What to know before your move from UK to Ireland

7 Things to know and do before moving from Canada to Ireland

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Known around the world for Saint-Patrick, Guinness and rugby, Ireland has a lot to offer Canadians who are looking to move out of the country. If you are looking for a great place to reside surrounding nature, music and culture, Ireland might be the place for you! 

If you are looking to move from Canada to Ireland, this article will provide you with an essential checklist of everything you need to know about moving to Ireland!

Moving from Canada to Ireland: Everything to know and do

What to know before your move from Canada to Ireland

1. First steps before moving to Ireland

Visa Requirements

As a Canadian Citizen, there are many ways you can move to Ireland. Ireland has all sorts of visas that will permit you to live in the country. Ireland’s visa application process is almost entirely done online which saves you a lot of time. 

The following visas are some of the most popular long stay visas. To find out more about the visa you need in your specific situation and to apply for an Irish Visa, visit Ireland’s Visa Application Website

Moving to Ireland on an Employment Visa

Before applying for your employment visa, you must obtain an employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (DJEI). After receiving your employment permit from the DJEI, you can apply for your employment visa up to 3 months before moving to Ireland. Go to Ireland’s Visa Application Website to apply for your employment visa.

Moving to Ireland on a Study Visa

You can apply for an Irish study visa if you’re planning to study in Ireland for over 3 months. Before applying for an Irish study visa, it is recommended by the Irish government to read the Policy for Non-EEA National Students. You can apply for your study visa up to 3 months before moving to Ireland. Go to Ireland’s Visa Application Website to apply for your study visa. 

Moving to Ireland on a Long Stay (Join Family) Visa

If you are planning to move to Ireland for over three months to join a family member who is an Irish citizen or lawfully resident, you must apply for a long stay (join family) visa. Before applying for a long stay (join family) visa, you must carefully read all the requirements. A long stay (join family) visa is one of the longest visas to process, so make sure you apply at least a year before you plan to move to Ireland. To apply for your long stay (join family) visa, go to Ireland’s Visa Application Website.

Taking care of your visa requirements is a crucial step before making any move from Canada to Ireland. 

Finding a job

As of August 2023, Ireland’s unemployment rate is 4.1% compared to the population of 5 million plus residents. 

Ireland has a high demand in many sectors including registered nurse, information security analyst, software engineer, e-commerce manager, digital content creator, UX/UI designer, financial advisor, automation engineer, sustainability manager, data scientist, to name a few. 

When finding a job in Ireland, you can use employment vacancies and internet job postings like Indeed and LinkedIn

Indeed (Oct 2023) & Central Statistics Office (August 2023)

Getting there 

You may make an informed decision on how to move to Ireland from Canada by looking into these options for transportation. 

Flying is the most convenient way to move to Ireland. You can book your flight to get there, for example through its major airport, Dublin International Airport. Be sure to arrive in Ireland two or three days before your move in date so you have time to take care of last-minute tasks. 

International Moving Company

Shipping your things to Ireland takes about 1-3 days by plane and 8-11 days by boat. You can easily move your things from Canada to Ireland by plane or boat, but make sure the moving company you decide on is reliable. So when opting for an international moving company, here’s what you should look for:

  • Insurance is included (ask what’s included)
  • Rates are not extravagant (compare with other companies)
  • They have many Google reviews that are over 4 stars.
  • Customer service and transparency is their priority.

Must dos before your arrival 

You may find it exciting and challenging to move to Ireland. You will be more prepared for your new life if you are aware of these things beforehand.

  • Find an international moving company. You can find a number of international moving companies that can move your belongings from Canada to Ireland. 
  • If you have a car you would like to bring to Ireland, make sure to do what is necessary for car shipping as well as auto insurance. It might be best to sell your Canadian car and purchase a new one in Ireland as it is best to travel light! 
  • Apartment Hunting: Plan ahead by researching and scheduling apartment visits before your arrival. This proactive approach will help streamline your housing search process and ensure a smoother transition.
  • Be prepared to learn new words and phrases as people from all around Ireland have a variety of accents and vocabulary! 
  • Ireland has two currencies, the euro (€) and the British pound sterling (£). The Republic of Ireland uses the euro. The British pound sterling is only used in Northern Ireland where the euro is not accepted. So if you’re traveling to Northern Ireland, make sure you bring enough pound sterling with you.

Car Shipping to Ireland 

Most Canadians choose to leave their cars behind when moving to Ireland due to the elevated shipping and import fees and the long vehicle inspection process. If you must absolutely ship your car to Ireland, here are the steps to follow:

  • Get various quotes from the best car shipping companies. A trusted car shipping company will have insurance, good reviews, and will make customer service their priority.
  • Choose the port of departure.
  • Choose the port destination.
  • Prepare the car by cleaning it and emptying the tank to ⅛ full or you may have to pay a fee upon arrival.

*Ask your chosen car shipping company for additional requirements.

2.Upon your arrival in Ireland

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.
  • It is important to immediately book an appointment with the Garda National Immigration Bureau to get your residence permit! 
  • It is also crucial to get your PPS Number or Personal Public Services registration as it is required to pay your taxes, get a driver’s license and have access to the healthcare system. You can get your PPS Number at your local Social Welfare Office or online on Ireland’s MyWelfare website.

Get your Residence Permit (GNIB Card)

Once you have arrived in Ireland you should immediately book an appointment with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to get your residence permit. This residence permit comes in the form of a card and costs around $460 CAD. Lines are often long so make sure you book an appointment as soon as possible. Find the location of your local GNIB office.


One of the first things you need to consider upon your arrival in Ireland is to know your healthcare options. 

