Moving to Ireland: What to Expect

Aerial view of a coastline in Ireland.

So, you’ve decided to move to Ireland. We might be a little biased, but we don’t think it’s a decision you’ll regret. You’re moving to a country with vibrant urban culture, stunning countryside, and a cost of living that compares to anywhere in the world. We pride ourselves on providing a warm welcome for everyone who visits our country – whether they’re only staying for a few days or thinking of settling down. But what should you expect when you do make the move here? Here, we’ve provided a few pointers to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Renting in Ireland


From Galway and Limerick to Cork and Dublin, if you love urban living you’ll have plenty to choose from here. Equally, if you’re more at home in nature, we have stunning scenery stretching from the wild Atlantic coast to the peaceful hills of Wicklow and the banks of the majestic River Shannon.

If you’re looking to rent accommodation, make sure to allow plenty of time to find a place to live, as competition for rentals right now is high. Before you sign a lease on a property, you may be asked to provide supporting documentation which can include: reference from a previous landlord, reference from your employer, your bank details, and a valid photo ID. If you’d prefer to buy a house, you’ll need to get mortgage approval first. Our dedicated Mortgages site will provide you with all the information you need before applying for a mortgage here, including financial requirements and documentation. 

Education in Ireland


If your family is also making the move, you’ve probably started to think about school options. In that case, you’ll be pleased to learn that Ireland’s education system ranks in the top 10 globally for quality. The first stage is primary school, which is attended by children up to the age of 12. Most of these are state-funded and known as national schools, but there are a small number of private fee-paying primary schools too. In primary school, children are taught a diverse range of subjects including Maths, Science, English (and our native tongue, Irish), History and Art. The website provides a useful list of primary schools by location, so you can find the nearest one to you. After primary, children go on to secondary school, which they attend for up to six years before taking the Leaving Certificate exams. These are evaluated on a points-based system to determine university applications. 

Things to Do in Ireland

You’re most likely moving here for work, but you’ll be pleased to learn there’s a huge range of leisure options to occupy your time too. Our capital city Dublin is the equal of anywhere in Europe for arts, culture and activities. Whether you’re taking in traditional music in one of our many live venues, exploring the treasures at our wealth of free museums, or roaming the green expanses of the famous Phoenix Park, you won’t lack for things to do with your time off.

Heading west, Galway is a popular destination for culture vultures, with the annual Arts Festival, Film Fleadh, and Galway Races being deservedly world famous. This is also where you’ll find some of our most spectacular scenery – follow the Wild Atlantic Way to discover 2,500km of unforgettable coastline.

Down south, the fiercely independent city of Cork has a unique character all of its own. Here you’ll find a thriving culinary scene, countless outdoor activities close by, and a people who rejoice in their status as some of the best talkers in the country.

Moving Your Pet to Ireland


If you’ve got a cherished furry friend at home, the good news is: they can make the move here too. If you’re moving from within the EU, you’ll be required to have a Pet Passport for your dog or cat. Once your pet has been implanted with a microchip and received the necessary vaccinations, your local vet should be able to issue you with the passport. If you’re moving from outside the EU, further restrictions apply, and you’ll need to find the precise regulations for your country. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, which regulates animal imports to the country, has a useful list of entry requirements broken down by country.

Opening a Bank Account in Ireland

AIB provide a range of bank accounts to suit your needs while living in Ireland. Before opening one, we’ll need to verify your identity and permanent address. The identification you provide must be a current and valid version of one of the following: Passport, Passport Card, Travel Document, Driving Licence, or EU National Identity Card. Proof of address documentation can be a bit tricky to produce when you’re brand new to a country, so if you have an EEA Passport and an address in Ireland, you can set up your bank account using the AIB Mobile App. To prove your address, we will send you a letter to the provided postal address that you've given us. This letter will contain a unique identifier code which you will then need to enter into the app.

If you’re a non-EU resident we will require a proof of address document Utility Bill (e.g. telephone, mobile, gas, electricity), correspondence from a financial institution operating in Ireland, or correspondence from a Government body, which you’ll need to bring along with your photo ID to a pre-booked branch appointment. You can find out more about Personal Identification Requirements on our site



Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.