ICAN | Returning to Ireland
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Returning to Ireland

10 Tips On Returning To Ireland From Our Friends at Crosscare

Are you planning a move home? Advice from others who have taken the plunge is usually the best place to start. 400 recently returned Irish emigrants gave us their top tips for making a successful return. Research, budgeting and preparing yourself emotionally all made the list.

1. Research & budget in advance:

  • be prepared for a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy
  • trial a short time stay in Ireland before moving back permanently
  • apply for any relevant tax refunds
  • keep foreign bank account open for tax return
  • seek professional advice
  • apply for schools before return
  • it can take time to access help from public services, including social welfare
  • bring all relevant documents
  • keep contacts in case of returning to live abroad again
  • be prepared for weather, move back in spring or summer

2. Arrange employment:

  • try to arrange employment before return
  • re-skilling may be necessary
  • career opportunities may be limited
  • wages may be lower

3. Have savings:

  • the cost of living can be expensive, particularly in Dublin

4. Arrange accommodation before return:

  • have a place to stay when you return, even if it’s with family
  • accommodation in Dublin and other urban area can be very expensive so start your search as early as possible

5. Have realistic expectations:

  • commit and prepare mentally
  • make the right choice for you
  • some former support networks may have moved on

6. It takes time to resettle

  • allow time to readjust and settle back into the way of life in Ireland

7. Embrace changes:

  • embrace the change in yourself, in Ireland as a country and in the culture
  • see it as a new start
  • enjoy getting to know the country again and travel

8. Be prepared for the emotional impact:

  • it can be emotionally draining to leave established networks in an adopted home
  • there may be a ‘culture shock’
  • talk to others who have done it
  • take time with the decision and think about the reasons for and against it
  • know that it might be challenging
  • make of a list of challenges and a mental note on how to respond to these
  • have a prepared mind-set, keep positive, and have specific goals
  • look after your mental health
  • planning a trip back to the country of return can help with the transition

9. Shop around for car insurance:

  • insurance can be expensive
  • access can depend on experience and exchanging a foreign driving licence
  • it can take 12 months to exchange foreign drivers licence
  • try to arrange to be a named driver on an existing policy if possible

10. Reach out to family for support:

  • speak to family and friends in Ireland about what life is like here
  • reconnect with friends before you return and make time to make new ones


Find out more about moving back to Ireland here.