Trinity College, Dublin. [Image: Pixabay]
On 24th March, the Irish Department of Education and Skills announced that all schools, pre-schools and further education would remain closed until at least 19th April 2020 in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Since then, international students in Ireland have been reassured that they will not be penalised for failing to meet some of the standard requirements of their immigration permission, such as the condition of having to attend their respective higher education institutions.
This applies to those attending an English language school, as the Department emphasised that, where an English language school has closed due to government advice regarding COVID-19, all international students will be regarded as having met their attendance requirement during the lockdown period.
However, uncertainties have prevailed for students across the board regarding how and when they will now be assessed since they can no longer physically attend examinations.
International students have been reassured that they will not be penalised for failing to meet some of the standard requirements of their immigration permission, such as the condition of having to attend their respective higher education institutions
On 8th April, the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, announced that further and higher education institutions would not be holding written, oral or practical assessments in examination centres during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a welcomed announcement as options for online examinations, written assignments or rescheduled exam dates were confirmed by universities across Ireland.
It was also made clear that final year students who are set to graduate will be prioritised at this time.
All international students will be regarded as having met their attendance requirement during the lockdown period
The Department established a ‘COVID-19 Working Group’ for international students who have travelled to Ireland to study English language, made up of representatives of relevant Government departments, students and English language education providers.
The government announced that international students who hold ‘Stamp 2’ immigration permission in Ireland are now eligible to work up to 40 hours a week during the time that their English language college is closed due to COVID-19. This remains, however, dependent on the completion of their course online if this service is being provided by their college.
Students who have lost their job as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and who have a PPS number are able to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment to help to support themselves financially during this unprecedented time.
The Irish government seems to be working effectively to ensure international students are not left in a precarious situation.
The government announced that international students who hold ‘Stamp 2’ immigration permission in Ireland are now eligible to work up to 40 hours a week
The government has reminded international students – and Irish citizens studying in Ireland – that they cannot be evicted at this time.
Any International student who believes that they will be unable to pay their rent have been advised to inform their landlord immediately. In the even that an agreement cannot be reached, students are advised to contact the Residential Tenancies Board.
Here at the Immigration Advice Service, our immigration lawyers in Ireland are dedicated to providing the latest news and advice regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for those with immigration permission to reside in the State.
This is a challenging time for all and we acknowledge that those who are outside of their home countries are particularly vulnerable.
For all queries related to your immigration status in Ireland, please contact our client care team on (+353) 061 518 025.
We will continue to provide Coronavirus updates for all migrants in Ireland throughout the pandemic.