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Complete guide to obtaining an Ireland retirement visa, the required documents, and the best places for retirees

Ireland can be a bit expensive, but it makes a great retirement destination. You will be amazed by the marvelous views of the land and sea. In addition, Irish people are known for their festive celebrations, and there are many events and festivals throughout the year, so you will not get bored while enjoying your retirement.

If you wish to retire in Ireland, you must be financially independent and meet the retirement conditions. 

Who Is Eligible For an Ireland Retirement Visa?

To be eligible for an Ireland Retirement visa, you must be able to support yourself financially. This means that you cannot have access to State benefits while residing in Ireland on a retirement visa. 

People of independent means (do not depend on anyone for financial support) who want to retire in Ireland must have an individual yearly income of $50,000 and access to sufficient funds to cover any sudden major expenses. 

You should present a financial document in spreadsheet format and converted into euros. This document must show all income and spending for each month and must be certified by a specialized Irish accountant.

Documents Required for an Ireland Retirement Visa

Enclose the following documents to complete your application for an Ireland Retirement visa:

  • Copies of your passport pages, including the visa you entered Ireland with.
  • Copy of your birth certificate.
  • Copy of your marriage certificate.
  • The reason why you are applying. Write a cover letter explaining the reasons you are applying for a retirement visa in Ireland.
  • Details of your family members who are residents in Ireland and their legal status in Ireland.
  • Details of Irish Associations. State if you are related to an Irish citizen by blood-related, affinity, or adopted by a citizen of Ireland
  • Means of subsistence. You can provide a bank statement for the last six months and payslips.
  • Proof of your finances verified by an Irish accountant listing your annual income and any financial liabilities. Finances must be in the form of pension income or accessible funds.
  • Health insurance policy. Evidence of private medical insurance with full coverage in private hospitals in Ireland.
  • A police clearance certificate. You need to show proof of clean criminal record issued by the authorities in your country of residence.
  • Health Declaration. A document stating your health status/conditions.
  • Any other information you consider relevant to your case.

How to Apply For an Ireland Retirement Visa?

The application process for an Ireland Retirement visa depends on whether you need a visa to enter Ireland or not. The process is quick and easy and includes three simple steps: 

  1. Apply for permission to retire in Ireland to the Irish Department of Justice.
  2. Apply for a visa to enter Ireland (only necessary if you are from a country with visa requirements).
  3. Enter Ireland and register your stay.

Citizens of countries with a visa requirement must apply for a D Reside visa before arriving in Ireland, and everyone (without exemption) is obliged to apply for Stamp 0 before entering the country. Stamp 0 is permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary period of 12 months, and it can be renewed on an annual basis if you still meet the conditions. 

Apply for permission to retire in Ireland (Stamp 0)

Whether you need a visa or not, you are required to apply for permission (Stamp 0) to the Department of Justice in Dublin, Ireland. You must submit a written letter and the required documents.

If your application is successful, the Unit 2, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, will issue a Stamp 0 Conditional Letter of Offer and an Agreement Form.

The Conditional Letter of Offer is issued on the condition that you meet the requirements for a visa and is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Officer when you enter the State.

Apply for an Irish entry visa

To retire in Ireland, people from countries with a visa requirement who have received the Conditional Letter of Offer from Unit 2 must contact the local visa office to apply for a visa to enter Ireland.

To reside in Ireland on retirement condition, you must apply for and obtain a D-Reside Visa before entering Ireland. If you enter the country without a D-Reside Visa, you will not be able to complete the registration process which is needed to reside in Ireland.

Your Conditional Letter of Offer must be included with your application.

Enter Ireland and register your stay

After arriving in Ireland, send the signed Agreement Form that was sent to you together with the Conditional Letter of Offer and your passport to the Unit 2, Department of Justice in Dublin, Ireland.  

Unit 2 will add the Stamp 0 permission to your passport and return it to you.

Once you are granted permission, you must visit the registration office in Dublin or at a local Garda station outside of Dublin to register your permission.

Processing Time for an Ireland Retirement Visa

The processing time for a retirement visa application is four months if the application is completed. However, the processing time can be delayed if you do not send the required documents with their original application.

Keep in mind that applications are processed in chronological order.

