1. Figure out the entry requirements
Firstly, you need to check if you need a visa (and if so, what type) to gain entry to Ireland. Make sure you tick all the boxes before making your way here.
2. Start the house hunt
There’s no getting around the fact that housing is in short supply in Dublin. Booming employment opportunities are attracting many domestic and international newcomers to the city – and they all need somewhere to live.
Fortunately, you can do a lot of research on the best location for you before you ever arrive in Dublin. One of the best resources is Daft.ie, Ireland’s biggest property site, which allows you to search property to rent or buy, by area and public transport line. The city is serviced by a comprehensive transport system including bus, tram and train lines that all extend in different directions from the city centre; so it’s worth making sure you determine your route to work via Google Maps before you choose your ideal neighbourhood.
3. Register for your PPS card
You must apply for your Personal Public Service number from the Department of Social Protection for tax purposes. Your employer will need it in order to inform Revenue of your tax deductions and to avail of a range of other public services, such as registering for the Drugs Payment Scheme or Social Welfare benefits.
You cannot apply for your card before you move to Ireland. Once you arrive, you can apply via the Intreo Centre on Dublin’s Parnell Street. You can find all the information you need on the Citizens Information website.
4. Register for a Leap card and check out dublinbikes
The Leap card is the simplest and most cost-effective way to avail of Dublin’s public transport services. Leap card fares are up to 31% cheaper than single-purchase tickets, so if you commute to work each day via public transport, it can make a significant difference to your pocket. You can top up your card each week, or register for a monthly or annual ticket, which works outs cheaper.
Dublin city’s bike-sharing scheme is an easy, affordable way to travel the city without worrying about purchasing your own bike. For a yearly subscription of €25, you can use any bike at any dock, anywhere in the city. The first 30 minutes of any journey is free, after which pricing is determined based on journey length.
5. Open a bank account
This is vital for any job, as your employer will need to pay your salary into your bank account. In order to open a bank account in Ireland, you will need proof of address, such as a recent utility bill, as well as photo ID (e.g. driver’s licence, passport). The country’s most popular banks are AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC, so there’s plenty of choice available.
6. Figure out the employment scene
If you don’t have a job before moving to Dublin, it’s a great time to be looking for career opportunities! GDP growth in 2018 was 5.6% – the second highest in Europe – and the number of people in full-time employment grew by 2.7% in the same year. EY’s Economic Eye forecasts that jobs growth will be in the construction, ICT, accommodation, administrative services, and education sectors. Wages are healthy and expected to rise as the economy reaches full employment. Meanwhile, inflation is weak, so an Irish paycheque is likely to hold its value for the foreseeable future.
7. Sort out schools
If you have children, it’s important to figure out their schooling in good time. A great resource is SchoolDays.ie, which has a handy list of all the country’s primary schools and secondary schools, so you can figure out what’s available in your location. For information on enrolment, exams and everything else you need to know about education in Ireland, Citizens Information has a wealth of information on both primary school and secondary school.
8. Set up your mobile phone
The three primary mobile network operators in Ireland are Vodafone, Three and eir. Switching your phone to any of these networks should be relatively easy; if you can, just make sure your existing phone isn’t locked to your current network, or you may have to buy a new handset.
You can choose to operate your mobile phone with a pre-paid account, or via bill pay. Every mobile operator has a wide range of options on offer, so you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs.
9. Register for your driving licence
We’ve written a dedicated guide for driving licences, vehicle tax and insurance.
10. Learn the language
Irish (Gaeilge) and English are the official languages of Ireland, with English most commonly spoken and the de facto main language of Dublin. If it’s not your first language, consider registering for English classes at one of the many language schools across the city; or use an app like Duolingo to help you out before you even get here. You can also learn Irish (Gaeilge) via Duolingo and join the 74k people who speak it daily throughout the country.