Moving from Ireland to New York: Questions Answered

Well, that’s it… we live in New York now! 🙂 In the midst of the global pandemic and the largest civil right movements in history (#BLM) but honestly, there is no place we’d rather be!  

Since we announced the news on social media, I’ve been inundated with questions from my lovely followers, so I thought it’d be best to do a blog post answering the most common ones about moving from Ireland to New York. So, without further ado…

Moving from Ireland to New York. Why?

Anyone who’s been following me for a while knows that New York is my favourite place on the planet. Actually, “Live Lavishly in New York City” was the first blog post I ever published haha! I was, and still am, just so infatuated with it!

We’ve been to New York so many times but it was never enough, an itch that we just could not scratch! It’s the only place that we kept going back to. Usually, once we’ve been somewhere that’s it, we’ll never go again but, we just couldn’t get enough of New York, it’s actually addictive! 

So anyway, when we were here in November 2018, the seed was planted. I was watching locals go about their lives and really wished it was us! So I asked Darren would he move there, because “I could move us here…” and guess what he said? HE SAID YES haha!

Previous New York Trips

How did you make it happen?

I don’t want to down play the move, it’s not easy but as the saying goes…. nothing worthwhile is!  

Depending on your circumstances, different visas may apply to you.

One option is to go to the US on a J1 and/or a Graduate Visa and hope that by the end of it, the employer will sponsor your stay. This is what Erika Fox from Retro Frame did so if you’re interested in knowing more, she has written a full blog post on that here

Since my college days are long gone :p, that wasn’t an option, so I found an internal opportunity with my current employer and transferred from our Dublin office to our New York one. This is why I didn’t have the whole job/sponsor step and how I started work so quickly.

We moved over on a Saturday and I started work on the Monday. I didn’t want to take time off until we were moving into our own apartment and I also wanted to save my days for travelling. 

Does your company have offices in New York or anywhere else outside of Ireland? If yes, keep your eye on the careers website and speak to your management about any opportunities that you’re interested in. Most international companies have, and encourage, internal moves so if you’re interested in moving, you should definitely look into it more. 

What visas do you both have?

I’m on an L1-A Visa which is for an “Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager“.  I’m going to do a separate write up on the visa process because there’s so much to cover (like the Embassy interview!).

As my spouse, DB qualified for an L2 Visa. Generally, he has all of the same privileges as me except he can’t work straightaway. He needs to have an Employment Authorisation Document (EAD) which takes approximately 3 to 6 months to be processed. In the mean time, he’s absolutely living the dream… and managing Live Lavishly hehe! These blog posts and videos don’t create themselves! :p

How much does it cost?

It’s expensive, even with a company/sponsor supporting you. Lawyers need to be paid, there are visa processing fees, shipping stuff over can be thousands, all on top of flights and temporary accommodation. Oh and the rent (see below)! 

Is the cost of living expensive?


First of all, just to move in somewhere, you’ll usually need:

  • one month’s rent,
  • an additional month’s rent as a security deposit and;
  • if you don’t have a good credit rating in the US or somebody to go guarantor* for you, you may have to pay the cost of another month’s rent, to another company, just to secure your lease.

That’s up to 3 month’s rent, just to move in! So in short, it ain’t cheap and you should save as much as you possibly can. I would recommend you aim to have saved within the five figure range before you get here. 

*To go guarantor, the person/company would have to earn more then 40 times the annual rent. Some of the apartments we seen wanted someone who earned 80 times the annual rent! I don’t know about you, but we don’t know any millionaires, haha!

Brooklyn Bridge Photo

Then just the day to day purchases, like coffee and food and that, is much more expensive here than at home. The transport and the utilities are actually very reasonable so at least that’s something. 

Moving from Ireland to New York. Did it happen as quick as it looked?

Trust me, not at all. We began the overall process in March 2019, so all in all it took about 10 months. We knew going in to this that it wasn’t going to happen overnight so we prepared ourselves for a bit of a wait – I was patient, for once in my whole entire life :p Check out the photo below; we kicked off the visa process and the de-cluttering of our house in May.

NYC Checklist

Darren and I only received our US Visas in January 2020, so we couldn’t officially announce that we were moving to New York until then. Once we received our visas, there was no going back and that’s when we told you guys 🙂

What do you work as?

I work in Financial Services and Darren works in Digital Marketing. 

How long do you plan on staying in New York?

We have no plan really, we’re just taking each day as it comes, and living in the moment. Although we’re definitely not staying here forever… a couple of years, maybe. While we’re here, we definitely want to travel and see as much of this side of the world as possible!

Places that we might not have seen otherwise, like even remote, random places in the middle of nowhere haha!

What did you do with your house?

We rented out our house in Dublin. I told you we are coming home! :p

Where in New York do you live?

We live in the Financial District, or Fidi as the New Yorkers call it (they love an acronym), which is in Downtown, Manhattan. 

FIDI Google Map

For our first month in New York, we lived in the same area, but in temporary accommodation. This was ideal, as it gave us the opportunity to experience living there, before fully committing to a lease!

That was the idea of the temporary accommodation, to give us a month to properly research and find out where we wanted to live. But it worked out even better than that because we almost got a trial run in the neighbourhood 🙂

If you’re visiting New York on holidays, you’re most likely to stay in Midtown, like we did for years, but when you’re living here it’s different. The Financial District is not rammed with tourists, it’s quiet but not too quiet, it’s close to my job and it’s extremely well connected to all 5 boroughs in New York City. We love the vibe down here. Highly recommend you visit the Seaport area if you’re visiting, it’s really cool! 

Apartment View

We’re also only a 10 minute walk from my favourite New York City landmark, the Brooklyn Bridge.

For more recommendations on things to do in New York City that are FREE, check out this blog post.

Well, I hope that answers most of the questions you have about Darren and I moving from Ireland to New York. If any new ones come in, I’ll update this blog post and let you all know.

As always, thanks for reading and if you’ve any more questions we didn’t cover, write them below and I’ll get back to you!

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