Last night I fell asleep on the couch around 7:30 our time…they let me sleep for about 30 minutes & when I woke up, I was wide awake for the next 2.5 hours. That’s how I was able to get the blog post done for yesterday. This morning, I woke up at 6:00 am (1:00 am Ithaca time) and thought, this is great, I’m already on a good schedule…next thing I know I wake up to the sound of Liz on the phone trying to locate her luggage at 8:00…I hate when that happens.
The next 90 minutes or so of our morning were trying to reach someone at the Aer Lingus lost luggage department…when Liz finally got in touch with them, they weren’t a lot of help. Tomorrow we’ll be able to go in person and try to get this straightened out.
Why didn’t we go today? We were planning to…however our first appointment of the day was dealing with my residency. We went to the immigration office (I’m an immigrant)…checked in and were given a number. I had to wait about 20 minutes before my number was called, and the process itself was pretty straightforward. They took Liz’s passport and mine, as well as our marriage license…had me fill out a brief form and took my picture. After that they took a couple finger prints and the guy left for a few minutes. (I have never been fingerprinted before, so much for living off the grid:-)
When he came back, he said they needed to take a full set of prints, so I’d need to go stand at the end of the lobby and wait for them to call me. After about 15 minutes, he called me into the room took a lot of prints and then said, “you’ll have your card and your passport in a few minutes, and we’ll see you next year.”
An hour later, they called my name up to hatch 1. Once there, they stamped my passport and gave me a Stamp 4 card which allows me to live and work in Ireland for the next year! (I’m officially an ex-pat now)
PPS…After obtaining the card, we went to apply for our PPS numbers (think Social Security Number). We gave the man at the first window all of our paperwork, along with a letter from the Garzas saying that we are living with them, which counts as proof of address, he gave us a ticket and sent us to wait in a row of chairs. About an hour later Liz and I were called to a window, the person looked over the documents, (including my shiny new residency card), had us fill out forms for ourselves and 3 of our kids (Hannah will have to go in person since she is over 16.) Then she took more pictures, and told us we’ll have our cards in the post by Monday.
Finding a place to live…At that point we realized we had less than two hours to drive from the city centre back out to Lucan, grab lunch, switch Melissa Garza for James Garza and head to Clontarf to start looking for a place to live. We were only 4 minutes late!
Both places were in large apartment complexes. The first place was great…a bit more than we’d like to spend, but beautiful, and definitely big enough for us all.
We had an hour before our next viewing, so we drove around the area a bit…found the girls school…then picked up some meat to barbecue tonight.
We showed up at the next place…and no rental agent. Eventually Tom the president of the resident’s association (we learned later that that is a self-appointed title) came to tell us that the price of this place is too expensive. Shortly after that the next door neighbor showed up (also American). Since the rental agent never arrived, she allowed us to see her place.
After that we drove back to Lucan (I actually just typed “we drove back to Ithaca” wow). Time to go eat dinner. More tomorrow!
Sounds exciting Bob, really like hearing about the process, in case some day we ever try to leave the country. Good luck!
Very relieved to hear that your Immigration experience went so smoothly. I can only dream that ours will be that easy, but I know differently. Good luck with the home search!
Thanks Kathy! I received your email…I’ll reply this weekend…looking forward to your visit.