Mark Berndt is a .NET developer who recently relocated from Cape Town to Ireland to work in the IT sector. We asked him to share his advice for others moving to Ireland.
Here are are some of the things you will need to get in order once you arrive in Ireland. Unfortunately none of these things can be done before you arrive, you need to be here in person. A lot of the things covered here are only applicable if you do not hold an EU passport. Should you hold an EU passport, you would only need to worry about getting a bank card and a PPS number.
Entering the country
This is the easy part. Make sure you have a copy of your work permit present as they will ask for this and they will take a photo of you at immigration. In your passport they will stamp a 3 month visa. You need to appear in front of the immigration bureau within this period to get a long stay card but I’ll get back to that later on. Welcome to Ireland, you have now entered the country successfully!
Getting a phone number
Surprisingly important, people locally will need to contact you on a local number. More importantly you will need a local number for all of the below. This is very easy to do, just go to a phone provider (E.g. Vodafone) and they will issue you with a working sim on site.
Getting a bank card
Things get a bit more complicated from here on. At this point you probably don’t have a local address and even if you do, chances are you haven’t yet received a utility bill to prove your residence there. There is hope however. Find out the bank that your company uses, and ask your employer to write you a letter saying you are working for them and that you are new to Ireland and do not yet have an address. Include a residential address of someone at the company (bank cards have to be posted to a residential address. You can change this address later on). By going to the bank that the company has an account with they will\should\hopefully allow you to open a bank account and post the card to the address on the letter you provided them with.
A PPS number allows you to access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland. You are required to have this number as you need it to register with the Revenue Commissioners. Depending on which county you are in, you can make an application for a PPS number here.
For this you will need your passport and proof of residence in Ireland. I would take proof of why you need this number too – your work permit, but it is not stated that you need to bring this along.
If you intend to stay in the country longer than 3 month, you need permission to remain. This GNIB card will be your permission to remain in the country. It will also show a Stamp 1 on the card, this means you have permission to work in the state. Remember the stamp you got in your passport when you entered the country? Well this is the card that will allow you to stay in the country for a longer period of time. If you stay in Dublin, an appointment must be made online.
If you stay outside of Dublin, you will need to contact the local regional office. You should bring your passport and you should provide any information requested in connection with the purpose of your arrival in Ireland – your work permit. Along with proof of residence. This card will unfortunately cost you €300.