Immigration Information for South Africans moving and immigrating to the Republic of Ireland
In 2016 our Facebook group "South Africans Moving to Ireland" was born. Over the years with overwhelming support and many thousands of successful moves to the Republic of Ireland through our Facebook group, we decided to put our collective knowledge and experience to good use and launch this site.
We are not immigration solicitors; we are ordinary people who have done the move from South Africa to Ireland. In saying that, we rely fully on the official websites of the Irish government to assist. Mostly the information comes directly off the LINKS below. Experience and knowledge have come from thousands of hours of research.
We highly recommend you read the information off these sites to ensure you fully understand all the concepts and processes.
All data on this website, is compiled and extracted from those sites to make this specific to South African passport holders (or Dual SA and Irish/EU/British/other passports). The reason we are doing this, is to make the information relevant to South Africans in particular, comparing what we have known in SA to here in Ireland.
We recommend you have a notepad and start noting down what's important for your move thereby creating a tailor-made guide for your family circumstances. That file of information that you gather is going to be your go-to from when you start to well after you arrive.
A lot of the Home Affairs documents take a long time to gather, so even if you are only at the 'thinking' stages, we recommend you go now and get those documents ordered. Even if Ireland is not your destination, those documents will be needed everywhere in the world that you may plan to move to.
We cannot give information on other passport holders from around the world, simply because our experience does not lend itself to giving accurate information. So, if you are a Zimbabwean passport holder, for example, a lot of the information is similar, however there are specific visa requirements that you need. We cannot give information on those visas as we are not directing our attention to this type of move. This is specifically for South African passport holders who may or may not have EU/ other passports too.
Follow the links below to the official sites and read up on your passports and how this move affects you.
We do not encourage you to rely only on us alone, instead follow the links we provide and investigate more yourself, if required, seek legal advice from an Irish based Immigration Solicitor. In this document you will see when we recommend a solicitor in certain circumstances. They have to power to assist you in court should you need it, where we cannot.
We wish you well on this rollercoaster journey and hope we get to answer your questions on the Facebook group, or chat informally to you on our Telegram group. We hope this provides what it is intended to be, a guide to make your move as seamless as possible.
This webpage applies to the Republic of Ireland only. It does not include people moving to Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is its own country which is part of the United Kingdom.
Laws governing moving to Belfast, for example, are therefore not explained here.
For information about moving to Northern Ireland, UK, please see the LINK below
Please note, as South African citizens you cannot move freely across the 'invisible' border between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, unless you are in possession of an Irish, British or EU passport itself. You will need to apply for a UK Visitor Visa to allow you to Visit, or appropriate visa for a Business trip, or work permits if you plan to work in Northern Ireland, UK. See LINKS below
Exception to this will be the spouses of EU passports (not Irish) who, once in possession of the Irish Residence Permit (IRP, Stamp4EUfam), if you travel with your EU spouse who has sponsored your move. This travel is for holiday purposes only and not work. For the spouses of British passport holders this will be the same until 31st December 2020, thereafter we await further information from the governing bodies. It is likely you will then need a visa.
Please read relevant websites for clarity on visas needed to visit or work in the UK. We will not be covering this in this here.
Please note during Covid-19, a 14 day quarantine applies when you arrive in Ireland. Please see this link for VITAL info: Covid-19 updates