What Is the Duration of a Retirement Visa for Ireland?

An Ireland retirement visa is granted to foreigners who want to retire in the country and is valid for one year (12 months). However, you can renew it every year before the visa expires.

Can I Get Permanent Residency in Ireland With a Retirement Visa?

Unfortunately, a retirement visa does not immediately grant you permanent residency in Ireland. To be eligible for a permanent residence, you have to be a resident of Ireland for five continuous years. After residing in Ireland for five years, you can continue to apply for a Permanent Residency in Ireland.

Can My Family Members Join Me?

The retirement visa does not permit you to bring your family members to Ireland. However, if your family wants to visit you in Ireland, they can apply for an Ireland Tourist Visa

If your spouse meets the requirements for retiring in Ireland, you can apply for the Ireland Retirement visa as a couple. 

Healthcare For Retirees in Ireland

Ireland has a dual healthcare system, which means you have access to private and public healthcare options. The public healthcare system is governed by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Hospitals in Ireland perform all healthcare services, including accidents and emergency services. They are equipped with modern appliances and well-trained and high-qualified staff.

The Health Service Executive (HSE)

The Irish healthcare system, “Health Service Executive,” is responsible for providing health and personal social services. HSE is in charge of directly operating many hospitals in Ireland and provides a range of services for retirees. 

Once you obtain your Medical Card, you will not have to pay to see your doctor or get the prescribed medicine. The medical card also covers public out-patient and in-patient services, eye and ear tests, and dental checks.

Health centers run by The Health Service Executive include services such as:

  • GP services 
  • public health nurses 
  • social work and child protection services 
  • child health services 
  • community welfare 
  • disability services
  • older people services 
  • chiropody, ophthalmic 
  • speech therapy 
  • addiction counseling and treatment
  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy 
  • psychiatric services

Even though the healthcare system in Ireland is one of the best in the world, many expats tend to cooperate with private health insurance companies and go for private healthcare to avoid long waitings.

Why Retire in Ireland?

There is a reason why Ireland is the dream destination for thousands of retirees around the world. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider retiring in Ireland.

  1. The friendly locals. Irish people are known to be some of the friendliest in the world. They are very welcoming towards foreigners, have a great sense of humor, and like to smile.
  2. Safety. Ireland is ranked as the 12th safest country in the world and has a low crime rate. 
  3. Nature. Beautiful landscapes will follow you everywhere you go in Ireland. The country is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world.
  4. Accessible healthcare. Ireland’s public healthcare was ranked 13th globally and is free for anyone residing in Ireland.
  5. Delicious cuisine. The delicious cuisine is famous for the traditional and seafood dishes. Although it might be high in sodium, foreigners seem to prefer Irish food a lot.

Best Places to Retire in Ireland

When retiring in Ireland, you will have the chance to choose between retiring in the city or in rural areas, depending on your preference. Usually, the rural areas in Ireland have a higher population. Here are the best places for retirement in Ireland.


The capital city of Ireland offers a comfortable and energetic lifestyle. The beautiful scenery will follow you around the city, and there are plenty of activities to do throughout the day.

Dublin is a diverse and multicultural place, and the people there are some of the friendliest in Ireland. 

Skibbereen, County Cork

Skibbereen is a vibrant and friendly town characterized by colorful buildings. Every street has its own story, and the people are proud of the town’s unique heritage. Several popular festivals take place annually, giving the town a beautiful colorful atmosphere.

Kilkenny, County Kilkenny

Kilkenny is perfect for history lovers. The city is famous for its medieval building and castle and offers a vibrant cultural and sporting lifestyle. The locals are friendly and have many bars and pubs throughout the city. 

Bray, County Wicklow

Known as one of the most scenic counties in Ireland, Bray offers retirees a comfortable and relaxed lifestyle. You can enjoy retirement in the green landscape and beautiful gardens. 

The vibrant city hosts a number of theater groups and festivals where you can participate and have a great time.

Galway, County Galway

Galway is a great place to settle if you want to enjoy a high-quality life and the benefits of the West of Ireland. Galway is a picturesque city filled with colorful buildings and medieval architecture. One of the reasons why Galway is popular is the several local eateries and restaurants that serve delicious and affordable meals.

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