Frequently asked questions

  1. What courses can a Non EEA national come to Ireland to study?
  2. How can I check that the course I wish to study is included on the ILEP?
  3. What courses are available on the ILEP?
  4. Can I change from one degree course (without finishing the course) to another or if I fail my exams seek an extension to my immigration permission
  5. What happens if my course is removed from the ILEP?
  6. Do I require a Visa?
  7. What immigration permission can a student on a full-time language course obtain?
  8. What is the total amount of time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending a full-time language course listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)?
  9. What are the requirements for Colleges for eligibility for inclusion on the ILEP?
  10. What are the holiday arrangements for full-time Non EEA students?
  11. What are the attendance requirements for Non EEA students attending full-time Language Course?
  12. Do I have to undertake an exam when enrolled on a full-time Language Course?
  13. Can I pay my college fees in cash?
  14. Can a college expect me to pay any extra fees that I was not aware of before enrolling in the course i.e. extra fee for an exam?
  15. Can I get a refund?
  16. Can I study a Part time course?
  17. Can I work while studying?
  18. Can I bring family members with me?
  19. Am I required to register and seek permission to be in the State?
  20. Is there a registration fee?
  21. What is the total period of time a non EEA national student can be permitted to remain to pursue courses of study?
  22. Am I required to demonstrate evidence of finances?
  23. Am I required to have Private Medical Insurance?
  24. Do I have to show evidence that I am covered by learner protection arrangements?
  25. Can I stay in Ireland after I complete my studies to seek employment?
  26. What are the qualifying conditions to avail of the Third Level Graduate Programme?
  27. How many times can I avail of the Third Level Graduate Programme?
  28. Can I re-enrol as a student after obtaining the Third Level Graduate Programme?
  29. Is a student availing of the Third Level Graduate Programme permitted to work full – time?
  30. What stamp will I obtain if I am granted permission under the Third Level Graduate Programme?
  31. I was granted an extension of permission under the Conclusion of the 2004 Student Probationary Extension and am nearing the expiry date of my permission. How do I renew my Stamp 4 permission?
  32. I wish to check the status of a visa application.

 

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Question 1: What courses can a Non EEA national come to Ireland to study?

If you are a non-EEA national coming to study in Ireland you must be enrolled in a full-time course on the The Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). The list is available at the following link Interim List of Eligible Programmes 25 August 2016.

Important notes in relation to the ILEP.

  • The Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) replaces the Internationalisation Register.
  • From 2 June 2015, further education and vocational education and training programmes do not feature on the ILEP.
  • The ILEP does not guarantee the quality of the institution but if a provider is listed on the ILEP in respect of courses they will have met certain criteria including the mandatory provision of learner protection in respect of enrolled non-EEA students.
  • With effect from 21 January 2016, the standard immigration permission available for the purposes of pursuing an English Language programme on The Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) will be 8 months. This applies to first-time and renewal registrations with effect from 21 January 2016. Existing permissions are not affected.
  • Examinations will now be a compulsory element of the student programme and all students will be required to be registered for the examinations.
  • The ILEP is subject to change from time to time.

Further information in relation to the ILEP is available on the INIS website: Interim List of Eligible Programmes 25 August 2016 (ILEP)

In order to be granted permission to remain on student conditions a non EEA national must be pursuing a full time day time course of studies, part-time or distance learning courses do not qualify for a student visa.

Question 2: How can I check that the course I wish to study is included on the ILEP?

If you are a non-EEA national coming to study in Ireland you must be enrolled in a full-time course on the The Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). The list is available at the following link Interim List of Eligible Programmes 25 August 2016. You should check the ILEP to check whether or not the course you wish to study is on that list. Your student permission can only be granted if you have enrolled on and commenced a course listed on The Interim List of Eligible Programs.

Question 3: What courses are available on the ILEP?

In general, the ILEP is limited to English language courses and higher education programmes. Programmes included in the ILEP for student immigration permission can be divided into 4 categories:

  • Higher Education Programmes leading to Major Awards
  • Higher Education Programmes leading to Non Major Awards
  • Professional Awards
  • English Language Programmes

Students are advised to research the course they wish to enrol on. The ILEP does not guarantee the quality of the institution but if the provider is listed on the ILEP in respect of courses they will have met certain criteria. As with any consumer purchase of goods or services students should assess what is on offer, the reputation of the institution and its facilities and be aware the lowest price may not necessarily be the best deal.

Question 4: Can I change from one degree course (without finishing the course) to another or if I fail my exams seek an extension to my immigration permission

Please see the full notice: Supplementary Guidelines for Degree Programme Students who wish to change from one degree course to another or have failed their exams and are seeking extensions to their immigration permission.

Question 5: What happens if my course is removed from the ILEP?

The ILEP is subject to ongoing monitoring and change. If you are already enrolled and studying a programme which is removed from the list, provided that you had already commenced the course prior to it being removed from the ILEP you will be permitted to complete it provided you comply with the conditions of your permission and, in the case of an academic programme, that you are making satisfactory progress in your studies and can complete the course in the time allowed.

