Ireland

Ireland is a country known for its easygoing people and scenic views, but many people don't know how rapidly the country has progressed in the field of human rights in the past twenty years. In terms of trans rights, Ireland is not a class leader in Europe when it comes to legislation, but social acceptance of transgender people in the country in Ireland is among the best in the world. Ireland is almost completely free of the infestation of TERFs ( Trans-Exclusionary Radial Feminists) that are a big problem on Ireland's neighbour island Britain. Trans healthcare in the country is poor in terms of services and gatekeeping access to them, but rapid improvements are being made in that department as of this writing in 2020.

Ireland is predominantly an English-speaking country and is the primary language nearly everywhere in the country including all urban areas. A few areas exist, known as the 'Gaeltacht', where Irish is the primary language; these are primarily in rural areas in the far west of the country. Spanish and German are relatively common secondary languages in the country.

Ireland has one of the most generous Citizenship by Descent rules in the world, as it permits any person with at least one grandparent born on the island of Ireland to easily become an Irish citizen. Those with at least one great-grandparent born in Ireland are eligible for relaxed naturalisation requirements ( 3 years residency vs. the normal 5 ).

While Ireland is not especially easy to gain access to via a work permit, for certain qualified professionals, particularly those in IT and health care, a work visa can be fairly easy to get. The Irish government maintains a Critical Skills Occupations List that can help potential immigrants find if they may easily qualify for a work visa.

As of this writing in autumn of 2020, Ireland is a popular destination for British trans people from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is substantially safer for transgender people than than England, Wales, or NI, and trans people in the Republic enjoy rights and a quality of life similar to that found in Scotland. UK citizens can relocate to Ireland, live and work there visa-free under the CTA ( Common Travel Area ) agreement. After 5 years residency, they can apply for Irish/EU citizenship. ( 3 years, if they have at least one Irish great-grandparent with documentation, or after three years of marriage to an Irish citizen, with only one year of Irish residency required.) While Irish-British relations under Brexit and the fate of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) remain an open question, we regard it as highly unlikely that the Common Travel Agreement (CTA) will collapse within the next 5 years. Therefore, for some trans people from the UK, visa-free Irish residency and employment may be the easiest or best path to regaining full EU citizenship and freedom of movement within a few years.

Ireland is a popular endpoint country for a scheme known as 'Schengen Hopping' where emigrants can maintain legal status in Ireland by moving back and forth between Ireland and mainland Europe every 90 days. Please see About The EU for more details.

The cost of living in Ireland is moderate to high depending on the area. The capital Dublin, especially, has very high rent costs that prohibit many from being able to live there. The government's only trans healthcare centre is in Dublin's suburb of Loughlinstown, but transgender support organisations exist in multiple cities including Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Belfast.

Northern Ireland is a disputed territory ( Between Ireland and the UK ) that accounts for about twenty percent of the area of Ireland, and is currently under UK governance. A treaty in 1999 largely ended a decades-long conflict between the nations. Northern Ireland is not as friendly to trans people as the rest of island, but Belfast, the largest city, still has an active transgender community, along with the only transgender community centre on the island, the Belfast Trans Resource Centre .

Ireland has a high rate of acceptance of asylum seekers compared to most EU countries. However, waiting and evaluation periods for asylum seekers are long, typically taking several years, and the housing and care arrangement the Irish government provides through contractors ( known as "Direct Provision" ) is substandard, and has been criticized by several human rights organisations.

TransEmigrate co-founder Misty emigrated from the United States to Cork, Ireland in 2019, and she loves it there. She was fortunate enough to have gained Irish Citizenship by Descent. Misty highly recommends Ireland to English-speaking trans people who have already transitioned and who don't need much in the way of trans-related medical care. She can be reached in the TransEmigrate chat rooms or by emailing contact@transemigrate.org .

Useful links:

Transgender Equality Network Ireland

Gender Rebels Cork

LINC ( Lesbians IN Cork ) - Lesbian & Bisexual Women group, trans women-friendly

Amach! LGBT - Galway

Belfast Trans Resource Centre

HSE National Social Inclusion Office - LGBTI page