- 6 years ago
- Wedding: November 2000
Technically a visa is a permit to enter a country, not to remain. I know you colloquially meant ‘residency permission’ but it makes things smoother if you become a stickler for the terminology straight out of the gate, because governments sure are. If you are American, you don’t need a visa to enter either country.
I live in Ireland and I’m American (though my naturalisation application is in a government office somewhere at this very moment). Someone mentioned going through an agency. I know nothing about this, but if that’s a possiblilty I’d do it. The reality of dealing with this on your own looks a little more like this:
If you register as a stamp 2 (student on a full-time university course), you can work 20 hours a week during term time and 40 hours a week during holidays. This would have to be accounted for in your plans.
You can also get a stamp 2a (non-degree course like a language school or vocational training). On this stamp you are not permitted to work.
University courses are expensive for non-EU students. About €12,000 a year. About US$16,000. I worked as much as allowed during my time at university, but I still needed substantial savings. Also, you are required to have private health insurance. This is much cheaper than in the States, but you’re still looking at about a grand a year.
I know you wanted a more touch-y feel-y answer, but these are the realities. It can be done, but god knows I wouldn’t have gotten through it if I didn’t love this country with my heart and soul (and one of its citizens more particularly). I’ve done it (minus the au pair bit), but you’d better go into it eyes wide open. It nearly broke me a couple of times trying to stay here. Life is tough for emigrants the world over, and I’m pretty sure the US is sheltered from news of the economic crazies that have gone down in the PIIGS countries (and you picked two of them) http://www.economist.com/node/15838029
Moving to Ireland was the best thing I ever did. Managing to stay here was the most difficult.