Question 6 Do I require a Visa?

Students from some countries coming to Ireland are required to hold a valid Visa. Guidelines for applying for a visa are available on the INIS website.

Question 7: What immigration permission can a student on a full-time language course obtain

The course must be listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes 25 August 2016.

A student on a full time language course may obtain an immigration permission of up to 8 months for that course (prior to a rule change in January 2016 the period was 12 months).

Question 8: What is the total amount of time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending a full-time language course listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)?

A student may be granted immigration permission for a maximum of 3 language courses. The total duration of immigration permission for a new student attending language courses is 2 years (i.e. 3 x 8 months). However where a student had received one or two 12 month permissions under the previous rules they may still obtain apply up to a total of three permissions.

Example: Student received initial Immigration Permission from May 2014 – May 2015 to attend English language course. This was renewed from May 2015-May 2016. In May 2016 the student can receive one further permission of up to 8 months to January 2017. If they wish to stay on as a student after that they must be doing a degree programme.

Question 9: What are the requirements for Colleges for eligibility for inclusion on the ILEP?

The fact that a provider and courses are listed on the ILEP means that in accordance with Ireland’s student immigration policy, attendance at that college in respect of one of their listed full time courses on the ILEP is an eligible purpose for a non-EEA national coming to Ireland.

The ILEP does not guarantee the quality of the institution but if a provider is listed on the ILEP in respect of courses they will have met certain criteria including the mandatory provision of learner protection in respect of enrolled non-EEA students.

As with any consumer purchase of goods and services students should assess what is on offer, the reputation of the institution and its facilities and be aware that the lowest price may not necessarily be the best deal.

Some of the criteria a provider must meet to be eligible for inclusion on the ILEP are listed below:

Have public documented policies in place, systems in place for the following:

  • Refund of student fees and other payments in the case of refused visas
  • Punctuality and attendance, including recording of attendance
  • Absenteeism and expulsion
  • Student sick leave
  • Holidays and breaks
  • End of course exam entry and recording of grades/Scores received. Students must be registered for exams.

 

All colleges must provide enrolled learner protection. Your letter of acceptance must clearly demonstrate that you are covered by learner protection arrangements.

NB. Where the college’s enrolled learner protection arrangements are through an insurance scheme, each student must have a certificate of proof of enrolled learner protection in their own name demonstrating that they are covered. It is the responsibility of the student to familiarise themselves with these requirements and assess what the College is offering.

Question 10: What are the holiday arrangements for full-time Non EEA students?

Providers must display the detailed timetable for all its programmes on its website making it easily accessible to the public.

Providers must provide a detailed written timetable to all students. Holiday periods must be outlined in advance. It is the responsibility of the provider to provide students with tuition as stated in this timetable.

The programme timetable must be set out in such a way that holiday periods cannot at any point exceed 1/3 of the total weeks elapsed (front loading of holidays will not be permitted).

Question 11: What are the attendance requirements for Non EEA students attending full-time Language Course?

All tuition must be delivered during the hours 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and involve tuition on at least 3 of those days.

The minimum level of attendance on the course is 85%

Question 12: Do I have to undertake an exam when enrolled on a full-time Language Course?

Students must take a recognised examination at the end of the course (students who do not comply with this requirement will not be permitted to obtain further immigration permission).

More information is available in the attached documents:

Question 13: Can I pay my college fees in cash?

Colleges can not ask for cash payment. You should not make any payments to Colleges by cash. If a college seeks cash payment you should report the matter to the Immigration Service.

Question 14: Can a college expect me to pay any extra fees that I was not aware of before enrolling in the course i.e. extra fee for an exam?

All fees applicable to the course should be clearly set out and notified to prospective students before enrolling on a course. Students can not be expected to pay fees at a later date that they were not notified of prior commencing the course. .

Question 15: Can I get a refund?

Colleges are required to publish their refund policy on their website. Students should check the college refund policy before you consider or enrol on a course.

Question 16: Can I study a Part time course?

No. Your immigration permission has been granted for the purpose of allowing you engage in a full time educational course.

Question 17: Can I work while studying?

The permission to be in the State is a student pursuing full- time studies, the permission to work in a casual capacity is merely a concession, the primary purpose for being in the State is as a student.

Non-EEA students who are permitted to reside in the State on a stamp 2 are allowed to avail of a work concession. Since 1 January 2015 students holding a valid immigration stamp 2 are permitted to work 40 hours per week during the months of May, June, July and August and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive. At all other times they will be limited to working 20 hours per week. (*Note: from 1st September 2016 there has been a change to the months that a student can work for 40 hours per week - please refer to the notice Changes to the Employment entitlements of Non-EEA Students holding Immigration Stamp 2 – with effect from 1 September 2016).

Question 18: Can I bring family members with me?

No. In general students will continue to have no rights to Family Reunification. There are some exceptions to the rule which can be found on page 14 of the attached document - Guidelines for Degree Programme Students.

