Returning to Ireland

Are you an Irish citizen living abroad and thinking about making the move home again? Or maybe you’ve already made the move and have recently returned to Ireland.

Irish emigrants return home for many different reasons and in many different situations. You may be returning to work, set up a business, to study, to care for a family member or retire. You may be returning alone, with a partner, with your children or joining a family member in Ireland.

Whatever your reason for coming home and whatever stage of life you are at, we have the information you need to start a life in Ireland again. If you are making an unplanned return to Ireland, you can read more about returning in a crisis.

Returning to Ireland from Citizens Information.

Planning your journey home Residency and citizenship Finding somewhere to live
Practical information for your journey home including bringing pets, importing a vehicle, authenticating documents and customs. Includes citizenship and passports for children born abroad, bringing your non-EEA spouse or partner, family reunification for dependants. Information on finding a home to rent or buy, new rent regulations, getting a mortgage and your rights as a landlord.
Education and schooling Starting work Organising your finances
Information on enrolling your children in school, school admissions policies, exemptions from Irish and fees for third-level education. Includes recognition of foreign qualifications, contracts of employment, paying income tax and understanding your employment rights. Information on the tax system in Ireland, taking out a loan, credit history, opening a bank account and insurance policies.
Looking after your health Getting around in Ireland Applying for social welfare
Outlines the health system and how it works, your entitlement to public healthcare, getting private health insurance and access to healthcare for visitors. Includes buying a car, converting your foreign driving licence to an Irish license, getting car insurance and information about the public transport network. Outlines how the social welfare system works, what supports are available, residence requirements and how to apply for support if you need it.
Coming home with children Retiring in Ireland Setting up a business
Includes having a baby in Ireland, your childcare options, getting a PPS number for your children, and social welfare payments for families and children. Information for people planning to retire in Ireland including entitlement to Irish State pensions, housing for older people, free travel and the Nursing Home Support Scheme. Information on starting a business, becoming self-employed, investing in Ireland and applying for reliefs and incentives for small business owners.

If you cannot find what you are looking for or have any suggestions on what we could do better, please let us know. You can email

The Citizens Information Board have developed this Returning to Ireland resource with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Page edited: 4 April 2022