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The basics
Ireland: Visa Guides - Must read

How to remain in Ireland after graduation to find work

If you are planning to study in Ireland, it will be good to consider your professional options after graduation.

Ha'penny bridge - Dublin

Have you recently finished your undergraduate studies in Ireland? Or are you considering starting an undergraduate course at an Irish university? The Irish government allows you to extend your permission to stay for 6 months to secure employment as part of the Third Level Graduate Scheme.


If you qualify for this scheme, you will be granted one non-renewable extension to your current student permission for a six-month period starting on the day upon which they received your exam results. This scheme allows you to seek employment and gain a green card or work permit. As a masters/postgraduate student, you are now eligible for 24 months to find employment/apply for a work permit.


While you are at college in Ireland you are entitled to work up to 20 hours per week in term time, and 40 hours per week in holiday times.


You may be able to stay and work in Ireland after you graduate, but there are some restrictions. If you are a graduate from outside the European Economic Area, you can apply for an extension to your study visa for up to six months after you get your exam results. You must apply to the Garda National Immigration Bureau for this.


During the six-month period you will be allowed to work for up to 40 hours per week without an employment permit.


After this, you will only be able to get employment in specific areas where there are skills shortages. These include information technology, healthcare and financial services. To stay in Ireland long term, you will need to get a Green Card/Critical Skills Employment permit or work permit.


What is a Green Card?

A Green Card/Critical Skills Employment Permit allows you to work in Ireland with the specified employer in an occupation where skills shortages exist. It is issued for an initial period of two years, after which it can normally be renewed indefinitely. Your job offer will need to fulfil the following conditions:


  • the job pays over EUR 60,000 a year
  • the job is in a restricted list of occupations, pays over EUR 30,000 a year and is for at least two years.


A job offer with an official company registered for trading in Ireland is required. The permit allows you to apply for immediate family reunification and time spent under the permit can count towards permanent residency. There is no need for a labour market assessment test prior to applying for the permit. Either an employer or an employee can apply for the permit. The employee must possess the relevant qualifications, skills or experience for the desired employment.


What is a work permit?

Another way of obtaining employment is through the work permit system, but these are difficult to obtain as it will require a labour market test. This means that your prospective employer must comply with certain rules regarding advertising of the job position and confirm that no Irish national can fulfil that vacancy. You can find details on the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation website.


The job shall have an annual salary of at least EUR 30,000 or below EUR 30,000 for specific cases where the job fulfils some public interest.


Related information

Read more about studying in Ireland