Studying in Ireland
If you are a non-EEA national (from outside of the European Union/European Economic Area), you will require a Student Visa in order to study in Ireland.
This visa will grant you the permission to enter, reside and study in the State as an international student. You must be enrolled on a full-time course which features on a list of Eligible Programmes.
Depending on the type of course, you may apply for either a ‘C study visa’ or a ‘D study visa’. The ‘C study visa’ is for those who wish to study in Ireland for 3 months or less, whereas the ‘D study visa’ is for those studying in Ireland for over 3 months.
If you are from a country that does not require an entry visa to enter Ireland, you will not be required to obtain a student visa. All non-EEA students must however obtain immigration permission to enter the State at the port of entry.
Can international students work in Ireland?
There are a number of conditions you must adhere to once you are granted any Irish visa, including a study visa. When it comes to being employed whilst studying in Ireland, there are certain requirements you must meet.
If you have been granted a Stamp 2 in your passport when acquiring your Student Visa, this allows you to take up casual employment of up to 20 hours per week (part time work) during term time, or up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods.
A Stamp 2 signifies that you are studying on a course which features on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes, therefore you are deemed entitled to work for the stated hours. Students must obtain a Personal Public Services Number in order to take up work – employers can only pay individuals who provide this number.
If, however, you received a Stamp 2A, you will not be required to take up any part-time work or engage in any business or profession. You must check which Stamp you have been given in order to ensure that you are abiding by the conditions of your immigration permission.
Can I continue to work in Ireland when my Student Visa expires?
Unfortunately, you will not be permitted to continue with any employment in Ireland once your Stamp 2 visa expires. This is because your Student Visa only grants you permission to remain in the State up until the point that your course has ended and you have graduated.
If you wish to remain in Ireland, you must look at other options and check that you are eligible. For example, if you wish to continue with further studies, this may be an option.
Or you may wish to participate in a graduate scheme such as the Third Level Graduate Programme.
This is ideal for non-EEA students who wish to begin their careers in Ireland and have the skills necessary to do so.
With this scheme, you can acquire an immigration Stamp 1G (if eligible), which allows you to remain in Ireland for an additional 12 months.
How can I convert my Student Visa to a work permit in Ireland?
If your studies are reaching an end but you wish to stay in Ireland, you may be eligible to switch to an employment permit.
Under the previously mentioned Third Level Graduate Programme, international students who have graduated in Ireland can look for employment or apply for a work permit to remain in the State. Under this scheme, you are permitted to work full-time, up to 40 hours per week.
The Third Level Graduate Programme allows those who have completed their higher education course in Ireland to apply for a general employment permit, a critical skills employment permit or a research hosting agreement.
To qualify for this programme, students must apply with six months of being informed by their academic institution that they have achieved the award for which they had enrolled as a student (e.g. Bachelor’s degree).
There is also a route specifically for those who wish to train as accountants under the Stamp 1A Trainee Accountant permission.
To acquire a work permit, you must apply to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
How do I qualify for a Student Visa in Ireland?
To study in Ireland as a non EU/EEA student, you must meet a number of requirements.
For Degree Programme Courses, conditions include:
- You have private medical insurance – when you apply for a visa, you must provide evidence that you are in possession of valid medical insurance
- You must provide the letter of acceptance that you received from the relevant college/university, confirming that you are enrolled on a valid course
- You must pay your course fees to the college/university you wish to study at. If your fees total less than €6,000, you must pay this in full. If the course fees total above this figure, you must pay at least €6,000 in advance
- You must have access to at least €3,000 at first registration – this is in addition to your course fees
If you meet these requirements, you should be granted permission to study in Ireland.
(For English Language and Non Degree Programmes, the requirements may differ slightly).