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Moving from UK to Ireland

Moving from UK to Ireland

The habit to immigrate to Ireland from UK is quite common for most people in search of relocating especially after Brexit. Ireland is one of the preferred destinations in Europe for UK citizens thanks to the cultural and language similarities between the two countries. Below, our lawyer in Ireland explains the procedure of moving here from UK.

If you are a UK citizen and are planning to relocate to Ireland, our lawyers can offer complete assistance throughout the immigration procedure.

No visa required when moving from UK to Ireland

One of the greatest benefits to immigrate to Ireland from the United Kingdom is that its citizens do not need a visa to enter Ireland.

Even if there is no legal agreement between the two states to provide for passing the border from the UK to Ireland and vice versa, citizens of both countries will only need their identification documents and will go through a minimum customs control.

 Quick Facts 
Visas for short-term immigration from UK to Ireland    

There aren’t any visa requirements when moving from UK to Ireland for short-term stays. 

Visas for long-term immigration from UK to Ireland 

No requirements  
Visa exemptions   UK nationals do not have to apply for any type of visa to live, work, or study in Ireland
Electronic visas available

Not applicable

Main reasons to immigrate from
UK to Ireland
UK nationals can arrive here for family reunification, work, study, training and others, as per the provisions of the Common Travel Area (CTA).
Institution in charge with the issuance of the visa 

Not applicable

Fee system available for the processing of the visa (yes/no) 

Not applicable

Fees charged for the issuance of short-term/long-term visas Not applicable
Special rules for citizens of UK Yes, UK citizens benefit from the right of free movement in Ireland, without complying with any visa requirements. 
The procedure for permanent residency in IrelandNot applicable
Documents required for permanent residency application 

 Not applicable 

Reasons for which permanent residency can be granted in IrelandBritish citizens moving from UK to Ireland can relocate here as per the rules of the Common Travel Area (CTA). 
Right to permanent residency for refugees/asylum seekers (yes/no) Yes 
Immigration pathways for highly skilled persons  Not applicable for British citizens moving from UK to Ireland (they are not required to conclude any immigration steps). 
Legal pathways to citizenship British citizens can apply for Irish citizenship based on their particular situation (Irish descent, naturalization). 

When moving from UK to Ireland permanently, it is recommended for British citizens to take their passport.

With respect to Brexit, which is one of the most important changes in the matter of immigration, especially for UK citizens seeking to move to other EU countries, the UK and the EU community have already reached individual agreements to regulate these aspects.

Ireland and the UK – Common Travel Area

As member state of the EU, Ireland applies the immigration rules that are established at an EU level, but it must be known that, due to the long cultural and ethnical background of the two countries, an additional document is in force.

The UK and Ireland are part of the Common Travel Area (CTA), an arrangement that was made between the two countries before the two were part of the EU.

The last time the CTA was reviewed was in 2019, when the countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

Because of this, moving to Ireland from UK it is much simpler compared to moving from the UK to other EU states, following the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, which was closed on 21st of December 2020.

We can offer more information on the current procedure related to moving from UK to Ireland.

If you have any questions related to immigration to Ireland, no matter your country of origin, our lawyers can answer them.

Please be aware that when you arrive in this country, you must register your Irish residential address, a requirement applicable to all foreign nationals.

What are the rights of British citizens under the CTA?

The CTA provides a unique immigration system for Irish and British nationals and it provides a free market system for them. The CTA offers numerous advantages for both nationals.

Here, our immigration lawyer in Ireland will present the benefits from the view point of British nationals relocating to Ireland.

The 1st major advantage is given by the fact that UK nationals do not have to comply with any particular immigration procedures, as it would be the case of third party nationals who arrive here from non-EU countries.

The possibility to do this is given by the CTA, as the UK is no longer part of the EU system, but still, the UK nationals benefit from very simple rules when relocating to Ireland.

Certain rules will apply for the family members of the UK nationals relocating to Ireland, in the situation in which they are non-EU nationals. Here, the basic immigration rules should be studied.

A 2nd major advantage is that the UK national does not have to apply for employment permits, as work is not regulated by the issuance of various approvals from the local administration.

The same applies for British nationals who work as self-employed in Ireland. The 3rd advantage of moving to Ireland is the access to education. Here, the same rules that are available for Irish citizens will apply for British nationals, with no distinction.

Another unique characteristic of the CTA refers to social security benefits, which is the 4th important characteristic. British citizens working and living in Ireland can maintain their social security in Britain even though they work in Ireland.

