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How Did You Get a Visa to Live in Ireland?

passportThis is a question I (Bob) am asked a lot.

Someone who lives in the US, and wants to move to Ireland, stumbles across our blog, and figures I’ll have ideas that might help them get a visa to move to Ireland.

So how did I obtain my visa to live in Ireland?

Specifically, how did I end up living in Dublin, when so many people (Americans at least) seem to have such a difficult time getting here?

It was actually pretty easy.

Turns out a decision I made about 28 years ago (marrying a woman with dual Irish/American citizenship) meant I could live and work in Ireland.

In 2010, my wife Elizabeth and I began sensing that a move to Ireland could be in our future. Although she was born with dual citizenship, she had never completed all of the paperwork to get her Irish passport. So during the fall of that year, she contacted government offices in Albany, San Francisco, Dublin, and New York City and gathered all the paperwork she would need to get her passport. Once she did that, she applied for each of our daughters to receive their Irish citizenship (registered as foreign births).

A lot of work and a lot of phone calls later everyone was official. Except for me.

Liz’s passport took about 3 to 4 months to get.

Registering the girls as ‘foreign births’ took over a year. In fact, the official documents arrived in the mailbox the week we left Ithaca.

When we landed in Dublin in the summer of 2012, all five females in our family were Irish citizens who can live here, or anywhere in the EU for as long as they wish.

It turns out I could have gotten it easily about a decade ago due to being married to an Irish citizen, but since being an expat was nowhere on my radar, I never even looked into it.

So yeah it is not easy for an American to move over here long term. I wish it was since we have some friends who’d like to join us.


I wish I could be more help…