Guidance

Living in Ireland

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

Brexit: what you need to know

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 Brexit, 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.

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.

Healthcare

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.

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.

Tax

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 Revenue.ie have more information about tax in Ireland.

Pensions

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

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.

Benefits

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.

Voting

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.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

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).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

Emergencies

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.

Disclaimer

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 7 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. All content has been revised to ensure it's accurate and up to date.
  2. First published.