How I Got a Visa to Live in Ireland

passportThis is a question I’m asked a lot.

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

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

Short answer…I didn’t. And I don’t have Irish citizenship (at least not yet).

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

Turns out a decision I made about 25 years ago (marrying a woman with dual Irish/American citizenship) meant I could live and work in Ireland without a visa of any kind.

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 done all 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 paper work she wouldd need to get her passport. Once she did that, she applied for each of our daughters to receive their Irish citizenship.

A lot of work and a lot of phone calls later everyone was official. Except 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 mailbox the week we were leaving New York for Ireland.

So when we landed in Dublin in the summer of 2012, all five females in our family were Irish citizens who can live here for as long as they wish. (In fact they can live anywhere in the European Union or the United States…so they have some options.) I, as I mentioned, do not have Irish citizenship. 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.

Next summer I’ll be able to apply for citizenship here. But since I’m married to an Irish citizen, and a parent to 4 Irish citizens, I can live and work in Ireland without a visa.

Wish I could be more help…