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Hosting Agreement for Academic Researchers

If you are an academic researcher who would like to conduct research in Ireland, you will need to pursue a Hosting Agreement application. Once you have a formal agreement with an accredited research organisation, you can apply online for legal permission to enter Ireland.

Only professional immigration specialists have the skills to produce flawless applications with minimal risk of rejection. Get in touch with IAS on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online, to discover the best way to secure a Hosting Agreement in Ireland.

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    Overview of the Hosting Agreement Ireland

    The Hosting Agreement is an agreement between accredited Irish institutions and third country nationals (individuals who are applying for a visa from outside of the country) that allows the latter to enter Ireland without an employment permit.

    This work permit scheme was created by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the EU, the Department of Justice and the Irish Universities Association.
    The Hosting Agreement tends to last between 3 months to 5 years, though this depends on the length of each specific employment contract.

    During this time period, individuals are not permitted to access public funds or undertake work that has not already been approved by the Department of Justice.

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    Hosting Agreements vs Employment Permits

    Hosting Agreements are designed for academic researchers, whereas employment permits cater for people in a wide range of industries.

    While employment permits are largely arranged by immigration authorities, Hosting Agreements are initially established by academic institutions in Ireland.

    Once an individual has a valid Hosting Agreement, they are entitled to stay in Ireland until their job contract expires. On the other hand, with a standard employment permit, they would need to renew their permit in order to continue work in Ireland.

    Finally, Hosting Agreements allow for immediate family reunification. Researchers can bring their dependants with them to Ireland from the first date of travel, rather than waiting for the dependants’ applications to be processed.

    Who is Eligible for the Hosting Agreement Scheme?

    Third country researchers who want to apply for the Hosting Agreement Scheme must:

    • Be an academic researcher
    • Have a salary of at least €23,181 (without dependants) or €30,000 (with dependants)
    • Have a means of subsistence
    • Possess an appropriate higher education qualification that allows access to doctoral programmes
    • Be a non-EU or EEA national
    • Possess a research contract of employment (3 months or more) with an accredited research institution in Ireland

    It is vital that all applicants meet the above eligibility criteria, otherwise their application will be denied. IAS immigration lawyers can help you to work out your eligibility on +353 061 518 025.

    Application Requirements for the Hosting Agreement for Academic Researchers

    The supporting documents needed for the Hosting Agreement are:

    • Copy of Hosting Agreement
    • Copy of contract of employment
    • Two passport-sized photographs in colour (no more than 6 months old)
    • Recent bank statement
    • Signed letter of application (with full contact details, length of stay, accommodation details, family member details, intention for living in Ireland and commitment to observing the conditions of the visa)
    • Medical or travel insurance
    • Previous visa refusals

    Original documents must be provided in the Hosting Agreement application.

    If a document comes from a business or company, the organisation’s details must be submitted along with the document. This includes contact details, a written signature, the name and address of the company and a contact person’s name and position within the organisation.

    All documents that are not written in English or Irish must be translated by a professional translator. There must be proof of official translation in the form of the translators’ basic personal information, contact details, signature, and the date of translation.

    Application Process for the Hosting Agreement

    Before submitting an application for a Hosting Agreement, researchers must hold a valid employment contract with a research institution in Ireland. The Human Resources department of the institution will send a Hosting Agreement form for the researcher to complete.

    Once the researcher has submitted the agreement, the institution will send their application to the Irish Univerisities Association, along with the signature and passport of the applicant. They will also provide the applicant with an electronic copy of their employment contract.

    When an application is approved, the academic organisation must provide the researcher with a hard copy of the Hosting Agreement. This will aid the researcher to apply for an entry visa into Ireland.

    Up to 3 months before the date of travel, researchers can apply for a Hosting Agreement on the Irish online visa application system, AVATS.

    The required supporting documents will be outlined in the application, along with any additional documents. At this stage, the candidate needs to supply accurate information and documents, sign and date the application form, pay the fee and potentially provide biometrics information.

    Processing times tend to be around 6 weeks for most applicants. In terms of cost, the Hosting Scheme itself is free, but researchers must pay €60 for single entry into Ireland and €300 to register for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

    Unless the applicant comes from a non-visa-required country, they will also need to secure an entry visa to arrive in Ireland.

