Returning to Ireland

Are you an Irish citizen living abroad and thinking about moving home?

Irish emigrants return to Ireland for many reasons. You may be coming back to work, or to retire. You may have children and want them to grow up closer to family, or maybe you’re moving home to care for a family member.

Whatever your reason for returning to Ireland and whatever stage of life you’re at, we have the information you need to plan your journey.

The Returning to Ireland portal on is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs. You can explore the portal using the links below.

Explore the Returning to Ireland portal

Planning your journey home

Practical information for planning your journey home, including bringing your belongings and pets, importing a vehicle, authenticating documents, and customs charges.

Residency and citizenship

Includes information about citizenship, getting passports for children born abroad, and bringing your non-EEA spouse or partner to Ireland with you.

Finding somewhere to live when you return to Ireland

Information on social housing supports, how to find a home to rent, rent regulations, getting a mortgage and buying property, and schemes to improve an existing property.

Retiring in Ireland

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 (Fair Deal Scheme).

Organising your finances

Information on opening a bank account, the tax system in Ireland, taking out a loan, credit history, and insurance policies.

Applying for social welfare when you return to Ireland

Outlines how the social welfare system works in Ireland, what supports are available, residence requirements and how to apply for support if you need it.

Starting work

Includes recognition of your foreign education and training qualifications, contracts of employment, paying income tax and understanding your employment rights in Ireland.

Setting up a business in Ireland

Information on starting a business in Ireland, hiring staff, becoming self-employed, and supports for small business owners.

Looking after your health

Outlines the Irish health system and how it works, your entitlement to public healthcare, getting private health insurance, and access to healthcare for visitors.

Getting around in Ireland

Includes buying a car, converting your foreign driving licence to an Irish licence, getting car insurance, and using the public transport network.

Coming home to Ireland with children

Includes having a baby in Ireland, your childcare options, getting a PPS number for your children, and social welfare payments for families and children.

Education and schooling

Information on early childhood education, enrolling your children in school, getting an exemption from Irish, and fees for third-level education.

Can't find what you're looking for?

If you can’t find what you are looking for, or if you have suggestions on what we can do better, please let us know. Email

Page edited: 24 October 2023