Moving to Dublin for Work from Sri Lanka


Note:  Don’t email asking questions regarding jobs and other things in Ireland. Whatever I know, is already in this article!


In March 2016, I moved to Dublin, Ireland from Sri Lanka to work in IT. I thought to write this article to describe how I’ve settled down here so that it would not be hard for anyone from Sri Lanka (or a similar country) who wishes to come to Dublin for work.

How I got the opportunity?

This was something totally random. When I was updating my LinkedIn profile, I saw this ad posted on side. Then I thought to apply. The ad was posted by a recruiter and she was very clear on what to do to apply. I didn’t know the company that I was going to apply initially. Anyway I went through the procedures and there were about three interviews which were done through online and then I ended up being employed by Lonely Planet.

About the City

Dublin is a small city with a lot of variety when you consider the city center area. It’s fairly easy to get around the city center and mostly people prefer to walk or cycle. You will never get bored in Dublin, you will always find something to do for your tastes.  Public transportation is OK-good and make sure to get an integrated ticketing card such as LEAP card. When you just arrive, make sure you have some kind of a map to find your way, at least for the first few days. Also people are generally friendly.

Job Opportunities

Depending on the work field, the number of job opportunities can vary. However as I see, for IT, Dublin is a popular destination right now and most Major IT companies seems to have offices in Dublin. So definitely there are better opportunities for fellow Sri Lankans who work in IT.

[For example see open jobs for Facebook, Dublin and Microsoft, Dublin]

What happens after getting the job?

First thing you should get is a Work permit. For IT, it’s called Critical Skills Employment Permits. There are two applications one for employer and another for employee. Then employer can submit the applications. It will take some days to get a response. Chances are your employer know about this step. If you get a permit, you should receive an original copy of the permit.

Then you need to apply for employment visa. The first step must be done through online by filling an application form. The guidelines can be found here. Please note that some of the required supporting documents are not correct. For example, there is no need to show finances state even though it is listed. Make sure you have all the necessary documents though and then after getting them, go to the Irish consulate in Colombo and submit your documents. It will take generally about 3 / 4 weeks to get a response. Make sure your employer also knows about the situation. Always keep yourself and employer updated during this period. After this, and hopefully if you get the approval, you are ready to move to Dublin.

Things to do before moving to Dublin


Before moving to Ireland, make sure you get a place for accommodation. Discuss with your employer on accommodation and options available. If you need to find accomodation, try,


Make sure you bring some winter clothes. After arriving, you can easily find and buy clothes ranging from cheap wear to designer level.


Ireland uses Euros. Dublin is an expensive city. Opening a bank account in Dublin is a bit harder than it should be. Therefore chances are you might need to bring some extra cash, if your employer does not like to pay in cash until you get an Irish bank account. For worse case scenario, consider to have money for at least three months.

For food and transportation put aside €1000-2000 per month. However this all depends on how you like to spend and live but €1000 is minimum. Accommodation prices also vary depending on areas in Dublin. So check the prices from, for the area that you are interested.


The next step is to getting to Dublin. Pack you stuff, some snacks, clothes, Passport, work permit and work references. Find a good flight and don’t look back!

Things to do after arriving in Dublin

Find long term accommodation

Finding a long-term accommodation soon is essential as that place is used as your address for many things. If your employer agreed to give 1-3 month(s) accommodation which is temporary, most likely you cannot use that as proof of address for below mentioned required identifications. So find a place that suits you soon. You will need to pay a deposit and landlord will be clear about the requirements. Make sure to get a receipt or a letter noting any payments you made to your landlord.

The popular sites to find accommodation are,

Get registered in GNIB and extending your stay

When you arrive to Ireland for work, you will need to extend your stay. For this you must register at GNIB(Garda National Immigration Bureau). In Dublin, their office is located at:

13/14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2

Usually there is a long queue at the office for immigration purposes. So you should go in the morning to obtain a ticket. Please be mind, if you are late in the queue, you might not be given a ticket as there are limited number of tickets per day. When you get a ticket, you will be let know at what time of the day you should return back sot that you will be on time for your registration.

