The process of relocating you and/or your loved ones to a new city or country can be a daunting prospect with many variables to consider and coordinate within the right timeframe. From home rental search, schooling finding, buying a property, shipping, Visas & Immigration processes to perhaps just lifestyle management once you land… we are here to guide you, help you with the logistics and make your relocation to Ireland a simple and pleasurable journey.
Finding the right education, or childcare for your child whether big or small is key to a successful relocation. At Cornerstone, we have our own in-house educational consultancy with extensive experience assisting families relocating from every corner of the world… please do get in touch to learn more!
To help you get started we’ve compiled a focused guide below, that details those all-important areas of life that will play a big part in your lifestyle and also be those potential deciding factors you to need to consider too. We really believe we are the relocation company in Ireland that can make the transition simple, efficient and enjoyable!
Social Scene and Culture
Easy to navigate, filled with history and life, and some of the friendliest people on earth there are a lot of reasons Dubliners love their city! Traditionally, Dublin has been informally divided into two distinct areas – north and south of the river Liffey, named Northside and Southside. Historically, although far less apparent these days, the division has been a social and economic one, with the middle and upper class living in the southside and the working class in the northside. Nowadays though, with many companies opening Headquarters here, and therefore the influx of innovation, and individuals from all over the world this division is somewhat lost and both sides really do have a lot to offer!
Life in Dublin is very exciting as there is always something going on. The city’s calendar is always full of cultural activities! There is also a wide variety of museums to explore such as the Kilmainham Gaol, the Irish Whiskey Museum and Dublinia, or why not visit the famous Trinity College famous – the sole constituent college of Dublin University – with its mixture of classical and 19th century architecture. Famous for the beer Guinness, the Guinness storehouse is a great day out with numerous tasting experiences, festivals and a brewery tour!
With Dublin being Ireland’s capital of contemporary art, it is the ultimate city for any art-lover. If you are looking for exhibitions of acclaimed artists from around the world, then Kerlin Gallery is the place to go. For digital and film photography lovers, the Gallery of Photograhy Ireland is the leading voice for photography in Ireland. The Irish Museum of Modern Art is a must visit – housed in a 17th century hospital, it hosts a wide range of exhibitions from international artists.
One of the most important cities of Ireland, Cork is situated in the south-west on the River Lee. It is a historic destination with a large number of famous sights such as the Camden Fort Meagher and Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, a magnificent gothic cathedral providing scenic views of Cork. Breathtaking views and beautiful architecture are waiting to be discovered in every corner of the city. Check out this map!
Undoubtedly, Cork will charm any visitor. If you are interested in visual arts, both historic and contemporary the Crawford Art Gallery Cork has a collection of over 3,000 works including painting, sculpture and video installations. Housed in a Georgian building, the Cork Public Museum holds a diverse range of artefacts that focus on Cork’s History and Archeology. For a day out with the family, visit the Fota Wildlife Park, one of the leading attractions in Ireland hosting nearly 30 mammals and 50 bird species. The list doesn’t end here, visit the Official Tourism Website for more cultural attractions!
Eating & drinking
Dublin’s restaurant scene includes a wide variety of culinary delights. Feasting and drinking in the city is a pleasure. Traditional Irish foods have a homey feel to them, mainly compromising of two component meals such as coddle and bread or bacon and cabbage. Dublin’s chefs have been utilizing these traditional recipes and modernizing them whilst still respecting the heritage of their simple ingredients. For a taste, try The Greenhouse, or “Chapter One.
Famous with locals, the Long Hall is one of Dublin’s oldest pubs, great for a quiet afternoon pint. For excellent in-house Irish brews, head to the Porterhouse. If you are looking for a modern twist, visit the bar with no name for mojitos and 9 Below for a luxurious evening. Check out these comprehensive lists from The Telegraph and the Conde Nest Traveler for the best bars and pubs in town!
For more modern cuisine, tucked away on a side street just beside Trinity College Dublin is The Vintage Kitchen serving modern Irish cuisine such as grilled filet of prime Irish beef with gratin of Cajun & leek potato. There is always a queue for a table at Sano pizza, but if you fancy pizza, it’s the place to go! This list from Time Out includes restaurants for all budgets and tastes and is a great place to start.
If after dining you’re not ready to go home, or it’s a good night out you’re after, the city has a thriving bar and club scene. Whether you are after a beer at a traditional pub or a martini at a modern cocktail bar, its bar scene has everything!
