How does a foreigner easily integrate into Irish society?

Guide to moving to Ireland in 2023

A variety of circumstances force people to change their place of residence. Usually, however, everyone’s goal in moving is the same – to change lives for the better. Ireland, with its incredible views, majestic nature, high standard of living, unusual climate and friendly locals, could easily be the perfect place to start a new life. 

There were over 800,000 migrants in Ireland in 2019 (17% of all citizens), so it is a country that people choose to move to quite often. The Emerald Isle obviously attracts foreigners, that’s hard to deny. 

It would seem that a change of residence is usually marked by something good and kind, but moving to a new country is for most people closely associated with stress. Changing your life abruptly is not easy. However, there are often situations where you have to adapt to circumstances and adapt quickly to society. 

So if you have chosen Ireland as your new home, you should read our guide. It may help you adjust more easily to the new realities of life. 

What do people need to know about a new country before moving?

Before you leave everything behind and go to a new country, you should learn the local laws, traditions and regulations in detail. If you have time to prepare for your move, familiarise yourself carefully with the culture of the place you want to immigrate to and make sure everything is absolutely suitable for you.

Grounds for residence in the Ireland

Keep in mind that you must have legal grounds to live, work or study legally in the Republic. 

EU residents do not need a visa to stay in Ireland in most cases. However, those coming to the Emerald Isle from non-EU countries should make sure they are legally allowed to stay. 

If you do find you need a visa, decide on the type of visa you require. All visas are divided into long-stay and short-stay categories. You need to decide on the appropriate category and then apply.

One of the best options for non-EU citizens would be to get a work visa in Ireland. However, this is not available to people in every profession. The critical skills occupation list shows which professionals can apply for this type of permit. 

What about the documents?

Non-EU residents who intend to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days should take care to register with the GNIB. This must be done after you arrive in the country (within 3 months). The GNIB is a system of stamps which indicates the type of activity a person may undertake during the stay in the country. 

It is compulsory to get a PPS number in Ireland. This document is a unique number which identifies you and gives you access to welfare benefits, driving licences, tax services and more. You can apply for a PPS number from Intreo, which is also where you should find out about other documents needed to live in the country. 

Accommodation in Ireland

When you come to a new country, you need to get a place to live. There is not a lot of affordable housing to rent in Ireland. There are many people lined up to view almost every property in Ireland, so be patient. Renting in a city like Dublin is expensive, so if you can’t afford to spend a large amount each month, look further afield.

Check out these websites for current rental offers:

It may help to find a suitable offer for an affordable price.

The labour market in Ireland

Work is one of the most important aspects of life in any country. Finding a job in Ireland is not a problem. The unemployment rate is quite low and many migrants from all over the world come here to find work.

The most in-demand jobs are in IT, engineering and medicine. You can count on the highest salaries in the country in these fields. It is important to bear in mind that some professions require proof of diploma, so be prepared to spend some time on this if necessary.

The full list of professions for which you need to prove your higher education is available here.

It is important to prepare for your job search by putting together a CV. You can do this either by using an aggregator (such as CV Help) or by writing it yourself. 

You can find a job on one of the many websites: 

Financial issues

As in any country, in Ireland you need to open an account for yourself with one of the banks. This is where your employer will transfer your wages when you work. There are plenty of banking institutions in the country where you can set up an account. 

Language courses – what to do if you don’t know English 

Usually people prepare for a move in advance, so they have time to prepare the ground. However, sometimes circumstances are such that things have to be dealt with quickly. This is why it is not uncommon to find people in an English-speaking country who cannot easily communicate with the locals.

If you have a good command of the English language, this will be a great bonus. There are many more opportunities open to people who speak the language well in Ireland. Firstly, such a migrant will be able to make useful contacts and make friends among the Irish more quickly. Secondly, there are many more job choices.

For those who do not speak English, there can be serious difficulties. Even a simple shopping trip requires at least a minimum set of words. However, FETCH has organised many different courses that focus on language learning. However, there are also some tips and tricks that can speed up the process.

  • Try to spend more time in the company of native speakers. This way you will gradually begin to perceive the language by ear, which will come in handy in everyday communication.
  • Watch videos and films in English. Preferably do this with English subtitles and not with subtitles of your native language.
  • Listen to podcasts and radio programmes on YouTube.
  • Create a dictionary for yourself. It is important not only to listen and read, but also to practice writing. You should write the most important basic words and phrases into a dictionary at first, expanding it as you learn.

Healthcare

Everyone in Ireland can apply for free public health cover. Depending on a person’s financial situation, they may have full eligibility and limited eligibility. You can apply for a medical card from the Health Service Executive (HSE). 

Private health care providers can also be used. Not all health services are available to short term visitors. EU-residents who are temporarily in Ireland can apply for a European Health Insurance Card. This card allows access to basic healthcare and is valid in all EU countries.

If you already have a Stamp 4, you may qualify for a medical card.

If you have children

If you have children, make sure that they also integrate quickly into the new society. Arrange for them to be enrolled in an educational institution as soon as they arrive.  Try to attend social events with your children and sign them up for activities. 

The more children socialise, the easier it will be for them to adjust to their new society. By the way, the younger the children are, the easier it is for them to adapt to their new environment. Adaptation can be more difficult for teenagers, so give them support and try to talk to them as much as possible.

A little more about getting used to a new area

When you finally move to Ireland, try to spend as much time as possible with the locals. The Irish are very friendly, open and outgoing people. 

To learn more about the country, deal with everyday issues and become a part of the Irish community, find a hobby where you can make new friends. Socialising and daily activities will help you get used to your new way of life as quickly as possible. 

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Kateryna Mazovetska

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