Working in Ireland – what you need to know

Ireland is a small country with an enormous amount to offer, not least of which is a rich culture, diverse artistic talent, lively people and easily accessible stunning countryside. Whilst the weather is often lamented by the locals Ireland has a mild temperate climate and does not suffer from extremes.

Having weathered years of austerity the economy is now back on a growth trajectory and once more Ireland is the fastest growing economy in the euro zone.

For those who left Ireland to find work during the recession the time may be right to consider a move home. There are many great career opportunities in Ireland as companies look to grow their export trade, international experience is highly valued and sought after.

If you are considering returning home, or moving to Ireland for the first time we have put together a list of useful resources to help you plan that move.

Employment Legislation and VISA requirements

Irish Employment Legislation and Rights

Ireland has minimum standard employment legislation in place to provide rights to all employees. Rights can vary between industries, but there are minimum standards in place. Below are small excerpts of these standards. Please visit the citizen’s information website to familiarise yourself with Irish employment rights.

VISA Requirements

  • If you are not an Irish citizen returning home, the visa you need will depend on what country you are from. You must apply for a visa online unless you are resident in Ireland and applying for a re-entry visa.
  • Please visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website to find out more about getting a visa to come and work in Ireland.
  • It is important to note that if you require a visa to work in Ireland that you should apply at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure. Details of the requirements and current processing times are on the INIS website.

Permits and PPS number



In Ireland there are nine types of employment permits offered .Please visit the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and innovation website for further information on how to apply for which permit depending on your circumstances.

PPS Number

  • Before you start work, you need to apply for a Personal Public Service Number (PPS number).
  • You must be in Ireland to apply for a PPS number
  • You can apply for a PPS number online on the department of social protection website.
  • Your Personal Public Service Number (PPS number) is a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland.
  • Before you can be allocated a PPS number, you must show that you need one for a transaction with a specified body. For example, if you are taking up employment, you need a PPS number to register with the Revenue Commissioners.



The Revenue Commissioners, is the Irish Government agency responsible for customs, excise, taxation and related matters.


Please visit the Revenues website for more information on taxation in Ireland. Please note that if you are working in Ireland for the first time, whether you are from Ireland or from abroad, you will need to have your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) in order to register for tax purposes.

If you are moving to Ireland you need to know about residency for tax purposes. You will also be entitled to certain income tax credits and reliefs. For example, tax relief is available for certain medical expenses. When you are opening a bank account in Ireland, you have to provide proof of your identity and of your address in Ireland.

Below are some useful Tax Calculators to see how Ireland’s most recent budget will affect your earnings.

Ernst & Young




Social security entitlements

There may be some significant differences between the social security system here and the country where you live so we recommend that you familiarise yourself with any differences before moving to Ireland. You can find out more about moving to Ireland and your social security entitlements on the welfare website.

Bank Account

To open a bank account when you move to Ireland you will need-

  • Your passport
  • PPS number/ utility bill (proof of address in Ireland)

The most popular banks in Ireland are- is a website which compares the best current account offers across Irish banks.

Health services

If you are normally resident in Ireland, you are entitled to a range of health services that are either free of charge or subsidised by the Irish Government. You are considered to be normally resident if you are planning to live in Ireland for a year or more. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a medical card which entitles you to certain health services at no cost. GP Visit Cards entitle you to free GP (family doctor) visits.

In addition to the public health system, people in Ireland can avail of a range of private health care services. There are a number of private health insurance companies in Ireland, for more information on private and public healthcare in Ireland please visit the citizen’s information website.


If you are moving to Ireland with your family you can find information about education in Ireland by going onto the Department of Education’s website.

You can also save money by buying, selling or exchanging second hand school books from the website.

Children are entitled to free education in publicly funded primary and second level schools.

Pre-school is optional in Ireland. Under the ECCE scheme children are entitled to a year of free pre-schooling in the year prior to starting primary schools. Prior to this, parents must pay for their children to attend.

