• Stamp 3 card Ireland
    advice,  employment,  expat life,  wtf

    WTF?: The Problem with Stamp 3 in Ireland

    UPDATE 25 April 2019:  So about two weeks after I wrote this post, the Irish government decided to simply do away with the Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit and let all dependents/partners/spouses of critical skills employment holders work in Ireland with no restrictions and—wait for it—NO WORK PERMIT.  I went to GNIB this morning and I’m ECSTATIC to say that I now have a Stamp 1G in my passport, declaring that I “may work full-time without Employment Permit.” Honestly, I thought this day would never come! (1G is now the stamp that all dependents/partners/spouses of Critical Skills Employer Permit holders will receive. Read more about it here.) I think this was better…

  • Horstmann Quartz E7 water heating control system
    advice,  essentials,  expat life,  wtf

    WTF?: The Immersion

    The first time showering in our apartment was quite memorable. Poor Steve learned the hard way that you cannot take hot water for granted here in Ireland. Meet the immersion water heater controller: When we moved in, I noticed this contraption on the wall but for whatever reason, I disregarded it. I remember thinking to myself, “This looks ancient and it’s set to ‘off’ anyway. Maybe it’s something that’s just been here for years and isn’t important.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. This important device controls the hot water supply for our entire apartment. When it’s off, you won’t have hot water. The previous tenants naturally turned it off…

  • Available GNIB appointments
    advice,  essentials

    The GNIB Appointment

    Anyone moving to Ireland needs to pay a visit to the GNIB office. It doesn’t matter if you’re working, not working, a student, or a child. Below is how our process went. You’ll see that the first step is the hardest! Scheduling an Appointment Honestly, the most difficult and annoying part of this process is booking your GNIB appointment. I’m part of a couple of expats groups on Facebook, and the most commonly asked question is, “How on earth do I schedule an appointment?” My husband had to visit the GNIB site multiple times to secure an appointment because it kept telling him there were no appointments available . .…

  • advice

    The Joys of Renting in Dublin

    Two days after we arrived, we signed a yearlong lease for our 1-bedroom apartment in Smithfield (Dublin 7). After all the horror stories I had read about Dublin’s rental crisis (lack of good, affordable apartments; viewings with queues out the door), we were so incredibly relieved to have found an apartment we liked so quickly. We beat out five other interested parties, and our landlord told us we really lucked out in finding a place so soon. If you plan on moving to Dublin and are responsible for finding your own housing, I suggest starting researching ASAP. Having said that, don’t be hasty and agree to a lease or wire…

  • advice,  essentials,  expat life,  wtf

    WTF?: Opening a Bank Account

    WTF? is a blog series where we look at the processes and events that have made us say “WTF?” during our time in Dublin.    On our third full day here, we opened a checking account (or “current account,” as they say here). I don’t know how difficult it is for a foreigner to open a bank account in the States, but here in Ireland, it sure can be a doozy. Essentially, proof of address in Ireland is required to open a bank account. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Work permits aren’t valid proof, nor is a signed apartment lease (we tried unsuccessfully with both of these).…