Why do Expats Choose to Move to Dublin?

 Why do Expats Choose to Move to Dublin?

Dublin is globally known for its quickly-developing economy. Due to the fact that it is not a part of the United Kingdom and the official currency there is the Euro, relocating to Ireland for work is easier than moving to the UK since the regulations have changed. What makes life easier while job hunting in Ireland is that English is the dominant language there – although that does not mean that it is the only language in which you can find a job in.

With English being one of the two official languages in Ireland, you won’t have to worry about the language barrier or navigating the job market in a language you’re barely familiar with. Perhaps the confidence that comes with it is one of the reasons why so many expats choose Dublin as their destination. 

What sectors are in demand in Dublin?

Dublin is undergoing a business boom right now. Especially the technology sector is growing rapidly, with big international companies such as Google, HubSpot or Microsoft setting up their offices in Dublin. Due to the international character of those businesses, employers are actively looking for multilingual candidates for Sales and Customer Service roles.

Work permit in Dublin

Citizens coming from outside of the EU must hold a valid employment permit in order to legally work in Ireland. EU/EEA citizens are automatically granted the same employment rights as Irish citizens and can apply for any job without the need to obtain a work permit. They must, however, have a valid ID or passport. It is not necessary for EU/EEA nationals to register with the local immigration office upon arrival to the country. It is also not required for them to get a residence permit, either.

The visa system in Ireland is easy to understand. If you intend to stay for less than 90 days, you need to apply for the C-type visa. If your stay will exceed 90 days, you must obtain the D-type visa. If you need the D-type visa, you will also have to apply for immigration permission. It will be printed on an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card and sent to you by post once you register. 

Social Security

In order to gain access to the social welfare and public services offered by the Irish government, you need the Personal Public Service Numer (PPS). The PPS number gives you access to:

  • All social welfare services
  • The Free Travel Pass (available for those aged 66 and over & social welfare beneficiaries)
  • Public health services
  • Housing grants
  • Working benefits such as: maternity, illness, jobseeker’s, carer’s, as well as the invalidity and state pension
  • Driver licenses 
  • Pupil ID
  • Child immunisation

An important thing to know is that without this number, you will be required to pay emergency taxes. That is to say that you will have to pay twice the taxes for a couple of weeks before getting them back. The payment of social insurance is also generally compulsory.

How to apply for the PPS number:

You must visit the website of the Department of Social Protection and follow the online application guidance. You will need to upload:

  • A copy of your identity document with a photo (ID, passport, driver’s license, etc.)
  • Proof of your address in Ireland (tenancy agreement, recent bills, etc.)
  • Proof of why you need a PPS number
  • Immigration Card ( for Non-EU)

Please Note That: Before submitting your application, you must create a MyGovID account. It is an official service allowing you to access various government services in Ireland through just a single log-in. Registering there will make taking all the legal steps necessary to relocate to Ireland much easier. Please note that you can’t apply for the PPS number before coming to Ireland. That is because one of the documents required during the application is proof of your Irish address, so you must already have moved there prior to applying. 

Where can Expats Live in Dublin?

Where you live in Dublin will most likely depend on the budget you have. Some areas are more expensive than others, so because every part of the city has something good to offer, and none of them are particularly far away from one another, the finances are usually the main motivator when choosing the right place to live. 

1. Silicon Docks/Grand Canal Dock neighbourhood: Probably the most expensive district of Dublin. That is because this is where most of the headquarters of international companies such as Facebook, Airbnb or Google are located. The Silicon Docks are also home to the largest musical theatre in Ireland – the Board Gais. It is an expat-dominated neighbourhood full of vibrant cafes, restaurants, and bars.

2. Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount, Ballsbridge : Areas most commonly occupied by the locals. If you’d like to experience living among “true Dubliners” and blend in, you may want to look around these neighbourhoods.

3. Ranelagh and Rathmines: Both have a cosy, neighbourhood feel to them. They are where you will head for shopping, brunch, or dinner with family or friends. Due to the number of good schools nearby, they are a common choice for families with children.

Generally, the Southside neighbourhoods are most commonly recommended, especially the areas closest to the river. They are said to be safer and located close to the life of the city. However, they are also the most expensive. The North inner city, on the other hand, is cheaper but hosts some dodgy areas. Still, Dublin in general is considered a safe city – every place has its darker corner, so it’s good to be aware of where it is, but it’s also unnecessary to become paranoid. 

Just like with any other bigger city, if you choose to live in the centre, your most common option will be flats and apartments. The outskirts are usually dominated by houses. The areas around the universities in Dublin are usually suburban, inhabited by families. The one exception to that is the neighbourhood of the most prestigious school, Trinity College, which is located directly in the centre. 


The levels of income tax in Ireland are among the lowest in the world – yet another reason to pick Dublin as your next expat destination! There is no general tax rate that would apply to everyone – the amount of tax you pay depends on your income and individual circumstances. The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme applies in Ireland. This simply means that income tax is directly deducted from the salary.

Medical Care

We have explained before what requirements need to be met in order to obtain the Social Security PPS number but unfortunately, that is not all that needs to be done to access everything the Irish healthcare system has to offer. Not all medical costs are covered by Social Security in Ireland. All ordinary residents in Ireland are entitled to apply for access to medical services that are free or come at a reduced cost. What does it mean to be an ordinary resident?- “someone who has been living in Ireland for at least a year or intends to live there for at least one year”. The access to medical services is granted through the medical card issued by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The medical card grants access to free services such as:

  • Visits to GP and public hospitals 
  • Prescribed medicine (although some prescription charges may apply)
  • Certain dental, aural, and optical services
  • Maternity and infant care services
  • Community care and personal social services

Your eligibility for the medical card depends on your household income. To qualify for it, your earnings must not exceed a certain figure that is established based on the size of your family. The HSE will first have to establish whether you are an ordinary resident of Ireland. In order to do that, they may require you to submit proof documents such as:

  • A current utility bill
  • Valid insurance policy signed in your name
  • Proof of purchase/rental of property, including a confirmation that the property is your principal residence
  • A statement letter from a financial institution (for example bank statement)
  • An official document from the government (for example proof of rent)

Your application will first be assessed for the medical card. If the commission decides that you do not fit into the financial restrictions that would enable you to receive a medical card, you may still be granted the GP visit card. No other application needs to be submitted – your data will be automatically forwarded to the correct department if your medical card application is denied. The GP visit card grants you free visits to the GP. It does not, however, allow you to access hospital services without charge – you will need to pay for those on your own. 


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