How to Move to Ireland from the USA

Rolling green hills, delicious beer, and more rain than you can shake a stick at. When you think of Ireland, these details are just a few details in a very tall iceberg.

Ireland remains one of the top destinations for Americans seeking (literally) greener pastures. With a blend of economic and environmental benefits, it’s not hard to see why this country is so beloved. Are you considering moving to Ireland from the USA?

We’re going to help you learn the ins and outs of the moving process, from acquiring a visa to getting settled.

Here are some other articles that might help you plan your move:
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  • How much will your move cost?: This cost calculator will provide an immediate calculation of what your move should cost. Just plug in your moving dates, the size of your move, where you’re moving to/from and let the calculator do the rest.
  • Best moving containers: Need a more budget-friendly option? With these companies, you load, and they drive! These are the best moving container companies.
  • Best car shippers: Moving your car? Use a company that prioritizes professionalism, cares for your vehicle and is experienced.

How Much Does it Cost to Move from the USA to Ireland?

Home Size Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company Truck Rental
Studio/1 Bedroom $1,680-$5,840 $1,923-$2,429 $1,520-$2,160 $1,093-$1,509
2-3 Bedrooms $2,200-$8,050 $2,422-$3,650 $2,185-$3,180 $1,142-$1,763
4+ Bedrooms $3,885-$10,300 $3,273-$4,134 $2,850-$3,600 $1,444-$1,949

*Pricing above does not include gas, tolls, lodging, and other related moving expenses.

Cost of Shipping to Ireland from the US

The cost of moving to Ireland from the United States is relatively inexpensive.

The following table shows average shipping costs and transit times along popular routes from the United States to Ireland:

Route Average cost Average transit time
New York to Dublin $910 9-10 days
Houston to Limerick $1,560 15-18 days
Los Angeles to Galway $2,675 24-29 days
  • Moving from New York to Dublin generally costs about $910 and takes 9 or 10 days
  • Moving from Houston to Limerick generally costs about $1,560 and takes between 15 and 18 days
  • Moving from Los Angeles to Galway generally costs about $2,675 and takes between 24 and 29 days

Please note that these figures are estimates based on data from a relatively small sample size. Your move costs will vary depending on your origin and destination locations, which moving services you need, and which insurance option you purchase.

Cost of Flying Goods to Ireland from the US

Air freight is definitely the fastest option, but it can be nearly 20 times more expensive than shipping items by sea.

The following table shows average air freight costs and transit times for a 55o-pound parcel being shipped from the United States and Ireland:

Route Average cost Average transit time
New York to Dublin $2,460 6-8 hours
Houston to Limerick $2,445 9-12 hours
Los Angeles to Galway $2,520 10-13 hours
  • Air freight shipments between New York and Dublin generally cost $2,460 and take between 6 and 8 hours
  • Air freight shipments between Houston and Limerick generally cost $2,445 and take between 9 and 12 hours
  • Air freight shipments between Los Angeles and Galway generally cost $2,530 and take between 10 and 13 hours

It’s worth noting that many air freight shipments include expensive professional gear that may require special handling and supplemental insurance to ensure it’s protected while in transit.

Cost of Living in Ireland

According to various sources, the overall cost of living in Ireland is between 1% and 10% less expensive than it is in the United States.

The following table shows the average costs for various goods and services in Ireland:

Good / service Average cost in USD
Pint of beer $6.05
Monthly gym membership $52.50
Liter of gas $1.70
A bottle of wine $12.25
Liter of milk $1.30
Loaf of bread $1.70
Dozen eggs $3.55
Local public transport ticket $3.10
Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment $1,275
Monthly rent for a 3-bedroom apartment $2,065
  • A pint of beer costs about $6 in Ireland (the average price in the US is about $4.75)
  • A dozen eggs cost about $3.55 in Ireland (the average price in the US is approximately $3)
  • The average cost for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,275 in Ireland (it’s about $1,495 in America)

Working, Wages, and Taxes in Ireland

Despite its relatively small size, Ireland has a robust and diversified economy that has been a magnet for large global tech companies in recent years.

The following table shows average salaries in Ireland and the United States according to Jobted.

Country Average weekly salary Average annual salary
United States $1,028 $53,490
Ireland €850 (904 USD) €44,202 (47,050 USD)
  • Across all industries, wages are generally about 12% lower in Ireland than in the United States

Ireland has a relatively simple two-tier income tax system. Though there are exceptions, individual workers who make less than €35,300 (about $42,500) are taxed at the standard rate of 20%, while wages over this limit are typically taxed at 40%.

How to Move to Ireland from the USA

Just like any other country, Ireland has a unique set of rules and regulations on who can move there. The pandemic makes things a little more difficult due to changing limitations based on current outbreaks.