Nightlife in Cork is rich and varied with loads of things to do whether you’re into cinema, theatre, bars or nightclubs. Abbot’s Ale House offers an extensive collection of beers from Ireland and all over Europe; there are over 300 kinds to choose from! South County Bar and Café is a place definitely worth visiting, designed in a classic rustic style inside and out and serving a great selection of Irish whiskies. For bar hoping, make your way through this top 10 best bars in Cork by the Culture Trip.
In terms of restaurants, you need to head to The Oyster Tavern, one of Cork’s coolest hot spots. Popular dishes include oysters, oyster tavern chowder, the durcan spiced beef carpaccio, 10 oz rib eye on the bone, rack of lamb and the buttermilk chicken. There are also vegan friendly dishes such as chargrilled aubergine charlotte and cauliflower steak. For a real Mediterranean vibe with fresh and locally produced food, visit Salt Food & Wine – brunch is served between 10am and 3pm on weekends and from 5pmt he tapas kicks in! Lonely Planet’s Top Choices restaurants is a great guide for any foodie!
Education has always been highly valued in Ireland and its education system – which is well regarded worldwide – offers varying options catering to different educational needs and wants.
The schooling system comprises of primary and secondary education, with both state funded schools (public schools) and private schools available. The curriculum taught in either genre of institution is the same, and applications are made at both levels (primary and secondary) with the school directly. (A quick tip, public schools at primary level are also called ‘national schools’)!
The majority of private schools, including international schools, are based in Dublin. The State-funded schools in Ireland are made up of religious schools, multi-denominational schools & Gaelscoileanna (schools that teach the curriculum through the Irish language).
Ireland has however seen a huge shift in recent years from a catholic based education. With a high demand for non-religious associated education nowadays the Educate Together system has established many multi-denominational national and second level schools across Ireland since the 1970’s. Most Educate Together schools are set up by groups of parents who wish for this type of school in their locality. The schools are state-funded, child-centred with the ethos of “equality of access and esteem to students irrespective of their social, cultural or religious background.”
The Irish secondary (also known as post-primary) school cycle is generally 5 or 6 years long, from 1st year to 6th year. Children begin their secondary school studies around the age of 12 and leave around the age of 17 or 18. Students sit 2 State exams in that period, one at the end of the junior cycle after 3 years, and one at the end of senior cycle, known as the Leaving Certificate – the latter being the university matriculation examination in Ireland.
Finally, there are also a number of special education schools in Ireland – mostly in Dublin – that cater for various physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities should this be what your child or children require.
Children do not have to attend school until the age of six in Ireland, but it is usual for children to begin school the September following their fourth birthday. The primary school cycle is 8 years long and schools generally have 2 years of infant classes followed by class 1 to class 6.
In terms of religion and its role in primary schools in Ireland, most schools are under the management of one denomination or another and the majority of these are Roman Catholic. There are, however, a growing choice of schools of other denominations and of multi-denominational schools, with Catholic schools, today, in Ireland admitting children of other religions or those with no religion too.
Career/Business Opportunities & Finding a job
Dublin & Cork
With a buzzing start-up scene and numerous global HQs, Dublin is an international city with an innovative culture. People from all over the world are living and working here, resulting in a multilingual culture with half a million residents speaking a second language. Immigration from outside the European Union is increasing, and it is expected that Arabic and Chinese will become the next important languages. The biggest names in finance, tech, professional services, science and health have also made Ireland their home here. Its welcoming culture and interesting lifestyle have made it an attractive city to work in.
Cork has attracted a lot of multinational companies in the past decades. The tech scene is thriving with major companies such as Apple, google and facebook operating in the area. Healthcare manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries are also flourishing.
With an increasing need in talent, there are plenty of opportunities for job seekers. According to Ireland’s Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) there are skill shortages within the ICT, Engineering, Science, Business and finance, Health, Constuction, Sales and skilled trades areas. Furthermore, the industries that are expected to experience significant growth are IT, Health and Social Care, Professional Services, Arts and Recreation and Logistics and Storage.
In order to work in Ireland, you will need a Personal Public Service Number. A PPS number is a unique reference number that allows you to undertake work in Ireland and avail of government benefits and programs. You will need to give this number to your employer as soon as possible so that they can advise the Revenue Commissioners for your tax deductions. You may also need it when setting up a bank account or accessing public services.
To explore job opportunities visit jobs.ie, irishjobs or Monster. Linkedin is also a great way to start networking with local recruiters! UK, EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are allowed to work in Ireland but If you come from outside the EU you will need the appropriate visa to work.
