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Moving from South Africa to Ireland As A Developer

Last week we had the chance to catch up with a former candidate of Zartis, Marais, who relocated to Dublin, IRL from Johannesburg, SA. Marais is working with a long term client of ours who is about to host 3 hiring events in South African cities Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Therefore, we thought it might be useful to shed some light on  how relocation to Ireland from South Africa works.

To give you an idea on the process; South African citizens do not need an entry visa to Ireland, only a work permit. Marais is a Build Engineer and came to Ireland on a Critical Skills Visa. This type of visa comes with a lot of advantages as the need for such skills is critical in Ireland!


First question we asked him was about the process. Did you have any problems in the process of obtaining a work permit?


Marais: “It was a rather painless process as my company provided me with a relocation agency who guided me through each step and made sure I have my documents straight at each step.”


And how long did it take you to get your work permit considering things went smoothly as you said?


Marais: “I got my documents ready in just 2 weeks! I have seen colleagues wait for 10-12 weeks before at unfortunate cases, so I would say I was very lucky to have support in the process.”


What would be the most valuable advice to give candidates who are about to relocate?


Marais: “I would say, the most important things is to make sure they have their travel documents with them because obtaining the visa is not enough to set foot into the country unless you have the documents on you at the time. These documents would be the work permit,  full birth certificates for children, and if married, an unabridged marriage certificate.”


Coming from abroad, are you happy with the international-local ratio within the company?


Marais: “Generally Irish people are very welcoming which made things easier but also within the company, there are a lot of people with international backgrounds, as well as some other South Africans. We have also been onboarding new team members constantly, so there is a vibe where everyone is helping each other get going.”


So, your experiences with the locals have been good I assume then. Would you say integrating to the Irish way of living was easy for you coming from South Africa?


Marais: “ It was easy but that also depends on you; what attitude you come with. It is different in the end, food is different, the customs are different; so you need to make peace with that. If you can accept this as an adventure, the integration will be much easier. People are much more understanding, polite and calm in Ireland so, you need to adjust your communication. But for the better in most cases.

If you want to integrate, and not stick to South Africans in Ireland, then the society is very inclusive. This is a mindset that you need to come here with, already before getting on the plane. Thanks to a job and friendly colleagues, the rest unravels pretty quickly.”


The same client is hiring extensively in South Africa now, so check out the open roles HERE and let us know if you are interested in one!

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