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When moving abroad, there are a number of things you should know before you go. Follow the below tips on how you can best prepare to emigrate.

Research

Doing your research before you go is an important part of planning a successful move abroad. It will help you to prepare as much as possible for your big move, and hopefully reduce some of the stress involved in moving to a new country.

Visa Options

Start by checking if you need a visa or work permit for the country you hope to move to. Countries will have various visa options with conditions based on your circumstances (i.e. certain visas may require you to work in particular professions or be of a certain age). Ireland.ie, the Department of Foreign Affairs website, publishes a helpful guide on visas for Irish citizens going abroad here.

You can also take a look at the website of the country’s Irish-based foreign embassy for visa requirements and other important information. While some visas can be applied for solely online or at the port of entry (e.g. airport, border), many require you to apply directly to the foreign embassy or consulate – a full list of diplomatic missions in Ireland can be found here.

It is important to research visa options and requirements in advance of booking any travel. Visa application processing times and charges vary by country and visa type.

If you decide to use a migration agent to assist with your move abroad, make sure you find out how much they charge and check that they are registered to provide immigration advice and support.

Finances

It is critical to have adequate funds to be able to settle in when you arrive. Knowing the cost of rented accommodation (including deposits, buying furniture, utilities, and more) and the general cost of living before you go can inform you of how much funds you should bring with you. Even if your visa stipulates a minimum amount you should bring, it is a good idea to budget for more.

Accommodation

Make sure to have accommodation arranged in advance, even if it is short-term. Research the availability and cost of housing before you go. Researching the housing and rental markets in your chosen destination is vitally important before leaving Ireland as it will give you a good overview of what to expect and where to look for accommodation. If you plan on renting, it is helpful to have some idea what you will be expected to pay up front (e.g. a month of rent up front, plus a deposit equivalent to one month of rent) as well as whether furniture included. In some places, leases may begin on a standard date (the first of the month, for example), so factor this into your travel plans. Contacting landlords in advance to arrange viewings can be helpful too, but be careful to avoid scams. Never pay deposits before viewing properties.

Employment and Qualifications

Arranging work before you go can make for an easier transition. It is important to begin researching the job market and applying prior to your arrival. If however you are hoping to look for work on arrival, make sure you have enough money to tide you over until you can find employment and get your first pay check. You will also need an up-to-date CV or resume that is tailored for the country and sector you want to work in.

Check that your professional and educational qualifications will be recognised in the country you plan to relocate to and find out how long this process may take.

Platforms such as LinkedIn are useful for finding companies and people that work in your desired industry or field of work. Connect with people in the same job sector and get an idea of current job prospects, potential employers, and salary expectations. In some countries, it is common practice to reach out to people working in companies you have applied to work for. Understanding these norms before you go can help with finding work as quickly as possible when you arrive.

Language and Culture

While there are a number of English-speaking destinations that are popular among Irish emigrants, if you are planning on moving to a non-English speaking destination it is best to speak the language or at least learn some words and basic phrases before you go in. It is also important to and respect local laws and customs in your chosen destination. For more information, the Department of Foreign Affairs provide a list of customs and laws to familiarise yourself with before you travel here. You can also follow up-to-date information on their TravelWise Twitter/X account.

Networking

Networking and making contacts in your chosen destination before you emigrate can help you to settle in quicker. Whether it is making social or professional connections, getting in touch with people in your new country before moving can alleviate the pressure of making friends or finding work once you arrive. Irish organisations abroad (many of which are listed in our Irish Diaspora Directory) are a good place to start.

Social, Culture, and Sports

There are a number of across the world that can provide a place to meet other Irish expats or locals, which you can find in our country-specific directory. Contact people who either have been to or are currently living in your chosen destination. Look up local social groups, sports clubs, or organisations that you might join when you arrive.

Documentation

It is important in advance of your trip to prepare a number of documents that you will need when travelling abroad. Once you have chosen your destination and made travel arrangements, we recommend using the following checklist to make sure you have all the necessary documentation prepared for your move (you can download this checklist here):

Identification

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Secondary form of photo ID (like a passport card)

Visas and Travel

Health

Employment

  • Updated CV
  • Employer references
  • Proof of your education and qualifications
  • Your Irish Social Insurance Record
  • Details of any Irish social welfare payments and closed claims

Marital Status

  • Marriage or divorce certificates

Finances

  • Recent bank statements
  • Your personal credit history from the Central Credit Register

Accommodation

  • Landlord references
  • Property or mortgage documents as relevant

Children

Contacts

  • Names and telephone number(s) of next-of-kin in Ireland
  • Emergency contact information for the local Irish embassy or consulate
  • Contacts of people you know where you are going
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