I get about 2 – 3 emails a day from people all over the world, looking to move themselves or their families over to Ireland. I love that they feel at ease asking me questions, and I always try to give the most honest of advice. The reality is that moving to Ireland is not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of different circumstances, or situations you might find yourself in. If you are on an EU/UK/Irish citizen – basically none of the paperwork admin is required, thus making it very easy to move over.
The emails I get are mostly from people in a similar situation to how we were –people looking to move over to Ireland on a non-EU passport. The email requests are not only limited to South Africans – I get citizens from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, as well as other African countries, including South Africa. Most of the questions are specific to their unique situations.
I have to be honest, I don’t usually respond if the email is just ‘how can I move over to Ireland’ – because there is no nice way of saying – through hard work and a lot of money and huge amount of effort and patience. Those people I think are looking for an easy way over; one email to a complete stranger is not going to make that happen unfortunately.
I also get a lot of emails from people who are currently living in Ireland, trying to make it work, and stressing about waiting for employment permits, finding a rental and just trying to make this life in Ireland work for them as they had once hoped it would.
I don’t say this all to sound negative, or to try and dissuade people from trying to move over to Ireland. I say this all because – you are not alone. There are plenty of people in your exact situation, and for some it works out and they move onto the next worry of making it work in a foreign country. For others it doesn’t work out and they either make the decision to try again or they stop trying and move onto trying somewhere else.
This post is targeted to the Non-EU citizens looking to move over to Ireland. Think of it as a cheat sheet of tips you will need to know, to help you move over to Ireland. Perhaps it will answer some of your burning questions.
- You will need a job before you come over.
The reality is that not everyone will be able to find employment here in Ireland. You can use recruiters, however if you are wishing to apply for a general or spousal dependent work permit – then you may very well find that not many recruiters will get back to you. This is because these roles can generally be filled faster by local candidates. If you are applying for a critical skills work permit, then you might get a recruiter to help you, because your skills are specialised and in demand. Please check the critical skills list here, and be very specific to your skillset as you will need to substantiate that you have the skills required under critical skills. Additionally you should check the list of roles you do not need a work permit. Unfortunately if you are on a non-EU passport and not a spouse of a person holding a work permit, you will need a work permit to work in Ireland, which means these roles are not available for you to fill. For more on work permits, read this post I wrote.
- You can only apply for a work permit if you have a job offer
You will need a job offer before you apply for a work permit; this means that the work permit is tied to a particular employer. It cannot be transferred to another employer and you cannot move employers within the first 12 months.
- It is difficult to find an employer willing to go through the application process.
This is because current processing dates for all types of work permits takes over 3 months. Your work permit can be submitted online via yourself, your employer, or a recruitment agent. You can then check the status of your application online either by using your application reference or by checking the processing dates. Application processing goes by date submitted, and is irrespective of the type of work permit you are applying for. If your employer is a trusted partner then the processing times may be quicker, current processing times for trusted partners is over 6 weeks.
- The thing about spousal dependent employment permits
You are only able to apply for a spousal dependent employment permit if your spouse holds a critical skills work permit or is a researcher. A spousal dependent employment permit is different to a spousal visa. The spousal visa is for a spouse to join their partner – it does not mean that they can work in Ireland.
- Certain countries can enter Ireland as a tourist for up to 90 days.
To find out if you are able to enter the country with no visa, check this link. This is handy for people looking to see what Ireland is like, to travel around Ireland and to see if Ireland would be a place you would like to live in one day. However….
- It is illegal to come over as a tourist (stay for 90 days) and look for employment.
Just don’t do be that person. Additionally if you apply for a work permit whilst in Ireland as a tourist, you risk your work permit being declined and being kicked out of the country permanently. If you intend to do some research and look into moving over, you can come over for 90 days but you cannot work without a work permit, and you cannot apply for a work permit whilst in the country as a tourist.
- If you are married to an EU, UK or Irish passport holder
Then you are classed as one of the lucky ones. It means that you are able to come over without the need for work permits or visas. You will also have it that much easier than the rest of us coming over on SA or non EU passports. I think it’s important for those people to be mindful that their situation is entirely different to the rest of us.
So there you have it, my most asked questions all laid out in one handy little post. It is often seen as easy to move to Ireland, when the sad reality is that not everyone will be able to move over successfully or without a series of hurdles to jump over. This is not to say that it is impossible to move over, plenty of people move over every day, it just requires non-EU passport holders to have a bit more grit, a bit more research and possible a boat load of patience to navigate all the steps you need to take to make it happen.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO MOVE TO IRELAND? WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST QUESTION? – ASK ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
Live Simply & Travel Slow,
p.s. If social media is your thing (snap! It’s my fave too!), you should totally follow me on Instagram.
p.p.s. I try post varied content once or twice a month, to be sure you don’t miss out on the new post you should sign up and get all the news straight in your inbox – Sign up now!
PIN FOR LATER: