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Ireland: Visa Guides - Must read

Post-study visa options in Ireland

Read our guide to post-study visa options for international students who’ve just graduated and wish to remain in Ireland, namely the Third Level Graduate Scheme

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So, you’ve completed your studies at an Irish university, and you want to remain in the country to work after your graduation; what are your options as far as your immigration status is concerned?


This will depend on whether you are an EEA, EU or Swiss student or not.


Find out if you are an EEA or EU student


I AM an EU/EEA/Swiss student....

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss student, you do NOT have to apply for anything further in order to remain in the country. After 3 months in Ireland, there are a few simple terms or rules which you must satisfy though, namely you must be actively seeking employment and generally not become a burden to the state i.e. apply to receive financial benefits.


I am NOT an EU/EEA/Swiss student...

If you come from a country that is outside of the EU/EEA or Switzerland you have a few options, the most significant being the Third Level Graduate Scheme.


Third Level Graduate Scheme

Since 2007, EEA graduates who are legal residents in Ireland and who’ve graduated from a third-level institution have been allowed to remain in the country to seek employment or apply for a green card or permit. They must have graduated with a primary, master’s or doctorate degree.


Terms of the Scheme

For students completing a postgraduate programme, they could be permitted to stay for 24 months in total after graduation. During this time, they must meet the terms of their student permission to live in the country, namely they can only work for up to 40 hours per week without a work permit. Those whose degree is level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications can remain in Ireland under the scheme for 12 months.


What documents do I need?

  • An original letter signed by your university’s College Registrar to confirm that you’ve completed the course of study to a satisfactory standard and to confirm the qualification you’ve obtained
  • Current passport
  • Current Certificate of Registration issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB card)


After the scheme duration has expired

Once the 6, 12 or 24 months (depending on the level of your degree) have passed, you must have one of the following in order to remain in Ireland:


  • A Green Card or work permit
  • Permission to remain by pursuing further study
  • Permission through another scheme


You can find out more about working in Ireland on the ICOS website.


Other options

There are also options like the Green Card Scheme and the Work Permit Scheme  where there are labour shortages. Both allow the individual to remain in the country for up to two years. There are also terms relating to the annual salary required for these schemes.


Now that you know about the options available to you to remain in Ireland after your studies, start searching for a course abroad in Ireland.