The registration fee is € 300.00 and you can only pay in credit card, laser card, or bank giro. For bank giro, they have a specific application. So if you are using bank giro, make sure to take a copy of that first from their office.

When you are going back to get registered, make sure to bring your work permit, passport and work reference letters (such as employer letter). After registration, you will get a GNIB card, and a stamp 1 on your passport. This registration will be needed to renew each year.

More Info:

Get a PPS number

You need to obtain a PPS number which is also required for TAX purposes.  Please note that the PPS Number allocation centre for County Dublin only deals with appointments booked online at So you need to create an account online and find an appointment. Read the information on screen for guidance. It is pretty straight forward.

For required documents, please go to

For proof of address mentioned in above page, you can simply get a letter from employer stating you live at your current address. Also if possible get a the application filled by your landlord. To ask for this form, go to to Intreo Centre Parnell Street. Keep in mind, most offices only work during office hours. So you will need to get approved from your employer to go.

Register for Tax

After getting PPS number and card, you can apply for TAX registration. Until this, you will be most likely on emergency tax rate. For a step-by-step guide on how to register for tax, follow:

Note the tax credit certificate is also an important document which can be used as a support document to open a bank account.

Opening a bank account

Main banks of Ireland and the documents they required to open a current account:

Apart from above banks, the only bank I found that will accept a stamped letter from your employer to verify address is called KBC. This will be last and only resort if you quickly need to open a bank account but unable to provide the documents required by above banks for proof of address. Go talk to KBC office on College Green, Dublin for the special letter format that needs to filled by Employer for this.

Hopefully, you will be able to open a bank account without a hassle but make sure you have the required documents. If something is not clear, call the bank of your choice and clear any doubts.


Clothing shops can be easily found in Dublin. For best clothes, try clothing shops on Graftton street and Henry Street. For general use, cheap clothes are available at Penneys store.


For general grocery stores try Lidl, Asia Market, Dunnes, Nolans, Spar. Higher the price higher the quality.

Fast food restaurants are available all around, and generally a meal will be around €6-10.

Applying for multi-entry visa

If you are looking to go home country, or visit other countries and return back on regular occastions, you will need to apply for multi-entry visa. You can apply for this from registered post or online. For Sri Lankans, this is free of charge.

More information found at:

Final Thoughts

I had to make sure things mentioned above (like before/after arriving to Dublin) is done correctly and in a short time, and I had no one to guide me. But after all that, it was all worth it.Dublin is a great place to work and live. If you like to come to Dublin for work, I hope all the above information will be extremely valuable.  I will try to keep this article updated or create new ones as needed. That is all for now. 🙂


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35 responses to “Moving to Dublin for Work from Sri Lanka”

  1. Udaya Kumara Rathnage Avatar
    Udaya Kumara Rathnage

    Hello Sinaru,mama oyage article ek sampurnayemma kiyewwa.eka godak watinawa.
    Kohomada Ireland wala job ekak hayaganne.
    Mehe mage job eka driving.Driver job hari Labour job hari whiteheads?
    Ane mata wisthara tikak denna

  2. sanduni Avatar

    hi Sinaru,
    I’m a postgraduate from UK in Pharmaceuticals and currently working in pharmaceutical sector in Sri Lanka.
    I accidentally came across your article and I wanted to get some info about coming to Ireland as an international student and possibilities of finding a job in Ireland.
    Do you have any idea of what is the job market for pharmaceutical industry and how easy or tough for the international students to settle down (as i heard they offer 2yrs PSW for level 9) after studies?
    do you think its a good idea to come to Ireland as an international student with a settling down mindset?
    Hoping to migrate this year thus your opinion will be valuable to me.
    thank you and keep up the good work!

    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar

      Hi Sanduni,

      I don’t have a great idea about the job market for pharmaceutical industry but I’ve met people who migrated here to work as nurses. So I think there is a good opportunity in the pharmaceutical industry. but I recommend you to research this a bit more.

      If you get a job, I reckon you will be able to settle down here in Ireland quite easily since you already have experience living in the UK.

      1. Siobhan Avatar

        The pharmaceutical industry is huge in Ireland and offers well paid jobs. This industry is well regarded and so it maybe an easy solution if you are planning to stay. Much better if you have qualifications for this area but you must make sure they are recognized in Ireland and may have to continue study here to have them recognized!

