There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Ireland while the UK remains in the EU – so just make sure you’re correctly registered as resident in Ireland.
British nationals will not be required to apply for Settled Status to protect their entitlements in Ireland, while the rights to work, study, vote in local and parliamentary elections, access social security and public services like education and healthcare will also be preserved.
Additionally, the rights of British citizens under the Common Travel Area (CTA) are protected after the UK leaves the EU, so journeys between Ireland and the UK will continue as before.
The finer details on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland have not yet been agreed, but if no solutions are reached before the UK’s scheduled withdrawal on 31st December, 2020, an alternative option has been agreed in principle.
This would see Northern Ireland maintain the rules and regulations of the EU single market and customs union – therefore avoiding the need for a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
How this arrangement would run continues to be negotiated however – but you’ll hear about it first at Brexit Decoded.
Please also note that one of the EU’s main negotiating values is that the withdrawal agreement must be a single comprehensive package – with no individual matters being settled separately to the agreement as a whole.
This means that if both parties cannot agree on a particular issue – like the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland – this could undermine the withdrawal agreement as a whole… Keep up to speed with developments and announcements in the Brexit Decoded Forum.
Official information British people moving to and living in Ireland need to know, including Brexit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.
UK citizens do not need a visa or residency permit to live, work or study in Ireland. Under the Common Travel Area (CTA), UK and Irish citizens can live and work freely in each other’s countries and travel freely between them. Both the UK and Irish governments are committed to protecting the CTA regardless of the circumstances in which the UK leaves the EU. Read the guidance on the CTA.
Irish government’s citizens information has advice about moving to and living in Ireland.
You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has advice on the requirements for non-EU/EEA family members of UK nationals.
Passports and travel after Brexit
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, nothing will change until the end of 2020. In this time you can continue to travel freely in the Schengen area with your UK passport. What happens after 2020 will form the next part of negotiations.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, under the CTA the rules for travelling or working in Ireland will not change and you will not require a visa. However there will be changes for living and working in other EU countries.
Your travel rights for Ireland are preserved under the Common Travel Area.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK nationals will not need visas for short stays to other countries in EU. You will be able to stay up to 90 days in another EU, EEA or EFTA country, within a 180 day period. You must retain evidence of travel (e.g. train and plane tickets), in case these are requested by national authorities. If you hold a residence permit from an EU, EEA or EFTA country, you will be able to transit through other EU, EEA or EFTA countries to reach your country of residence.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, new travel rules will apply. You need at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Read the travel advice for Ireland.
Under the CTA, UK citizens have the right to access healthcare in Ireland. When visiting, UK citizens also have the right to access needs-arising healthcare. Both governments have committed to taking steps to ensure that this will continue after the UK leaves the EU.
Read the guidance on accessing healthcare in Ireland.
You may need to pay a fee to access public healthcare in Ireland on the same basis as Irish citizens. However, you may be eligible for a means tested medical card. If you do not qualify for a medical card on income grounds, you may qualify for a GP Visit card. Find information on Medical and GP Visit Cards.
You can also take out private health insurance.
You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Ireland and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit. You will usually be asked to produce some evidence of your entitlement to healthcare in Ireland, such as proof of property rental or ownership. If eligible, you’ll need a medical card that entitles you to receive certain health services free of charge.
Find a list of hospitals and doctors in Ireland.
You must check if your prescriptions are legal in Ireland.
If you are visiting Ireland, it is important to take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.
If you need emergency medical assistance, dial 999 or 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment, contact your insurance and/or medical assistance company immediately.
Healthcare after Brexit
Access to healthcare for UK nationals living in or visiting Ireland will not change regardless of the circumstances in which the UK leaves the EU.
Under the CTA, UK nationals do not need a visa or residency permit to live, work or study in Ireland. Both the UK and Irish governments are committed to protecting the CTA regardless of the circumstances in which the UK leaves the EU.
Read the Irish government’s Citizens Information on employment.
UK professionals planning to practice regulated professions in Ireland after Brexit should seek recognition of their professional qualifications before 31 Oct. Visit gov.uk for more information.
UK bank cards are widely accepted for transactions in Ireland.
We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Ireland.
