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Moving to Ireland from US

Moving to Ireland from US

Ireland is one of the most sought countries for relocation not only among European citizens but also among the nationals of countries outside Europe. Among these, US citizens can move to Ireland without much hassle, however, they need to comply with various requirements and apply for the visa that matches their relocation reason.

Those who want to immigrate to Ireland from US can obtain the support of our immigration lawyers who can guide them in applying for the visas they are interested in. You can rely on our legal team if you want to immigrate to Ireland. You can also be represented by our lawyer if you want to know more on the Irish citizenship.

Traveling to Ireland from the USA without a visa

Ireland and the USA have specific arrangements under which US citizens can travel to Ireland without a visa as long as their stay does not prolong for more than 3 months. If the stay exceeds this timeframe, a visa will be required. Once a visa needs to be applied for, US citizens will need to comply with various requirements with respect to immigration to Ireland.

 Quick Facts 
  Visas for short-term immigration from US to Ireland  A person moving to Ireland from US for a short term period (max 90 days) is not required to apply for a visa.  
Visas for long-term immigration from US to Ireland Americans can apply for work visas, study visas, family reunification visas, business, etc. 

Visa exemptions 

 Applicable for visits of maximum 90 days in
a period of 180 days. 
Electronic visas available


Main reasons to immigrate
from US to Ireland 

Moving to Ireland from US is allowed as per the immigration rules in Ireland (work, work holiday, tourism, business, family reunification, etc.)

Institution in charge with the issuance of the visa 

The Department of Justice 

Fee system available for the processing of the visa (yes/no) Yes  
Fees charged for the issuance of short-term/long-term visas Single entry visa fee is EUR 60, while multiple entry visa fee is EUR 100.  
Special rules for citizens of US (yes/no)Yes – Visa exemption for short stays and no minimum validity requirement for the passport (as it can be required for other nationals). 
The procedure for permanent residency in Ireland • residency in Ireland for 5 years;
• had a work permit or another permit that opens the pathway to permanent residency;
• the applicant’s permit is valid at the moment of application;
• prove good character.
Documents required for permanent residency application • present the current residency card;
• show evidence of employment or other qualifying documents;
• present identity documents (the passport);
• pay the application fee.  
Reasons for which permanent residency can be granted in Ireland  Generally, this can be done through employment, after 5 years of stay in Ireland.  
Right to permanent residency for refugees/asylum seekers (yes/no) Yes  
Immigration pathways for highly skilled persons Persons moving to Ireland from US as skilled employees can apply for the Critical Skills Employment Permit. 
Legal pathways to citizenship  • by descent (Irish parents or grandparents);
• by naturalization; 
• by marriage (the same rules as the ones for naturalization, only that a shorter period of residency is required). 

Types of visas when moving to Ireland from US

The visas issued by the Irish immigration authorities to US citizens depend on the reason one needs to relocate to Ireland. Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can offer a more in-depth presentation on such visas. A US citizen can move to Ireland for one of the following motives:

  1. for study purposes with the possibility of converting the visa into an employment one;
  2. for work reasons, however, there are specific conditions to respect in order to be granted this type of visa;
  3. for business purposes, as Ireland has an Irish residence permit by investment program, however, it requires a substantial injection of capital in the economy;
  4. for retirement reasons by meeting specific income criteria for US citizens who want to move to Ireland alone or with their spouses.

The visa that allows a person to immigrate to Ireland from US for the long-term is the D-visa. Based on this visa, one is entitled to apply for permanent residency in Ireland. Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can explain the conditions for moving to this country from the USA based on the reasons mentioned above. We can also help you with preparing the documents related to immigration.

Moving to Ireland as a US citizen based on a work visa

Many non-EU citizens consider it is hard to relocate to Ireland for work, however, by meeting the legal requirements imposed by the immigration policies, the procedure is quite simple. The same regulations apply for citizens moving to Ireland from US for employment. The main requirements for obtaining the D-visa based on a work contract are related to the salary.

At the moment, there are two programs for non-EU citizens who want to move to Ireland based on employment. The first one is the General Employment Permit for which a minimum salary of EUR 30,000 per year is required. The second one is the Critical Skills Employment Permit Scheme under which a minimum salary of EUR 60,000 per year must be obtained from the employer.

If you want to move to Ireland based on a work permit, you can discuss your options with one of our lawyers who can provide in-depth information. You can request details from our lawyer on the types of documents you should prepare at the moment when you want to apply for an Irish residence permit.

As a foreigner, you are required to apply for residency in Ireland when you arrive here for a stay that is longer than 90 days. This is a mandatory procedure. Depending on the duration of the stay, foreigners can receive temporary residence permits or permits issued on a permanent basis.

However, the latter can be obtained, in most cases, after a stay in Ireland of minimum 5 years.

Moving from the USA to Ireland based on investment and retirement

Other options for moving to Ireland from the US are the Golden Visa scheme and retirement. Each immigration method has its requirements. For relocating to Ireland by applying for residency by investment, a minimum of EUR 1 million must be injected in real estate, in an Irish company or real estate investment trusts or bonds issued by the government.

