If you're moving because your business has
transferred you here, ask the company to send you and your spouse over for
a week to get things sorted out. Check out houses and rentals in the area
where you'll be moving. Meet some of your colleagues, get their advice.
Imagine the poor Department
of Justice official who recently opened a letter bearing a U.S. airmail
stamp to find a letter from a retired American woman. My husband and I will
be moving to Ireland in a month, the letter advised the official. As soon
as our house sells, the letter continued, we'll be over. Aghast, the official
called the couple at home and tried gently to tell them that they had better
hold onto their property. The couple simply did not qualify as immigrants
under the law. They might be able to stay in Ireland - but then again, they
Moving to a foreign nation
is not simply a matter of buying a house and settling in. There are always
government immigration laws which lay down stringent rules concerning settlement.
Ireland is no different. It doesn't matter that you have every Chieftain
record and claim kinship with the ancient kings of Tara.
Hence, the golden rule of
any Irish plans has got to be make sure you can move to Ireland!
How can you find out if you
qualify? Check with the relevant authorities whose addresses are given below.
Your nearest Irish embassy is a good starting place.
There are some few overall
rules that apply. One is that European Union citizens and the citizens of Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are free to
travel to Ireland and settle here. Non-EU spouses and dependents will still have to register with
the authorities, though. For more information, click
Non-EU nationals should begin by examining
the visa requirements for their country of origin. U.S. citizens, for example, may enter the country
without a visa for up to three months. Other nationals might need a visa
just to visit, let alone settle in Ireland. Do all this checking early.
It may take months to process your file.
Non-EU citizens still have
some options. One is to find work here. Check out the work
permit pages for
this information. Also, check out the page on Residency Registration to see the rules for staying in Ireland
even without a job. You can also come to Ireland as a student, but after your student days are over, out ye go again. Student years do not count toward residency.
You will be amazed how fast your hard earned
dosh flitters away. There are the moving costs, insurance, plane tickets,
new car, hotel bills while you get set up... and things you probably haven't
figured into your resettlement budget like brooms and dust cloths, flashlight
batteries and new toothbrushes. A little bit here, more there. It adds up.
Don't forget the immortal words of U.S. Senator
Everett Dirksen. "A billion here. A billion there. Pretty soon we're
talking real money."
Irish economy roared during the 1990's with the fastest growth rate in Europe.
During these boom years, Ireland was "Celtic Tiger." There was
a dip following the dotcom crash and 9/11 but by 2004, Ireland's economy
was again purring along nicely. Tiger Two they call it.
Then bam! The bubble burst and much of the country's wealth evaporated. The economy has contracted - and contracted again. In early 2010, the economy officially came out of recession, but try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of people on the dole.
It's tough and a whole new generation of youngsters is learning the meaning of the word 'emigration'.
Even in the depths, however, well paid positions continue to open. There are jobs available for experienced computer
programmers, for example, but not a lot of demand for folks who only know
their way around Microsoft Works. Experience counts for an awful lot.
Be prepared to make it happen for yourself.
For more on finding an Irish job, salary levels, and the like check out
the Jobs page.
You may be surprised to find out you qualify
for Irish citizenship. In some instances, even the great-grandchild of an
Irish born citizen qualifies. There are important benefits available to
Irish citizens such as being able to live and work in any European Union
country without work permits or visas. Check out
this overview of citizenship.
Irish law permits dual citizenship. This means
that you might not have to resign your native citizenship to become an Irish
citizen. You may be able to be both a citizen of Ireland and a citizen of
Israel or the United States. You'll have to contact the passport office
in your own home country to find out if your nation allows dual citizenship
with Ireland. I was surprised myself to find out that the United States
allows its citizens to be dual citizens of some nations (Ireland,
Israel, and several others) without having to resign their American citizenship.
That much is obvious. But, if your passport
will expire within a year of moving to Ireland, consider renewing before
you leave. Renewing a foreign passport in Ireland will necessitate, possibly,
a trip to your embassy in Dublin. Renewing an American passport has become a lengthy process after the introduction of machine readable passport in late 2004. Other nations may require dealings with their foreign
office, and the whole matter might end up taking weeks.
Those of you coming over on a work permit have to be particularly careful. The new Green Card system requires passports of foreign nationals to be in date and valid for at least 3 months after the proposed expiry date of the Work Permit/Green Card. And when applying for permanent residency or unlimited work permit, the applicant's passport must be in date and valid for at least 12 months. For more, check here.