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Working in Ireland

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International students engaged in full-time study of at least one year’s duration (on a course leading to a qualification which is recognised by the Irish Department of Education and Skills currently do not need a work permit to work in Ireland.

Students holding a valid  immigration stamp 2  permission will be permitted to work 40 hours per week only during the months of June, July, August and September and from 15th December to 15th January inclusive.  At all other times students holding Immigration permission Stamp 2 will be limited to working 20 hours per week. The permission to work ceases on the expiry of the students Stamp 2 immigration permission.

Degree programme students can get casual work where they are:

  • Registered with GNIB
  • Enrolled on a recognised programme leading to a qualification recognised by the Minister for Education & Skills
  • Attending a full time programme of education at or above NFQ Level 7
  • Undertaking a minimum of 15 hours day time study
  • Getting tuition, between the hours of 8am and 6pm per week for a minimum of 25 weeks per annum
  • On a programme of at least one year’s duration

International students who meet the above conditions and wish to take up work in Ireland must obtain a Personal Public Services Number (PPS Number). An employer can only pay employees with a PPS number, and funds will usually only be paid to an Irish bank account. Students will also be required to comply with the Universal Social Contribution (USC), Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI), employment laws and taxation requirements. 

It is not uncommon to have a trial period before you are permanently hired. Ireland’s minimum wage is €9.15 per hour.

Internship

Students enrolled on courses on the Degree Programme are allowed to undertake an internship where this forms part of their programme. This is subject to the following rules.

  • The internship or work placement part of the programme cannot exceed 50% of the duration of the programme e.g. a 4 year programme would permit 2 years of work placement. In addition, the employment cannot be in a self employed capacity.
  • Work placements as part of an academic programme must form an integral part of the programme which contributes to the final award. 
  • Educational facilities must also ensure that the placements are suited to the programme being pursued.

Post Study Pathways for International Students

It may be possible to stay in Ireland after you complete your studies for the purpose of seeking employment under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. This scheme exists to allow legally resident non-EU third level graduates to remain in Ireland in order to look for employment or apply for a green card/work permit.

  • During their approved stay under the scheme, a student can work full-time (40 hours a week).
  • The permission under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme is non renewable.
  • A student can only avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme in accordance with the rules below. 

Revised Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission

This allows non-EU/EEA students who have graduated from Irish higher education institutions to remain in Ireland for 24 months to seek employment.

In order to qualify graduates:

  1. Must have been notified in writing by the relevant awarding body or institution on or after 1 January 2017 that they have achieved the award for which they had enrolled as a student.
  2. Must hold a current Stamp 2 student immigration permission and an up-to-date immigration registration card, and must apply within six months of being notified by the relevant awarding body or institution that they have achieved the award for which they had enrolled as a student.
  3. Must not have already exceeded the seven-year limit on their permission as a non-EEA national student in the State.
  4. May, if having previously benefitted from the Third Level Graduate Programme at a level 8 award or above, on achievement of a higher level award, e.g. level 9 or above, re-enter the Third Level Graduate Programme, subject to the overall limit of eight years.
  5. A graduate will not be permitted to access the Programme on more than two separate occasions, subject to 4) above.
  6. Must, in line with the obligation on any non-EEA national seeking to renew their permission to be in the State, comply with the laws of the State. Such persons are expected to be of good character and not to have come to the adverse attention of the authorities in any way.
  7. Must present evidence of the final award being attained by way of a parchment or, in circumstances where the graduation ceremony is yet to take place, an official letter for the awarding body / institution confirming that the award has been achieved. We will revert with arrangements for checking with the institutions and further information, including contact details will circulate in due course.

An award granted by a recognised Irish awarding body i.e.

  • The seven Irish universities; i.e. Trinity College, UCD, DCU, Maynooth University, UCC, NUI Galway and the University of Limerick
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
  • Institutes of Technology
  • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

Persons qualifying for graduate immigration permission of up to twelve months

Graduates with an award at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications will be granted a twelve-month permission to a maximum of seven years' student permission overall. (i.e. time spent on Stamp 2 as a student and on Stamp 1G under this programme cannot exceed an aggregate time of seven years in total).

Please Note: Graduates with an award at Level 9 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications qualify for the Programme will be granted permission for twelve months initially. This will be renewed for a further period of twelve months (subject to the overall eight year limit) where the graduate satisfies the immigration authorities that he or she has taken appropriate steps to access suitable graduate level employment (e.g. attendance at job interviews, signing up with graduate employment agencies, etc.).

Can I switch to work permit employment when I am in Ireland to study?

Permission to work is granted by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Check their website for details on how to obtain a working permit. 

NOTE: Post Study Pathways are not available to Language and Non-Degree Programme Students

When should you apply for the Third Level Graduate Scheme:

  • You apply, after your results issue, to the GNIB office. You must:
    • Provide a letter from the university or college you attended indicating you have obtained your examination results and are eligible to graduate
    • Have a valid passport
    • Have your GNIB Card
    • Pay €300 by credit/debit card.

 Immigration Arrangements for English Language Students

As set out in the Government Policy Statement in May 2015, the standard immigration permission available for the purposes of pursuing an English language programme on the ILEP will be 8 months (this is a reduction from the 12 month permissions previously issued).  This change will take immediate effect (i.e. from 21 January 2016) in respect of all future English Language related immigration registrations (first time and renewals). Existing permissions will not be affected.  

The operation of the work concession will not be affected by the new policy.  Since 1st January 2016 students holding a valid immigration stamp 2 are permitted to work 40 hours per week during the months of May, June, July and August and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive.   At all other times they will be limited to working 20 hours per week.