Ireland is one of the countries in the EU that ensure legal rights for LGBTI people. Like the other EU member states, Ireland provides temporary protection status to Ukrainians fleeing the war, granting them the same rights as Irish citizens. This includes the right to work, education, and social and healthcare protection.
Please, note, that despite not being part of the Schengen zone, Ireland has dropped its requirements on visas for Ukrainians, but be aware that if you are travelling with family members who are not Ukrainian citizens, they may need a visa to come to Ireland.
Ukrainian citizens do not currently need a visa to travel to Ireland. You also do not need proof that you have a COVID-19 vaccine, and you do not need to take a COVID-19 test before arriving.
If you do not have a current passport, you can use another form of identification to travel to Ireland (for example, a national ID card, expired passport, or birth certificate).
If you are travelling with family members who are not Ukrainian citizens, they may need a visa to come to Ireland.
Under the EU Temporary Protection Directive, refugees from Ukraine can claim temporary protection in Ireland.
When you arrive, you should go to a reception hub at the airport or port. If you arrive at Dublin Airport you will be brought to the reception hub at City West Convention Centre in Dublin.
Otherwise, you can get help at a Ukraine Support Centre. These centres are currently in Dublin, Limerick, and Cork.
- Dublin: Dublin 8 Intreo Centre, Guild Building, Cork Street, Dublin 8, D08 XH90
- Cork: Cork City PSC and PPSN Centre, Department of Social Protection, Hanover Street, Cork, T12 PX62
- Limerick: Dominick Street, Limerick, V94 X327
Upon arrival in Ireland, you will be met by the staff of IPAS - International Protection Accommodation Service. These people will help you complete the necessary paperwork. Here is what is needed:
- A letter from the Department of Justice or a yellow letter of temporary protection, issued at Dublin Airport, namely at the support centre in the Old Terminal. With this letter, you can leave Ireland and return within one year. Later, you can extend the yellow letter for up to three years.
- PPS tax number. To do this, you need to fill out a questionnaire. This can be done at the airport or at any Intreo centre, i.e. at a State Employment Service centre. The number is issued in a letter. Within two or three weeks another plastic card arrives.
When you arrive in Ireland you can apply to the Department of Social Protection for income support. This is a weekly social welfare payment for you and any dependents (for example, children) you may have.
To get any Irish social welfare payments you need a Personal Public Service Number (PPS number).
The social welfare payment you apply for depends on your circumstances. Some of the weekly payments available for people coming from Ukraine include:
- One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) - a weekly payment for people aged under 66 who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. To get OFP, you must have at least one child who is under 7 (there are some exceptions). You can work and get OFP, but your income must be lower than a certain amount. If your child is over 7, you may get a weekly payment called Jobseeker’s Transitional payment.
- Jobseeker’s Transitional (JST) - a weekly payment for people who are parenting alone and whose youngest child is aged between 7 and 13 years. You can work and get JST, but your income must be lower than a certain amount.
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) - a weekly payment for people aged between 18 and 66 who are unemployed and looking for work. You can work and get JA. However, you can only work a certain number of days and your income must be lower than a certain amount.
- Disability Allowance (DA) - a weekly payment for people aged between 16 and 66 who have a disability. You can work and get DA, but your income must be lower than a certain amount.
- Carer’s Allowance (CA) - a weekly payment for people who are caring for a person who needs support because of their age, disability or illness (including mental illness). You can work and get CA. The number of hours you work and your income must be lower than a certain amount.
- State Pension (Non-Contributory) (SPNC) - a weekly payment for people aged 66 and over who have a low income or no income. You can work and get SPNC, but your income must be lower than a certain amount.
- Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) - a weekly payment. This is an emergency or temporary payment. For example, if you applied for a social welfare payment but it has not yet been paid, you may get SWA while you are waiting for your payment. Some people from Ukraine were given this payment when they first arrived in Ireland.
- Rent Supplement is a payment to help with the cost of privately rented accommodation.
Health services in Ireland are delivered by Ireland’s public healthcare service - the Health Service Executive (HSE). You will be able to get the same healthcare services as people who live in Ireland, such as the following:
- family doctors - also called GPs (general practitioners)
- community care services - for example, physiotherapy or speech therapy
- hospital or emergency services
- children’s health services
- mental health services
- disability services
- pregnancy services
- elderly people services
Everyone coming to Ireland under the Temporary Protection Directive is also entitled to a medical card with a simplified application process. A medical card allows you to visit a doctor for free, to access other health services, and to get medicines at a reduced price. Children aged over 16 must apply for a medical card separately.
You should apply for your medical card using a special medical card application form (pdf) for Ukrainians. The medical card application form is also available in Ukrainian. You can email your completed form to PCRS.Applications@HSE.ie or by post to the address on the form.
The Ukrainian community in Ireland has created a list of Ukrainian-speaking psychotherapists from Kyiv Gestalt University who are offering free counselling.
If you have been granted temporary protection, you can get help with finding accommodation if you need it. You should tell immigration officials that you need a place to stay when you arrive in Ireland and they will refer you to the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS).
IPAS accommodation is free of charge and includes different types of accommodation. For example, you may be housed in a hotel, guest house, or another type of State-owned or private accommodation including property pledged by members of the public. The type of accommodation you will be offered depends on what is available at that time. If you refuse 2 offers of accommodation, you will not get any more offers.
