Notice regarding Revised Immigration arrangements for the Third Level Graduate Programme

The notice below outlines the new immigration arrangements which will apply to all non-EEA persons holding Student Permission (Stamp 2), who wish to avail of the Third Level Graduate Programme from 31 May 2017 onwards. The following is a summary of the conditions associated with the new programme. You are advised to familiarise yourself with the immigration arrangements for the Third Level Graduate Programme.

 

What is the purpose of the 2017 Revised Third Level Graduate Programme?

The intention of the programme is to allow legally resident Irish educated non-EEA graduates holding an award of a recognised Irish awarding body to remain in Ireland after their studies. This should be for the purpose of seeking graduate level employment and applying for a general employment permit, a critical skills employment permit or research hosting agreement. The details of the revised programme are set out in the policy document which can be accessed here This document is a pdf . Graduates wishing to avail of the scheme are advised to read this document in detail. The following is a summary of the main provisions of the programme-

In order to qualify graduates:

  1. Must have been notified in writing by the relevant awarding body or institution on or after 1 January 2017 that they have achieved the award for which they had enrolled as a student.
  2. Must hold a current Stamp 2 student immigration permission and an up-to-date immigration registration card, and must apply within six months of being notified by the relevant awarding body or institution that they have achieved the award for which they had enrolled as a student.
  3. Must not have already exceeded the seven-year limit on their permission as a non-EEA national student in the State.
  4. May, if having previously benefitted from the Third Level Graduate Programme at a level 8 award or above, on achievement of a higher level award, e.g. level 9 or above, re-enter the Third Level Graduate Programme, subject to the overall limit of eight years.
  5. A graduate will not be permitted to access the Programme on more than two separate occasions, subject to 4) above.
  6. Must, in line with the obligation on any non-EEA national seeking to renew their permission to be in the State, comply with the laws of the State. Such persons are expected to be of good character and not to have come to the adverse attention of the authorities in any way.
  7. Must present evidence of the final award being attained by way of a parchment or, in circumstances where the graduation ceremony is yet to take place, an official letter for the awarding body / institution confirming that the award has been achieved. We will revert with arrangements for checking with the institutions and further information, including contact details will circulate in due course.

An award granted by a recognised Irish awarding body i.e.

  • The seven Irish universities; i.e. Trinity College, UCD, DCU, Maynooth University, UCC, NUIG and the University of Limerick
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
  • Institutes of Technology
  • Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

 

Persons qualifying for graduate immigration permission of up to twelve months

Graduates with an award at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications will be granted a twelve-month permission to a maximum of seven years' student permission overall. (i.e. time spent on Stamp 2 as a student and on Stamp 1G under this programme cannot exceed an aggregate time of seven years in total).

 

Persons qualifying for graduate immigration permission of up to twenty-four months

Graduates with an award at Level 9 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications qualify for the Programme will be granted permission for twenty-four months to a maximum of eight years’ student permission overall (i.e. time spent on Stamp 2 as a student and on Stamp 1G under this programme cannot exceed an aggregate time of eight years in total).

Please Note: Graduates with an award at Level 9 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications qualify for the Programme will be granted permission for twelve months initially. This will be renewed for a further period of twelve months (subject to the overall eight year limit) where the graduate satisfies the immigration authorities that he or she has taken appropriate steps to access suitable graduate level employment (e.g. attendance at job interviews, signing up with graduate employment agencies, etc.). The aforementioned policy document sets out additional information, including transitional arrangements to programmes, which will cease to be an eligible basis for granting 1G permission under the revised programme.

 

Can I switch from Stamp 2 Student permission to Stamp 1A Trainee Accountant permission as a graduate?

Yes in certain circumstances this is permitted. Non-EEA graduates, on Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A Student permission who having studied in Ireland complete a qualification (NFQ 7-10) granted by an Irish Authority (overseas accreditation will not be accepted) and who have not exceeded the overall 7 year time limit may transfer to Stamp 1A Trainee Accountant Permission for the balance of the 7 year time limit. To stay beyond the 7 years the graduate would be required to secure an alternative immigration permission from that of a Stamp 2 or Stamp2A student or Stamp 1A Trainee Accountant (for example as an employment permit holder).

 

Can I switch to work permit employment when I am in Ireland to study?

Permission to work is granted by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Check their website for details on how to obtain a working permit. (Available at www.djei.ie).

NOTE: Post Study Pathways are not available to Language and Non-Degree Programme Students

 

Updated 01/06/2017