Moving to Ireland

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This page contains links to relevant information and publications by this Department and other useful links for persons coming to Ireland or returning to Ireland from other countries. Select the relevant section to access the information you are looking for.

Personal Public Service Numbers (PPS Numbers)

The Personal Public Service number (PPS Number) is your personal reference number. It helps you to apply for benefits and to get information from public service agencies quickly and easily. This includes services such as Social Welfare, Revenue, Public Healthcare and Education

Persons coming from other EU or EEA countries

This section contains information about social welfare entitlements for persons coming to Ireland or returning to Ireland from:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (not a member of the EEA but the EEC Regulation applies), United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (excluding Isle of Man & Channel Islands).

Persons coming from non-EEA countries

There are no nationality conditions attached to Irish social insurance or social assistance schemes. However, a habitual residence condition applies for certain social assistance schemes and for child benefit. For jobseeker's payments a person must also be available for work – that is, have a work permit or visa which does not restrict them in obtaining employment.

In all other respects, nationals of other countries may be entitled to payment if they satisfy the same contribution and other conditions which apply to Irish nationals.

Countries with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement on social security

Ireland has social security agreements with the following countries covering entitlement to State Pension (Contributory), Widow(er)'s pension (Contributory), Guardians Payment (Contributory) and Bereavement Grant:

There is also an agreement with the UK, including a wider range of benefits than above and covering persons who have worked in Ireland and in the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. For more information on this see the Irish/UK Social Security Agreement - SW 123 Publication.

For more information see the Operational Guidelines on Bilateral Agreements.

Transfer of Private Pensions to Ireland for Returning Irish Emigrants

Irish emigrants who have worked and/or lived overseas may have saved into a supplementary occupational or private pension during their period abroad. As such, Irish emigrants planning to return to Ireland on a permanent basis may be in a position to access these pension savings, transfer their pension fund to Ireland or leave the pension fund abroad and continue to make tax-relieved contributions to it. In such cases returning emigrants will need to be cognisant of the rules, regulations and requirements applying to, among other things, the transfer of pension savings in both the country they are leaving and those of Ireland.

Click here for further information.


British Winter Fuel Payment

Following a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, some UK pensioner's living in Ireland may now be eligible for this year’s winter fuel payment from the UK. The closing date for receipt of applications is 31st March 2013.

Last modified:29/09/2015

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