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Irish living in Boston

  • 13-04-2014 8:16pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ snowbell


    Hi

    I was wondering are there any Irish living in Boston that could give me some advice. I may have an opportunity to move over there in he next year or so and was wondering how different things are over there. Although I am Irish I will be entitled to an American passport and social security number as my Father is an American. Im 35 and looking at this chance for a new start maybe.

    I have a full Irish driving licence would I have to convert it to a US one or do a test? Anyone have any ideas on jobs and living over there?


Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 29,826 CMod ✭✭✭✭ ancapailldorcha


    I'd give the US forum a go if I were you:

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=917


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ snowbell


    Thanks im fairly new to posting on this site :)


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 29,826 CMod ✭✭✭✭ ancapailldorcha


    snowbell wrote: »
    Thanks im fairly new to posting on this site :)

    No worries. I think you'd get more help there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ snowbell


    Hi

    I was wondering are there any Irish living in Boston that could give me some advice. I may have an opportunity to move over there in he next year or so and was wondering how different things are over there. Although I am Irish I will be entitled to an American passport and social security number as my Father is an American. Im 35 and looking at this chance for a new start maybe.

    I have a full Irish driving licence would I have to convert it to a US one or do a test? Anyone have any ideas on jobs and living over there?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,496 ✭✭✭ lonestargirl


    You will have to sit your driving test again, if you passed the Irish test you should have no problems in the US.

    In terms of citizenship I presume you are aware that your father being a US citizen doesn't automatically give you citizenship. As you were born before 1986 He has to have lived in the US for 10 years before your birth - at least 5 of which need to be when he was after the age of 14. In addition if you parents weren't married your paternity must have been established before you were 21.

    If you are a citizen then you have been one since you were born and would have certain responsibilities, such as filing tax returns.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ snowbell


    Thanks for your reply. You seem to have a lot of knowledge on the subject when I tried to contact the us embassy they just referred me to sections on their website which I didnt fully understand. Would you mind helping me out with few answers if you can?

    My situation is I never knew my father and have only been in contact with him just over a year. I have asked him for a dna test which he is happy to do so the wait begins. He came over to Ireland in 1978 and stayed for about 7 months then went back to Boston.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,496 ✭✭✭ lonestargirl


    In that case you may be out of luck, from the link below it appears that paternity must have been established before you turned 21.

    http://www.uscis.gov/forms/n-600-application-certificate-citizenship-frequently-asked-questions


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ snowbell


    Ah I see thank you. I didnt know of him until about 2 years ago looks like iv'e missed my chance so :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,900 InTheTrees


    You say you didnt know him, but is he on the Birth Certificate?

    I'd spend some money on an appointment with a good immigration lawyer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ snowbell


    InTheTrees wrote: »
    You say you didnt know him, but is he on the Birth Certificate?

    I'd spend some money on an appointment with a good immigration lawyer.


    No his name is not on it. He wasn't in Ireland when I was born


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  • Registered Users Posts: 283 ✭✭ Est28


    Snowbell,

    A few things:
    - You can drive on your Irish licence for 1 year from your arrival. So that gives you time to sit a test for a Mass. licence. The theory test is just a bit of study of their manual, the actual test is a breeze compared to the Irish one. Not a big detail overall.

    - I don't know the situation with citizenship as I'm not at that stage just yet but tax returns and all that stuff is standard for everyone.

    - A big thing is where you intend to live and what work will you be doing? Reason being, it's a VERY expensive city in terms of rent and apartment hunting is an absolute nightmare as there's huge demand. Not to say you wont get something but it takes time to find yourself the right place on an affordable budget. How close to the city and how near the main transit lines has a huge bearing on cost. i.e. the better accessibility to the city, the more expensive, but expense in this regard doesn't translate to luxury. Its the demand that drives it. I live alone but not a lot do, its easier to find room-mates.

    - It's a fun city, it's not New York, it'll seem big at first but the city center is actually pretty walkable. It'll take time to find your local spots as with any town.

    - Obviously it's an "Irish" city but take that term loosely. Personally I can't identify with the Boston Irish. Same as meeting tourists really, they love when you play up the accent and culture but their view of Ireland comes from when they family left 3-4 generations ago so it can be a bit draining to take sometimes. Don't let that detract you though, just obviously realize its a different culture, I've seen a lot of Irish come and go in my time and never fit in because they just didn't really make the effort.

    - If you ask on any American boards, they will tell you to live in Southie, the Irish part of town. Firstly, I know very few Irish living there, it's the old "Irish American" center. It's improving but not the best area. One neighbourhood can be nice and 2 blocks over a lot of crime. Scout it well, most people I know go north of the city to Cambridge or Somerville or further out again if you can commute.

    - Again, research where to live and different parts of town, though it's not huge, different areas of town will result in a different living exprience, research, research!

    - Winters can be brutal. This past one was the worst, or at least the longest I've experienced. It's just part of living here, they deal with it well but it gets COOOOOLD! Summers are the other extreme, intensely hot but it's lovely, lots to do, nice beaches, etc. But it's worth being aware of big the climate changes from season to season it not used to it.

    - As with any country, the local customs, procedures, taxes, laws, etc can be frustrating. When I first moved I felt like every week there was a new "makey-uppy" tax or something I needed to pay which I was totally unaware of. It's not different to living anywhere else, but do your research and again, the first year anywhere is always tough, after that, you know what you're doing so it's worth toughing it out.

    - What else? Hmm... probably lots but I don't know what exactly you're looking for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,496 ✭✭✭ lonestargirl


    Est28 wrote: »
    I don't know the situation with citizenship as I'm not at that stage just yet but tax returns and all that stuff is standard for everyone.