For visa required students your husband, wife, civil partner or child will need to make their own Visa application and this application will be judged on its own merit. Partners, spouses and/or children will be considered as applicants in their own right but cannot advance their application for entry or residence on the basis of their relationship to another student. Students will not be permitted to be accompanied or joined by children other than those born during their stay.

Question 19: Am I required to register and seek permission to be in the State?

All non-EEA students, including those who do not require a visa, must register with their local immigration permission to remain in Ireland for more than 90 days. Details of registering including First Registration and Second and Subsequent Registration can be found on page 7 and 8 of the attached document Guidelines for Degree Programme Students (Size 1.54MB).

Question 20: Is there a registration fee?

The registration fee is €300.

Question 21: What is the total period of time a non EEA national student can be permitted to remain to pursue courses of study?

The aggregate period of time a non EEA national student can be permitted to remain to pursue courses of study is 7 years. Periods of time previously spent in Ireland studying courses count toward the 7 year time limit a non EEA national can be permitted to remain on student conditions.

Question 22: Am I required to demonstrate evidence of finances?

Non- EEA students are required to demonstrate access to sufficient funds to support themselves during their period of study in Ireland. Notice Regarding Evidence of Finance for ALL Non-EEA Students from 2016

Question 23: Am I required to have Private Medical Insurance?

All Non – EEA Students are required to have private medical insurance when coming to and residing in Ireland for the purpose of study. At registration with the immigration authorities a student is required to show proof of the appropriate medical insurance. Private Medical Insurance for full-time Non-EEA Students (Size 22KB)

Question 24: Do I have to show evidence that I am covered by learner protection arrangements?

All colleges must provide enrolled learner protection. Your letter of acceptance must clearly demonstrate that you are covered by learner protection arrangements.

NB. Where the college’s enrolled learner protection arrangements are through an insurance scheme, each student must have a certificate of proof of enrolled learner protection in their own name demonstrating that they are covered.

Question 25:Can I stay in Ireland after I complete my studies to seek employment?

It may be possible to stay in Ireland after you complete your studies for the purpose of seeking employment under the Irish Third Level Graduate Programme. This scheme exists to allow legally resident non-EEA third level graduates to remain in Ireland for the purpose of seeking employment and applying for a green card or work permit.

During the period of permission under the Irish Third Level Graduate Programme a student can work full time (up to 40hrs per week).

Question 26: What are the qualifying conditions to avail of the Third Level Graduate Programme?

In order to avail of the Third Level Graduate Programme the following conditions apply:

Six Month Permission under the Third Level Graduate Programme

Six month permission under the Irish Third Level Graduate Programme is available to students who have graduated a course at Level 7 of the NFQ.

One Year Permission under the Third Level Graduate Programme Permission

To be eligible for one year permission under the Third Level Graduate Programme a student is required to have:

  • studied in Ireland and completed a qualification at Level NFQ 8-10,
  • an award granted by a recognised Irish awarding body (overseas accreditation will not be accepted), i.e.
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Higher Education Training and Awards Council
  • Institutes of Technology with delegated authority
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Universities
  • Other bodies that have statutory award-making powers in Irish law

Question 27: How many times can I avail of the Third Level Graduate Programme?

The Third Level Graduate Programme can only be availed of once.

Question 28: Can I re-enrol as a student after obtaining the Third Level Graduate Programme?

A student may re-enrol as a student after obtaining the Third Level Graduate Programme if they are completing a course at the same level or a higher level on the NQAI Framework of Qualifications and they are within the maximum permitted period a non-EEA student may be permitted to be a degree level student in the State i.e. 7 years.

Question 29: Is a student availing of the Third Level Graduate Programme permitted to work full – time?

The permission authorised permits the student to work full time and they are also permitted to apply for a green card or work permit during this extension period.

Question 30: What stamp will I obtain if I am granted permission under the Third Level Graduate Programme?

From the 1 February 2016 students granted permission under the Third Level Graduate Programme will get a Stamp 1G Introduction of new Stamp for students availing of the Third Level Graduate Programme – Stamp 1G

Note: Comprehensive guidelines concerning the progression of non - EEA students are available on the www.inis.gov.ie website.

Question 31: I was granted an extension of permission under the Conclusion of the 2004 Student Probationary Extension and am nearing the expiry date of my permission. How do I renew my Stamp 4 permission??

The Student Review Office will not be processing applications for renewal in respect of persons granted a Stamp 4 on the Conclusion of the 2004 Student Probationary Extension. As stated in the decision letters issued to those who were granted permission under the provisions of the above scheme, further permission to remain can be extended at your local Garda Registration Office without reference to this office.

What documents I am required to bring when renewing my Stamp 4 permission?

  • letter from current employer confirming employment details
  • P60 for 2015 if you have changed address since you were granted a Stamp 4 permission,
  • proof of new address ( recent utility bill)

Question 32: I wish to check the status of a visa application.

The Student Review Office does not examine or review visa applications or re-entry visa applications. Queries in relation to Visa applications can be forwarded to visamail@justice.ie for attention.

 

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Updated: 25 August 2016

 

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