Graduate permit scheme extended for international students
A welcome recent development for both international students and graduate employers is the news that the Irish Government has agreed to extend the Third Level Graduate Permit Scheme, for non-EU/EEA students at level 9 and above.
The new permission will double the ‘stay back option’ for Masters and PhD students from 12 months to 24 months. This will allow eligible graduates who have studied in Irish higher education institutions and whose award is granted by a recognised Irish awarding body at Masters or PhD level to remain in Ireland for two years to seek employment.
The Graduate Permit Scheme allows these non-EU graduates to stay in Ireland for 2 years after their degree and legally work for 40 hours per week.
For some employment sectors the restriction of the working period post-graduation to one year has been a disincentive to hiring international students. The extension of this eligibility for work for highly qualified students from 12 to 24 months whilst on the Graduate Permit Scheme is to be welcomed both in the context of the skills gap and the employability journey for postgraduate students emerging from Irish HEIs.