Dublin is quite a small city which encourages its residents to cycle or walk. Cycling is very popular and by walking you can reach most points in the city centre. Moreover, there is a public bike scheme with stations distributed throughout the city centre. Residents also rely on public transport to get around, with the most popular means of transportation being the bus. Over 900 buses serve central Dublin, and many suburbs in the Greater Dublin Area too – check out the map here. The best way to plan a journey by bus is by using Transport for Ireland’s journey planner or the Moovit service.
The easiest way to travel around Cork is by car or motorbike. Cork’s roads are simple to adjust to, easy to get to know and most of them are in excellent condition. There is also a great public transport scheme with regular bus services and an extensive rail network. Bus Éireann operate many routes from the city centre to all parts of the city. The main bus station is located at Parnell Place in the centre of the city and all intercity services to the country leave from this stop.
If you prefer a more environmentally friendly option, there is a bike renting option where you can easily get around the city. There are over 30 bike dock locations, and the bikes are available from 6am to midnight.
Ireland has some fantastic golf courses albeit some of the best are in the North of Ireland, like Portrush which hosted the 2019 British open Championship. Golf is played all year round in Ireland by locals but is, understandably, more popular with tourists in summer months. The Ryder Cup Course at the K Club in County Kildare has hosted some of the best golfers in the world.
Horseracing is one of Ireland’s most popular spectator sports and Ireland is internationally recognized as one of the strongest producers and trainers of Thoroughbred horses. There are 26 major racecourses in Ireland which is more per head of population than any other country. The flat horseracing season runs from mid-March to mid-November but jump racing is run all year round in Ireland.
Sport throughout the Island of Ireland plays a huge role in Irish society. The most popular of the many sports played and followed are GAA (Gaelic football Hurling and Camogie, for women) which are all indigenous Gaelic games or pastimes. Rugby Union more widely known internationally, football (soccer), golf and horse racing are also big sports In Ireland.
Croke Park on Dublin’s north side is home to the GAA and has a capacity for up to 90,000 spectators. Croke Park plays a significant part in Irish history as it was the scene of a massacre during the Irish war of independence in 1920. Today, it is filled with GAA fans from all over the country throughout the season who come together to proudly support their county team, and hopefully see them victorious!
The Aviva stadium, formerly Lansdowne Road in south Dublin is a world class international stadium and home to Irish rugby and football. The Irish national rugby team plays its home games in the Aviva as does the Republic of Ireland national football team. If you like rugby, you will not be disappointed with many six nations matches – the Rugby Union competition between Ireland, England, France, Scotland, Wales and Italy – are played here! The stadium has capacity for €51,000 spectators all seated and is controlled by the IRFU and the FAI (Football association of Ireland).
Visas & Work Permits
Before moving to Ireland, it is important you understand if you require a visa or work permit to work or travel there. Citizens of several countries must apply for a visa so they can be allowed to enter Ireland in the first place, so it is a priority to understand if you need one or not. Citizens of the EEA, (the EU, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein) Switzerland and the UK, can live and work in Ireland without a visa or an employment permit.
If you are from a country outside of the EEA, Switzerland and the UK, you need permission to live and work in Ireland which is granted by the Irish immigration authorities in the form of a work permit
if you want to come to work in Ireland you may have to:
- Apply for a visa to enter Ireland
- Apply for an employment permit
The INIS (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service) is primarily responsible for dealing with immigration and visa matters. You will find more detailed information here should you require it.
The type of visa you need depends on the purpose and length of your stay in Ireland.
If you want to come to Ireland for less than 3 months, you should apply for a short stay Visa, knowns as a “C” visa. This type of visa is suitable if you intend to travel around Ireland for example or complete a course while in Ireland. You cannot stay longer than 3 months and you cannot work on a “C” visa.
If you want to come to Ireland for more than 3 months, for example to study, for work or to settle permanently in Ireland, then you can apply for a long stay visa known as a “D” visa. If you are granted a long stay ‘D’ visa and wish to remain in Ireland for longer than 3 months you must register and get an Irish Residence Permit too.
If you are not from the EEA, Switzerland, and the UK, you must have permission to work in Ireland.
To get permission to work in Ireland, you have to apply for an employment permit. You must get your employment permit before you arrive in Ireland and you can only apply for an employment permit once you have been offered a job there. When you have the employment permit, you can then apply for a visa to go to Ireland if you require one. (In other words, if you do require a permit to work in Ireland you must have obtained it first before you start applying for your visa.)
