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Crossing Borders: Relocating from Ireland to the UK

6 mins and 51 secs
Crossing Borders: Relocating from Ireland to the UK

If you're contemplating a move from Ireland to the UK, you're embarking on an exciting journey filled with new opportunities and experiences. This type of journey often evokes a mix of emotions from the excitement of exploring a new place to the apprehension of leaving the familiar behind. Relocating from Ireland to the UK, is a significant change; as you step into this new chapter of your life, there's much to consider and navigate. From navigating the job market to establishing a foothold in the financial realm with a new bank account, to seamlessly managing currency exchanges, and finally, adapting to life in a new country. Join us as we delve into essential tips and insights to ease your transition and make your journey across borders a seamless and enriching experience. 

Exploring Job Opportunities in the UK

When moving from Ireland to the UK, one of the main motivations is often the search for better job opportunities. While the job markets in the UK and Ireland share some similarities, there are also notable differences to consider.  The UK has a larger population and a more extensive range of industries compared to Ireland. Exploring job opportunities in the UK presents a gateway to a diverse and dynamic employment landscape. From bustling metropolises like London to quaint countryside towns, the UK offers a varied and thriving economy, with numerous industries and sectors to explore. From finance and technology to healthcare and hospitality, there are plenty of options to consider.

Research the job market in your desired location and identify the industries that align with your skills and experience. Network with professionals in your field and utilize online job platforms to find suitable employment opportunities. Attending job fairs, and reaching out to recruitment agencies can also significantly enhance your chances of securing employment. It's also important to update your CV and tailor it to the UK job market, highlighting relevant qualifications and achievements. It's important to note that while Ireland and the UK share similarities there are different nuances in workplace culture, business practices, and employment laws. Embracing flexibility and adaptability while navigating the job search process in a new country can open doors to exciting opportunities and pave the way for a fulfilling career journey in the UK.

Setting Up a Bank Account in the UK

Opening a bank account in the UK is essential for managing your finances and carrying out day-to-day transactions. Which is why we have a whole article dedicated to it, which you can read here: How to open a bank account in the UK. However, we've compiled some basic tips in this paragraph. To set up a bank account, you will need to provide certain documents such as proof of identity (passport or driving license) and proof of address (utility bills or rental agreement). Research different banks and compare their services and fees to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider whether you prefer a traditional bank or an online bank, as both options have their advantages. Once you have chosen a bank, book an appointment or visit a branch to start the account opening process.  Some banks even allow people to begin their application before arriving in the UK, however, it's important to keep in mind that some may require you to have a UK address before you can open an account.

Navigating Currency Exchange

Moving from Ireland to the UK involves dealing with currency exchange. As the currencies are different (Euro in Ireland and Pound Sterling in the UK), it's important to consider the exchange rates and fees involved in converting your money. Research different currency exchange providers and compare their rates to find the most favorable option. You can choose to exchange your currency before you move or after you arrive in the UK. If you decide to exchange in Ireland, be aware that some providers may charge higher fees compared to exchanging in the UK. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on the exchange rates and consider using online platforms or apps to make the process more convenient.  CurrencyFair offers rates that are up to 8x cheaper than traditional banks and offer a flat transfer fee of €3 or £2.50. Remember to notify your bank about your relocation to ensure smooth financial transactions.

Why not also check out our article on The best way to send money between Ireland and the UK for more information?

Finding Somewhere to Live

Finding a place to live is a crucial aspect of relocating from Ireland to the UK. Start by researching the different cities or towns in the UK that match your preferences and requirements. Consider factors such as job opportunities, cost of living, transportation, and quality of life. Websites and online portals can be helpful in searching for rental properties or houses for sale. It's also a good idea to connect with local real estate agents who can provide guidance and assistance in finding suitable accommodation. Take into account your budget and make sure to arrange viewings of potential properties before making a decision.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with the rental laws and tenancy agreements in the UK to ensure a smooth renting process. Anyone moving to the UK must familiarise themselves with the average price of rent and bills, including the UK council tax in their chosen location. Housing costs vary widely across the UK, with London the most expensive area. Alongside listings of UK properties available to rent and buy, sites like Rightmove regularly share national rental price data. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) also publishes monthly indices of rental prices. Those thinking of buying a property in the UK can consult the UK House Price Index, which collates house sales data from various registries. Information on housing rights and regulations is available from the UK government and Citizens Advice.

Adjusting to Life in the UK

Moving to a new country can be both exciting and challenging. It might be worth checking out our article specifically on "How to adjust to life in the UK as an expat". It's important to embrace the cultural differences and adapt to the new environment. Take time to learn about the local customs, traditions, and etiquette in the UK. This will help you integrate into the community and build relationships with locals. Explore the diverse cuisine, visit historical landmarks, and engage in cultural activities to fully immerse yourself in the British way of life. It's also beneficial to join social groups or clubs that share your interests, as this can help you make new friends and expand your social network. Remember to take care of your physical, mental and emotional well-being during the transition and seek support if needed. People who are ordinarily resident in the UK are entitled to free healthcare under the National Health Service (NHS), the UK's publicly funded healthcare system. However, waiting lists for certain treatments and tests can be long, and not all medical services are covered. For example, chiropractic care is not widely available on the NHS. 

As an Irish expat abroad, you can face a number of distinct challenges, watching people trying to pronounce an Irish name can be both hilarious and frustrating. Which is why we've put together a blogs both on what you might miss as an Irish expat abroad and on adjusting to living overseas for Irish expats in particular. 

Legal Requirements and Documentation

When relocating from Ireland to the UK, it's important to ensure that you have all the necessary legal requirements and documentation in place. This includes a valid passport, visa or residency permit, and any other relevant identification documents. Research the specific immigration requirements based on your circumstances, such as whether you need a work visa or a student visa. It's advisable to consult with the UK government's official website or seek guidance from an immigration lawyer to understand the process and ensure compliance with the immigration laws. Keep in mind that the requirements may vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay in the UK. Stay informed and make sure to gather all the required documents well in advance of your move.  In 2020 the UK implemented a points-based immigration system for all potential immigrants, including Europeans. The only people excluded from this system are Irish citizens, who retain the right to live and work in the UK under the Common Travel Area Agreement. Because of this change, there has been a marked decline in immigration to the UK for long-term work among EU residents. 


In closing, crossing over from Ireland to the UK is an exciting journey filled with new beginnings. It's natural to feel a mix of emotions—from excitement to a bit of nervousness—as you step into this new chapter. From finding job opportunities to setting up your bank account and navigating the ins and outs of currency exchange, each step brings its own set of tasks. But with a little research and planning, you'll find your way. Adjusting to life in the UK means embracing new customs, exploring local culture, and making connections in your community. And don't forget about the paperwork—ensuring you have all the necessary documents in place is key. Also setting up a bank account and understanding currency exchange processes are essential for managing finances seamlessly. While it may seem daunting at first, this journey offers endless opportunities for growth and adventure. So, stay positive, stay curious, and embrace the journey ahead!


This information is correct as of 7th May 2024. This information is not to be relied on in making a decision with regard to an investment. We strongly recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment or significant financial transaction. This article is purely for general information purposes. Photo by Sander Crombach on Unsplash.

Crossing Borders: Relocating from Ireland to the UK
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