of the EU while having close historical ties with the UK, Ireland attracts both individuals and businesses seeking the advantages that come with its EU status and proximity to the UK.
With a quick border crossing, you can reach the UK in just 45 minutes, and a two-hour plane journey can take you to sunny Spain. The geographical location of Ireland offers incredible travel possibilities.
Moreover, you have the chance to obtain an Irish passport and become a citizen after living there for a few years due to relaxed residency rules. With an Irish passport, you gain access to seamless and visa-free travel to 27 EU member states and over 100 other countries.
High level of safety
If you want to move to Ireland, you’ll be happy to know it’s one of the safest countries.
The crime rate is very low there, so you can feel safe and peaceful. The Irish people are friendly and welcoming, which will help you adjust to your new home.
While it’s always important to exercise caution and take basic safety measures wherever you go, you can feel confident that Ireland provides a safe haven for residents.
So, if you’re planning to make Ireland your new home, rest assured that you’re choosing a country with a strong reputation for safety and security.
Strong healthcare and education systems
The healthcare system in Ireland is of excellent quality, providing top-notch medical care. You can trust the doctors and modern facilities to take care of you.
When it comes to the education system in Ireland, all the universities and colleges rank among the best globally. This means that you’ll receive a world-class and excellent education that opens doors for your future.
Ireland is also known for being welcoming to international students, creating a friendly and inclusive environment. You’ll feel at home and supported during your studies.
Moreover, Ireland has a long history of producing successful graduates, showing the country’s commitment to education and your potential for success.
Competitive business environment
One of the significant advantages is your access to Europe’s vast market of 500 million people. This means you have a great opportunity to expand your customer base and reach more diverse customers.
Additionally, Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, which makes it easier for you to communicate and build relationships with international businesses.
Another compelling factor is Ireland’s low corporation tax rate of 12.5%. This allows you to keep more of your profits and have more money to invest in your business’s growth.
There are also many funds and grants available in Ireland to support businesses like yours. These financial resources can help you with innovation and development, giving you a boost in the competitive landscape.
Ireland is a country where your spirits can’t be dampened. It has a rich culture, lively celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day, and a famous drink called Guinness.
Ireland offers a wide selection of bars, pubs, clubs, cultural trips, and scenic views. It is known for its vibrant cultural scene, encompassing music, art, literature, poetry, and popular theater performances.
If you don’t like drinking or gardens, Ireland is also famous for sports and adventure. People really enjoy things like surfing, cycling, and water sports here, ensuring there’s something enjoyable for everyone.
Affordable accommodation options
Ireland offers not just stunning landscapes and a vibrant ambiance, but also affordable accommodation options that cater to all budgets.
The only exception is Dublin, like any other capital city, where housing can be very expensive. However, if you stay on the outskirts of the city, it’s cheaper and still has good transportation options.
Abundance of nature and wildlife
Ireland is famous for Guinness and its beautiful natural scenery. It has rolling hills, wildlife, and picturesque landscapes. It offers opportunities to explore places like the cliffs of Moher, Leap Castle, and County Kildare’s Japanese Gardens.
If you enjoy nature and outdoor adventures, Ireland has plenty to offer. You can take part in activities such as walking along scenic cliffs, island hopping, whale watching, and visiting unique places like Murder Hole Beach and Rahlin Island.
Additionally, Ireland is home to diverse wildlife, including native red deer and golden eagles. The country has national parks where you can observe and appreciate the natural beauty and animals in their habitats.
Relaxed immigration control and affordable permits
Moving to Ireland is easier and cheaper than moving to the UK. Irish laws are flexible when it comes to giving visas and permits to immigrants.
If you’re not from the European Economic Area or Switzerland, there are different ways you can live in Ireland. They provide you with a document known as “permission to remain,” which is a special stamp placed on your passport granting you the right to stay in Ireland.
You can also get permits for work, business, or study. And there are two programs where you can invest in Ireland and become a resident: the immigrant investor program and the start-up entrepreneur program.
What are the cons of immigrating to Ireland?
Cloudy weather may not suit everyone’s preference
Ireland’s biggest downfall is often touted as its weather, as it is well-known for being cloudy and rainy almost all year. Its location in the Atlantic Ocean makes it prone to unpredictable weather and chilly winds.
Snow is rare in Ireland, but that doesn’t mean it’s not cold for most of the year. People who move there from sunnier places often complain about the weather.
High cost of living
Ireland is known for being really expensive to live in. It’s the second most expensive country in the EU for buying things and services, costing 34% more than average.
Even if you’re used to high prices in the UK, Ireland is still more expensive, with costs 21% higher than average.
Car insurance, fuel, and mortgages are very expensive in Ireland. Starting from 2018, it became the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy fuel for cars.
If you’re moving from the UK to Ireland, you’ll find that the overall cost of living is much higher because of the currency difference. Ireland uses the Euro, which makes things more expensive compared to the UK.
Social life revolves mainly around pubs
Not being interested in drinking or the pub culture in Ireland can have a few downsides. It might be harder to socialize and meet new people, as pubs are popular gathering spots.
You may feel out of sync with the cultural norms and find it challenging to integrate into the community. Additionally, if you prefer alternative evening activities or a wider range of entertainment options, you may find your choices limited, particularly in smaller towns or rural areas.
Limited job prospects outside of Dublin
Ireland is a small country with a strong character, but there are fewer job opportunities outside the busy capital.
Dublin attracts a lot of people and has a lively atmosphere. About 2 million people live in Greater Dublin, which is 40% of the whole population of the country.
This is important to consider if you plan to move to Ireland. However, if you already have a work visa and a job offer outside the capital, you don’t need to worry too much about the limited opportunities in other areas.
Is it hard to immigrate to Ireland?
Moving to Ireland isn’t as tough as it may seem if you’re determined, plan ahead, and put in the effort. There are different ways to immigrate to Ireland, like through work, marriage, or retirement programs.
However, if your ultimate goal is to become a citizen through naturalization, the time you spend on a work or study visa might not always count.
Irish naturalization laws are quite complex. To obtain citizenship through naturalization, you must demonstrate that you have accumulated enough “reckonable residence” in Ireland.
You can check the permission stamps and learn about what qualifies as reckonable residence by visiting https://www.irishimmigration.ie/.
How easy is it to immigrate to Ireland?
It’s pretty easy to immigrate to Ireland. You can apply online from your home country.
Just fill out a simple form with your personal information and submit it along with your documents. The immigration authorities will review everything and decide if you’re eligible for the visa, residency, or naturalization you want.
If you get approved, you can travel to Ireland.
When you arrive, you’ll need to go to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to register for your residence permit or GNIB card. But if you’re from a European country or Switzerland, you don’t need to register.
Is Ireland friendly to foreigners?
Ireland is friendly to people from other countries. The Irish people are kind, helpful, and accepting of newcomers.
They understand that foreigners can bring economic benefits to the country. When you meet locals, they are nice, polite, and often funny. They enjoy talking to you and making you feel welcome.
However, they prefer their personal space and may feel uncomfortable if someone invades it. So, it’s important to respect their boundaries.
Overall, Ireland is a welcoming place for foreigners, and you can expect to have good experiences with the locals.