How To Move To Ireland Without a Job: Guide

The temple bar located in Dublin, Ireland.

Ireland is a good place to live in not only because of its beautiful landscape and rich history but because of the many opportunities that it offers. Furthermore, they also have several festive celebrations, which you won’t want to miss out on. However, as a foreigner wishing to live in Ireland, can you move there even without a job? 

You can move to Ireland even if you don’t have a job. The only thing that you need to do is to be eligible for one of the Irish immigration stamps. The Irish immigration system offers several options for those without a job, e.g., volunteering, studying, Working Holidays, or joining a family. 

A move to Ireland may be intended to settle with an Irish partner (or a partner with a settled status here) or study in the country. If you want to know more about how you can relocate to Ireland without a job, you’ve come to the right place! This article will explain to you everything you need to know.

Can you move to Ireland without a job?

view of open sea in Ireland.

Foreign nationals from all over the world come to the Republic of Ireland each year to settle. Each of them has a unique situation and reasons for moving, and not all of them have job offers on hand.

Most immigrants come to work in the state, some come to further their education, and some settle in the country with their Irish partners.

EU, EEA citizens, and Swiss nationals don’t need a visa to enter and stay in Ireland, while the majority of other passport holders need to look into available visas.

That said, whatever your reasons may be for wishing to move to Ireland, you will need to find a visa route that is suitable for your individual circumstances. We would also like to emphasize that the most important thing you need to check is whether you qualify for the type of visa you want to apply for.

Generally, Ireland has two main types of visas you can apply for:

1. Short stay visas (C) if you plan to stay in Ireland for less than 3 months.

2. Long stay visas (D) for stays over 3 months; after the initial three months, you must get an Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

The latter is divided into:

  • Study visa
  • Work visa
  • Family visa
  • Working holiday visa
  • Researcher visa
  • Long-term Internship visa
  • Volunteer visa
  • Irish Minister of Religion visa
  • Retirement Visa

After you apply for and get the right visa, the Irish immigration authorities will stamp your passport during the first 90 days of your stay in the country.

This is the most crucial step in moving to Ireland. As a non-EU/EEA national, you must qualify for an Irish immigration stamp.

Note that these stamps correspond to a wide range of immigration routes foreigners can access without a job in Ireland.

While neither of these routes will require you to have a job, you will need to be able to prove to the authorities that you’re financially capable of supporting yourself during your stay in Ireland.

The specific routes that we will discuss here are included in these stamps, and the information on Immigration to Ireland:

  • Stamp 0
  • Stamp 1
  • Stamp 1G
  • Stamp 2
  • Stamp 2A
  • Stamp 3
  • Stamp 4

The easiest route for someone relocating without a job to Ireland is to apply for a student, working holiday, or volunteer visa and later find employment. With the job offer, you will be eligible for a work visa and Stamp 1.

Stamp 0

Having a stamp of 0 indicates that you have permission to stay in Ireland temporarily, subject to conditions. You can have a stamp 0 if you’re:

  • Going to retire in Ireland and live via independent means
  • Participating in a visiting academic program at an Irish university or college
  • Living in Ireland as an elderly or dependent relative of an Irish national or a non-EU/EEA or Swiss national.

Conditions of Stamp 0:

To be eligible for the Irish Immigration Stamp 0, you must be financially independent and self-sufficient. Alternatively, you may be able to find a sponsor in Ireland who is of independent means and will be able to provide you with full support. 

This means that you will not be able to receive any benefits or use public institutions’ public resources, including hospital treatment. You must have a private medical insurance policy to receive medical treatment. 

Furthermore, you must have a letter of permission from Immigration Service Delivery before working or engaging in any business, trade, or profession that specifies that you’re permitted to do so.

Stamp 1

Stamp 1 is intended for someone with a job offer or business in Ireland. If you don’t have a job yet, you can not receive this Stamp. However, having a Working holiday visa makes you eligible for Stamp 1.


  • Job offer or business to operate in Ireland
  • Working holiday visa

Stamp 1G 

If you’re seeking employment in Ireland but haven’t found a job yet, you can apply for stamp 1G permission. There can be two scenarios where you can be eligible for an Irish immigration Stamp 1G. 

  • Currently, you’re a graduate student with a Stamp 2 looking for work in the country.

In accordance with Irish law, the Third Level Graduate Programme grants you permission to look for employment here once you have completed your studies in Ireland.

In most cases, Stamp 1G lasts for a year, except for those who have completed a master’s degree program, where a longer period of 12 months can be granted.


As long as you comply with employment law requirements, you’re permitted to work full time, but you cannot be self-employed or operate a business.

After Stamp 1G expires, you can continue to work by finding a job that requires an employment permit and then applying for an extension to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment.

Other than employment conditions, Stamp 1G retains the same permissions and conditions as Stamp 2

  • You’re a spouse or de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or a researcher on a hosting agreement with the state.

