Crosscare Youth Information have teamed up with Crosscare Migrant Project for a series of posts to give information and support to you, if you are thinking of emigrating.
Working abroad has always been part of many young Irish lives and can offer some fantastic opportunities and experiences. However, sometimes young people feel they have to leave Ireland due to personal or economic experiences. Before you go, it is so important to prepare and plan ahead. Crosscare Migrant Project have put together some important advice and information to guide you as you plan.
If you have any questions about emigration, you can contact Crosscare Migrant Project, a fantastic service who provides support and guidance to anyone thinking of emigrating or leaving Ireland to live in another country.
Top Tips on Emigration
- Do your research and find out if you need a visa or a work permit where you are going.
- Try to arrange a job and a place to stay before you go.
- Get travel insurance before you go.
- Learn at least a few word of the local language and get clued in on local do’s and dont’s.
- Return Ticket – Sometimes even the best laid plans can go wrong so make sure you buy a return ticket just in case things don’t work out. Some countries wont let you enter the country without a return ticket.
- If you are going backpacking, read the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s guide to backpacking and adventure tourism.
- Always check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel advice for the country you plan to visit and their ‘Know before you go’ information.
Mind How You Go
Crosscare Migrant Project’s Mindhowyougo.ie – is a website designed to help future emigrants by providing simple but effective advice and tools to deal with the inevitable challenges. This ranges from pre-departure preparations to early days abroad. The information is provided by recent emigrants.
1. Choosing where to go
The world is a big place – how do you pick where to go? Things to think about – is it easy to get a job, is it expensive to live there, do you know people there.
2. Talk to someone who has previously lived abroad
Talk to friends who are living abroad or have lived abroad before, to find out what it is like to settle there, find out about the positives and negatives. Do they have any tips or suggestions?
Make contact with friends/ family who live in the country you are going to – they are often a great source of local information, job opportunities, accommodation.
3. Essential documents
- – A valid passport and at least one other form of photo ID.
- – An entry or work visa if it is required (without this you could face detention or even deportation in some countries).
- – Your birth certificate (or at least a copy of it).
- – Medical prescriptions and records if you need regular medication or have an existing medical condition.
- – If you’re going to be looking for work, bring evidence of your qualifications and references from your previous employers along with your up to date CV.
- – your driving licence and the appropriate visa if required.
Make copies and save them to your email. Give a photocopy of all your paperwork (passport, insurance, visa) to someone like a family member staying at home.
If you became an Irish citizen by naturalisation you need to register annually to make sure you retain your Irish citizenship while you’re abroad. Download and complete Form 5 from the Immigration Service .
It might sound obvious but make sure you save money in advance. Setting up in a new country can be expensive, especially if you’re not moving over with a job. Have enough money to support yourself until you find a job or in case of emergency. Get an idea of the cost of living where you are going at www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/. Find out if you can use your Irish bank cards in your chosen destination. Ask your bank and make sure you let them know before you go. Try to use cards rather than cash but have a small amount of cash in the local currency just in case
Check out the cost of living in your destination country – It is important to have savings to last for about 3 months to allow for living expenses (rent, bills, daily living costs, transport) until you find work and are getting paid.
Social Welfare Payments – If you are going to live in an EU country and you are already in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, you may be able to transfer your payment to that country for 3 months. You may not be able to access social welfare in other countries unless you have worked for a while and accrued social insurance contributions. Further information
Bank Account – Find out about how to open a bank account in the country and what tax requirements there are for foreigners.
5. Get a job before you go
If you can, try and find a job before you go. Migrant Project has essential information on working abroad in various countries. If you are thinking of working within Europe then the Eures Jobs Mobility Portal is a really good place to start. Eures – European Job Mobility Scheme help young EU citizens to find a job, traineeship or apprenticeship opportunities in another EU country, Norway or Iceland. You may also be eligible for financial support to attend an interview abroad, as well as to cover costs such as language training, recognition of qualifications or relocation to the destination country.
Look online before you travel to get a sense of the availability and cost of accommodation. Be careful of what you see online and don’t pay a deposit before going to see the place. Get a short-term let or stay in a hostel to start with, so you can use this as a base while attending viewings. Think about the location of your accommodation; it should be close to public transport, shops and any other necessary facilities.
If you are travelling to a country outside the EU, you should include health cover in your travel insurance and find out what it costs to access health services there. Apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or ‘Blue card’ before you leave if travelling to a EU country which entitles you to emergency hospital treatment if needed.
8. Learning the language
If you are going to a country where English is not the first language, there are lots of apps to help you learn the language (e.g. Duolingo), and you can find language exchange sessions both in Ireland (before you leave) and abroad. But don’t let language stop you – English is recognised in most countries and you pick up words very quickly.