Moving abroad from Ireland


If you are planning to move abroad, you can prepare yourself in advance by getting as much information as possible about the country to which you are travelling. You can search for this information online and also get information from your travel agent or the embassy of the relevant country. You can use the library and, if possible, get in touch with people who have lived there previously. When you arrive at your destination, you may find that a lot of the attitudes and practices that you take for granted and consider "normal" are in fact peculiar to Irish culture. It can take time to settle into a new way of life.

Before you leave

Whether you are planning to spend time travelling abroad or are moving to another country to work, our document on general tips for travelling abroad outlines what you need to do before you leave. For example, you should apply for an Irish passport if you don’t have one already. It is important to consider what the health issues are. If you are going to the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland to travel or look for work you should get the European Health Insurance Card. If you are travelling outside the EEA, you are strongly advised to seek specific holiday or health insurance before you travel and you should also check if you need to get vaccinations. You can check whether you can use or exchange your Irish driving licence when you move abroad. Before you leave you should check our documents on useful documentation to bring and diplomatic supports for Irish people abroad.

Crosscare Migrant Project has information on what to consider before you leave.

Working abroad

Whether you are planning to work within the European Union (EU) or work in a country outside the EU, you may find advertisements for jobs abroad in Irish and foreign newspapers as well as on job websites.

European Union: You can find out about work and retirement in the EU on It has information on a range of topics including residence formalities and travel. If you are planning to work in the EU you should also check with your local employment services office or Intreo centre. Each office has a EURES noticeboard advertising vacancies from a range of European countries. Crosscare Migrant Project has published an information leaflet called Leaving Ireland for Europe? (pdf).


If you are interested in working as a volunteer in another country there is information here about volunteering opportunities abroad.

Social security

If you leave Ireland to live or work in another country or if you are returning to your own country having worked in Ireland you may be entitled to receive social security benefits in the country you are moving to. You can find information about it in our document on social security arrangements between Ireland and other countries. If you leave your employment to work as a volunteer development worker you may be entitled to credited social security contributions.

Page edited: 25 April 2017