Things International students should know before starting work in Ireland?

Things International students should know before starting work in Ireland?

International students studying a recognized course of at least one-year duration do not need a work permit to take up employment in Ireland. This is as per the regulations from the Irish Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Students having an active immigration stamp 2 authorization can work for up to 40 hours a week only during the months of June, July, August & September and from 15th December to 15th January.

International students who hold Immigration permission Stamp 2 are only authorised to work up to 20 hours each week. Once their Stamp 2 immigration permission expires, their right to work also comes to an end.

Degree programme students can get part-time work in the same area they are studying.

  • You should be Registered with GNIB
  • Completing a program that has been acknowledged and accepted by the Minister for Education & Skills will likely lead to qualification recognition.
  • Pursuing a full-time course of studies at or higher than NFQ Level 7.
  • Devoting at least 15 hours of your day to studying is highly recommended for anyone studying a program.
  • Obtaining educational support between 8 am and 6 pm for at least 25 weeks each year.
  • In a duration of no less than one year's time

If you're an international student who meets the required criteria, you will need to get a Personal Public Services Number (PPS Number) in order to be eligible for work in Ireland.

In Ireland, it's mandatory for employers to pay employees using their PPS numbers and only to an Irish bank account. Employees must also abide by the Universal Social Contribution (USC), Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) as well as local taxation & employment laws.

Companies usually employ a probationary period before they offer a full-time job. As per Irish law, the minimum wage is €11.30 per hour.


The Degree Programme allows its students to do internships, provided they comply with certain conditions. Those rules must be followed for the internship to be valid.

  • The maximum duration of an internship/work placement for any program should not be more than 50% of the total program length. For instance, a four-year program would enable a maximum period of two years for work placement. Additionally, self-employment is not allowed within this framework.
  • Incorporating work placements into an academic program is essential, as it plays a crucial role in determining the final award.
  • Educational institutions need to make sure that the internships offered are suitable for the program being studied.

Pathways post studies for International Students

After graduating, you might be eligible to stay in Ireland and look for work under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. This could be an excellent opportunity to gain employment and have a successful career.

This program provides non-EU students who are legally present in Ireland the opportunity to remain in the country and look for jobs or secure a green card/work permit.

  • As part of the scheme, a student is allowed to work up to 40 hours every week during their stay.
  • The visa under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme cannot be extended beyond its initial duration.
  • All students who meet the requirements of the Third Level Graduate Scheme are eligible to apply and avail of its benefits. To fully qualify, it is important to abide by the regulations set out in this scheme.

Revised Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission

Non-EU/EEA students, who have earned their diploma/degree from an Irish educational institution, can benefit from a 24-month period in Ireland to look for work opportunities. This is to give them time and space to build their career in the country.

To ensure that graduates meet the necessary criteria:

  1. Those who have enrolled as a student for an award must be informed in writing, on or after the 1st of January 2017, by the pertinent awarding body or institution that they have earned the desired award.
  2. To be eligible, you must hold a valid Stamp 2 student immigration permission & an up-to-date immigration registration card. Plus, you must submit your application within six months of being notified by the awarding body/institution that you have achieved the desired award.
  3. Non-EEA national students must not have exceeded the seven-year limit on their permission in the State previously.
  4. Individuals who have previously taken part in the Third Level Graduate Programme at a level 8 or higher can return to the programme if they are awarded a higher qualification, such as a level 9 or above, as long as their total time spent on the programme does not exceed eight years.
  5. A graduate can only access the Programme twice, totalling a maximum of three times, depending on the situation.
  6. All non-EEA individuals who are seeking a renewal of permission to stay in the state have an obligation to follow the laws of the state. They have to demonstrate good character & not bring negative attention to themselves in any way.
  7. All individuals must provide evidence that they have achieved their final award by presenting a parchment or an official letter from the awarding body/institution, if their graduation ceremony has yet to take place.

An award given by a reputable Irish awarding body is accepted for eg:

  • Ireland's seven universities are Trinity College, University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University (DCU), Maynooth University, University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) and the University of Limerick.
  • Dublin Institute of Technology is a prestigious institution offering a variety of courses and programs.
  • The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is an educational and research institution.
  • Institutes of Technology
  • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) is an awarding body that offers qualifications and awards in a wide range of disciplines.

Qualified individuals can be granted immigration permission for up to twelve months for graduate study.

Graduates who have attained Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications are eligible for up to a total of seven years of student permission over twelve months. The total duration of the Stamp 2 Student Programme and the Stamp 1G Programme must not exceed seven years in aggregate.

Is it possible to change my visa status to a work permit while I am studying in Ireland?

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment grants work authorisation. Consult their website for information on how to acquire a work permit.

NOTE: Non-degree Programme and Language Students are not eligible for Post Study Pathways. To be eligible for the Third Level Graduate Scheme, you must apply before the deadline.
  • Once you receive your results, you must apply to the GNIB office.
    • Please submit a letter from your university or college confirming that you have successfully completed all examinations and are eligible to graduate.
    • A Valid passport is a must
    • Have your IRP Card up to date
    • Please pay €300 via credit/debit card.

Immigration policy for English language students has been established to ensure safe & secure entrance into the country.

According to the Government Policy Statement released in May 2015, new immigration permission granted for attending an English language programme on the ILEP will be 8 months - a decrease from the 12-month permissions that were formerly issued.

Effective from 21 January 2016, all future English Language related immigration registrations must comply with this change. There are no implications for current permissions.

The new policy does not change the regulations for student work concessions. Effective 1st January 2016, those with valid immigration stamp 2 are still able to work 40 hours a week during the summer months (May-August) and from 15 December to 15 January every year.

Employees will only be allowed to work 20 hours per week at any other time.

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