If you work in Ireland, your position will not change after Brexit. The UK and Irish governments will maintain all existing arrangements for Social Insurance contributions and entitlements, following the convention that formalises the Common Travel Area social protection arrangements.
You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your pension if you are moving or retiring abroad.
If you are a UK national living in or working in Ireland, working in both the UK and Ireland, or working across the border, you are subject to only one state’s social security legislation at a time. This means you can access your pension from whichever state you are subject to the social security legislation of, regardless of where you are living.
If you have worked in Ireland, you can apply to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. If you have not worked in Ireland, you can claim your UK State Pension by contacting the International Pension Centre. If you have worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.
Life certificates for UK State Pensions
If you are getting a UK State Pension and receive a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you do not.
Pensions after Brexit
The UK and Irish governments have concluded a bilateral agreement to ensure that social security rights, including access to pensions, will continue to be protected after the UK leaves the EU. This agreement also means that there will be no change to the payment of your UK State Pension in Ireland. UK State Pensions will continue to be paid as now, including upratings.
If you are a UK national living in or working in Ireland, working in both the UK and Ireland, or working across the border, you are subject to only one state’s social security legislation at a time. This means you can access social security benefits from whichever state you are subject to the social security legislation of, regardless of where you are living.
You also have the right to access social security benefits on the same basis as citizens of the state you are in.
Read the guidance on;
Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid If you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.
The criteria to claim certain Irish social security benefits differ from those in the UK. If you meet Ireland’s five requirements for determining habitual residence then you may be eligible to claim some Irish social security benefits. Read the Irish Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection guidance.
Read the Irish government’s guidance on Irish social welfare payments.
Benefits after Brexit
The UK and Irish governments have concluded a bilateral agreement to ensure that social security rights, including access to social security benefits and entitlements, will continue to be protected after the UK leaves the EU.
The UK government will continue to pay pensions, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU after the Brexit. Find guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.
If you live in Ireland, you should exchange your UK driving licence for an Irish one before the UK leaves the EU.
If you are visiting Ireland, you can drive with your existing UK driving licence.
Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Ireland
Read the guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.
Driving in Ireland after Brexit
If you live in Ireland, exchange your UK driving licence for an Irish one. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the Irish government has advised that UK driving licences for UK citizens living in Ireland will no longer be recognised. This means you will no longer be able to drive in Ireland with a UK licence. Follow the advice of the National Driver Licence Service.
The Irish government has advised that you will not need an international driving permit (IDP) if you are making a short visit to Ireland. You will be able to drive with your existing UK driving licence.
Irish insured vehicles do not need a motor insurance green card as evidence of insurance to drive in the UK. The UK has applied to rejoin the green card-free circulation zone after the UK leaves the EU.
If you are planning to travel with a pet, consult your vet four months before you travel.
When the UK leaves the EU, you will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a cat, dog or ferret but the rules will change. Read guidance on pet travel to Europe after the UK leaves the EU.
While the UK is still a member of the EU, you will be able to travel with your pet to the EU under the current pet travel rules using your current EU pet passport. If you are travelling with your pet for the first time you must consult a vet on the appropriate tests and documentation before you travel.
Read guidance on pet travel to the UK.
The Irish government has also published information on pet travel.
For moving horses and other equines, read the guidance export horses and ponies: special rules.
If you are a UK national living in Ireland you are entitled to register to vote with the relevant authorities for local and national parliamentary elections in that state on the same basis as Irish citizens. You can read the Irish government’s guidance on voting in Ireland.
You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:
Voting after Brexit
Both the Irish and British governments have committed to ensuring that current voting arrangements will continue after the UK leaves the EU.
If your child is born in Ireland, you will need to register a birth abroad.
If someone dies in Ireland you can:
*read the bereavement pack
Find out how to get married abroad.
You may also need to find a lawyer in Ireland.
You can dial the European emergency number on 112, or the national emergency number on 999. Find a list of Irish security and emergency services.
If you are the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.
Read the guidance on buying a property abroad.
For information on housing in Ireland, including renting and owning a home, you can look at Citizens Information on housing.
Look at the Citizens Information on leaving Ireland.
Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.
Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Irish authorities.