It may be a cliche, but the reality is that failing to prepare is simply preparing to fail, and if there is one thing we have learned about preparing to move to Ireland, it’s that planning is key.
The more you can sort out before you arrive in Ireland, the easier the transition will be once you arrive. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips about everything from passports and paperwork to pets and school needs to help you prepare for your big move to Ireland.
Passports, visas and other paperwork
- Check your passport to ensure it’s in date. Make sure the expiry date doesn’t affect your eligibility for a visa or work permit, if applicable. This means that your passport must be valid for more than six months after your intended departure date from Ireland. So, if you plan on staying here for the duration of a two-year visa, then your passport must be valid for at least two years and six months (30 months) from your arrival date, if you want to enjoy the full validity you may be entitled to.
- Make sure you and any dependents coming with you have all the relevant immigration paperwork. It is also possible that you may need to bring birth or marriage certificates, diplomas or academic records, or a no-claims letter from your insurance company if you plan to drive in Ireland Other supporting documentation, for example referral letters, may be useful when looking for a job or a place to live.
- Make a photocopy of your passport and driving licence and save them to the cloud or scan them to your computer. This is important in case you lose them.
- Bring printed versions of your travel insurance documents in order to simplify matters on arrival.
Healthcare and Insurance
- You should make sure to fill any prescriptions, particularly important medication, in advance of your trip to Ireland so that you’re not relying on getting them immediately when you arrive.
- Many Irish health insurance companies will have a waiting period between your overseas policy and the coming into effect of your new Irish policy. If you require your waiting period to be waived, get started before you make the move to Ireland as it can take several weeks to switch, and you have a maximum of a 13-week gap between policies. Investigate whether your insurance company has an Irish counterpart to avoid the waiting period.
Bills, Bills, Bills
- Cancel utility bills, phone contracts, and any other services you are signed up to abroad well in advance, as many service providers will require further action before cancellation, and it may be more difficult to complete these tasks after your arrival in Ireland.
- If you have an Irish address then you should register it with your local post office at your previous address so as to forward mail.
- Check that your phone is unlocked from its network if you plan to use the handset with an Irish SIM card. Otherwise cancel your existing bill and allow some room in your budget for a new phone once you arrive.
If you don’t have accommodation sorted, be sure to book temporary accommodation for a few weeks. There are lots of hotels, B&Bs, hostels and guesthouses to choose from in Ireland, while Airbnb is becoming more and more popular for short-term stays, particularly in larger cities like Dublin and Cork.
Children and schooling
- If you plan to move to Ireland with children, then why not inform them about activities that will get them excited about the move. If the kids are interested in sports, then maybe some research into Ireland’s popular sports like soccer, rugby and the gaelic games of hurling and gaelic football could be a good idea. If they are more interested in music and art, then try reading them stories about Irish legends, show or sing the Irish songs or take the time to play some fun and interactive games with them. This will help them learn the names of famous icons, cities and landmarks in their new home.
- If you’re looking for a school after you move to Ireland, and you know what part of Ireland you are going to be living in, then why not research the schools in advance and contact the principal or secretary to find out if they can accommodate your children once you arrive. If you choose to do this, then you should also ascertain what you will need to do to secure a place in your preferred school and get working on it straight away. In general, you can expect that most schools will require you to present a birth certificate and passport. Some may also need a Personal Public Service (PPS) number in order to register your child as a pupil.
If any of your children do not have a PPS number, then you will need to get one so that you can receive child benefit on their behalf after you move to Ireland. In addition, a PPS number is generally needed if you wish to enroll them in a school or creche, and to obtain the ‘under 6s GP visit card’. However, it is extremely important to remember that you will need to be in Ireland before you can get the PPS number, but if you’d like to view the application form and get your documents organised in advance, then you can view it on the Irish welfare website and download the CB1 form before you arrive.
If you’re bringing pets with you when you move to Ireland, it is essential that you complete the relevant paperwork and make sure that all their vaccinations are organized well in advance. In addition, you need to make sure that their food is stored correctly. Similarly, you need to have the right transport materials in place during the flight. To do this, you will need to get in touch with your airline to make provisions for their transport. Finally, if you will move to Ireland from another EU member state, then a pet passport will be required for your cat(s), dog(s) or ferret(s). However, if you are coming from a non-EU member state, then an additional blood test may be required, along with the pet passport. Making an Irish packing list will help with this process.