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I want to move to Galway

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Malloy
9/29/2003 15:12 EST

I'm an American who is interested in relocating to Galway--I've been told by the Irish Embassy that the only way to get a work permit is to have a company sponsor me, otherwise I am only permitted on a tourist visa for the 90 days U.S. citizens are allowed to stay.
If that is true, how are so many non Irish citizens working in Galway? I came across so many people who emigrated there without the required work permit.
Is it virtually impossible for an American to move there?
I'd appreciate any kind of feedback.

Angh
9/30/2003 12:55 EST

Work-study students are a lot of the young work force in Ireland. Ninety days is a season. I met lots of foreign students who were headed for jobs on farms...others were there for the language schools. Many young people were there together, by the good graces of their parents.
Irish immigration laws are pretty specific, and while there might be a bit of "wink n' nod" going on, eventually a number of people are 'reminded' to leave. It's my understanding that one must prove they have the means to NOT become a burdon on the state...sufficient funds/employment/blood heritage before they can get a permit like our Green Card, from the government to remain beyond the 90 tourist status. I had one friend who wanted to start a business there, but have just heard he "had" to return after four months. This fellow has blood ties to Ireland, but the documentation was destroyed by fire. His alternative is now to marry an Irish woman.

Angh

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jgreenleaf
10/1/2003 09:26 EST

If you are a recent university graduate, you can get a 'blue card,' which is a work permit. It is obtained in the US, and costs around $350, as I recall. It is adminsitered by the same people that run Council Travel.
If you're caught working 'under-the-table,' you're likely to be deported, and not be able to get a work permit in the future.
If you have an Irish parent/grandparent, you can get Irish citizenship and work legitimately. If a spouse has EU citizenship, he/she can come in and you can accompany him/her.
Certain professions, such as nurses, are in short supply and work permits are relatively easy to get.
People who are without proper visas can get work, but, as in the US, you are likely to not receive the minimum wage (¬6.35, due to go to ¬7 in February 2004), no benefits, and generally be put upon by the employer. Such work is illegal, just as in the USA.
Joe, Malin Head, Co Donegal

JEMILLER
10/1/2003 15:50 EST

I researched this a few years ago as I was trying to set up in Europe as a self employed person. From a family tie perspective it should still be possible to apply for Irish Citizenship if your Grandfather was an Irish Citizen and you can prove that.

The second option that existed in the past was an investor visa whereby you could start a local company and commit to raise a certain amount of capital over a period of 5 years of so. This was failrly flexible in that you did not need the money up front but could earn it. This program however has been put on hold indefinitely from what I have heard.

Now I had secured a UK work permit as a transferee from a U.S. company to a U.K. subsidiary. This was rather easy and allowed me the year or so to find other options to setup in Europe in a self employed capacity. It was not a long term option and now after three years I am working in Asia. A straight UK or Euro work permit would require that you are uniquely qualified for a specific position that a local company has been making a reasonable effort to fill with locals candidates. They have to convince the authorities of that fact and after a period of time you would be issued a work permit. Using this route would require that you had a job offer in Galway with someone who wanted to pursue work permit sponsorship.

So in the end the foreign transferee option generally seems to be the easiest. However, I believe you need to be with the parent company for a year before transferring.

I wish you luck. Galway is a great little town!

nualum
10/1/2003 18:24 EST

Judging from your handle, you may have Irish ancestry. If one of your parents or grandparents was an Irish citizen, you may very well be eligible for Irish citizenship yourself. Check that out with the Irish embassy or one of its consulates. If you can dig up the documentation quickly, the process does not take long.

As for the foreigners working in Ireland, if they are from one of the European Union countries, they can move to and work in Ireland--or any EU country--practically without restrictions.

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