Ireland has a fully government funded public healthcare system. To access Ireland’s healthcare system you must be living in Ireland as a resident for one year. After living in Ireland for one year, you may become fully eligible or partially eligible for access to Ireland’s healthcare system. For more information on how to access Ireland’s healthcare system as a Canadian, visit Ireland’s Our Health Service website

While the public healthcare system is free in Ireland, some still choose to opt for private health insurance. Having private health insurance in Ireland is beneficial as it may help you avoid the long wait times to see a doctor. The top private health insurance companies in Ireland are Irish Life Health, Laya Healthcare, VHI Healthcare, and HSF Health Plan. 

Setting up your cell phone

To make sure you can use your Canadian cell phone in Ireland, make sure it is unlocked prior to your arrival. Having an unlocked cell phone will allow you to purchase an Irish SIM card. SIM cards in Ireland cost around $25 CAD and can be purchased at any local phone shop. After purchasing your SIM card in Ireland, you can expect to have 25Gb of data with unlimited calling and texting for around $60 CAD per month. The top mobile phone service providers in Ireland are Vodafone, Eir and Three.

Ireland has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. You can expect to pay around $90 CAD for unlimited internet at 100 Mbps in Ireland. The top internet providers in Ireland are Siro, Vodafone, Eir, Pure Telecom, Sky, and Virgin. Virgin is known to have the highest internet speeds in Ireland.

Getting a driver’s license

You can use your Canadian driver’s license for up to 12 months when moving to Ireland. After 12 months, you must undergo a theory and practical driving test to get your Irish driver’s license. You must be a permanent resident. You are considered a resident in Ireland if you spend at least 185 days in each calendar year here due to personal or occupational ties.

To apply for your Irish driver’s license go to Ireland’s National Driver Licence Service Online

Car insurance in Ireland

Car insurance is mandatory in Ireland. Third-party liability insurance is the minimum level of insurance that you must purchase in Ireland. Driving without insurance in Ireland can get you fined up to 5000 euros and will cost you 5 penalty points. The top car insurance providers in Ireland are Chill, Allianz Ireland, Liberty Insurance, and AA Car Insurance. 

Setting up a bank account 

Opening a bank account in Ireland is essential. The most popular banks in Ireland are Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Permanent TSB, and Ulster Banks Ireland. 

While the required documentation depends heavily on each bank, you generally need two things: An I.D. number, and proof of your identity and address—a government-issued photo ID will suffice. 

3. Best places to live in Ireland

Best places to live in Ireland

Moving to Ireland means deciding where you want to live and considering your priorities. We’ve listed the best places to live in Northern Ireland!



Mid Ulster

Best for outdoor lovers


Best place to do water activities

Ards and North Down

Rich in history and culture


Perfect for beach lovers

Lisburn and Castlereagh

A perfect combination of rural and urban 

Setting up home services 

ESB (Electrical Supply Board) maintains and distributes electrical services in Ireland but you will have to contact your local supplier to have your electricity set up. Electricity is quite expensive in Ireland and payment needs to be made on a monthly basis. 

The case is somewhat similar for gas supply as electricity and gas are both supplied by a single service provider. The top electricity and gas providers in Ireland are Energia, SSE Airtricity, Flogas, Iberdrola, Bord Gáis Energy, Electric Ireland and Panda Power.

For water in Ireland, create an account with Irish water which is Ireland’s only water service provider. Tap water is drinkable and monitored by the local authorities to maintain its standard. There are no charges for water until a certain threshold, after which, charges start to apply. This is decided based upon the number of residents as per the Water Services Act 2017.

Should you rent or buy?

As of June 2023, the median cost of buying a property in Ireland is €318,000; as of October 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is €1,446.96.

Trusted websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove are often used to find available apartment listings and property or engage with real estate agents for assistance.

Central Statistics Office (August 2023) & Numbeo (Sept 2023)

4. Cost of living in Ireland


Monthly cost 

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list (€60.91 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 




*prices in Euros 

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

5. The weather in Ireland

Moving to Ireland from Canada simply means getting used to the local weather. Ireland has a pleasant, humid, and changeable climate with plenty of rain and a lack of temperature extremes that can be unpredictable at times. 

May and June are the sunniest months, while December and January are usually the wettest months.

Ireland’s location in the Atlantic Ocean, which is constantly warmed by the Gulf Stream, accounts for this. Winter temperatures range from 4.0 °C to 7.6 °C, while summer temperatures range from 12.3 °C to 15.7 °C. Summers in the area are usually pleasant, and winters are mild.

6. What to do as a local in Ireland

Residents of Ireland take pleasure in spending their weekends either watching or playing soccer — or as the Irish call it, football. The most popular team in Ireland is Manchester United, so be sure to catch a game to embrace the English culture. Ireland is also known for a sport not played in Canada, known as Gaelic football! 

Ireland is also known for its historical sites and pub culture. Don’t forget to take time for yourself over the weekend and relax with a beer or cold drink. One of the most popular pubs in Ireland is the Temple Bar in Dublin.

If you truly would like to become a local, be sure to explore local farmer’s markets and antique markets filled with unique products for your new home! 

7. Fun facts about Ireland

  • Fun Fact #1: St Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th is known for the tradition of celebrating Irish culture. It is a national holiday in Ireland! 
  • Fun Fact #2: Ireland is home to the Cliffs of Moher, which rise from the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Fun Fact #3: Ireland has two traditional sports known as Hurling and Gaelic football! 


Moving from Canada to Ireland is an exciting experience that promises a unique experience! It offers an appealing lifestyle, making it attractive to individuals, young professionals, and families alike. Ireland has several family-friendly neighborhoods and communities to offer to its new residents.

Are you planning to move soon? Check the best Removal Companies in Belfast to assist you.


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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