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15 Apr. 2023

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How to renew a medical card in Ireland: detailed instructions

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How to renew a medical card in Ireland: detailed instructions

Ukrainians currently residing in Ireland will have to undergo income verification after a year of residence in the country. To do this, refugees need to extend their medical cards. Here's how to do it

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
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In 2023, Ukrainian refugees will not have their medical cards renewed for no reason. This is reported by the Irish Examiner. In particular, Ukrainians who have been living in the country for more than a year will be subject to income verification. Read more in the article.


Obtaining a medical card in Ireland in a new way


Currently, all Ukrainians seeking asylum in Ireland will automatically receive medical cards upon arrival in the country. However, according to the report, all those who will continue to arrive in Ireland will receive medical cards for a period of one year.


Income verification in Ireland is a standard annual procedure. Therefore, the Committee on Ukraine decided that Ukrainians will be checked in the same way as citizens of the country. 

In October last year, the government decided that all departments, including the Department of Health, should ensure fairness and consistency in the provision of support and services.

According to the health service, this decision was made because the financial circumstances of some Ukrainians have changed since their arrival, and some are now working.


At the same time, we would like to add that Ukrainian citizens will be eligible for a medical card until the standard means-testing process is completed in the coming months.


Also, some refugees have been granted a three-month extension for those whose cards are due to expire soon.


Please note! The card received in March 2022 will remain valid until June 2023


What can change for refugees after the verification?


If the applicant exceeds the income limit for obtaining a medical card, he or she will be issued a GP card, which entitles him or her to a free visit to such a doctor.


How does the means test work in Ireland?


Means testing is a way of determining whether you have enough financial resources to support yourself and how much social assistance you can claim. During the assessment, the Department of Social Protection checks all your sources of income.


Along with the application for social assistance, the applicant must fill out a special questionnaire. All sources of income must be indicated on the application form. The Department of Social Protection may ask for details of bank accounts, including their numbers.


Please note that no one will have access to your bank account without authorization.


A social security inspector may question you about your income and ask for documents to support it, such as bank statements. All sources of income are added together and taken into account when deciding whether you are eligible for benefits. If you are not satisfied with the result, you have the right to appeal to the Social Security Office.


Important! Any changes in your financial situation must be reported to the Social Security Department, otherwise you will be fined and asked to return the overpayment.


Remember that means testing for social assistance is a complex calculation that may differ from person to person.


For more information on the means testing procedure, please click here (information is available in English only).


We remind you! The Department of Education in Ireland has introduced the Ukrainian language as an optional subject in schools. Read more about when Ukrainian students will be able to choose their mother tongue for studying in our article.




Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




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