Moving to or from Ireland

Print page

This area contains relevant information for persons coming to Ireland or returning to Ireland from other countries and also information for people leaving Ireland.​

Claiming Benefits Abroad

It is important to be aware that if you leave Ireland to live and/or work in another country, you may be entitled to receive social security benefits in the country you are moving to.

Information about Temporary Absence from the State

If you are in receipt of a payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for you/your spouse/civil partner/ co-habitant or child dependants and you are travelling abroad for any reason there are some things you must do before you leave the State.

Moving to another EU Country

As a European Union (EU) citizen, you have the right to live and work in any other EU country. If you are an EU national or a dependant of such a national and you meet the requirements of the EU Directives on free movement of workers, you may not, in general, be refused permission to land in another EU country. You may require a valid identity card or passport.

EURES Ireland (European Employment Services) can assist and provide you with information and advice on job search in Europe and moving for work to another EU/EEA country. Visit EURES Ireland website for more information.

Moving to Ireland

People who want to come to Ireland need to know if they are entitled to live here and what they can do when they come here.

EU Pension - How to claim from another EEA Country

Habitual Residence Conditions

General Information for returning Irish Emigrants regarding the transfer of private pensions to Ireland

EURES - European Employment Services

How to obtain a Personal Public Service Number -

Voluntary Contributions

A returning emigrant can voluntarily contribute to the Irish State Pension, given certain conditions, to protect his/her entitlement to a State Pension where they have an underlying entitlement to a State Pension.
Payment of social insurance can help individuals qualify for social insurance payments such as the State Pension.  For emigrants and others, who are not employed in Ireland or in another EU country and who as a result no longer make compulsory PRSI contributions in Ireland or in another EU country, there is an option to make voluntary contributions to help them to protect their social insurance record for the purposes of State Pension. 
To become a voluntary contributor an individual must have paid at least 520 weeks compulsory PRSI contributions from either employment or self-employment prior to application.  Up to February 2017, individuals wishing to make voluntary contributions to protect their social insurance record had to do so within 12 months of the end of the last year in which they paid a PRSI contribution in Ireland.  This was seen by some emigrants as a barrier to returning to Ireland.  However, as a result of a recent change made by the then Minister for Social Protection (Mr. Varadkar), the time limit for making voluntary contributions was extended from 12 months to 60 months after the end of the year in which they last paid a PRSI contribution in Ireland.
The Department has an information leaflet (SW8) which gives full details of the voluntary contribution scheme.
To become a voluntary contributor, you must complete application form VC1 and return it to the Voluntary Contributions Section, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Cork Road, Waterford.
Last modified:15/05/2018

 Intreo/Local Office Locator

Search for your local office