Thursday, November 10, 2016

Getting a Job and Living in Ireland: The Trump Effect

The backlash from Trump’s recent win was anticipated. Yet I’m astounded at the tidal wave of queries I’ve received about working and living in Ireland from American’s who are more than a little perturbed by the election's outcome.

Due to simple demand, I’ve put together a list of rules and websites that should answer a couple of often-asked questions: As an American, can I get a job in Ireland and live there? If so, how do I go about that process?

Before moving to these answers I would encourage any would-be immigrant to pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and reflect on what such a move might entail. Having lived in this country for 34 years now, I will be the first to tell you that an immigrant’s life is hard work. Though the Irish speak English, don’t think for a minute that the culture will be the same as what you experience in Peoria Illinois, Walnut Creek California, or Boston Massachusetts. This is a fascinating country of contradictions: a wonderful people who can still be deeply misunderstood by outsiders simply because you’re not Irish and have not grown up here. Depending on where you live, you might feel the place insular and foreign. Loneliness due to separation from friends and family is common. Making a living here can be difficult even with a good job because taxes are high and the cost of living even higher.

But I make no bones about it: despite the difficulties I’m happy with my life here. Even happier when I think of what may happen to my fellow countrymen and women in Trump’s ‘Great America’. If you’d like to know more about living the life of an immigrant in Ireland you might want to read my book, A Survivor’s Guide to Living in Ireland which gives much deeper insight. 

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the rules for getting a job and residency in this fine country. As I’ve alluded, over the past two days I have seen a spike on this Blog of Americans wishing to move to – and work in – Ireland. For that reason I found it prudent to post this guide. However, first a warning: this is only a guide. Make sure you do your own research for accuracy because employment and residency legislation can change instantly. A good place to start for general information is:

The Rules
In general, visitors to Ireland are allowed to stay in this country for 90 days. During that time they are not allowed to work. To live and work here for a longer period, there are a number of rules and requirements:

·         For non-EU citizens: Ireland is a member of the European Union. Citizens of EU member states are legally entitled to work and live in Ireland. Non-EU nationals do not have this right and must instead jump through many hoops.

·         If you are a foreign, non-EU student and studying in Ireland on an approved course: you may take up casual work without an employment permit, but only a maximum of 20 hours per week.

·         Working holiday agreements: Ireland has reciprocal agreements with a number of other countries including the United States, allowing non-EU nationals to stay in Ireland for longer than 90 days and work here. To do so you must apply for a Working Holiday Authorization. For more information go to

·         If you have Irish ancestry: Ireland has a ‘grandfather’ law. That is, if you can prove that your parents or grandparents were Irish you have the right to Irish citizenship. With citizenship comes the right to live and work in Ireland and anywhere in the EU. For more information go to

·         Employment permits: Ireland has 9 types of employment permits. Some allow non-EU nationals to work and live in Ireland: General Employment Permits are usually considered for occupations with an annual remuneration of €30,000 or more. Critical Skills Employment Permits are available in a number of categories. To apply, the prospective employee must have a job offer. Upon receiving a permit your family will usually be eligible to join you. Go to for more information.

·         Obtaining Irish citizenship through marriage: foreign nationals who are married to Irish citizens can apply for naturalization. For more information go to

·         Obtaining residency through civil partnership: if you can prove you are in a long-term relationship with an Irish citizen, you are legally allowed to apply for long-term residency.

·         Retired and desiring to reside in Ireland: you may be granted permission to reside in Ireland for the longer-term if you can prove that you have: an annual income equal to €50,000 per annum and; savings equal to the cost of buying a home in Ireland and; comprehensive private Irish-based medical insurance. If you can prove that you will not become a burden to the state you can apply for longer-termed residency. For more information go to

      Gaining long-term permission to live and work in Ireland if you are not an EU national is tough work but not impossible. If you haven’t been to Ireland make sure you visit first. Check out the place. See if you think you can fit in and survive in Ireland as I have. If your answer is yes, if you are determined and focused, you could well end up living the Irish dream just as I have. I wish you so much luck. 

A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland 2017 Kindle Edition Now Available!

If this blog interests you and you want to learn more about Ireland why not consider purchasing A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland 2017 Edition. Are you thinking about living and working in Ireland? Would you like to move to Ireland? Do you want to know how to get an Irish work visa in this country? Do you need to know how Brexit and Trump policies may affect your plans? If so, consider purchasing the 2017 edition of A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland by Tom Richards. Now almost 90,000 words long, this book could make the perfect gift for  those interested in this wonderful country. Over 14,000 people have now learned how to live, laugh, and drink like the Irish by reading this Kindle ebook. I hope you enjoy, and my very best - Tom


  1. My daughter's on a student visa n just finished her Master's from UCD.she wants to stay in Dublin and work.she's had a hard time finding a job. Her boyfriend is Irish but they've only been dating for a year. She wants to work and save so she can go back to school there and obtain an MBA in international business. She has a double bachelor's degree in political science and German. What can she do?

  2. Good morning and good hearing from you. When you say "What can she do?" I take it you mean: "how can she get a job?" Is that correct? If so:

    1. She should take a careful look at the above website links and use them. Advise her to research carefully to determine how she can stay in Ireland when her student visa expires and continue to work here.

    2. You don't mention what she wants to do. But if she's intent on getting that MBA in in'l business, and what with her German, she should find huge opportunities. Ireland's economy is continuing to grow. Brexit should also increase Irish job opportunities within certain sectors.

    What I'm going to do is: write a comprehensive post on this topic later in the week (probably over the w/end) which will dive much deeper into this. Hopefully it will answer all your questions.

    Sounds like you're somewhat worried about her. So I promise to do my best (I have 3 kids and 5 grandkids so have walked in your shoes and really understand).

    If you can give me a bit more clarity on your question above, I'll do my best to answer it fully.

    Take good care. More later. Tom

  3. Good to come across this blog. I am a Nigerian wanting to settle in Ireland with my family. I am about obtaining a PhD in Agricultural Real Estate and Land Management from The UK. Before this, I was a lecturer in a university in Nigeria, with a Master and Bachelor degrees in Agricultural Engineering.
    I desire an agricultural related job in Ireland and settle there permanently. My research has shown that agriculture is just 1.6 % of the economy of Ireland compared to services taking up 70 whooping percent!
    Should I change career line? What are the shortage skills in Ireland? Please help!

  4. Hi Broadway. Actually agriculture is still a vibrant part of the Irish economy but it depends very much on what segment. I am NOT an agricultural guy so don't really know what I'm talking about. I suggest you Google DEEPLY for specific jobs you may be interested in. Skills also in demand include IT, Pharma, and Finance. Take a troll thru recent posts on this blog to learn more. I wish you much luck!

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  6. hi Tom, please i am a nigerian and a medical scientist by profession.i do like to find out more about working in ireland and also my chances of getting a job in my profession.i sincerely do appreciate your response.