So you’ve decided to move to Ireland for a job or school or just because you like this country. That’s grand! You’ve sorted out your visa, you’ve bought your plane ticket and you’ve arrived at the airport. What now?
Accommodation: make sure you make arrangements for accommodation before you arrive to Ireland, even if it’s just a few nights in the hostel while you’re looking for something more permanent.
Your best bet for long term accommodation is www.daft.ie, where you can find places to rent or share. Another great way of finding accommodation is looking through the local editions of newspapers such as The Nationalist, Metro, Irish Independent, The Irish Times, etc. If you have any friends or family already here, ask them for help. Use social media – there are many Facebook groups for people in Dublin, Cork, Galway, etc, where you can post a FREE ad saying you’re looking for accommodation.
Whenever you rent in Ireland, you have to pay deposit and a month’s rent upfront. The deposit usually is the same amount as a month’s rent. So make sure you have enough money for that. Prices differ depending on which part of Ireland you are in, but it’s safe to assume the bigger the town, the higher the rent.
Register with An Garda Síochána (Garda), or the police as they’re known in the rest of the world. This step is only necessary if you’re not an EU citizen. Find your nearest Garda station and go in to talk to the Immigration Officer, who will be able to set you up with the Immigration card which will work as another form of your ID. Remember, you have 30 days from arrival in Ireland to register!
Great! So you have your place sorted, you’re registered with the Gardas, now you’re ready to move on to the next step: getting your PPS Number. If you’re just here to study and don’t plan on working, you don’t need to apply for a PPS Number.
Your PPS Number is probably the most important document you’ll need. A PPS (Personal Public Service) Number is used by your employers, the tax office, social welfare office, sometimes even landlords. Whenever you fill out a form, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked for your PPS Number.
So how can you get it?
• a recent photo of yourself (passport sized),
• Passport or Certificate of Registration with Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform (Immigration card),
• evidence of address (rental agreement, bills, etc),
• birth cert (translated to English and stamped by an official translator).
With all that in hand, go to your local Social Welfare Protection Office and they’ll process it for you. It usually takes around 10 working days to receive your PPS number. It will be sent to the address you provided.
If you have a work permit and your PPS is all sorted, you can start working. Your PPS is all you need for tax purposes, just give it to your employer and they will take care of it (you might have to fill out the 12A tax form to supply your marital status details etc, so the tax office knows how to tax you).
If you’re having problems finding a job, FÁS is the place to go. It’s the National Training and Employment Authority, which helps you either find a job or helps you upgrade your skills so that’ you’re more marketable. While you need stamp 4 to register with FÁS, but they should help you with your CV anyway!
So things are going good, you got a job, congrats! What now? Opening a bank account is next on the list, of course. You have plenty of banks to choose from, so take your pick. Remember to research fees and interest rates and whatever other payments there might be. What you’ll need to open an account is: your ID, proof of address (so again, a bill, rental agreement, etc) and a letter from work stating that you’ll have regular deposits. If you’re a student, you don’t need the employer letter, just a letter stating that you’re a student at your college/school.
If you fall sick (knock on the wood, hopefully that’s not the case!), you’ll have to visit the GP. GP stands for General Practitioner and that’s what most of the doctors are called in Ireland. A visit to a doctor is quite expensive – about €50 per visit, if not more. Make sure you heave medial insurance before you arrive in Ireland, as being sick here is really quite expensive!
This part is Dublin specific: public transport is the most popular form of transport around the city. There’s DART, LUAS and Dublin Bus. DART is a train commuter service for those who live outside of Dublin city proper. LUAS are trams; there are two lines, the Green and the Red. The Green one goes from St. Stephen’s Green to Brides Glen, the Red services The Point to Tallaght or Saggart.
Dublin Bus is by far the most popular (and cheapest) form of transport. You’d do well to get a Leap Card, which you top up whenever you need and which works as a payment card. When you enter the bus, you put it on a reader and tell the driver where you want to go. Then the driver tells you the fare and deducts it from the card. It’s pretty useful!
There are also monthly bus tickets, called Ramblers. You can get the student one (only if you’re a day student and have a valid student travel card) for €95 per month. The adult one costs €112 (valid for a calendar month only) or €125 (valid for 30 non consecutive days). You can check out the ticket prices at www.dublinbus.ie
This should help make your initial days in Ireland as low stress as possible! Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try and help you!