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What I Learned about Working Abroad in Ireland
If I want to work remotely in the Emerald Isle, here are the steps I'd have to take
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Sometimes I get tired of working from home at home, and a change of scenery might do me some good. I could head off to sunny Aruba or ultra-affordable Thailand.
But how about working from somewhere more off the beaten path … like Ireland?
Why I want to work in Ireland
Here are a few reasons I’m considering working from Ireland:
- It’s beautiful. Google “Irish countryside.” We’ll wait. … Are you back? For those who didn't Google it, here's a picture. Okay, is Ireland not stunning?!
- It’s fun. No matter where in Ireland you are, it’s full of exciting museums, natural wonders, and historical landmarks.
- It’s underrated. So many people want to work from a tropical destination. A beach is always lovely, but I find I miss out if I limit myself to one climate.
In summary, I present this photo of the cliffs of Moher, Ireland in winter:
Source: iStock by Getty Images
Have I convinced you to join me yet?
Then let’s move on to the how.
Questions to answer before working remotely in Ireland
Before you jet off to join me in Ireland, don't make the mistake of going without doing some research.
You need to figure out if you can even work there.
Here’s what I’ve learned about Irish remote work.
Are you eligible?
First off, can you, personally, even work in Ireland? I’m going to cop out and say that just depends—except it's not a copout because it's true.
Your legal ability to work in Ireland long term depends on your visa eligibility and type of employment. It also depends on where in Ireland you’re going.
What visa do I need to get?
Make sure you have the right kind of visa for the work you’re doing and your length of stay. A tourist visa should work fine if you're in Ireland for the equivalent of a vacation.
But if you want to hang out long term, you might need a different visa or a residence permit.
The visa you need and how long you can stay largely depends on where you’re coming from. When it comes to immigration, sadly, it’s often different strokes for different folks.
What type of worker are you?
If you're employed full time in the US, tax reasons may prevent you from working from the Emerald Isle for longer than a few days. For instance, with Reviews.org, I can work from anywhere for two weeks. But after two weeks, it’s an issue for my company, and I have to head home.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll likely have more leeway on how long you can stay.
Where are you going in Ireland? (And is it actually in the UK?)
A li’l history lesson: in the 1920s, the Irish south broke away from the UK to form the Republic of Ireland. So what we colloquially call “Ireland” is actually split between two countries: the independent Republic and the UK province of Northern Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland and the UK have their own immigration and visa laws, so make sure you know where you’re going. (Dublin is in the Republic; Belfast is in the UK.)
Some countries do have a digital nomad visa tailored specifically to remote workers.
However, neither the Republic of Ireland nor Northern Ireland offers one.
Where will you stay?
Next, you need to find some work accommodations and living accommodations. We strongly encourage you to roll those into one, although you don't have to. You can get an Airbnb but work out of a coworking space, or get a hotel but work out of a coffee shop, or whatever.
The best way to find a short-term living space in Ireland is same as anywhere else: check out websites like Airbnb or Vrbo, or look at local hotels or hostels.
We have an article on how to get the best internet from your Airbnb, if that's the route you choose.
What gear will I need to work?
Most remote workers need equipment and an internet connection. Before you leave, make sure you have a laptop or phone that can handle your working needs or have a solid plan for getting one when you arrive.
We’ve encountered a few laptop rental places, so that might be an option if you don’t have the right computer or would rather not haul yours to another country.
And don’t forget an adaptor! The electrical currents and plugs are different abroad. We suggest bringing a backup or two (so consider this three-pack).
As for internet, make sure your living or working space has a fast enough Wi-Fi connection. Alternatively, you can set up a hotspot with your phone plan. In fact, it’s always a good idea to have a hotspot on standby, just in case.
It’s also a good idea to have an international cell phone plan for both work and everyday reasons.
Another solution for both a computer and an internet connection?
Visit an internet cafe with your laptop!
Old school, we know—but effective. Though perhaps all cafes are now internet cafes so long as you can get a Wi-Fi password …
In any case, we recommend using a VPN when using any form of public Wi-Fi.
What will you do when you're not working?
This is the fun part!
When you aren’t working, there’s plenty to do all over Ireland.
I'd want to visit pubs (not just for drinkers), the Dublin Zoo, and Dunluce Castle.
Kiss the Blarney Stone if you dare, and even take a Game of Thrones tour.
Research the activities you most want to do, and plan your stay accordingly. You can even travel between locations—that’s the beauty of remote work!
And if the Emerald Isle is too far from home for you, perhaps America's own Emerald City of Seattle will do? It's No. 4 on our list of the best US cities for remote work.