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Ireland Post Study Work Visa and Work Permits for Foreigners

Updated on 11 February, 2024

Shivangi Mishra

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

One major allure of studying abroad is the opportunity to work in a foreign country after graduation. International students are often allowed to find employment on post-study work visas. Ireland also has several such options through an Ireland post study work visa . The country boasts a robust economy with diverse industries, translating to a good number of jobs across sectors. Let’s have a look at what are your options for an Ireland work visa. 

Types of Post-Study Work Permit in Ireland

There are 3 major options that international graduates in Ireland can explore - 

  1. Third Level Graduate Scheme: Also called the Stay Back Option, allows non-European Economic Area (EEA) students who have completed a degree in Ireland to remain in the country and work after graduation.
  2.  Critical Skills Employment Permit: Suitable for graduates in specific high-demand professions like engineers, IT professionals, scientists, and doctors. 
  3. General Employment Permit: Covers a wider range of occupations than the Critical Skills Permit but generally requires a confirmed job offer.

Third-level graduate program or Stamp 1G

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. 

This programme is only for those completing their education in Ireland and getting a Level 8 or higher qualification (i.e. bachelor’s or above). 

The programme permissions are of two kinds: 

  • Graduate immigration permission up to 12 months for those with a Level 8 award i.e. a bachelor’s degree on the NFQ. 
  • Graduate immigration permission up to 24 months for those with Level 9 or higher qualifications i.e. master’s or PhD degree. 

Eligibility Criteria for Ireland Post Study Work Visa

To get a post-study work visa for Indian students in Ireland, the following criteria should be met: 

  • You should have your UG or PG degree from an Irish institute. 
  • You can be enrolled in your PhD 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). 

How to Apply for Ireland Work Permit after Study

International students in Ireland can apply for a post-study work visa through the Third Level Graduate Scheme. The application can be made online on the Immigration Service of Ireland website. Apply online on the Immigration Service of Ireland website

General Employment Permit

While foreign graduates in Ireland can look at this option, this permit does not require an Irsih degree and is open to all eligible non EU individuals. 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. 

Documents 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. 

Critical Skills Employment Permits

For this permit too, having an Irish degree is not a mandate. 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.

Internship Employment Permit

Foreign students who are interested in gaining some work experience in Ireland through can seek internship employment permit. The internship must be part of a recognized degree or diploma course. The internship must be in an occupation on the Critical Skills Occupations List (CSOL) or a related field to your studies. The internship must be with an Irish employer for a maximum period of 12 months. You must meet the minimum salary requirements (generally €20,000 per year).

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. 

Documents 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. 


Can I work in Ireland after my masters degree?

Yes, Ireland offers post study stay back option for international students. After completing a master’s degree from a recognized university or college, you get a 2-year stay back option, officially known as the Third Level Graduate Scheme 

What is the process of acquiring a work permit in Ireland?

If you are a foreign national looking to gain a work permit for Ireland, you will have to first secure a job offer and the opt for a visa under the General Employment Permit or  Critical Skills Employment Permits as applicable after meeting eligibility criteria.

Can I work in Ireland with student visa?

All international students holding a valid Stamp 2 student visa are eligible to work part-time in Ireland. During term time, you can work up to 20 hours per week. During vacation periods (June, July, August, and September, and from 15th December to 15th January), you can work up to 40 hours per week.

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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