If you’re looking to live in Ireland, the only way you’re going to be able to do so in a semi-permanent basis is to find a good job. Being able to start working in Ireland is where all the power is; it defines your status as a good worker and trustworthy citizen. It also ensures that you’re giving back to the country financially. A job is also a great thing to have because it bolsters our personal happiness and makes us feel in control to an extent. Finding work in Ireland can buy you dinner at SuperMacs and maybe a small rental apartment in the city.
Why finding a job is difficult
If you’re not from the EU area in passport terms, there are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through before you can start working in Ireland. For example, you’ll need to have a job offer and permit in hand before you can enter Ireland. This can be quite tricky no matter where you’re from – just use your imagination. Usually, in real terms, everyone finds work through people you know and other contacts. If you’ve no community network of any sort, how can you find a job in another country – let alone a job that you might like without any social proof?
If you’re really keen to move as soon as possible, you could find yourself thinking: I’ll do any job. But you can’t. If you need a work permit, the kind of work you can do is actually very restricted. General work permits have limitations according to roles and industries – despite the name. As I mentioned in a previous blog post there are a lot of different types of work permits in Ireland – nine to be exact. The main options are: Critical Skills (used to be called Green Card), General and Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits.
If you’ve found and been offered a job and it’s within the right field in order to be able to apply for a permit, you might do well to bear in mind the size of the company. Mentioning to a small company that you might need a work permit most likely won’t go down well. Small companies don’t have experience in dealing with work permits and don’t necessarily want to do any paperwork. Other limitations in place that might stop you from going ahead with the application process is the fact that their company already employs more than fifty percent of staff from outside of the EU or that the job you’ve been offered isn’t going to pay you over €30 000 per year.
Agencies & corporate companies
Working for a corporate company might feel a bit like selling your soul if you’ve got an independent spirit and are someone who’s passionate about start ups. But, we all know nothing’s free. On many levels moving will mean you need to give up career goals or ideals and any notions you might have about starting your own business (which is basically impossible unless you win a very specific grant or have €50 000 to invest). Just put your head down, work hard and do your time.
Your best chance for success is to get in touch with corporates and agencies that deal with corporates. Send in your CV to agencies that deal with big companies. If you’re looking to be based in Cork, look for opportunities at Apple or AirBnB. If you’re lucky you might find yourself in contact with an employer that is a Trusted Partner (their permit application processes go much more quickly and smoothly). If no one gets back to you and you feel that you could be experiencing a bias just because your based in another country, you’re going to offer them something that they really want.
Consider changing your career
Honestly? Yes, I’m serious. I haven’t quite had to do this myself yet as I’m in Ireland as a dependant, but the lack of opportunities in Cork have made me think about it more than a few times. Even if you do a course in web development and struggle to find a job in Ireland, I would recommend looking into internships here or in your home country. With a few years of experience, I’m fairly certain you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of job offers (within reason). If you’re in the IT industry already, you can take a look at a recruitment agency called Zartis.
Once you have a job offer that matches all the requirements you might need to be able to apply for a work permit. The application processes have moved online this year (2017) and can be filled out by the employer or employee. I recommend letting your corporate employer do the process for you. If they’re a reasonable and good employer, they will also have offered to pay the application fees (of up to €1000). The application cannot be completed without the payment.
Next, you’ll just have to wait and see if the permit is approved. This can take four to eight weeks and it suggested that you submit the application three months prior to the work start date. Remember your application submission date and follow the progress by checking online. If there is something wrong with your application (for example, you applied for a web design position and it wasn’t clear that this was an IT role), your permit application will be rejected. You’ll then have 21 days to appeal (if not, the funds will be sent back to person who made the payment).
I realise that this blog post was perhaps a bit of a downer perhaps because of all the reality-checks, but it’s always a good thing to know what you’re getting yourself into. My honest and best advice is to get qualifications and experience in IT (I’m not in IT) and then get in touch with companies and recruitment agencies that can place you well. Work hard, do the best you can and stay in one job as long as possible (there is actually a limit on that – you’re only really allowed to get one permit per year) and after a few years you might be lucky enough to apply for your Stamp 4 (ability to work without a permit). Having a Stamp 4 might give you a bit more freedom in terms of your career path and options.