In a groundbreaking move, the Irish government has recently unveiled significant news that will undoubtedly bring cheer to international students pursuing online education from their home countries. The key highlight? International students will now be eligible for work opportunities in Ireland, even if they have been studying remotely during semester two. This welcoming initiative extends to the third-level graduate program, allowing online learners to apply for the program despite being physically distant from their chosen Irish institute.
Post-Study Work Visa Rules Extended Due to COVID
The stamp 1G visa, granted to international students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Ireland, will now be extended for up to two years after the completion of their study program. This post-study work visa permits graduates to explore employment opportunities in Ireland as part of their third-level graduate program. To qualify, graduates must actively seek suitable employment by attending job interviews or signing up with employment agencies.
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science emphasized that the changes to the eligibility criteria for the third-level graduate permission scheme (1G) were implemented to minimize the number of students arriving in Ireland, safeguard public health, and adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Third Level Graduate Programme: A Gateway to Opportunities
The Third Level Graduate Programme in Ireland offers non-European students who graduate from recognized Irish institutions the chance to stay in Ireland and search for graduate-level employment for up to two years, depending on their educational level. Previously, students had to apply for the program while physically attending universities in Ireland. However, the new rules now extend this opportunity to international students studying online in their second semester of an Irish higher education program.
Eligibility Criteria for the Extended Post-Study Work Rules
To remain eligible for the Third Level Graduate Programme (1G) under the new rules, international students must meet both existing and new criteria. Students can apply for the program if they have returned to their home countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic or have faced challenges in booking appointments due to pandemic-related restrictions.
Applicants are required to submit their applications, including scanned copies of necessary documentation, electronically to the Registration Office in Burgh Quay, Dublin. Upon their return to Ireland, they must complete the registration process. The necessary documents include a letter confirming their status as a student for the academic year 2020/2021, a letter stating that the course was taught entirely remotely, and a letter confirming the award achieved.
Advocacy for Further Concessions
While these changes mark a significant step forward, a group of international students in Ireland has launched an online petition advocating for additional concessions. They are urging the Irish government to extend the visas of all graduate students for an additional year, acknowledging the challenges they have faced in securing employment in Ireland due to the pandemic.
Renowned for its welcoming stance toward students worldwide, Ireland continues to solidify its reputation as a global education hub. The extension of post-study work visa rules ensures that international students, including those studying online, can now seize excellent internship and career opportunities within the country. As we navigate these unprecedented times, Ireland remains dedicated to providing a supportive environment for students to thrive and build successful careers.