    For expert insight of the hosting agreement application process, enlist our legal team for help.. Contact us

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      Entry Visa Requirements

      Most people need an entry visa to be granted immigration permission for Ireland.

      Non-visa-required nationals who meet the eligibility requirements for the Hosting Agreement do not need a visa.

      • EU, EEA or Swiss citizens
      • UK Short-Stay Visa holders who also qualify for the British-Irish Visa scheme or the Short-Stay Visa waiver
      • School students who live in an EU/EEA country and are travelling to Ireland on a school trip
      • Individuals with an EEA/Swiss relative who are living outside of the relative’s home country and possess a valid EEA/Swiss residence card
      • Ukraine citizens
      • British citizens (including overseas territories citizens and British nationals living abroad)
      • Citizens of other non-visa required countries (including Uruguay, Singapore, Guatemala, Brazil, Vatican City, Grenada, Honduras, Andorra, Taiwan, South Africa, USA etc.)

      Citizens of visa-required countries must secure an Irish Visa before entering the country to undertake research.

      Please note that British passport holders who qualify as a ‘British protected person’ must also secure the appropriate entry visa.

      Bringing Dependants to Ireland With the Hosting Agreement

      It is possible to acquire a Hosting Agreement as someone with dependants. Only immediate family members are allowed to enter Ireland with the researcher. This includes spouses, de facto partners, biological children, and children who are in the official guardianship of the applicant.

      Each dependant will be given their own residence permit that will have the same expiry date as the primary applicant’s permit. There is no need to submit a separate application for the Hosting Agreement.

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      Hosting Agreement Extensions and Renewals

      Researchers are often asked whether they would like to renew their agreement after a certain period of time. Alternatively, if a researcher wants to renew their stay of their own accord, they can contact a local registration office to do so. Renewals should be arranged at least 6 weeks before the IRP card is going to expire.

      Renewal appointments are a way for immigration authorities to check that the candidate is still eligible to live in Ireland with the Hosting Agreement.

      They do this by taking biometrics information, reviewing up-to-date supporting documents, stamping the candidate’s passport and potentially taking the €300 registration fee. In some cases, there is no registration fee for renewals.

      If a researcher decides to move to a different institution, they do not need to renew their agreement, Instead, they must contact immigration authorities to confirm that the new organisation is eligible.

      Can I Convert a Hosting Agreement Into a Permanent Residency in Ireland?

      If a Hosting Agreement holder has had their agreement for at least 2 years, they are eligible to apply for a Stamp 4 Visa. This is an Irish immigration stamp that allows non-Irish citizens to live and work in the country for a fixed time period.

      The time limit on a Stamp 4 Visa is usually just one year, but the visa can be renewed to allow individuals to stay in the country for longer.

      Anyone who has possessed the Stamp Visa for 5 years or more can apply for Irish citizenship.

      Our immigration team can assist you in any way you need. Contact us for support today! Contact Us

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        How Can IAS Help?

        We will help you with everything you could possibly need during the Hosting Agreement application process. Checking eligibility, finding supporting documents and advising on renewals are just a few of the top-quality services we provide to our clients.

        Don’t hesitate to call us on +353 061 518 025 or reach out to us online today, if you are an academic who would like to get professional advice on moving to Ireland for research purposes. We have all the information you need and more.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  No, Hosting Agreement researchers only have the right to work in Ireland. Carrying out research outside of Ireland is illegal.

                  Yes, PHD students with a valid employment contract at an accredited Irish institution can get a Hosting Agreement.

                  No, there is no English language test.

                  When the Hosting Agreement expires, immigration authorities will decide whether to renew the agreement.

                  Make sure you are well-prepared by enquiring about renewals at least 6 weeks before your IRP card expires.

                  Yes, having several Hosting Agreements in Ireland does not disqualify you from applying for a Stamp 4 Visa.

                  Hosting Agreement holders must return their Hosting Agreement to their institution’s HR department at the earliest opportunity after the contract has been terminated.

                  Only research fellows and research assistants whose research projects take up 70% of their role can get a Hosting Agreement. This may apply to some lecturers, but only if their primary focus is research.