  3. Asitha Perera Avatar
    Asitha Perera

    Dear Mr Sinaru,

    I’m perera from Sri Lanka. I’m Marine Engineer. I have experience more than 15 years as a Marine Mechanical Engineer in Sea going vessels and SHIP REPAIR companies. Now I’m working in Dubai as a Ship Repair Mechanical Engineer in ship Repair company.

    So, I hope find a job and move to Ireland.

    Please let me know about how is job market for maritime field in Ireland and how to get job offer from employer. how is recognition for Sri Lankan job applicants in Ireland. please explain to me the situation and Visa procedure if possible to will get job opportunity to me.

    thank you.
    (My email address _:


  4. Roshan Avatar

    Hi Sinura,
    I am also working in IT sector in Sri Lanka.
    I would like to know the average salary for a month of a IT job.
    And a very helpful article by the way.

    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar

      Hi Roshan,
      Kindly use sites like to check that. Then when you get an amount for an year, use a tax calculator like to see how much net income you’ll get for a month.

  5. Prasadini Avatar

    dear Sinaru, I’m planning to follow my master degree in Ireland. As you know what is the most suitable city? for living with cheap cost of living, cheaper accommodations, easily settle, find a part time job easily . Are you know about limerick city? how is the student life there?do you know something about how to get dependent visa ?Thanx..

    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar

      Limerick seems to be the cheapest option when it comes to cities

      I don’t have much knowledge for other questions though.

  6. Pasika Ranaweera Avatar
    Pasika Ranaweera

    Hi Sinaru,
    I have been offered a PhD scholarship from University College Dublin (UCD, Dublin – 4). I might have to be there on 1st October to initiate the program. I have been offered a stipend of around 1300 Euros per month as this is a scholarship. Just wanted to get your advice regarding what level of a accommodation I should look for considering my scholarship and allocations for food & transportation.


    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar

      Hi Pasika,

      I’d recommend you to look into student accommodations. For a start, try this:

  7. Sonali Coorey Avatar
    Sonali Coorey

    Great info, very well written.
    Wishing you success in what you do!

  8. Pathiranage Don Padmasiri Avatar

    This information is so informative and inspiring for prospective job applicants in ireland. I’m also a LinkedIn subscriber in a quest to grab such an opportunity as Admin/Hr professional in the same country which I love very much to work for.
    Thank you for sharing this important piece of information !

  9. Damitha Dissanayake Avatar
    Damitha Dissanayake

    Hi sinaru.
    Frist of all it is a great and valueble article for new comers to the you now if some one wants to bring his family to ireland what is the process for that?and how long he has to work there to apply for hs family visa

      1. Damitha Dissanayake Avatar
        Damitha Dissanayake

        Thank you sir.😊

        1. Lakshan Ameresekere Avatar

          Thank you so much for all these information. And really appreciate your time and effort towards writing it. I am searching for a good business partner to take my business to Ireland.

  10. Iresh Ranaweera Avatar
    Iresh Ranaweera

    Hi Sinaru Disanayaka,

    First of all thanks for the great article you have shared.
    I’m UCD( University collage Dublin) computer science student currently studding National School Of Business Management.
    Could you please explain how can I find a job in Ireland according to my degree and also what is the suitable way.
    I will complete my degree in 2020 and what will be the future for the job market and living life there any predictions?

    Thank you very much,
    Iresh Ranaweera

    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar

      Hi Iresh,

      I believe the job market for Ireland will be strong for the coming years. I recommend you to search for entry level IT jobs in Ireland on the sites I mentioned, when you started looking for jobs. Also make sure the companies you apply to are looking to take employees outside Ireland/EU for entry level jobs. The more experience and skills you have, the easier it would be.

  11. Asanka Avatar

    Dear Sinaru,

    Please advice me to find a job in irish


    Asanka +94xxxxx

  12. Asanka Lakmal Avatar
    Asanka Lakmal

    I am in great desire to join a well-developed Country like yours and I wish to apply for Vacancies in your Country.