Additionally, Stamp 1G can also be given to spouses or de facto partners of CSEP holders or researchers in the State on a hosting agreement. Holders of Stamp 1G are not required to obtain an employment permit to take up employment.


  • The requirement to obtain a work permit isn’t necessary to work in the State.
  • You’re permitted to pursue courses of study in the country.
  • By any means, you’re not allowed to establish or operate a business or become self-employed.
  • It’s essential to renew your Stamp 1G registration every year, and after five years, you can apply for a Stamp 4.
  • For citizenship/naturalization purposes, periods spent on Stamp 1G are counted as recognized residences.

Stamp 2 & Stamp 2A

It’s necessary for those moving to Ireland to study in the country to obtain this type of immigration permission. This route does not require you to have a job – in fact, if you wish to work under this permission, your working hours per week will be restricted.

In order to qualify for Stamp 2, you must be enrolled in a full-time course on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP), such as English language students, undergraduates, postgraduates, higher national diplomas, and PhDs.


Benefits and publicly funded services are unavailable to you unless you are entitled to them by another means. During school term, you can work casually for 20 hours a week, and during holidays, you can work for 40 hours a week. It’s forbidden for you to engage in any other business or trade.

Before your immigration permission and registration expire, you must renew them.

Students studying English can only register for three 25-week courses if they are English language learners. You will need to enroll in one of the ILEP courses if you wish to continue studying.

You can only stay for a maximum of seven years if you show progression in your course and have an attendance of no lesser than 85%. Furthermore, you should obey the laws of the State and avoid becoming involved in criminal activity.

On the other hand, to qualify for Stamp 2A, you must be permitted to study a course that does not appear on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). It usually pertains to international students studying abroad at Irish universities for a semester. Under this route, you can’t work at all.


  • The government does not provide any benefits or services to you, such as public hospitals. You must have private medical insurance to avail of medical services when you’re in need.
  • You’re strictly forbidden to work in any business, trade, or profession.
  • The immigration permission the Irish government has granted you must be renewed before its expiration date if you wish to continue living in Ireland after it expires.

Stamp 3

Volunteers and people who are moving to Ireland to join a family are eligible for Stamp 3. Moreover, Stamp 3 counts as a residence when applying for citizenship by naturalization.

However, without an Irish work permit, you cannot work or engage in any business, trade, or profession. Moreso, before your immigration permission and registration expire, you must apply for a renewal of your permission and registration in Ireland.

Stamp 4

A stamp 4 indicates that you are granted permission to stay in Ireland for a specific amount of time, subject to conditions. Similar to Stamp 3, when you’re applying for citizenship by naturalization, Stamp 4 is also considered reckonable residence.

Newcomers to Ireland receive Stamp 4 only in the following cases:

  • Joining spouse/civil partner/de facto partner who is an Irish citizen.
  • Joining a family member who is an EU/EEA/Swiss national.
  • Refugees
  • People under subsidiary protection
  • Joining a family member who is a recognized refugee.
  • Holders of Ireland Investor Visas or their family members.

If you have been granted permission to work in Ireland before, you may receive Stamp 4:

  • Holding a valid two-year Critical Skills Employment Permit
  • Holding a valid five-year employment permit
  • Researcher (with a valid hosting agreement for two years)


  • You don’t need to hold an Employment Permit to start working. Working in a profession is possible, provided the relevant professional organization or body sets conditions.
  • It’s possible to start and run a business. 
  • Government departments and agencies determine which services and funds you may access. 
  • You are responsible for renewing your registration and immigration permission if you wish to stay in Ireland after your immigration permission expires.

How to get a job in Ireland as a foreigner?

To live in Ireland, you need permission to work if you’re not from the EU, Switzerland, or the UK. To get permission to work in Ireland, you will need to apply for an employment permit before you can come here.

An employment permit can only be obtained once you have been offered a job and you intend to accept it. Essentially, if you want to work in the country, you must find a job first.  As soon as you obtain the employment permit, you can apply for a visa to come to Ireland (if you need a visa).

In some cases, immigrants can get permission to work without requiring an employment permit.

What is a good salary in Ireland? Read in this guide.

How much money do you need to move to Ireland?

colorful commercial building located in Ireland.

If you plan to move to Ireland, you should start saving your money as soon as possible. There is no doubt that Ireland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Ireland is the third most expensive country in Western Europe and the most expensive in the world by 93%

Approximately $5,317 a month is what it would cost for a family of four living in a two-bedroom apartment. On the other hand, an individual living alone in Ireland is estimated to spend approximately $3,049 per month. 

Read more about the cost of living in salaries in Ireland in this guide.

In general, Ireland has a higher cost of living than the United States. Numbeo reports that Ireland’s cost of living index score is 78.07, while the U.S.’s cost of living index score is 72.47. Living costs vary greatly depending on where you live (big cities are more expensive than small towns) and your lifestyle choices.

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