The Republic of Ireland comprises a major chunk of the region, nestled off the England and Wales coastline. Ireland is one of the world’s biggest educational and employment hubs, home to numerous multinational companies and globally ranked educational institutions. It is also home to a welcoming and friendly local community, another attraction for international students from various parts of the world. Being a member of the EU (European Union), Ireland ensures that EEA/EU/Swiss students do not require added permits to stay as long as they do not burden public resources. British students have coverage under the CTA (Common Travel Area) agreement between the UK and Ireland and also the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU.
Non-EEA/EU/Swiss international students will have to seek Ireland post-study work visas to stay back after their studies to find employment under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. This functions like a post-study work visa in Ireland, permitting legally-resident third-level non-EU graduates to remain in the country for finding a job or applying for a work permit/green card.
Ireland post-study work visa- Third level graduate programme
While one does study abroad in Ireland, the programme allows non-EEA/EU graduates with an award from a recognized awarding body of Ireland to stay in the country after completing their education. This enables them to find employment at the graduate level and apply for the general employment permit, research hosting agreement, or the critical skills employment permit. You should budget sizable time for renewing your registration and arrange revised immigration permissions before the expiry of current permission.
The application for the Ireland student visa post-study work permit will be rejected if your current permission to stay in the country has already expired. Irish degrees are demarcated into ten levels based on the NFQ (National Framework of Qualification), which is based on nationally-agreed knowledge, competence, and skill standards. NFQ levels begin at Level 6 for higher education, and this refers to higher education certificate programs before the Bachelor’s degree. These are short-term courses without access to the Third Level Graduate Programme.
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This programme is only for those completing their education in Ireland and getting a Level 8 or higher qualification by a recognized awarding body. The awarding bodies include the following:
- Dublin Institute of Technology
- 7 Irish universities (UCD, Trinity College, Maynooth University, DCU, University of Limerick, NUIG, and UCC)
- Institutes of Technology
- Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
- Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
The programme permissions are of two kinds:
- Graduate immigration permission up to 12 months for those with a Level 8 award on the NFQ. The maximum permission is for 7 years.
- Graduate immigration permission up to 24 months for those with Level 9 or higher qualifications. The maximum can go up to 8 years.
To get the post-study work visa for Indian students in Ireland, the following criteria should be met:
- You should have your UG or PG degree.
- You can be enrolled in your Ph.D. course or have completed the same.
- You may have been chosen for an educational award by any recognized awarding body.
- You should have a valid IRP (Irish Residence Permit).
General Employment Permit
This is a specific permit encompassing almost all professions, and you can obtain the same by getting an employment contract for 12 months. The permit may be given initially for two years with provisions for renewal up to another three years. Post five years, you can apply to ISD (Immigration Service Delivery) for long-term residency in Ireland. The eligibility criteria include:
- Have a job offer in Ireland.
- Should have the experience, qualification, and skills as per the Labor Market Needs Test. Employers should have advertised this position in the EEA before offering the same to non-EEA/EU nationals.
- Should meet minimum salary requirements of €30,000 (€27,000 for non-EEA students graduating in the last twelve months with a graduate position from the Critical Skills Occupations List). The minimum annual remuneration threshold should be met.
You will have exemptions from the Labor Market Test if your job falls on the list of Critical Skills Occupations and if the job offer comes with a minimum salary of €64,000 per year.
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Documents are needed:
- Passport copy with signature, picture, and personal information.
- Passport-size photograph as per photograph requirements in Ireland.
- Copy of your work contract.
- Copy of immigration stamp.
- Contact person information (name, company position, contact number, email address).
- Relevant License number/Pin/Registration of the company as given by the Government Ministers or regulatory bodies in Ireland.
- Copy of letter of support by Enterprise Ireland/IDA if required.
- Employer details (company’s registration number, name, address, and certificates from authorities).
- Employment details (Job duties, salary, tenure, and so on).
Processing fees are usually €500 for employment permits of six months or less, while they are €1,000 for permits between 6-24 months. Applications should be received by the authorities a minimum of 12 weeks before the proposed starting date of employment. After getting your permit with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, you should change your residence status.
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Critical Skills Employment Permits
The Critical Skills Employment Permit is a replacement for the Green Card-based permit. This is tailored to attract skilled professionals for choosing permanent residence in the country. You should have a two-year job offer and stay with your initial company for at least twelve months. The job should have a minimum annual salary of €32,000.
The documents needed are the same as required for the General Employment Permit. Processing fees are €1,000. With this permit, you do not need to apply for renewing the same. Instead, you can get a support letter issued by the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation and then ask for renewal of registration at the Garda National Immigration Bureau. This permit allows you to bring your family to Ireland as per the family reunification programme.
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PR in Ireland
Those non-EEA/EU/Swiss citizens staying in Ireland with work authorization for five years will have eligibility for PR (permanent residence). Those getting PR will have a Stamp 4 for their passports. This PR will be valid for five years and is renewable. The eligibility criteria include the following:
- Staying in Ireland for 5 years or 60 months legally.
- Living with a valid work permit and holding Stamp 1/Stamp 4.
- Valid Ireland residence permit.
- Employed and will continue to be employed post-application.
- Good character.
These documents are needed:
- Work permit copies.
- Copy of IRP (Irish residence permit) or your GNIB card.
- Coloured and clear passport page copies, including stamps and personal details.
- Copies of the previous passport and all stamps or endorsements if you have a new one.
You may apply for Irish citizenship via naturalization based on your residence. You should prove that you have been a legal resident of the country and still are a legal resident of it currently. You should have been legally staying here for at least 5 years in the last 9 years, including a year of continuous residence just before the application date. You should have built up your quantum of reckonable residence in the State. This citizenship is 1825/1826 days based on permission stamps accumulated, including 365/366 days or one year of continuous stay before the application date.
Keep the immigration registration updated throughout your stay. Necessary documents include P60 or employment detail summary or proof of payments from the department of social protection. You can also send mortgage statements or your rental/tenancy agreement. You will have to send bank statements for three months of each year, indicating utility bill debits from the account and daily transactions. You should provide the employment letter from your company for the current year with three latest pay-slips. Ireland also allows dual citizenship, and you can retain your home citizenship smoothly in most cases. Naturalization applications are usually processed within twelve months.