The In’s and Out’s of Moving to Ireland

Pre Planning 

Prior to moving to Ireland, I had done my fair share of research on accommodation, culture, jobs etc., to help prepare me for the move. I read a lot about how in Dublin it was tough to find accommodation and that Cork had a more options at more reasonable prices. I did all I could to ensure that I wouldn’t be screwed over once I got there (I am somewhat anal and OCD about that kinda stuff). Some of the things I had come across online such as difficulties around affordable housing and how Ireland was slowly coming back from a recession which would make it hard to find a job, were true to some extent.

The Arrival

When I first arrived in Dublin, I had completed all the paperwork/documents that USIT provided to me. They helped me a great deal with any questions that I had about bank accounts, accommodation, PPS# etc. I felt that if I were more prepared, the less scary the orientation would be and I could spend more time listening and asking appropriate questions instead of feeling anxious. My biggest take away from the welcome orientation with USIT was to be organized! Prior to leaving your home country –  make sure you have your meeting with the GARDA bureau scheduled (appointments are essential in Dublin – and they allow bookings to be made up to 6 weeks in advance. Cork allows for walk-ins and is usually less busy). The GARDA appointment took almost 2 hours (even with an appointment) and cost €300 only payable by credit card. They ask you a few questions and take your photo and then issue you the GNIB card. This card is important as it allows you to legally work in the country and you can start to look for work right away.


However, Ireland still requires you to apply for your PPS# as well (think of it as a Social Insurance Number). This # is crucial because it puts you into their tax system, which allows them to keep track of your income, in which then they can tax you accordingly. A lot of employers prefer that you have this number already, because it is a bit of a hassle to hire someone who doesn’t have one. In order to do this properly, once you get your PPS#, you have to go to and fill out a tax certificate form in which you answer quite a few questions ( and then they issue your employer a tax certificate. When they get this tax certificate in the mail (they like to do everything by post), that is when they will be able to take you off of emergency tax.

Finding Work

The first thing I would recommend doing after you’ve received your GNIB card is to look for a job. Send out as many CVs you can, as that’ll give you more chances to receive an email back from someone. USIT was very helpful in fine tuning my CV (CV formats differ from country to country). The USIT office also had plenty of job listings posted in their office. The faster you find a job, the quicker you will be able to apply for a PPS#; since it is required that you have a job offer letter from an employer stating that you have been offered a job and will be working with that company. 


Most employers will not know all the information that is needed on the job offer letter, so it is important to let them know exactly what you need them to write in order to make the offer letter valid. The Intreo office is in the city centre of Cork and is open during regular office hours. You walk in, take a number and meet with someone to make sure you have all the appropriate documents. The proof of address can be given in a form of a utility bill OR a utility bill with the landlord’s name or an approved letter by USIT. You CANNOT get a PPS number without a proof of address. 


Accommodation sign with a beautiful day

When I first arrived in Cork, I had arranged a stay with a fellow participant who I met through the Facebook group. I chose this option instead of staying at a hostel because I wanted privacy and I didn’t want to look for a job while living out of a hostel. Also, it was much cheaper and felt more “homey” if you will. Once we were settled in, I began looking for a job right away. Luckily, I was able to find a job in just over a week. This was possible because there are plenty of jobs in the  hospitality industry. Once I started my job, I asked for a job offer letter right away. This was because I had gone to see many house showings but were quickly turned down due to the fact that my boyfriend and I both did not have jobs yet. Obviously, not many landlords would be comfortable with tenants who did not have jobs. The main websites that I used to look for accommodation was and I emailed as many listings as I could and went to as many showings as I could. The market at the moment is ridiculous. Luckily, after a week and a half of searching, we found a landlord who was happy with only one of us having a job and allowed us to move in. We got a 6 bedroom house right in the city centre. However, it is a shared house with 6 other people. This may sound crazy, but the house is big enough with more than enough space and is renovated new with added bathrooms/en suites. BUT – our rent is incredibly high still (This is the reality of the housing crisis at the moment). If I could give some advice, it would be to join a group on Facebook about finding housing in Ireland and there are people who are posting about looking for flatmates regularly. Be prepared to live with other people. Be prepared to pay a lot for rent. And be prepared to look outside of the city for accommodation. Whatever you decide, just do not get discouraged and continue to look until you find a place. Cork is not that big and you can get to most places walking in 30 mins or less. Once you find a place, you might have to pay for additional fees such as refuse (garbage/recycling), electricity and wifi and cable. These expenses are not always covered by the landlord/owner. Now that I’ve been settled into my place for a month now, I can honestly say I love it and it’s really starting to feel like home. We bought some things to decorate our room and all of our housemates clean/friendly. Luckily, we had an option of signing either a 6 month or 12 month lease. Some places require a minimum of 12 months, but a lot of people find other tenants to take over their lease over if need be. Now, the reason I was so eager to find a place was because I knew I needed a proof of address for  my PPS #. Also, in order to open a bank account – you need a proof of address and that requires a letter from revenue in which you can only get once you get your PPS #. Finally, I registered my PPS # with revenue and received a letter from them with my NAME and ADDRESS (valid for the bank) and my employer received a tax certificate in which they were finally able to take me off emergency tax. So, as you can see, this step is critical. Also, when I made the appointment for the PPS #, it was made for 2 weeks later. So be prepared to have to wait a bit for the bank account. So, the quicker you get all this done, the better. I arrived in Cork on August 3rd, and started my job on August 10th. I moved into my house on August 12th and received my PPS # on August 23rd. I received my letter from from revenue and opened my bank account on September 4th (but didn’t get my card in the Post until September 12th). So, all in all, even with preparation and research – it still took me roughly a month to settle in and get all my ducks in order.