While Ireland has been cracking down hard on COVID-19 outbreaks, the government has remained relatively open to newcomers. As of recent reports, international visitors are more than encouraged to visit or live in Ireland. Face coverings are highly recommended, so stock up on masks and hand sanitizer before you go.

Can US Citizens Move to Ireland?

Did you know Ireland is ranked number seven on the list of the highest number of immigrants in proportion to the population? This country is well-known for embracing newcomers with open arms, even during a global pandemic.

Obtaining a Visa to Ireland

Your first step on obtaining a visa to Ireland is making sure you have a passport. Your American passport will be your strongest foundation on establishing a new life.

Your passport allows you to visit Ireland for vacation, business, or family purposes for up to three months (or ninety days). If you want to live in Ireland for the long term, you need to obtain a valid visa. Ireland boasts a wealth of useful visas to fit your unique living situation.

The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Services will provide you with an appropriate visa once they check your background history, passport, and documentation. A few of the visas you should consider applying for include (but aren’t limited to):

Short stay visa

Long stay visa

Transit visas

Multiple entry visas

Re-entry visas

According to InterNations, work visas in Ireland generally cost between $560 and $1,100 (about 500 to 1,000 EUR) depending on visa type, length of stay, and special qualifications.

If you plan on working in Ireland, you also need to obtain an employment permit and open up a bank account. The former is sometimes called a work visa or work permit.

What to Expect From the Visa Process

The visa process is generally long and convoluted in any country. Ireland is no different. Expect to wait between six to eight weeks for your visa to be processed and approved.

Relocating is a famously difficult process. The more accurate your documentation, the smoother your visa process will be. There is no other way to speed up your application process outside of filling out your paperwork correctly.

How to Move Your Things from the USA to Ireland

Whether you want to move to Ireland for a new business opportunity or to start a family, you need to figure out the shipping process. Moving your things from the USA to Ireland is more convoluted than trying to move to your own state.

Does that mean you’re out of luck? Not at all. We have an array of convenient, affordable moving options for you to try below.

International Moving Companies are a Reliable Full Package

International moving companies know moving out of the country is difficult and tiring. As a result, they provide you the full package moving process from beginning to end.

Any international moving company worth their salt needs to make the moving process as easy as possible. These businesses provide you with a slew of tools including (but not limited to):

Full-service packing, unpacking, and transportation

Moving insurance

Moving supplies

Loading and unloading services

International shipping and customs clearance

Origin services and relationships with moving services in your country

General advice about settling down and moving into your new home

While the price of a full-service international moving company is a little higher than average, this service is well worth the money. If you’re a new mover or just don’t want to take chances on customs, we highly recommend these businesses.

International Container Companies Provide a Practical Alternative

More experienced movers do well with international container companies. These services allow you to take a higher level of control over when and where you move.

Container companies send you a few shipping containers to fill with your belongings, then take care of the driving responsibilities. These services are less expensive than a full-service move because you do the disassembling, packing, and loading. If you feel comfortable taking on more responsibility, consider this option for your overseas move.

Keep in mind that container companies have very strict cancellation policies and don’t always offer onsite storage. These features are due to the extreme distance needed for an international move.

Sea Freight is a Slower, Yet Useful Moving Option

Similar to international container companies, sea freight is a slow-yet-steady moving option. These moving services are quite customizable and are able to meet you halfway on both budget and amenities.

Unlike international container companies, sea freight still provides assistance with customs clearance, storage, and moving insurance. It’s helpful to think of moving services as a spectrum rather than an either-or scenario.

Shipping Companies Come in Many Shapes and Sizes

Last but not least, consider reaching out to general shipping companies. Your moving experience, budget, and belongings will have the final say on which option is best for you.

Shipping companies need to be vetted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. You can easily verify the validity of your company by checking their USDOT number. Once you’re done, double-check to see if the company is also certified in their state. You can find out by checking the state’s official website.

Don’t be so quick to move your household goods. Red flags of an untrustworthy shipping company include (but aren’t limited to):

No USDOT number

Not providing documentation in writing

Not taking photos of your belongings

Inconsistent pricing

Lowballing estimates

Attempts to rush the contract signing process

Cagey about questions or concerns

The sooner you start budgeting the cost of your international move, the better.

Why are People Moving to Ireland From the USA?

It’s no mystery why Ireland remains such a big draw for Americans. For many years, the United States’s dominant culture has been influenced by a large Irish immigrant population.

For some movers, heading to Ireland is a way of reconnecting with their roots. For other movers, Ireland is a prime opportunity to work, study, or start a new life. There are several benefits to moving to Ireland, as well as a few drawbacks you should be aware of.