This option is available for high net worth individuals seeking to obtain Irish citizenship and the investment must be maintained for at least 3 years. Then, permanent residency can be obtained after 5 years. When it comes to retiring to Ireland as a US citizen, the applicant must have an annual income of at least $55,000 or EUR 50,000. If the applicant is moving to Ireland with the spouse, the minimum income per year is $110,000 or EUR 100,000.

Our immigration lawyer in Ireland can help foreign citizens who want to move to this country based on one of the schemes above. If you are interested in moving to Ireland from US, you can rely on us. Our lawyer can also present the types or residence permits you can obtain or the requirements for becoming an Irish citizen.

What visa types can Americans apply for in Ireland?

The Irish immigration law prescribes few basic options when it comes to visas – short stay visas (the ones required for stays of maximum 90 days in a period of 180 days), long stay visas (required for foreign applicants who intend to stay in Ireland for a period longer than 90 days) or transit visas.

The transit visas are not necessary for Americans and they only apply for the nationals of certain countries. This visa type is necessary for persons who use Ireland as a transit between two different locations. The law in Ireland prescribes re-entry visas and multiple entry visas. Persons who would like to immigrate to Ireland from US can receive specialized legal assistance from our team of attorneys.

For Americans arriving here, the main type of visa that they should apply for is the long stay visa, also known as the D visa; this is the main immigration document necessary for those who plan to stay on a long-term basis in this country and it can be issued for a wide range of reasons, as presented in the following section.

Of course, our immigration lawyer in Ireland can help you apply for a D visa and we invite you to address to our attorney, as the immigration process can vary based on the reason of arrival (the visa can be requested based on numerous legal grounds).

For what purposes can one apply for the Irish D visa?

When moving to Ireland from US, one must offer a reason for arrival in this country if the duration of the stay is longer than 90 days. For shorter visits, Americans can simply make their travel arrangements and have a valid passport, as the Irish immigration authorities will not need evidence or other immigration documents that can validate the reasons of the immigrant for being in the country.

With regards to the issuance of the D visa, other rules will apply and for this, the foreigner is legally required to start the immigration procedure from the US and provide the necessary documentation with the Irish embassy or consulate operating in the American state where the person lives.

The D visa can be issued of a wide range of legal grounds, which are presented by our immigration lawyer in Ireland in the following section. If you want to know the steps you must follow in order to obtain the D visa for any of the purposes presented below, do not hesitate to contact our team:

  • for study purposes – Americans who want to enroll in Irish education institution for a period of more than 3 months have to apply for this program, as long as the respective institution and education program is listed in the eligible programs;
  • visa for work purposes – those who will arrive here for employment must show evidence regarding the job offer in Ireland;
  • family reunification – in the case in which the American citizen has close family members living here, then he or she is entitled to move to Ireland under the family reunification program;
  • work holiday program – this is a program that Ireland created with few countries, including with the US, which grants the right to young persons to come here for both work and employment for a limited period of time;
  • internship – one can apply for this document for internship programs as well.

The right to apply for a D visa when moving to Ireland from US also takes into consideration the following reasons: developing a research program under the conditions stipulated by the Irish law, participating in a religious mission or participating in volunteering programs that are approved by the local authorities.

The application process includes the preparation of numerous documents, such as: the valid passport of the applicant, the application form, two passport photos, a letter of application in which the applicant presents the reason for arrival in this country and specific documents related to the type of visa that one needs.

In the case in which the visa is not for employment purposes, the applicant must make the proof of having sufficient financial funds that can cover the duration of stay (the sum can vary based on the reason of arrival and the number of persons that will live from the income of the respective household).

If you need further information, please do not hesitate to address to our lawyer, where you can also obtain legal details on the process of obtaining a residence permit; if your stay in this country is intended as a permanent one, our team can present the legal steps you have to start.

Reasons for moving to Ireland from US 

Ireland is one of the most important economies in Europe and it offers high living standards, a good business environment, and well-remunerated jobs. It is a country with a large number of foreigners. According to a survey issued by the Irish Central Statistics Office, numbers speak for themselves:

  • in 2016, a total number of 80,000 expats were living in Ireland;
  • 5,500 of these immigrants were from the United States;
  • 10,000 Australians were living in Ireland in 2016;
  • almost 14,000 UK citizens were living in Ireland in the same year.

If you wish to immigrate to Ireland from US, do not hesitate to contact us and discuss all your options with one of our immigration lawyers. You can rely on us if you need information on the legal ways through which a foreigner can acquire citizenship.

Please mind that you can obtain citizenship in Ireland by birth or descent. You must know that the rules for citizenship by birth have been changed in 2005.

Thus, persons who were born on the Irish territory before 1 January 2005, were entitled to obtain the citizenship just because they were born in Ireland, while this rule is not longer applied to those born after 31 December 2004.