The scheme provides three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks and children must be aged between three years two months and four years seven months on 1st September of the year that they commence. If your child attends the care service for longer than this, then you will be charged for that extra time. To qualify for free third-level fees you must have been resident in Ireland or another EU country for 3 years.



Rental Accommodation in Ireland

There are a number of online resources that will help you find rental accommodation in Ireland, short or long term:

Rental Disputes

Ireland has a Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) which resolves disputes between landlords and tenants and also operates the National Tenancy Registration System. All landlords must register their tenancies with the PRTB. Once registered, you will receive a letter in the mail with unique identifying number. You need to keep this number safe as you will need it if you ever need to deal with the PRTB. Their website also contains lots of useful information as well as details about your rights, responsibilities, and obligations as a tenant.

Driving In Ireland and Transport


Driving In Ireland

Full driving licences from all other EU member states (and some other countries) are recognised for use in Ireland. It may be possible to convert your driving licence to an Irish one.

If you want to bring your car to Ireland you need to know about importing a car and implications for Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT).


Value Added Tax (VAT)

You are liable to pay the standard Value Added Tax (VAT) when you purchase a vehicle in Ireland.

You may also be liable to pay VAT for new vehicles that you import into Ireland, even if you paid VAT in the country that you purchased it from.


Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

Vehicle Registration (VRT) must be paid on all new vehicles purchased in Ireland as well as on vehicles that you import into Ireland.

If you purchase the vehicle from a motor dealer in Ireland, then the dealer is obliged to pay the VRT and register the vehicle before handing it over to you.

Motor Tax

The Irish Government imposes motor tax on all vehicles. Once your car has been registered, you will receive the Form RF100 Motor Tax Application which you will need to complete in order to pay the required motor tax.


National Car Test (NCT)

The National Car Test (NCT) is required for all vehicles 4 years or older, regardless if the vehicle has undergone similar testing in other countries. The NCT assesses your vehicle for road worthiness e.g. brakes, rust, steering, emissions etc.… The NCT needs to be carried out every two years, but for vehicles older than 10 years it will need to be carried out annually. If you do not get your vehicle tested as scheduled, you will face fines and penalty points.

Learn more about the NCT and to find your local testing centre.

Motor Vehicle Insurance

There are many motor vehicle insurance providers in Ireland including: Aig, Allianz, FBD, Liberty, nononsense, Zurich,


The National Transport Authorities website  for Ireland is an essential resource for planning your trip anywhere around Ireland. The planner provides timetable and map information from all licensed public transport providers across all of Ireland.

You can also download the free Journey Planner app from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Windows Store.


A Leap Card is a re-usable smartcard that enables you to pay for public transport around Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford. It saves you carrying change and Leap Card fares are cheaper than cash tickets. Leap Card users in Dublin also benefit from smart discount features such as Capping and Leap 90.

The leap card is a pay as you go smart card used on the following public transport:


Irelands City Bike Scheme

The Dublin scheme website is and Cork, Limerick and Galway share the same website

Ireland’s Cycle Planner is also a very useful to help you get around.

Moving with Pets

There are strict regulations about importing pets from abroad, so you need to find out about the procedures for bringing your pet to Ireland. The movement of live animals to and from Ireland is regulated by Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.  Once your dog arrives in Ireland you will need to get a dog licence which can be done at your local post office or online from the following local authorities.

Further information

There are numerous on-line resources providing comprehensive information for those looking to move to Ireland, or returning after a period abroad.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has an excellent online resource for people looking to work and live in Ireland.

The Citizens Information Board also provide excellent information on moving to Ireland.

If you are coming to live in Ireland for the first time you can check the website.

If you are coming back to live in Ireland again you can find more information on returning to Ireland on the Crosscare Migrant Project website.

Country Code: +353

International Access Code: 00353

Emergency Services (Police, Fire, and Ambulance): In Ireland both phone numbers 999 and 112 can be used.

Embassies and Consulates in Ireland: For a full list of the foreign embassies and consulates in Ireland, refer to the department of foreign affairs website.