    The US is unusual in that all citizens are liable for tax whether or not they are living in the US. There are double treaties which mean most people don't pay twice over - although if you live in a low tax country such as Singapore you probably will have to pay Uncle Sam something. If she is indeed a citizen she should have been filing tax returns every year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 283 ✭✭ Est28


    The US is unusual in that all citizens are liable for tax whether or not they are living in the US. There are double treaties which mean most people don't pay twice over - although if you live in a low tax country such as Singapore you probably will have to pay Uncle Sam something. If she is indeed a citizen she should have been filing tax returns every year.

    Thanks,
    Doesn't look like a worry for the OP. Sounded in first post like you meant non-residents were tax free. Not the case.


  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Dave1442397


    If she is indeed a citizen she should have been filing tax returns every year.

    If she were a citizen, yes, but she is not currently a US citizen, she's trying to be one based on paternity.

    Also, you are supposed to file a return, but if you don't and had no income taxes to pay, they don't follow up on it (from personal experience).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,496 ✭✭✭ lonestargirl


    If she were a citizen, yes, but she is not currently a US citizen, she's trying to be one based on paternity.

    Also, you are supposed to file a return, but if you don't and had no income taxes to pay, they don't follow up on it (from personal experience).

    You become a citizen two ways: birth or narutalisation. She is trying to establish proof of her citizenship, if she meets the criteria she has been one all along.

    In terms of whether the IRS is interested, they probably won't be but we can't say that for certain.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 20,553 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig


    I swapped my Irish for an American driving licence when I was there, however that was some years ago so the rules may have changed. The American driving test is laughably easy though so you will have no problems.
    For a social security number you just need to queue down in the local office when you get there. It may take a few weeks to be issued though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,038 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    snowbell wrote: »
    Hi

    I was wondering are there any Irish living in Boston that could give me some advice. I may have an opportunity to move over there in he next year or so and was wondering how different things are over there. Although I am Irish I will be entitled to an American passport and social security number as my Father is an American. Im 35 and looking at this chance for a new start maybe.

    I have a full Irish driving licence would I have to convert it to a US one or do a test? Anyone have any ideas on jobs and living over there?

    Having an American father does not guarantee you US Citizesnship. It will have depended on his residency at the time of your birth and whether you were born in wedlock may also have an affect.

    See here before you start making any big plans.
    http://www.uscis.gov/forms/n-600-application-certificate-citizenship-frequently-asked-questions

    And no you cannot convert an Irish driving license into a US one. You have to start from scratch. It's easy though.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,689 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Tokyo


    Moved to the US forum. Please note that their charter applies from here on in.

    Regards,
    Mike


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ snowbell


    Hi and thanks for all of your comments and information. I have checked through the links and sites give conflicting information but I have contacted a solicitor to get some legal advice as I just need some solid answers


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,900 InTheTrees


    Pawwed Rig wrote: »
    I swapped my Irish for an American driving licence when I was there, however that was some years ago so the rules may have changed. The American driving test is laughably easy though so you will have no problems.

    When you say "swapped" do you mean you gave them your Irish license?

    But its not like your Irish Licence is invalid though right? I mean they dont communicate with the Irish Authorities at all do they? You're still on record in Ireland as having an Irish License right, You just have to get a duplicate when you get back.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 20,553 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig


    InTheTrees wrote: »
    When you say "swapped" do you mean you gave them your Irish license?

    Sorry No. They gave me a US license on the strength of my Irish one in that I didn't have to do a test. This was in 2003 though. Another poster said you can't do it anymore.


  • Registered Users Posts: 567 DM addict


    Don't know about MA, but over in WA you still have to take the test. VERY easy for an experienced Irish driver, and you can get the whole thing done in a day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 976 ✭✭✭ Gandhi


    I drove on my Irish license for about a year in Pennsylvania when I moved to Philly first (mid 90s). Was able to buy, register, and insure a car with it Only one insurance company would take me though, and I discovered when I got my act together and got my PA license, I had been effectively doubling my insurance bill. The test is pretty easy. If you do fail, you can take it again the next day. And again the day after. The only rule is that you can't do it twice on the same day.

    In Alabama on our J1, we bought a 20-year old car for $500 for the summer. No insurance (not needed in Alabama at the time). My friend did the Alabama driving test in it. Halfway through the test, he and the instructor both noticed he had been driving with the handbrake on the entire time. He still passed. The car was such a heap of crap the handbrake had no effect anyway.

    The rules may be different today, though. And probably different in Mass.


  • Registered Users Posts: 283 ✭✭ Est28


    DM addict wrote: »
    Don't know about MA, but over in WA you still have to take the test. VERY easy for an experienced Irish driver, and you can get the whole thing done in a day.

    The official rule of MA is that on a full Irish licence you can drive from 1 year of your arrival in the US. At that point you must do the test.

    The same actually goes for people moving from out of state. If you come here from the 49 other states, you have to get an MA licence but I think in that case you can just transfer your old one without doing a test.

    I've heard of people swapping their Irish directly for am MA licence at the RMV but generally they don't want to allow it, if they allow it, you're very lucky. They only grade certain levels of Irish licence as a full MA licence as there is no direct conversion chart.

    You don't have to surrender your Irish licence so it's still valid in Ireland.

    The trouble with it is that your drivers licence is your ID for everything (and yes, they ask for ID to do EVRYTHING). It's very difficult to pass an Irish licence as a valid id. I could not enter bars, go to the drug store, use it as valid id with banks or apartment rentals or anything. Your passport counts but you have to carry it everywhere and for offical stuff, you need more than 1 type of ID...
    Same if you get pulled over by a cop for any reason. It's just so much hassle to explain your situation and for them to validate you are legally driving.

    So even though you've got a year, I'd really advice going and getting it as soon as you have a chance... it just makes a lot of things so much easier than putting it off.


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