Getting a PPS Number

After immigrating to Ireland and already spending loads of time at the immigration officer, the last thing you want to do is deal with getting a PPS number. But fortunately, it is not as painful as other Irish bureaucratic processes can be!

I had spent 4 hours trying to register for immigration at the INIS (see post here) and I was nervous that going to the PPS office might be just as bad. Their appointment website read that the appointment should only take about 15 minutes long, but I’m now weary to trust anything a public office might say.

Luckily, it was actually a rather pleasant experience, well at least the appointment. I had to bring my passport and proof of employment, along with a proof of address, but I had my employer address me with my address included so I could easily use that to have an official address. My appointment was at 12:45. I arrived at 12:25. I briefly checked in and was given a standard form to fill out with all my information. I was told to go to “desk 7” at exactly 12:45 as no one would actually call my name. I went to the desk at 12:43.

The official I was talking with was very kind. He told me about his recent trip to Germany and I told him about me, Texas, and my current experience in Ireland. I gave him all my forms, had to fill out some security questions, got my picture taken, and 20 minutes later I was off on my way.


About 5 days later I get a letter in the mail containing my PPS number. I find it strange that the letter specifically states that “this cannot be used as a proof of address,” but I’m like okay, whatever at least I have it. I tell my employer this and she says I actually have to register online with the revenue system. I’m a bit confused, but follow her instructions and go to the revenue website.

Why do I have to register my PPS number with Irish Revenue if the government is the one who issues it out in the first place?

I may never understand this system, but I don’t really have a choice and I want all my emergency tax money back. Right now I’m only getting paid half as much since I don’t have my PPS number registered. It’s an “emergency tax” and somewhat used as an incentive to get people to register quickly.

Anyways, I go on the website ( and try to log in. I don’t have a Public Services card and I don’t have a password to log in. This means I have to request a password. Instead of living in the future, this system is dated in the past, meaning I’m going to have to wait for a physical letter with my password written on it to access and register my PPS number. This means I’ll probably be on emergency tax for at least another week. Great. Love this system.

Overall, except for all the letter sending and time commitment it takes to fully be registered and have a PPS number, I would say it was a pretty easy experience. I was easily able to get an appointment only a couple days after I was eligible for one, and the appointment didn’t keep me waiting. Due to all the postal requirements, I would try and apply for this as soon as possible. Having half your paycheck withheld is no fun for anyone.

Do you have a different experience getting a PPS number? Let the world know! Comment or Contact Me to share your story.

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