Irish Citizenship

Irish Citizenship: Expat Tips for Moving to Ireland

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Do you want to move to Ireland and maybe apply for Irish Citizenship? It’s actually pretty difficult, but here are some of the best ways to make it happen!

          1. Through marriage

I don’t recommend marrying someone for the sole purpose of moving to Ireland (in fact it’s illegal). However marrying an Irish citizen for love is definitely your fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to relocate. When you’re married to an Irish Citizen you need to provide proof of your marriage at your local Garda District Headquarters within 90 days of arriving in Ireland. Your marriage certificate should suffice, as well as bringing both of your passports, and evidence of joint address. Expats moving to IrelandYou’ll get a stamp 4 in your passport which will then allow you to live and work in Ireland.  There is also a €300 registration fee along with taking your fingerprints and a headshot. Sometimes spouses will need to apply for a “D” visa so check to see if you need one. 

When my husband was applying for his green card for the U.S. so he could live and work, we had endless forms, over $1,500 in fees, as well as a doctor visit, immigration interview, and required vaccinations. The whole process took months and so much headache. When I move as a spouse to Ireland it’s going to cost us $300 with simple forms, and an interview that all happens on the same day, with no required vaccines! 

          2. Through work

If you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland you will need an employment permit in order to work in Ireland. Check out to see if you qualify for an employment permit!

There are 9 types of employment visas, and requirements can be quite strict.  A good one to check for is to see if you are on the critical skills list. If your job is on the critical skills list and you meet the salary requirements you can apply for the critical skills permit. You do need a job lined up before you move to qualify for a visa. 

          3. Through retirement 

If you are no longer working and wish to retire in Ireland it costs a hefty amount of money. Each person retiring must have a yearly income of at least $50,000 as well as a large lump sum of money.  You must apply for stamp 0 permission along with a letter and required documentation. If you are granted a stamp 0 you will then need to apply for a D-Reside Visa before entering the country. On they say that it is very important for you to have your D-Reside Visa before you enter Ireland or you won’t be able to complete the registration process on your Stamp 0. If all of that is approved then you can register at your local immigration office. After you arrive in Ireland you will then need to send a signed agreement form and your passport to Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS). INIS will stamp your passport and return it to you. 

          4. Through family 

If you were born outside of Ireland but your parents are Irish citizens then you also qualify to claim Irish citizenship. You also qualify to claim Irish citizenship if you have at least 1 grandparent who was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth. Unfortunately, cousins, aunts, and uncles will not qualify you.  You can claim your Irish citizenship by registering your birth with the Foreign Births Register. Irish citizenship

         5. Through a different EU country 

Sometimes other countries have fewer restrictions to become a citizen, and you might be able to become a citizen and then move to Ireland! UK citizens, nationals of EEA countries and Switzerland are allowed to live in Ireland without a visa but do need a valid passport to enter Ireland. This is a last-ditch effort for someone who is desperate to find a way into Ireland. 

         6.  Through Study 

Another way to live in Ireland for an extended period of time is by studying in Ireland. If you are a non-EEA national you need to apply for a visa as well as have your full-time course be on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). You also need to show you have enough money to get you through the duration of your course. They require you to have €7,000 per year, as well as your own private health insurance to name a few of the conditions. You might be able to find a long term job when studying abroad if you want to stay on a more permanent basis. However, that is not easy either! Employers hire citizens first and must show proof that they have exhausted their search in the EU for an employee. Studying abroad is also a great time to lock down that Irish spouse! 

Information is power!

Moving to Ireland is not a walk in the park. If becoming an expat and moving to Ireland is high on your priority list then definitely check out There is such a wealth of information to help make your move as straight forward as possible. They give you information on how to rent/buy a house, get a driver’s license, get social welfare, and things like early education!

As our family moves over and goes through all of these experiences ourselves I’ll be sure to keep you updated about how we did it! I hope to help others aspiring to move and become expats! 


Since June 22nd, 2020 the Irish government has resumed processing applications for long stay visas including student visas. 

Would you ever want to move to Ireland long term? Drop your comment below! 

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Chris Tighe
Chris Tighe
1 year ago

Unless it has changed, you only have to prove that a grandparent was born in Ireland. You don?t have to prove that they were a citizen when you were born.

Rachel Ennis
1 year ago

I didn?t have a visa fee for my stamp 4. Going to try for my citizenship soon! We shall see! My husband has had to pay thousands for a visa for New Zealand.

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