There are large numbers of Irish citizens living and working in the UK, and British citizens living and working in Ireland, and this will continue to be the case post-Brexit.
While the Irish and UK Governments are working to minimise any disruption for these citizens, when the UK leaves the EU there may be changes that will affect citizens living both here and in the UK.
There are also a number of important areas, such as access to social welfare, where citizens can be assured there will be no change. Post-Brexit, including in the event of no deal, Irish and British citizens will continue to enjoy the right to travel, live, and work, between the UK and Ireland in the same manner as before.
EU citizens living in Ireland will experience no change.
There are no requirements for passport controls in operation for Irish and British citizens travelling between Ireland and the UK and there will be no change to this as a result of Brexit. However, as regular passengers would be aware, all air and sea carriers require some form of identification and some carriers regard a passport as the only valid identification.
Immigration authorities may also require you to have valid official photo-identification, which shows your nationality.
Therefore, please check that your passport is valid and in date. For more information on passports, please see Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
Immigration requirements, as appropriate, will continue to apply to non-EU and non-UK citizens. For further information, please see the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website.
Post-Brexit, there may be longer customs checks at airports and ports when travelling between Ireland and the UK. This will become clearer closer to the date of exit. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
For further information on travelling and related matters, please see Travelling and Visiting.
Post-Brexit, if you are an Irish citizen living in the UK, or a British citizen living in Ireland, your social welfare rights will not change even in the case of no deal.
You will continue to be entitled to avail of social assistance schemes, including pensions and child benefit payments in either jurisdiction, depending on where you are living.
This also includes social insurance entitlements where British and Irish citizens living in Ireland maintain the right to benefit from social insurance contributions made when working in the UK and to access social insurance payments if living in the UK and vice versa.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has further information on social welfare entitlements and answers to your queries on Brexit.
Irish citizens and British citizens who live in, work in, or visit the other state will continue to have the right to access healthcare there. This will apply regardless of whether there is a deal or not. For more information on health post-Brexit, please visit Daily Life and the Department of Health.
After Brexit, Irish students will continue to be able to study and train in the UK and vice versa, including in a no deal scenario.
For further information on education and studying, including the recognition of professional qualifications, please see the Studying section on this website.
Irish citizens resident in the UK, and British citizens resident in Ireland, have the right to vote in local and national parliamentary elections. This will continue to be the case post-Brexit.
Under EU law, only citizens of EU Member States have the right to vote in, or stand for, European Parliament elections. This means that when the UK leaves the EU, British citizens residing in Ireland will no longer have a right to vote in European Parliament elections in Ireland.
For more information on voting, check out Citizens Information and Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
If you are resident in Ireland and hold a UK driving licence: If you hold a UK driving licence and are resident in Ireland, you should apply to exchange your UK licence for an Irish licence. In a no deal scenario, immediately post-Brexit, UK licences will not be valid for those who are resident in Ireland. You should contact the National Drivers Licence Service for further detail. The NDLS has also published some useful FAQs on its website.
In the case of non-EU or ‘third’ countries, legislation exists under our Road Traffic Acts to allow for the recognition of foreign driving licences for exchange purposes. If there is a no deal Brexit, the UK will become a third country, and arrangements can then be made for the exchange of UK driving licences. Ireland is pursuing this option, however it may take a little time to complete as it involves the signing of a formal agreement with the UK and the introduction of secondary legislation here in Ireland.
In a no deal scenario and without such an agreement, this would mean that if you are resident in Ireland and have not exchanged your UK driving licence before the UK leaves the EU, you will need to apply for an Irish licence. Currently this involves completing a theory test, a course of driver training and passing a driving test.
Visiting Ireland on a UK licence: You will be able to drive on a driving licence from the UK for up to one year provided the driving licence is current and valid.
Driving in the UK on an Irish licence: The UK Government’s stated position is that, post Brexit, arrangements for EU licence holders who are visiting or living in the UK would not change. Visitors to the UK, with driving licences from EU Member States, will enjoy the same arrangements as today.
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