what you need and need not to be successful in the whole crazy process of moving to the Emerald Isle.
Before I came over I did my research here and there but never understood the whole process. Granted, my company helped a lot when it came to getting the work permits and filing the initial paperwork however there is a lot that you will need to do on your own to complete the process.
Here are the steps to take when you first set foot here in Ireland:
1. After landing at Dublin Airport you must present the border agency with your work permit/visa, arrival letter from your employer and possibly your birth certificate. Be prepared for a grilling as any questions are free game. I had a fairly easy entry in since I had everything properly filled out.
The officer will stamp your passport indicating an amount of time you can stay in Ireland until you must register with the Garda (Ireland's police), specifically the Garda National Immigration Bureau.
2. Find a place to live:
It's not just expensive to live in a hotel until you find an apartment, it's very important to get that lease as soon as you can so you can continue the process in becoming a resident.
Luckily, it's pretty easy to find a place and complete the lease signing process here in Ireland; quite 'easy-peasy' as they say here. You will find yourself in a bit of a conundrum as the agent will ask for your Ireland bank account. At this point you will not have one because you cannot get a bank account without a lease and utility bill. See what I mean?
Your only means of paying your deposit and first months rent will be cold cash. Don't bring it in an envelope from the USA, if you do you are stupid and deserve to lose it. ATMs work great here and you can pull out generally €700 at a time to pay the landlord/agent. US banks as a rule generally only allow $1,000/day withdrawn so plan ahead. Luckily my agent was nice enough to let me bring in the rest the next day.
3. Register for your immigration card
GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau)
Burgh Quay, Dublin 2
For the record, the word "quay" is not pronounced like you think it is. Its pronounced "key". If you say it like the previous you will get very stupid looks. And for the record a quay is a concrete, stone, or metal platform lying along side water. Used for loading ships. When you get there you'll know what I mean.
I can't stress this enough but come as early as you can. I'm talking 7am early so no lolly gagging. These places queue up quick. Even when you are one of the first, you can still wait up to an hour. Keep in mind that you will not be getting your immigration card today. They usually deliver to your apartment in around 7-10 days.
When you get this card, proceed to step 4
4. Get your PPS number
20 Kings Inn Street
- GNIB Card
- Proof of residence (utility bill)
Why is this so important? You need this number to get paid!!! This is the eqivelant of your SSN and your employer used this when registering your income with the Irish IRS.
Keep in mind, this is the welfare office. Don't go getting weirded out that you have to stand in line at the welfare office. It's not the same thing... Well, it is the same thing but the diffence is that everyone here has to do it.
Again, if you don't show up when they open, you will literally spend the entire day there. Line starts at 7:30am so don't dilly dally. My first attempt to get this done was a miserable failure. To give you an idea I had ticket number 65, the number being called was 30. After two hours of waiting they only got to 40!
First in Line!
You will receive your PPS number within 5-10 working days.
5. Get a bank account
You can technically do this once you have your lease and utility bill, sometimes sooner. If your employer uses the same bank, they are very friendly with each other and will accept a letter for your HR department which can get you the account without an official lease.
6. Register with the consulate
This is optional but recommended. It's a good idea in this day and age to let your home country know where you are. Unless you are intentionally evading your government, you should stop in at your friendly neighborhood US Consulate. After doing this, you'll be on their list of contacts when they need to send out important information regarding safety while living abroad.
This is really for those googling the expat process here in Ireland I know this will find you but hope this helps as there aren't enough guides to this kind of thing out there.
I may not have been as direct as possible but this is just an outline of what to do based on my experiences. If you come across this and see anything wrong, please let me know and I'll correct. Otherwise, email me if you have any questions.
Cheers and good luck in your move over!