You are already in Ireland. Welcome! For sure, you are stunned by all the colours that you will find during your first days in Dublin. After you adjust to your new sleeping hours and you get used to the new accents, a new stage starts – obtaining legal residence within the island.
As you know, Ireland provides a student visa that allows you work for 20 hours weekly during the year and 40 hours weekly during the summer and winter holidays. But…How to get that permission?
The first thing you must do is get the Ireland Residence Permit (IRP), previously known as the GNIB. For that, you must enter to Immigration’s website and look for an appointment. You can start the search in your country and you should do it 8 weeks before you arrive in Ireland. If you can’t make complete the task from your home, you can keep trying when you arrive in Dublin.
When you enter the website, you have to select the option “Make appointment”. A piece of advice: The best hours to look for it are 10am and 2.30pm, Irish time. Then, you have to fill in the form with your details. In “Category” you have to select “All”.
In the following option, you have to put “no”, because it will be the first time that you do this procedure. After that, you have to complete all the forms with your personal details. Lastly, you have to enter your passport number and push the green bottom, “look for appointment”.
And finger crossed! Here, we recommend a bit of patience, especially in the firsts attempts, because here the only losers are those who stop trying. When you choose a date and time that matches a time when you will already be in Dublin you will receive and email with the confirmation. You will need print that email and bring it with you on the day of your appointment.
That day you will also bring with you your passport, the enrollment letter (it is the same one that you use to enter to the country), evidence of 3000 euros (which can be a bank statement of country of origin or in cash) and 300 euros to pay for your visa. Take a breath; it won’t be the first time you read this information. Your agent will mention this several times.
Once you have finished this procedure, the visa will arrive to the address you provided during your appointment. Usually it takes between 5-10 working day in arrive. And trust me, the post office in Ireland works very well.
PPSN, or the card that allows you work
The following step is about how to get a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). It is the card that allows you enter the work and welfare system in Ireland. Here, you will need your visa and some other documents. The first thing you have to do is get an appointment. You have to enter to the Welfare website.
Create an account with the required data and choose a date. In Dublin there are two offices in the city centre, so you can choose either or wherever you find the closest appointment.
When you choose the place, then you must choose the date and time. Remember to show up 15 minutes early to avoid. Here you will also receive an email with the confirmation, which you must print to take to the appointment.
That day you will also have to bring your passport, proof of address (it may be the letter that will come from the GNIB) and a letter from your employer confirming your start. If you do not have it yet, you can request a letter from the school through the application. Here you will not have to pay anything. You only have to wait between 5-10 business days for the new document to arrive.
The next step will be to open a bank account in some of the Irish banks. Here it will depend on the institution that you decide to open the account with. However, in most, they will ask you for the same documents and one appointment.
They generally require a passport, visa and PPSN. You can also ask for a letter from the school, which you can request through the application, and / or proof of address (you can use the visa letters or the PPSN). After completing the process, the account will be active from 5 business days and you will receive a debit card at the address you gave during the process.
Keep in mind that, at least, it will take you between a month and a month and a half to complete all the necessary documentation. In that case, we recommend patience and, in the meantime, enjoy the scenery offered by Dublin and all of Ireland.
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