Relocating to Northern Ireland? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Known for its beautiful coastline, historic buildings and bustling cities, Northern Ireland has so much to offer. In fact, thanks to its stunning landscapes and thriving foodie scene, NI’s capital city, Belfast, is a pretty great place to live by most estimations.

Moving to a new city is never easy, even if you are moving from another part of the UK – particularly during a global pandemic. But if it’s always been a dream of yours to live in Northern Ireland, or you’ve been offered a dream job in Belfast that is just too good to pass up, here are some tips and pointers to help see you through the move: 

  1. Finding a House

Finding a property is likely to be one of the most difficult parts of your move to Northern Ireland, particularly if you’re unable to do viewings ahead of time because you’re currently too far away.

As houses in Northern Ireland are highly sought after, rental rent and house prices are slightly higher than average, though you will find yourself paying a lot less if you choose to live outside Belfast. 

2. Make Sure You’re Insured

Northern Ireland’s public transport infrastructure is a lot less robust than in other parts of the UK, so most people make buying a car a priority as soon as they move to NI. The insurance market is a little different in Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK, so take a look at car insurance NI options on CompareNI.com when you are ready to bite the bullet and buy a set of wheels.

Visas and Work Permits

If you’re coming from outside the UK you’ll need to make sure you’ve done your research into what kind of visa you’ll need in order to work or study in Northern Ireland. Depending on your line of work, you may have to pay for your visa.

If you’re coming from England, Scotland or Wales a visa won’t be necessary, because even with the Northern Ireland protocol in place any British citizens are allowed to live and work in Northern Ireland.

Setting Up Your Finances

Northern Ireland has many banks that are unique to the province, such as Ulster Bank, Danske Bank and the Bank of Ireland, but if you’re moving from another part of the UK you can stick with your existing bank unless you’re keen to switch to one with local branches.

If you’re coming from outside the UK you might have to wait until you have a utility bill or some other proof of address before you can set up a local bank account.

Fitting In

Northern Irish people are very friendly, so it’s likely that you’ll make friends naturally as you go along. You could speed up the process by joining a club or an exercise class, or using an app like Meetup or Nextdoor to find friends in your local area.