Job search for international students: Can I work in Ireland?
Do you see a future working in Ireland after completing your studies? If so, you may be able to stay here and work after you graduate. Let’s see what’s involved.
If you have come to study in Ireland from overseas, you may have the right to stay and work here. This depends on two things:
1. Where are you from?
There are different rules for students and graduates from countries in the European Economic Area and Switzerland and those who come from other countries (also known as non-EU students).
2. Where are you studying or working?
There are different rules for Northern Ireland (which is in the UK) and the Republic of Ireland.
Are you from the EEA?
The European Economic Area (EEA) includes all of the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Swiss nationals have the same rights as EEA nationals. If you are from one of these countries, you are generally entitled to study and work without restriction in Ireland or the UK (including Northern Ireland). This means you have a right to take up an internship while you are at college, and a right to work after you graduate.
Are you a non-EU student?
If you are not from a country in the EEA/Switzerland, you are known as a non-EU student. If you are at college in Ireland you are entitled to work up to 20 hours a week in term time, and 40 hours a week in holiday times. If you are at a UK college (this includes Northern Ireland) you can work up to ten hours a week in term time or full-time during holidays.
Getting work after graduation
If you are a non-EU graduate, you can apply for an extension to your study visa for up to six months (up to 12 months in the UK) after you get your exam results, so you can get work experience. 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’. These are issued on two conditions:
if the job pays over €60,000 a year
if the job is in a restricted list of occupations, pays over €30,000 a year and is for at least two years.
Under the terms of the Third Level Graduate Scheme 2017 Revision, a person who qualifies will be granted an extension to their current student permission, with an immigration Stamp 1G, for a period of up to 24 months depending on their level of study, and subject to renewal after 12 months (for students graduating from May 2017 only). Entry to the graduate programme is available to persons only if they apply within six months of confirmation of their award and while their current student permission is still valid. You can find details on the government website enterprise.gov.ie or on the Citizens Information website citizensinformation.ie.
The equivalent to a ‘Green Card’ in the UK is the Tier 1 (post-study work) category, which allows international graduates to stay to look for work. With the details of Brexit uncertain, students wishing to pursue UK study should contact the Home Office ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.
Read more about your rights as an international student.