Moving to the UK from Ireland

Relocating from Ireland to the UK

Each year, thousands of Irish nationals make the decision to relocate from Ireland to the UK. From April 2023, it is estimated that 14,600 people moved from Ireland to the UK, up from 13,400 in the previous year. Irish nationals move to the UK for a wide range of reasons, including studying and working, and because of their family connections here. In this article, we will explain all you need to know about emigrating to the UK from Ireland in 2024, including the legal requirements, cost of living, steps you will need to take, benefits, post-Brexit considerations, setting up your finances in the UK, coming here to work, and provide some useful moving from Ireland to the UK tips.

Moving to the UK from Ireland: Benefits

From a career perspective, the UK offers a wide range of job opportunities across various industries. In particular, cities like London, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh are renowned for their vibrant job markets and the potential they provide for career growth. This is also assisted by the fact that salaries here tend to be higher compared to those in Ireland; this is especially the case in the fields of finance, technology, and healthcare.

From an educational standpoint, the UK is home to some of the world’s top schools, colleges, and universities. If you have children, they will benefit from the enormous educational opportunities here. Likewise, if you plan to study at university in the UK, the sky truly is the limit.

Another key benefit of from Ireland to the UK is the level of cultural diversity. The UK is well known for its rich cultural diversity, offering opportunities to experience different cuisines, traditions, and lifestyles. Cities like London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bath and Leeds are genuine ‘cultural melting pots’. A related benefit is the opportunity to travel within Europe and beyond due to the ease of access and vast transport links available in the UK.

And finally, there are the cultural and entertainment opportunities in the UK, which are almost limitless. From world-class museums and galleries to theatres, music venues, and sports events, the UK offers a wealth of cultural and entertainment options.

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ireland

If you are considering moving from Ireland to the UK as an Irish citizen, there is no need for a visa. This is because of the Common Travel Area (CTA). The CTA is a common travel zone that incorporates the Republic of Ireland, the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Under the CTA, British and Irish citizens are able to travel freely and live in either jurisdiction. They also enjoy certain associated rights and privileges, including the right to work, study and even vote in some elections. Irish nationals can even access social welfare benefits and health services in the UK.

Moving from Ireland to the UK after Brexit

The fact that Ireland is in the Common Travel Area means that Irish nationals are not impacted by Brexit to the same degree that other EU nationals have been. If you want to live and study or work in the UK, there is nothing to stop you from doing so, even Brexit!

How to set up your finances in the UK

If you need to open a UK bank account before you leave, it may be easier to make an application through an Irish bank with a presence in Northern Ireland, such as the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank. Depending on their rules, they may require you to go in person or allow you to make an application by post. Alternatively, you can open a bank account in the UK when you arrive. You will normally need a UK address before you can open a UK bank account.

Emigrating to the UK as a non-Irish National

If you live in Ireland but are not an Irish citizen and you want to live in the UK, how you do this will depend on your unique circumstances. If you don’t have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme because you lived in the UK in the past, it is most likely that you may need to apply for a visa before coming to the UK (e.g. work or study). If you plan to travel to the UK as a non-Irish national for more than 6 months, you will need to apply for a travel visa. We recommend speaking to an immigration Solicitor who can explain your immigration options before coming to the UK from Ireland.

Joining UK Family Members as a Non-Irish National

If you are a non-Irish national living in Ireland and you wish to join your family in the UK, it is important to understand the immigration routes that apply to you. If you are married to an Irish or British citizen, or you have EU family members in the UK, it may be possible for you to gain pre-settled or settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

Emigrating from Ireland to the UK to Work

One of the key benefits of moving to the UK from Ireland is that you do not need to apply for a work visa or be sponsored by your employer here. As Ireland is a member of the Common Travel Area, Irish nationals are free to work in the UK without restriction.

Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the UK from Ireland

What is the cost of living in the UK?

The overall cost of living in the UK is lower relative to that in Ireland, and you may find that some prices are much lower in the UK. Here are how some of the most common costs compare between the UK and Ireland:

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  • The average of a home in the UK currently stands at around £284k, while in Ireland, the average is broadly similar at €323,000
  • Consumer prices in Ireland are 4.5% higher than in the UK (without rent being taken into account )
  • Consumer Prices including rent in Ireland, are 14.3% higher than in the UK
  • Cars and other vehicles are generally cheaper in the UK compared to Ireland
  • Restaurant prices in Ireland are 3.1% higher than in the UK
  • Groceries prices in Ireland are 5.8% higher than in the UK
  • Utility costs tend to be lower in Ireland (e.g. electricity and heating costs) by up to 30%
  • Mobile phone plans are typically cheaper in the UK by up to 45%
  • Home broadband is also around 35% cheaper in the UK than in Ireland

So while some costs may be higher in the UK, on the whole, the cost of living is, on balance, lower compared to Ireland. Irish citizens who wish to study at a UK University are also only required to pay domestic study fees (as opposed to full international fees).

Moving to the UK from Ireland checklist

There are factors to consider when moving to a new country. We recommend ensuring that you have considered all of the following items before you leave and when you arrive:

Before you leave for the UK

  • Make sure that your EU passport is up to date
  • Make sure that your qualifications and work-related accreditations are valid in the UK
  • Get any important documents translated into English if necessary
  • Research where you plan to live and make sure that you can easily commute to your new place of work
  • Secure your housing arrangements in the UK
  • Speak to the schools in your proposed local area to make sure there is a place for your children
  • Check the availability of property in your proposed area and determine if this is affordable for you.
  • Make sure your EU driving licence is up to date - you can drive in the UK on a full, valid driving licence from an EU country until the age of 70. You can apply to exchange your driving licence for a UK one at any time
  • Make arrangements to transfer your money from your Irish bank account to
  • Change your address with any authorities, organisations, or businesses you deal with
  • Arrange to have your post redirected to your address in the UK
  • Arrange for the disconnection of any utilities and services in Ireland and
  • Arrange a removal company or other method of moving your possessions

Once you have arrived in the UK

  • Get a National Insurance Number
  • Set up any essential services in your new home, such as electricity, gas, water, and internet.
  • Open a bank account in the UK if you haven’t already done so
  • Make sure you have all of the necessary home, car and other insurance you need
  • Join local community groups or expatriate networks to meet people and ease your transition into your new environment.

Final words

Moving to the UK from Ireland is extremely straightforward. The language is the same, the distance is small, and the cultures are very similar. If you are unsure of your rights to live in the UK (e.g. if you are a non-Irish national), it is advisable to speak to an immigration Solicitor. They will be able to recommend the easiest way for you to emigrate from Ireland to the UK in the shortest possible time and with the least cost and administrative overhead.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

Moving From Ireland to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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Moving From Ireland to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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