This can be stressful, but if you’re organized and prepared financially (such as having some extra money to live off of while you look for a job) will be very helpful! Once it’s all dealt with, it finally starts to feel real and you can enjoy your hard earned money!


Blog Post By Current Work in Ireland Participant: Michelle To.

Keep up with Michelle’s Ireland Adventures on her Blog: Just Swell. 


11 Signs That Ireland May Be The Place For You in 2017

Hands up if you’ve been thinking about a change of scenery lately? It’s The world seems to be changing more rapidly than ever and it can be a little overwhelming at times. We get it, you’re not alone either.


We understand the symptoms and we think we’ve found the remedy for you. Allow us to prescribe you a daily dose of good craic and great culture, jaw dropping landscapes, a vibrant economy full of opportunity, a welcoming, open society full of characters and a launch pad from which to explore Europe. Answer ‘yes’ to the majority of these questions and we’ll start writing up your prescription to come visit Ireland in 2017…

Are you at your happiest when surrounded by nature?

Little old Ireland is about the size of Indiana but packs in a frankly silly amount of glorious landscapes, coastlines and scenery to explore…

Prefer a friendly chat and a pint over relentlessly posting on Instagram?

Which scene sounds like more fun? A bunch of friends cracking jokes and sharing great stories in a bar or half a dozen ‘strangers’ huddled over a screen as they jam 94 hashtags into their fourth Instagram post of the hour. Thought so.

Hangover phone

Go weak at the knees over the world’s sexiest accent?

It’s not just Colin Farrell, that’s how we all sound. We may not win every global accolade but having the world’s sexiest accent is in the bag.

Just two of Ireland's many Hollywood stars. These two are less likely to find you and kill you than Liam?
Just two of Ireland’s many Hollywood stars. These two are less likely to find you and kill you than others…eh Liam?

Careful not to fall too hard for our charm, although you are allowed fall a little bit.

Find a smaller quaint town more appealing than a sprawling, soulless city?

Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick don’t do overbearing skyscrapers, overcrowded metros, toxic air pollution or a disregard for manners and politeness.

Instead, you’ll find that we’re all in this life thing together and there are more than enough laughs to be shared and ears to be lent in a town where strangers are just people you haven’t had ‘the craic’ with yet.

Inspired to experience European Culture?

Who wouldn’t want to explore Europe? Comparatively to other continents, you cannot find so many diverse cultures in such a small area and it’s a crime to settle in Ireland while not taking a trip to Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and beyond. Even getting over to Greece is just a short 4 hour flight away.

Want to become the funniest person in most rooms?

The Irish sense of humour is downright legendary and based on never, EVER taking life too seriously. For every brilliantly successful comedian like David O’Doherty there’s a similarly funny character in most bars and clubs dotted around the country.

Looking for a new favourite sport?

Ever heard of Gaelic games? You’re about to. During the summer months, Ireland’s 32 counties battle each other in gaelic football and hurling with games attracting crowds of 80,000. The sport is completely amateur, something that is pretty mind boggling when you see the fervent support and passion of both players and fans. It’s a way of life in Ireland and you’ll fall in love with it.

Gaelic football is not dissimilar to Aussies Rules but it’s Hurling, which is basically hockey on a lot steroids and the fastest field sport in the world, that’ll really capture your imagination. Again an amateur sport, the skill levels are outrageous.

These Americans watching it for the first time have their minds blown…

Top Tip: Don’t support Kilkenny. Sure, they’re the best hurling county but everyone else hates that fact!

Want to see where Luke Skywalker and Jon Snow really live?

It turns out the Jedi has been hiding down in Co.Kerry this whole time. Skellig Michael has always been held in the highest regard within Ireland and now, thanks to The Force Awakens, it’s gained global recognition as a top tier Bucket List item.

Not only does Ireland boast the hideaway of a Jedi, it’s also where the Stark’s call home at Winterfell (Co.Antrim).

Want to experience the world’s biggest bands in the best country to play live music?

It’s difficult to remember a year where so many incredible bands are coming to Dublin. Allow us take a breath while we reel off a who’s who of global icons, all playing in Dublin between April – September 2017.


Coldplay, U2, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Alt-J, Bon Iver, Phil Collins, Ed Sheeran, Two Door Cinema Club, Hans Zimmer, The 1975, Bob Dylan, Bruno Mars, Kings of Leon and Justin Bieber.

Ireland is a legendary place for bands to end their European tours and have a last big show, with an unforgettable crowd in some of the world’s most revered music venues.

The Olympia Theatre is hands down one of the best music venues in the world
The Olympia Theatre in Dublin is hands down one of the best music venues in the world

Looking for a shop window into some of the world’s biggest and best tech companies?

Ireland isn’t just about having a great time, there’s also massive opportunities for international students to get experience with some of the world’s biggest tech companies.

Thanks to low tax rates, a skilled English speaking workforce and prime location for entry into continental Europe, the likes of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay, Microsoft, AirBnB and Dropbox have all based their Euro operations out of Ireland.

Got the balls to do something bigger and better in 2017?

We’ve been helping hundreds of international students relocate to Ireland over the years and they all had something in common, a willingness to experience something new and the balls to do something about it.

Our international community in Dublin and across Ireland continues to grow with students arriving from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and mainland Europe. Once you’re enrolled in a third level institution, you can get over here and begin an eye opening adventure with the support of ourselves and our community.

Interested? Find out more about the Work in Ireland program or drop Martha, Stephen and Emma a line