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Living in EuropeAccess to the culture of the host country/language coursesIreland

Social Welfare and Social Security



Social Security Number - PPS number

Your Personal Public Service (PPS)  number is a unique reference number that helps you to access social welfare benefits and information from public service agencies in Ireland, such as the Department of Social and Family Affairs, the Revenue Commissioners and the Health Service Executive.

All employees in Ireland have a PPS number for tax purposes. Therefore, if you intend working in Ireland, you must apply for a PPS number. Applications are made through your local social welfare office. You can find the location of your nearest social welfare office consulting the Department of Social Protection website.

You will need to take the following documentation along with you when you make your application:

  • Passport
  • Garda Registration Card
  • Proof of Address (gas/electricity bill in your name or bank statement)
  • Letter of reference from your academic establishment or from your employee

Social Security Entitlements

If you are thinking of coming to Ireland to live, work, or study it is important to be aware of your social security entitlements. There may be some significant differences between the system in Ireland and your home country so it will be worthwhile familiarising yourself with the system in advance. Information Services are available if you have any questions about entitlements.

Non-EEA students

Non-EEA students are not permitted to access state benefits. Non-EEA students are admitted to Ireland on the understanding that they will not make claims on State funds, irrespective of eligibility. You are urged to consult the new ‘Guidelines for degree programme students’ for further details.