Thinking of visiting Galway or Dublin? Let’s take a look at why you should set up your new home in the Emerald Isle.

What are the Benefits of Moving to Ireland?

Ireland is gorgeous, lively, and filled with fascinating culture at every corner. The benefits we’ve gathered generally relate to the well-tended environment, strong healthcare system, and safety.

The Jaw-Dropping Natural Beauty

Let’s make no bones about it: Ireland is simply stunning. This country is home to green hills, misty terrain, and easy access to the ocean.

While Ireland is home to patches of lush forests, much of the country is distinguished by rolling plains and rocky outcrops. Fans of the ocean will adore its wide beaches and seaside towns. If you like windy and rainy weather, Ireland also has this in spades.

A More Reliable Healthcare System

The American healthcare system has only grown more strained under the pandemic. Between a worker shortage and mounting insurance rates, many Americans leave precisely for this reason.

The Irish healthcare system is widely acknowledged as one of the best. Thanks to consistent funding, you are extremely unlikely to face the astronomical bills you’d get in the States. Depending on the health issue, your financial obligation is either very low or free. Medical insurance is also much less complicated as a result.

This Country Ranks High Among Safe Places to Live

Are you worried about petty crime or physical assault? Ireland is well known as being a very safe country to live in.

Crime rates in Ireland are pretty low compared to the United States, which is helped by strict gun control laws and low militarization. The 2020 Global Peace Index ranked Ireland as the 12th safest country. Compare this to the United States, which is at a staggering 121 on the same list.

Fantastic Food Scene

Irish food is absolutely delicious. Their close connection with the ocean means you’ll enjoy plenty of tasty seafood dishes alongside red meat or poultry.

Smoked salmon, irish stew, and soda bread are a few hallmarks of rustic Irish cuisine. If you’re a vegetarian, try their leek and potato soup or their vegetarian Shepard’s pie.

Beer Lovers Will Have a Field Day

Irish beer is next level. Home to the legendary Guinness brand, beer lovers will have a field day moving to Ireland.

There are an estimated 7,000 pubs in Ireland alone. The close proximity to other European countries means it’ll be easy to try English or German pubs, too!

Why Should I Not Move to Ireland?

Is moving to Ireland a good idea? Just like any other country, there are positives and negatives you should prepare for.

Ireland is Still a Pretty Expensive Place to Live

The United States is undergoing a massive rent and mortgage inflation. If you’re looking for financial relief moving to the Emerald Isle, prepare for disappointment.

The average monthly rent in a major Irish city is between $1,500 to $3,000. While you may have a better time saving money in a small town, you’ll have to contend with a big commute to work or school. House prices aren’t much better, hovering around $365,000 on average in the Irish real estate market.

If You Can’t Stand Rainy Weather, Stay Away

Ireland sees rainfall nearly half the year. If you prefer sunnier or hotter weather, this country might be a little difficult for expats to live in.

Are There Any Restrictions on Moving to Ireland?

The amount of restrictions on moving to Ireland are lower than average. As stated above, COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted on the majority of international travelers.

We recommend you stay up-to-date on recent law changes so you’re not caught unaware. Make sure to apply for your visa as soon as possible due to the likelihood of delays.

How Much Does it Cost to Move to Ireland From the US?

The amount it takes to move from Ireland to the United States depends on the size of your home and what moving method you choose. On average, expect to spend between a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand.

How Do I Get Irish Citizenship?

If you’re considering becoming an Irish citizen, you must apply for a naturalization process. You need to be at least eighteen years old, of good moral standing, and reside in the state of Ireland for the long-term.

What Places Should I Move to in Ireland?

Ireland is home to small towns, major cities, and balanced city-towns. We have a few recommendations to get you started.

Waterford is Quaint, Small, and Historical

If you want a slice of classic Irish culture at your doorstep, consider moving to Waterford. This city-town hovers around 55,000 people and is famed for its old-fashioned architecture. Family members will love the safe, peaceful community.

Limerick is a Lively and Exciting Locale

If the small-town vibe isn’t for you, consider Limerick. This city is the third largest in Ireland and is chock full of historical landmarks.

Settle Down in Romantic Cork

Go big or go home with Cork. This second-largest city is sometimes considered Ireland’s second capital for its economic and artistic relevance.


Moving to Ireland from the USA is a major decision. Before you go, get all your ducks in a row so you can get the most out of your experience.

Ireland is a beautiful country with a supportive healthcare system, low crime rate, and a brilliant food scene. The high cost of living and constant rainfall are a few downsides to be aware of. Moving to Ireland from the USA requires you to get your passport and visa accepted first.

We highly recommend inexperienced movers hire an international moving company. More experienced movers will fare well with an international shipping container service or sea freight.

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