Ireland has temporarily modified a key immigration policy affecting international students due to COVID. Ireland has extended post-study work visa eligibility for international students studying Online in their home country due to COVID. It is an effort both to protect students’ ability to stay in Ireland after their studies to work and to discourage students from travelling back to Ireland during COVID.
Highlights of new Post study work visa rules
As a special concession because of Covid-19, the Irish government is now allowing international students studying remotely to remain in their home countries and still be eligible for Graduate Work Opportunities in Ireland. This is a temporary concession given to international students studying in semester 2 meaning they can still apply for a graduate work permit in the country and look for employment opportunities post completion of their course.
So, international students who are studying online and/or remotely in their second semester of an Irish higher education programme will remain eligible for the Third Level Graduate Programme. This eligibility criterion is only for a short period. Don’t know about the Third Level Graduate Programme? Don’t worry in the next part of the article we have explained it in detail.
Third Level Graduate Programme
Third Level Graduate Programme allows non-European students graduating from a recognised Irish university to remain in Ireland to look for employment for a period of up to 24 months. The stay back period depends on the level of schooling attained. Later on, they can then apply for a Green Card (work permit) after 24 months.
Until now, students had to apply for the programme while they were studying in person in Ireland. But due to the covid pandemic, now the Irish government has extended post Study Work Visa Rules for international Students Studying Online due to COVID.
Eligibility for Ireland’s extended Graduate Work visa application
International Students can apply for the Third Level Graduate Programme only if they have returned to their home countries due to the pandemic or if they have not been able to book an appointment because of COVID restrictions. To be eligible for the program, students will the following letters from their higher education institution in Ireland that:
Students can submit their applications by attaching their scans of required documentation, electronically to the Registration Office, Burgh Quay, Dublin. They will be required to register in Ireland when they return to the country.
- They were a student for the academic year 2020-21
- The course was taught 100% remotely and that they were not required to attend classes in person.
- They have achieved the degree for which they were enrolled as a student.
The director of UCD Global at University College Dublin, Douglas Proctor, appreciated the decision stating, “As with other host countries for international students, many choose Ireland not only for the quality of the programs on offer and for the Irish cultural experience, but also for the opportunity to seek post-study employment. UCD receives excellent feedback on the opportunities that this opens up for Irish business and industry”.
Post study work opportunities in Ireland
For Post-study work opportunities in Ireland, you will require a Stamp 1G visa. This visa is issued to international students for up to 2 years after completion of their study courses at a university in Ireland. The visa states that they have permission to find a job in Ireland as part of their third-level graduate programme. The candidates must work hard genuinely to secure the right employment. They must attend job interviews and also try to connect with employment agencies
Online petition of International Students in Ireland
A group of international students in Ireland has requested further modification in this COVID atmosphere through an online petition. They are asking the government of Ireland to extend the visas of all graduate students for 1 more year to increase the possibility of gaining employment in Ireland. As international students face difficulty achieving it because of COVID.
In recent years where the UK has tightened its visa and post-study work rights rules for non-European students, many international students have chosen Ireland over the United Kingdom as their study abroad destination. This is because of Ireland’s Third Level Graduate Programme. The number of new international students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) studying in Ireland increased by 45% between 2013 and 2017.
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