**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.
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 daft.ie, rent.ie.
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 daft.ie, rent.ie 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 daft.ie, rent.ie.
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
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.
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 www.mywelfare.ie. 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 http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Personal-Public-Service-Number-How-to-Apply.aspx
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: http://www.revenue.ie/en/personal/faqs/starting-work-tax.html
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:
- Bank of Ireland – https://personalbanking.bankofireland.com/bank/current-accounts/personal-current-account/faqs/#faq-panel-17901
- AIB – http://personal.aib.ie/our-products/current-accounts/personal-current-account
- Ulster Bank – http://digital.ulsterbank.ie/_shared-content-area/what-you-need-to-open-an-account.html
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: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Re-entry+visas
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. 🙂