The application for an Irish work permit can be submitted by either you (the foreign employee) or your employer. If you are transferring from a foreign company to the Irish branch of that company (intra-company transfer), your employer in your home country can submit the application on your behalf as well.
You can work without an employment permit in Ireland if you fall under one of the following categories:
- You are an Ireland Student Visa holder. International students can only work up to 20 hours a week during the school year, and full time (40 hours) during the holidays.
- You are the foreign national spouse, civil partner, or parent of an Irish citizen.
- You have received refugee status in Ireland.
- You have received permission to remain on humanitarian grounds.
- You are carrying out scientific research for an approved research organisation.
- You are a postgraduate student, and the employment is a required part of your course.
Applications can be submitted on the Employments Permits Online System.
Non-EEA family members moving to Ireland to work
If you are coming to Ireland to join a family member who already lives in Ireland or if you are moving to Ireland with a family member who already has a right to work in Ireland, you might not have to apply for an employment permit to work either.
Different rules apply depending on the type of relationship you have with the family member. For example, spouses generally have stronger rights to join their husbands or wives in Ireland than other types of relationships.
- Family members of EU/EEA citizens can apply for a residence card under EU regulations. If the application is successful, you can get an Irish Residence Permit with a Stamp 4EUFAM, which gives you the right to work without an employment permit.
- Family members of UK citizens who move to Ireland after 1 January 2021 can apply for residency and permission to work.
Finding a Home in the City or Suburbs
If you are heading south to the rebel city of Cork, maybe you would like to live in the south side upscale suburb of Douglas in Cork city or across the river on the north of the city in the beautiful and picturesque town of Shandon?
Whatever your requirements our team of housing experts are here to help and advise you.
Daft.ie is Irelands number 1 property website and app and where you will find all the up to date properties to rent throughout Ireland. Whether it is leafy Ballsbridge in Dublin or the Victorian Quarter in the heart of Cork city, you will find all available rentals here and we can help you! Myhome.ie also advertises rental properties but is predominately aimed at those purchasing a home.
Either way, please get in touch to speak with us about the best areas to live and get first hand honest advice on finding a home in the city or suburbs of your city of choice.
Cornerstone Ireland are delighted to assist with finding you the best rental accommodation to suit your needs in Dublin, Cork or wherever you decide to settle on the Emerald Isle.
Irelands tough rental market may be your biggest challenge upon relocating to Ireland. It considers itself to be in a “housing crisis” as the supply does not meet the demand. Rental prices are at an all-time high and you will find once a property is advertised to rent, it’s gone within a matter of days. You need to be prepared to move quickly.
We are here to advise you on the best areas to live based on your requirements. Perhaps you would like to live in the heart of Grand Canal in Dublin 2, in a modern apartment block overlooking the river Liffey and surrounded by the offices of some of the world’s leading tech companies? Or maybe you would prefer to live by the sea in popular Dun Laoghaire among the boats overlooking the harbour with an easy 35-minute commute into Dublin city centre?
Calculate your Cost to Move to Ireland
There are a number of costs to factor in when you are ready to embark on your move to Ireland. The costs associated with the move will differ hugely from person to person, depending on which city you chose to live in, the type of accommodation you wish to rent for example and if you have dependents or not.
Here are a few points to consider to get started:
- Work permit and visa fees to work and live in Ireland. The work permit application fee ranges from €500 to €1,000 (depending on how long you plan to stay) and the single-entry visa fee is €60.
- Cost of airfare or boat to travel to Ireland.
- Shipping costs if you are moving furniture and a large quantity of personal belongings from your home country. It is worth shopping around for the best price, but you could start with Irish Relo who will provide home to home moving and temporary storage.
- Temporary accommodation cost if you decide to rent a short term let for a few weeks while looking for your long-term accommodation. It is probably wise to budget €85 – €100 per night for a Dublin city centre apartment and €65 to €85 for Cork city centre.
- The cost of securing your long-term accommodation. This is the deposit (the equivalent of 1 months’ rent) and 1 months’ rent upfront. For example, you will need funds of €4,000 for a property which is renting for €2,000 per month.
- The cost of furnishing your new home if you chose an unfurnished place and if you decide not to move your furniture and other items from your home country.
These are just some costs that you should consider when calculating the cost of your move, but of course there will be others and the amount will vary for each person. Don’t hesitate to ask us for help to figure out what costs you might need to consider, and to organise any of these services. We are always happy to help!