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5 Ways To Immigrate To Ireland

We can all agree that Ireland is a fantastic place to visit or live. The country has seen an increase in the number of immigrants in recent years. The reasons for this increase are varied and the processes as well. So, let’s take a look at the top 5 ways to legally immigrate to Ireland:


There are those people who are looking to move to Ireland for employment-related reasons, or just want look for employment in the country. Well, if you are one of these people, there are steps that you will have to take so as to get the work permit. First, you will need to research on the immigration laws of Ireland that are specific to your home country. You can get this information through the Naturalisation and Immigration Service of Ireland. Secondly, you find whether you will need a visa to be allowed in the country, or not. Note this, if you live in countries like Canada, Mexico, USA or any European country, you probably don’t need a visa. But if you don’t reside in any of these countries, you will have to apply for a visa. You can do this at a Consulate or an Irish embassy. Also, note this, the visa only allows you to seek entry to the country but does not guarantee entry. Thirdly, you will need to find employment in a category that will enable you to have work permit or a Green Card. These jobs are categorised into two: one that includes 30’000 EUR or more as a salary and one that includes 60’000 EUR or more. This jobs should be in occupations that are considered to be ‘strategically important’, such as IT professionals, nurses and high skilled jobs. The fourth step is to apply for a work permit, which could be done by either you or your employer. To acquire the green card, it will cost you 1000 EUR and will be valid for 2 years. The fifth step is to register with the immigration department. Once your work permit and visa application become successful, you can now travel to Ireland. Upon arrival, you have a period of 90 days to register your residency with the Immigration bureau. Lastly, if you wish to remain and retire in the country, ensure that you get permission. But you have to prove to immigration officers that you won’t be a burden to the country. Once you prove this, you will be allowed to live there for a period of five years, during which you may renew your permission before the end of the period.


For students seeking to study in Ireland, there are several steps which you have to follow before you are allowed in the country. They include the following: first, you will have to determine your student status, whether you are under the degree or non-degree Programme. In 2010, there were new guidelines put in place dividing students’ regulation. The Degree Programme covers full-time students pursuing a bachelor’s degree to a doctorate degree, whereas the Non-Degree Programme covers those pursuing English language or further education courses. Secondly, apply for a visa if you need one, at the Irish embassy in your country of residence. Thirdly, you will have to register with immigration department in Ireland. If you have enrolled to the university and have been accepted on a degree or a non-degree programme, and have a visa, you can now travel to Ireland where you will have 90 days to register your residence with the immigration bureau. This should be done in person, so, present yourself to the immigration officer in the Garda station, either in Dublin or any other station outside Dublin. 

Long-term residency or asylum

The first step towards long term residency in Ireland is determining whether you actually qualify to be a long term resident. Some of the allowable situations are when a non-Irish citizen becomes dependents or a spouse to an Irish citizen, or a worker who has been residing in the country legally for more than five years. Also, if a citizen is granted long term residency in Ireland, his/her spouse can apply to be a long term resident as well. The second step is to go ahead and apply through the Irish naturalisation and immigration Service. The documents that will be needed include visas, passport, work permits, certificate of registration, and any proof of residency or relationship. A fee of 500 EUR will also be needed. This process may take several months to be finalised. The third step is to renew your long term status since it expires after every five years. If you have been granted the long term status before, and want to renew it, you don’t need to apply again, just present yourself to your local immigration office and renew it. Lastly, find out if you qualify for refugee status for permits in the country. This status is granted to an individual with a well-founded fear of being harmed on the basis of religion, race, membership to a particular political opinion or social group, nationality, or is out of home country and is unable to avail him or herself to her country for security reasons. Such persons can seek asylum in Ireland. They just need to present themselves to an immigration officer for interview, and thereafter sent to the Refugee Office for further application processes.

Becoming an Irish citizen 

This is the fourth method to look at if you are looking to migrate to Ireland. The first step towards becoming an Irish citizen is to familiarise yourself with all the requirements needed to be a citizen. The method in which a non-Irish citizen becomes a citizen is referred to naturalisation. For you to apply, you need to be 18 and above, have good character, be a resident in the country for a considerable amount of time, or make a declaration of loyalty. The second step is to figure out if you’ve been in the country long enough to apply for citizenship. You must have been a resident for several years to be even considered for application, let’s say 9 years. Also, ensure that you meet all the other requirements before considering to apply. If you have, apply for naturalisation. The immigration office will conduct a background check, where your financial status will be also assessed. This process will take time, so be patient. Once this process is done, your application will be sent to the justice minister who has the absolute power to either accept or reject your application.

Immigrant investor programme 

This programme provides approved non-Irish investors with a range of investment options, thus allowing them and their immediate families to come to the country through multi-entry visas and stay up to 5 years with a chance of continual renewal. When the investor invests in Ireland, he/she contributes to the country’s economic growth and also creates jobs for Irish people, which sits well with the Irish government. For you to be allowed in the country as an investor, you must have legally acquired and owned the funds you are looking to invest. Note: borrowed funds are not allowed. The minimum net worth of the applicant has to be at least €2 million. Also, you must be of good character and must not have any criminal charges in any jurisdiction. If you meet the above requirements, you can apply on any of the investment options offered by the government, and if approved, you and your family are granted permission to reside in the country. Also, this permission is only renewed for three more years, after the first five years. If the investor plans on staying in the country longer, they are allowed to apply for long term residence. But remember, you don’t have to reside in the country after starting your business, but you will be required to visit the country at least once in a year. 

Looking for more advice on Ireland immigration? Book an initial consultation with our immigration solicitors.


5 thoughts on “5 Ways To Immigrate To Ireland”

  1. Muhammad ilyas Ahmed

    I am pharmacist having 22 years of experience in pharmaceutical sales internationally. I got information regarding a scheme from Government of Ireland for people outside Ireland to move and live in the rural area. The Government will provide some amount of money for living, I am interested and want to know about the authenticity of this scheme.
    With best regards
    Muhammad Ilyas Ahmed

  2. I am a management consultant having 25 years of experience from Pakistan. I got information regarding a scheme from Government of Ireland for people outside Ireland to move and live in the rural area or some urban locations. The Irish Government will provide some amount of money for living as intensive, I am interested and want to know about the authenticity of this scheme or if you can provide some additional information you can provide.

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