Removals to Northern Ireland allow you to set up in a country which offers the beauty of the Irish countryside and the buzz of big cities. Northern Ireland brings the best of both worlds. If you’re moving to Northern Ireland, we hope that this page will give you enough pointers to facilitate your removal.
Moving to Northern Ireland: About Northern Ireland
Although situated on a larger island, Northern Ireland remains part of the UK. Unlike the Republic which is independent, Northern Ireland is governed by UK laws despite having its parliament.
Although Northern Ireland has a strong cultural identity, different from mainland Britain’s, many elements are the same, including the currency, the Pound Sterling (£ or GBP).
Northern Ireland doesn’t cover the whole of the north of the island, just the north-east corner. Overall, this makes up one-sixth of the overall area, with five-sixths belonging to the Republic of Ireland.
There are many vibrant cities such as Belfast, the capital, and just as many open spaces and rural sceneries. Northern Ireland is the second least populated region in Britain with just 317 people for every square mile.
The climate is typical for northern Europe with lots of rain all year round, including the summer months. Summer temperatures may be warm but won’t climb too high, and the winters will be cold but not harsh.
Moving to Northern Ireland: Language
As part of the UK, the official language of Northern Ireland is English. Some also speak Gaelic (Irish), but it’s very much a minority language. The variant of Gaelic in Northern Ireland is Ulster Irish. However, the use of Gaelic within Northern Ireland remains a politically sensitive subject; Even dual-use alongside English on some road signs has caused controversy.
As well as English and Gaelic, some people also speak Ulster Scots. It is a regional version of Scottish and is covered by the Good Friday Agreement. Unlike the Republic of Ireland, you won’t encounter any areas which exclude the use of English entirely.
Moving to Northern Ireland: Healthcare
All areas of the UK, including Northern Ireland, offer free healthcare in most cases to anyone who has the right to live and work in the country. Therefore, individuals arriving from overseas will be able to contribute via their job and receive full healthcare. They will need to register with a local GP to get an NHS number.
Moving to Northern Ireland: Transport
The relatively small area of Northern Ireland means that it’s relatively easy to navigate around, even if you don’t want to remain in the larger towns and cities. The countryside is a delight in waiting, but the joy of Northern Ireland is that you don’t need a car to escape the hustle and bustle.
There are bus and train services all over the country with some dedicated to the more rural areas and designed to serve hikers and ramblers. You can purchase integrated passes as they make it more convenient and cheaper to travel.
If you plan on driving, you’ll need to be on the left-hand side of the road as the rest of the UK. Parking can be expensive in the cities, however, and there are very active traffic wardens so try and plan where possible.
Moving to Northern Ireland: Visa Requirements
The process of moving to Northern Ireland and working in the country is very straightforward if you’re from either the EEA or Switzerland at the moment. All you will need are landing documents such as a passport.
For those travelling from outside the EEA, you may need both a visa and a work permit. These do not come from the same departments so you will need to apply for each independently before you arrive. There are some exceptions, such as for spouses of EEA nationals. To find out exactly what you need, contact your local immigration office.
The process of getting visas and permits for Northern Ireland is relatively simple compared to some other countries. However, it’s wise to allow yourself 2-3 months to get the process finalised before travelling.
Moving to Northern Ireland: Ireland
Northern Ireland has a long border with Ireland, but it’s reasonably inconspicuous and allows unpoliced access from one side to the other. This simple crossover and the fact you’re on an island can lead to a feeling that there’s little difference between the two parties, but this isn’t the case.
Northern Ireland has many differences with the Republic; these include taxation, currency and healthcare. Some individuals live on one side of the border and work on the other. This situation is entirely workable but can complicate life: For example, you will need to fill in two tax returns and may need to pay a top-up tax.
Lots of work is ongoing to continue to promote cross-border unity, and a dedicated agency supports workers who regularly cross over. So even if your work is in Northern Ireland, you could consider moving to the Republican side of the border. Brexit may change this.
Moving to Northern Ireland: Removals to Northern Ireland
As an island which is part of Europe, moving to Northern Ireland is usually straightforward. There are plenty of options for access including sea, road and air freight. Provided you follow the usual rules about importing your personal effects, you shouldn’t experience any undue delays. Reputable, professional European moving companies will be able to offer you options, depending on where you come from.
Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to help you with the full list of restrictions that apply to removals to Northern Ireland and also provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.