Our first full day in Dublin was a long one. We were all very tired dealing with the time change and jet lag. Khaleesi woke up feeling sick, we thought she was just hungry and overtired, but then she started throwing up. We had a full day schedule by the people at IrishRelo, which is the service we use to help get us settled and get all our paperwork in order. Breda, our guide for the day was going to show up at 9 am to take us to several pre-scheduled appointments. At first I wasn’t sure how Khaleesi would do, being that she couldn’t stop puking. The appointments were for things we needed to become legal residents of Ireland so we didn’t want to cancel. Deciding to push our children to the limit, we grabbed a garbage can and some towels and decided to risk it. Adventure! Breda had rented us a VW Transporter, a large 9 passenger van complete with four car seats. We loaded up and headed into the city.
GNIB and PPS: Our first order of business was in obtaining our PPS numbers and GNIB cards. The PPS numbers are similar to US Social Security cards and the GNIB cards are similar to “green cards” in the US. Everything in Ireland requires an appointment, and the people at IrishRelo had made all the appointments for us.
For the GNIB card, you register with the Garda, the Irish word for Police. We showed up at the main Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and prepared for the long wait, much like the Social Security offices in America where you get a number and wait for a few hours even with an appointment. Once your number is called, you go to a desk and talk to someone, show them your passport and paperwork with proof of address and work visa; after they verify everything they take a picture. Next, you wait to be called back for fingerprinting. Then the really long part, waiting for them to print your card out. The entire process took us about 2 hours and that was mostly because I told them I had a sick child; they put a rush on us. Khaleesi puked a few times in the office, but we had a towel wrapped around her and caught most of it. She also napped a lot in my arms while we waited. My poor little girl.
The GNIB card is good for a year, so we have to go down every year and repeat the process.
In between our two appointments we had about two hours. Khaleesi was starting to feel much better. We stopped and had lunch at a sandwich shop that served really good BLTs. Then we walked around the city a little. Kevin and I were looking for a foam mattress pad; the beds in the apartment are hard as a rock and we are a little spoiled. We finally found a mattress topper that was only about 2 inches thick, but it was better than nothing.
The PPS was a much easier process and all six of us needed to fill out an application to get a PPS number. Again, an appointment is necessary, but we were booked in advance. Kevin and I split up the applications so he would take two kids and I would take the other two. Once the applications were filled out we went to a desk and again talked to an agent and showed all our paperwork. My agent was wearing a Seattle Seahawks shirt, so of course I immediately struck up a conversation being that I’m from Seattle. He told me his brother worked at Microsoft in Redmond and he had visited Seattle a few times and loved it. His brother went to the USA after high school to visit a friend, but ended up getting a job and never came back. I was informed that the weather in Dublin is similar to Seattle, but much cooler and more sporadic rain. The PPS appointment took about 30 mins from start to finish.
Bank of Ireland: Next stop was the bank. Again, we had an appointment with an account representative and this made things relatively easy. Things are a little different for setting up an account. Passport, prove of employment, and a letter from employer that verifies our address. Because my name wasn’t on the employment letter, I couldn’t get on the account. Once an account is set up they won’t make any changes to it; no adding names, no taking off names. The representative basically inputs all the information into the computer and then it takes a day or two to get full approval and account numbers. They do not require you to put money into the account to open it. Kevin went ahead and opened an account. We’ll go back later and get an account together when I have the proper paperwork.
Once we were done at the bank, we were free to go home. It had been a pretty long day. We came home and set up Netflix on the Surface for the kids to watch a movie. We put the kids to bed a little after 7:30 and Kevin and I both went to bed about 9pm; we couldn’t keep our eyes open. We were definitely looking forward to just relaxing the next day with no commitments; catching up on sleep, and getting unpacked.