How to retire to Ireland
As traveling babyboomers we are lucky enough to be EU citizens because we were born in Ireland. We obtained our Irish passports and can travel freely in the EU area without visas. We have spoken to many people on our travels who would love to do the same so this post is all about how to move to Ireland and how to retire to Ireland.
If you have EU born parents or grandparents you may be eligible for an EU passport which would allow you to move to Ireland relatively simply.
Before you retire to Ireland – what you need to know
The island of Ireland is comprised of 2 parts, the North which is part of the U.K and Ireland which is an independent republic. If you want to move to Ireland you need to understand a little about the country itself and if you have Irish ancestry how you can move to Ireland.
If you were born anywhere on the island of Ireland you are entitled to Irish citizenship – even if you were born in Northern Ireland (UK). You can obtain your Irish passport and retire to Ireland through this citizenship even if you want to live in the south of Ireland.
We have been lucky enough to spend many months housesitting and traveling in Ireland and have fallen in love with areas from Tipperary to Dublin, you can read about some of our adventures by clicking on the links.
Residency Rights for those wanting to retire to Ireland
If you were born in Ireland, the UK or in the EEA (The European Economic Area (EEA, comprises the member states of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) you have some claim on residency rights in Ireland. For example if you were born in Northern Ireland (officially the UK) you have automatic rights to live in or move to Ireland. UK citizens also have the right to move to Ireland without any conditions or restrictions. If you were born in the North of Ireland or your parents were you have automatic rights to reside in Ireland. If you were born outside of Ireland but your parents were born in Ireland again you have right to live in or move to Ireland.
EEA and Swiss nationals can move to Ireland with their family members but there are some limits. EEA and Swiss nationals and their families can remain in Ireland for up to 3 months without restriction. If you are retired and plan to stay more than 3 months, you must have sufficient resources and health insurance, or you must be employed or self-employed.
Non-EEA nationals: citizens of certain non-EEA countries must apply for an entry visa before they travel to Ireland. You can find out if you need a visa to enter Ireland. When you have arrived in Ireland, if you are not an EEA or Swiss national, you must have permission to remain if you wish to stay for more than 3 months. So for example if you are a Canadian or US citizen you can stay in the country for 3 months (90 days) without a Visa. You can also move to Ireland if you are Canadian or American but you will have to find employment that is needed in Ireland to do so.
American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealanders and those from outside the EU who want to retire to Ireland
Getting a work permit to Move to Ireland
Non-EEA nationals can become employed in Ireland and apply to stay but certain conditions of employment must be met. There are certain employment areas that are required in Ireland and you can obtain a residency permit if these requirements can be met you can find more information here. So for example if you are an engineer, doctor, scientist and so on you can probably find work and obtain a residency permit.
Retiring and moving to Ireland
If you are retired and have a pension and the financial resources you can move to Ireland as a retiree. The financial threshold is around €50,000 per person per year, but you must also prove you have access to a lump sum of money to cover unforseen expenses. This should be the equivalent to the price of purchasing a house in the U.S or around $250,000. In addition you have to register with the local immigration officer following your arrival.
You won’t be eligible, obviously for any benefits in Ireland and you will have to ensure you have private health care coverage, however healthcare in Ireland is not free and the average Dr’s visit will be around €50 Euros. You can pay this direct to the Dr and not have private health care if you have the income.
Keep in mind that rentals and property purchases in Dublin are expensive and are very similar to major N. American cities. Rural areas like Donegal and Tipperary for example are much cheaper and you will get way more for your money. Rentals are also cheaper in the rural areas as well. As Canadians we have found the cost of utilities, heat and food to be if not on par with N. America in some cases they are considerably cheaper than Canada.
If you are a student who wishes to study in Ireland you must prove you are enrolled in a recognized program and that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while you are in the country. This is around €7000 per year of study. You can work while you are a student but it must be in a “casual” labour type position of around 20 hours per week.
Claiming Irish Citizenship so you can retire to Ireland
The following information details how to claim Irish citizenship through birth or ancestors.
Born in Ireland
If you were born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005, you are entitled to be an Irish citizen.
Irish citizen parents
If you were born in Ireland after 1 January 2005 and your parent(s) were Irish citizens, then you are also an Irish citizen.
Foreign national parents
A child born in the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005 is entitled to Irish citizenship if they have a British parent or a parent who is entitled to live in Northern Ireland or the Irish State without restriction on their residency. A child born in Ireland to a parent who has been granted refugee status is also automatically entitled to Irish citizenship.
Born outside Ireland
Irish citizen parents born in Ireland
If either of your parents was an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, then you are automatically an Irish citizen, irrespective of your place of birth. If you are an Irish citizen, you can apply for an Irish passport. You do not need an Irish passport in order to be an Irish citizen but having an Irish passport is evidence that you are an Irish citizen.
Irish citizen parents born outside Ireland
If you were born outside Ireland to an Irish citizen who was born outside Ireland, then you are entitled to become an Irish citizen, gain your Irish passport and retire to Ireland very easily.
If your parent or parents has Irish citizenship in another way, for example, through marriage, adoption or naturalisation, and was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you can become an Irish citizen.
Claiming Irish citizenship: Before you can claim Irish citizenship, you must have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register.* If you are entitled to register, your Irish citizenship is effective from the date of registration – not from the date when you were born.
Citizenship through descent from Irish grandparents
If one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen. You will need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register.*
The following table may help to explain the situation:
|If you are:||Then you are:|
|A||Born in the island of Ireland on or before 31 December 2004||Entitled to Irish citizenship or you are an Irish citizen|
|B||Born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005||Entitled to Irish citizenship if one or both of your parents: |
· Is Irish
· Is British or entitled to live in Northern Ireland or the Irish State without restriction on their residency
· Is a foreign national legally resident in the island of Ireland for 3 out of 4 years immediately prior to your birth
· Has been granted refugee status in Ireland
|C||Child of A, born outside the island of Ireland||An Irish citizen|
|D||Child of C and a grandchild of A, born outside the island of Ireland||Entitled to Irish citizenship, but you must first register in the Foreign Births Register|
|E||a child of D and a great-grandchild of A, born outside the island of Ireland||Entitled to Irish citizenship, by having your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register, but only if your parent D had registered by the time of your birth.|
If you fancy moving to a warmer climate why not try Mexico.
Or if you are related to a British born parent you may be able to move to the UK.
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