Volunteer (private) assistance in finding accommodation (NOT VERIFIED):
In Ireland, the Family and Children Agency Túsla deals with all family and childhood issues.
Early childhood support. Childcare in Ireland is available for children from 6 months to 15 years of age. Care is provided by:
- centres for the provision of childcare services;
- nannies who take care of children at home;
- nannies or governesses working at home with the child.
The State provides help paying for childcare through the National Childcare Scheme (NCS). NCS pays for all or part of the childcare costs. NCS is available only to registered childcare organisations. For Ukrainians with Temporary Protection, NCS covers the entire cost of childcare in accordance with NCS sponsorship agreements. Your local Childcare Committee can refer you to the appropriate NCS sponsor.
Preschool education operates under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme. From the age of 3, your child may be ready to attend a preparatory group (for school). The scheme allows children to attend kindergartens, Montessori schools, pre-schools, and playgroups free of charge 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, 38 weeks a year. You can use classes/groups/schools above the available hours of the program - for an additional fee.
School. Children are expected to attend school starting at age 4 or 5. Education is free. The cost of the extracurricular activities is around 500 euros a month. Schools offer programmes for adaptation and supplementary language instruction. Gaelic, the other official language of Ireland besides English, is taught in schools and is required for students under the age of 12.
Higher education is paid. There are entrance exams. Currently, Ukrainian students and applicants have the same right to higher education as EU citizens. You will not need to pay international fees for training. Scholarships are not provided. You can apply for the international Erasmus + programme to receive financial support for Ukrainian students.
You can get free travel on any subsidised public transport service, (Irish rail, Bus Eireann, Go-Ahead Ireland, Dublin Bus, and Luas) upon arrival in Ireland for the journey to your final destination.
You should show your Ukrainian passport or other government-issued Ukrainian ID, and proof that you have arrived in Ireland in the past 7 days.
You can ride the Dublin bus for free for the first 7 days after your arrival in Ireland, after that you need to pay for the fare.
You have the right to work in Ireland if you have a permission letter confirming that you have been granted Temporary Protection under the EU Directive. You can also work for yourself (self-employment) and you can access vocational training in Ireland.
Anyone on Jobseekers Allowance must be available for and looking for full-time work. You can work part-time but you should keep looking for full-time work.
You can get help finding work from Intreo, the Public Employment Service.
- Talk to an Employment Support Officer at your local Intreo centre or branch office;
- Go to an employment support event for Ukrainians organised near you;
- Find vacancies and apply for jobs using the online job-search website www.jobsireland.ie – information is available in Ukrainian.
GoingFar has a free mentoring programme for Ukrainians who are looking for work. (NOT VERIFIED)
The EPIC programme can help you find a job and develop skills that will prepare you for working in Ireland.
JobAid helps Ukrainians find a job in the European Union. You can search for available jobs in Ireland. The jobs advertised are only for people who have left Ukraine because of the war.
CVhelp.ie has free CV templates for a variety of job types.
Same-sex marriage is legal. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity are not considered aggravating circumstances in sentencing. However, hate speech on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act of 1989.
If you are getting married in Ireland (whether you are an Irish citizen or a foreign national), you must notify the Registrar of your intention to marry at least 3 months before your wedding day.
Before you go to your marriage notification appointment, you and your partner must gather the relevant documentation and fees, including:
- Original (or certified copy) of personal documents, such as passports, birth certificates, divorce certificates, etc.
- Information about your upcoming marriage and witnesses
- Data Capture Form
- Notification fee
- Proof of address (original and photocopy dated within last 3 months).
Same-sex couples have equal rights to joint adoption and second-parent adoption. Same-sex partners of EU citizens in Ireland can apply for visas based on marriage, civil partnerships, or de facto partnerships based on cohabitation.
Trans people can change their legal gender by applying for a gender recognition certificate under Sections 8, 12, 18 and 27 of the Gender Recognition Act of 2015. Under the Act, a new birth certificate reflecting this change can be acquired. Legal gender can only be changed to male or female. There is no option for a third gender. Legal gender change for those aged 18 and over is subject to self-declaration. For trans people aged 16 – 18, legal gender change is subject to a court order, parental consent and certificates from a medical practitioner and an endocrinologist or psychiatrist. Trans people of any age can change their legal name on all identity documents, except for their birth certificate, by deed poll. For those aged 14 – 18, parental consent is required to execute the deed poll. For those under the age of 14 the deed poll must be executed by a parent on the child’s behalf, with the consent of the other parent (guardians may execute the deed poll if applicable).
A Community Response Forum has been set up in each local authority area to help deliver local support for Ukrainians.
Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI)
TENI supports transgender and non-binary people with a range of services
Amach! LGBT is a support service for the LGBT+ community in Galway and its region
Bi+ Ireland aims to create a space where bi people can make friends, access peer support and reduce any isolation they may experience.
There are special arrangements in place for bringing pets from Ukraine. This means you may be able to bring your pets even if they are missing documentation or do not satisfy the usual rules for entering Ireland. The special arrangements only apply if you are travelling with the pet.
If you are bringing pets, you should still bring as much information as you can about your pet, for example, information on vaccinations, microchips, and worming.