    I have successfully completed BBA (Sp) degree at the University of Colombo, Faculty of Management Finance
    Presently I am working as a development merchandiser at Brandix Lingerie Ltd Sri Lanka. I have a working experience in both Sri Lanka and Maldives more than Four years.
    Moreover I have knowledge about business, finance, marketing and human resource management.

    Moreover I would like to introduce myself as a good team worker, which I have gained through my working period. Therefore I believe that I am capable of working in a team towards the success of the organization that I am working for.

    I would be really pleased, if I could get an opportunity to serve your company whereby I am awaiting for a favorable reply from you. I ensure you, a trusted and dedicated service if I am selected.

    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar

      Hi Asanaka,

      I’m working as a software developer in Ireland. I only wanted to share my experience. I can’t help you as I’m not helping people to find jobs. I hope you understand.

  13. sanduni Avatar

    Hi Sinaru,
    I am planing on moving to Irland as a student again. City-Carlow.
    I was informed there will be 2yre post study work visa.
    I want to know with the Brexit happening in UK, will Irish will strict laws on international students or will they encourage them to stay after studies..i mean with Brexit happening. I heard Ireland job markets will be affected by this.

  14. Sachi Avatar

    Thank you for the valuable article. I’m currently working in Maldives as an accountant. If I will be able to find a job as a part qualified accountant shall I apply the work visa without resigning the current job in Maldives. Since without getting the visa in Ireland it might be riskier to resign from the current job. Kindly reply. Many thanks in advance

  15. Ravindu Avatar

    I have a diploma in pestry and bekary. Do you think is there any chanse to get a job as a baker in ireland or im just wasting my time?? Hit me back if you have time.. thanks.!!!

  16. Shani Avatar

    Hi Sinaru. I am a nurse hope to move to Ireland from Srilanka
    initially under Atypical visa . I have an employment letter and my agency applied for the ATWS authorization on behalf of me. Once when I get it , I want to apply for Atypical visa because initially we need to complete an adaptation period.There is no Irish embassy in Srilanka . Please tell me to where I want to go and what are the necessary documents . Hope to hear from u. Shani

    1. Siobhan Avatar

      We badly need nurses in Ireland, you may be able to apply online or just look up Irish visa applications and you will find what you need! Good luck

  17. sanduni Avatar

    Hi Sinaru,
    its Sanduni here again. Just wanted to know if Brexit going to impact the job market in Ireland and will Ireland government offer more jobs to Non-EU or will focus on their locals. As I heard Ireland might face high unemployment rate after Brexit. Please let me know your comments as a person already there.
    my email

    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar

      Hi Sanduni,

      It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going to happen. So take my advice with a grain of salt.

      Since Ireland is still in EU and it is one of the primary tech hubs in Europe that also primary speak English, I think American tech companies will favor Ireland to expand their growth in EU ..and also because Ireland has a very low corporate tax.

      I can’t tell how the job market is going to impact with Brexit.

  18. Ashoka Avatar

    Mr senura. My husband is an x-ray tig welder. He has 20years experience Qatar and Sri Lanka. We want to move ireland with our family. One of an agency says my husband can move to ireland within 6 months after 1 years he can get our family. I want to know it will be possible?? And ireland cost of living is high or not.? My husband salary may be euro 3500. Please tell me. Thank you.

    1. Sinaru Gunawardena Avatar
      Sinaru Gunawardena

      Hi Ashoka. I can only tell about living cost and salary. Dublin is relatively expensive to live compared to other counties/cities in Ireland and the living cost has increased slightly due to recent inflation.

      Please use this website to know how much would cost in average:

      For salary, I assume 3500 is before tax. So you will want to know how much you will get after tax. You can use this website to calculate that:

  19. chamila Avatar

    Dear Mr Sinaru, i’m chamila from Srilanka & currently connect with fabric manufacturing sector as manager position. is there any job market in that field or relevant job market? can all family migrate with Job visa? how is the education system in Ireland?

  20. Thankavel Mukunthan Avatar
    Thankavel Mukunthan

    I am Mukunthan
    I have forklift license and driving license also
    I have experience
    Pls I need good job

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