Living in Ireland

Official information British people moving to and living in Ireland need to know, including EU Exit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.

EU Exit: what you need to know

Sign up for email alerts on living in Ireland.

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Ireland while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate EU Exit, you should:

Before you go

See our travel advice for Ireland and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. You can check a passport for travel to Europe.

Citizens Information has advice about moving to and living in Ireland.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for Ireland in our travel advice.

For British and Irish citizens, see entry requirements for Ireland


See our travel advice for Ireland.

The NHS has for information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Ireland.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

Once you’re registered as resident, you can get the same healthcare as an Irish citizen – you’ll need to apply for a medical card or a GP card. You can also take out private health insurance.

See hospitals and doctors in Ireland. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Ireland.

S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Ireland and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pensions Centre.

Working in Ireland

See working in another EU country.

For British and Irish citizens, see working in another EU country

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check). You can also get a Police Certificate from the Gardaí.

See also Citizens Information – employment.


See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Ireland.

Citizens Information and have more information about tax in Ireland.


See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

The UK Government will continue to pay state pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU after the UK’s exit from the EU. Find guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.

If you’ve worked in Ireland, you should apply to the Department of Social Protection.

If you haven’t worked in Ireland, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

See also Citizens Information – pensions.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.


See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

If you’re habitually resident in Ireland, you may be eligible to claim some Irish social security benefits – see Irish social welfare payments.

Driving in Ireland

See driving abroad and road travel in Ireland.

It’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile while driving and to not wear seatbelts in both front and rear seats.

See converting your driving licence to an Irish driving licence.

See importing a vehicle into Ireland and taking a vehicle out of the UK.


See voting when you’re abroad.

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Ireland, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.

See also Citizens Information – voting.


See register a birth abroad.


See what to do after someone dies and list of funeral directors in Ireland.

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).


See travelling with pets.

UK nationals will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a pet (cat, dog or ferret) when the UK leaves the EU, but the rules will change. See pet travel to Europe after Brexit for more information.


As well as the European emergency number 112, Ireland also has the national emergency number 999.

See Ireland – security and emergency services.

If you need urgent help, contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad and Citizens Information – housing.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

See Citizens Information – leaving Ireland.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.


Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Irish authorities. The FCO will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 14 May 2013
Last updated 18 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. EU exit update - updated information on pensions and passports
  2. EU Exit update: We have added information about the Common Travel Area under the Visas and Residency and Working in Ireland sections.
  3. EU exit update: Added in link to information about the Common Travel Area and citizens rights.
  4. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.
  5. All content has been revised to ensure it's accurate and up to date.
  6. First published.