ICAN | Returning to Ireland
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Returning to Ireland

Thinking of returning to Ireland?

The move back can be as complex as the move over. These organizations can help:

10 Tips On Returning To Ireland

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.
 You can also read Crosscare Migrant Project ‘Home for Good?’ report (2017) on the experiences of other recent returnees.

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