Persons working in the CTA area will be covered by the social security system or the country where they are registered regardless of the country where they are currently living in.

When arriving to Ireland, British nationals will also have the right to access the healthcare system of this country, without having to complete any particular procedures. This is the 5th benefit of the CTA.

The 6th is that British citizens are entitled to access social housing in Ireland following the same procedures available for Irish nationals, without discrimination. A 7th characteristic, is that British citizens can vote in Ireland as if they were Irish nationals.

This is a unique characteristic of the CTA, which does not apply to the EU system, even though the EU grants a very large range of rights to EU citizens living in other EU states with the exception of their own state.

In the EU, in order to have the right to vote in another EU state, one has to become a citizen of the respective state.


Things to know when moving to Ireland from UK

If you want to immigrate to Ireland from UK, this can be one of the simplest immigration procedures, given that that the citizens of the 2 countries enjoy a treatment that is similar with the one available for EU citizens in the EU area.

Even though the UK is known as a country with a high standard of living and with high prices, please mind that relocating to Ireland can imply even larger costs.

For instance, the average price of renting of renting a 1 bedroom apartment in London will cost GBP 750, while renting a similar place in Ireland will cost approximately GBP 1,100.

There are several aspects that need to be clarified with respect to UK citizens already living in Ireland, even if on a temporary basis, together with their families.

They have certain rights that are respected after Brexit if they choose to remain in Ireland. These rights are:

  1. entering Ireland without a visa, no matter the state they want to travel to in the EU;
  2. free travel between Ireland and the UK is maintained after the Withdrawal Agreement closed;
  3. work in Ireland without having to apply for one of the employment passes available;
  4. the right to healthcare services provided by the Irish public healthcare services.

UK citizens also have voting rights if they already live in Ireland.

These rights have been obtained thanks to several treaties between the two states which date back in 1922. They are grouped under the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the United Kingdom which was renewed in 2019 which is a document in force, regardless of the connection of the 2 countries with the EU.

The CTA is not influenced by the membership of the 2 states to the EU structure.

Also, this agreement is a separate agreement from the EU legislation and directives. If you are interested in moving from UK to Ireland, we can guide you. We are also at the service of those interested in obtaining an Irish investment visa.

Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can offer more information on the rights to be acquired by UK citizens moving here. If you need details on the procedures related to moving from UK to Ireland, we are at your disposal.

Permanent residency in Ireland for UK citizens

The process to immigrate to Ireland from UK can lead to permanent residency if the British citizen is interested in such an outcome.

There are no special requirements to meet for British citizens who want to permanently move to Ireland at this point, as they only need to register with the local police office in the city they live in order to have their residence permits issued.

UK citizens interested in immigration in Ireland are advised to seek the legal advice of a lawyer before starting the relocation procedures. Persons interested in permanent relocation can address to our team for advice on the issuance of the Irish residence permit.

Obtaining an Irish passport as a UK citizen

UK citizens holding permanent residence permits or having Irish ancestors can obtain Irish passports. Those who are married to Irish citizens also have the right to apply for citizenship in this country.

The requirements for obtaining Irish citizenship as a UK national are not stringent, as the applicant must submit proof of their living in Ireland in case of seeking to obtain citizenship by naturalization. Also, the applicant must be an adult (18 years old) at the time the application is filed.

It is useful to know that a foreign citizen who seeks to apply for Irish passports no longer needs to register with the Department of Employment Affairs. Irish citizenship is granted by the Ministry of Justice.

If you want to immigrate to Ireland from UK, our lawyers can explain all the steps you need to complete.

British citizens living in Ireland

According to a survey published by the Irish Central Statistics Office:

  • there were more than 103,000 UK citizens living in Ireland in April 2016;
  • 51,500 of these persons lived in rural areas in Ireland;
  • most British citizens living in Ireland at the time were aged 45 to 49;
  • 62% of these citizens also owned homes in Ireland.

For assistance in moving from UK to Ireland, please contact our immigration lawyers.

Persons who arrive to Ireland from any of the member states of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) benefit from certain rights when it comes to residency in Ireland.

They will need to start the residency process after staying here 90 days. The procedure can be initiated after 6 months if the foreign nationals are seeking employment in Ireland.

For citizenship in Ireland, the citizenship of the foreigner is irrelevant, as they can become eligible only if they meet the requirements for a certain type of citizenship.

In Ireland, just like in any other country, foreigners can benefit from simpler citizenship rules only if they have a certain connection to the respective country (by descendance, marriage, birth).