Study in Ireland

Overview of Conditions for Degree Programme Student

The main conditions of being a Full Time Degree Programme Non EEA student are:
The maximum time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending courses at degree level is limited to seven years;
The level of course and award must comply with the conditions below
A Letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time day-time education
You must have proof that fees have been paid to the college. Where your fees are below €6,000, the full amount of the fees must be paid in advance.
You must have access to €3,000 at first registration. This is in addition to your course fees.
All students are required to have private medical insurance, either personally or through a group scheme operated by your college, at time of registration in accordance with the conditions set out below regarding private medical insurance.

Full conditions and requirements are set out in the Guidelines attached below. It is the responsibility of the student to familiarise themselves with these requirements.

What is a Degree Programme?

The Degree Programme refers to full-time, day-time academic courses leading to major awards as outlined below at or above Level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications (see NFQ “fan diagram” at Appendix 1).
There are six types of major award available in Ireland at these levels:
NFQ Level 7 = Ordinary Bachelor Degree (3 years duration)
NFQ Level 8 = Honours Bachelor Degree (3-4 years duration)
NFQ Level 8 = Higher Diploma (1 year duration)
NFQ Level 9 = Postgraduate Diploma (1 year duration)
NFQ Level 9 = Masters Degree (1-2 years duration)
NFQ Level 10 = Doctoral Degree (approximately 4 years duration)
In that regard Degree programme courses are defined as courses which lead to an award of:
Ordinary Bachelor Degree
Honours Bachelor Degree
Higher Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
Postgraduate Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
Masters Degree
Doctoral degree
Certain ‘awards’ offered by international universities which satisfy the above definition will also be regarded as Degree Programme courses.

The course that you are going to pursue must be included in the Internationalisation Register administered by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) (Visit www.nqai.ie for more information).

NOTE : It is not permissible for Students who come to Ireland on a Degree Programme course to enrol in a Non Degree or Language Course (Students may be permitted to undertake a foundation language course, if required, where this has been arranged in advance and has been clearly stated in any application for a visa or leave to remain).
Similarly students who complete a Degree Programme course cannot then enrol on a Language/Non Degree Programme Course.

NOTE : The primary purpose for a student to be in the State is to study. It is not permissible for a student to come to Ireland to undertake a part-time course, or a distance learning course.

I am a student who has been in Ireland since before 1st January 2011

The New Immigration Regime for Full Time Non-EEA Students also applies to those non-EEA students registered in Ireland before the introduction of the new regime on 1 January 2011.
The Guidelines outline in detail the requirements for non-EEA students registered in Ireland before 1 January 2011.
Students are required to familiarise themselves with these guidelines.

Student Pathway

You may only stay in Ireland as a student for a maximum aggregate time of 7 years.

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 Scheme. 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 Scheme a student can work full time (up to 40hrs per week).

The permission the student will have will remain that of student.
The permission under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme is non renewable.
A student can only avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme once.
One Year Permission under the Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission
To be eligible for a one year permission under the third level graduate scheme 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
Six Month Permission under the Third Level Graduate Scheme
A six month permission under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme is available to students who have graduated a course at Level 7 of the NFQ.
Students who avail of the Graduate Scheme within the 7 year limit as a student
Students who have completed a qualification in line with the courses as set out above and who are still within the 7 year overall limit for students in Ireland may avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme starting on the date upon which the person receives their exam results.

If the full time non-EEA Student then re-enters education at a higher level the graduate scheme will count towards their 7 year maximum overall time limit in the State as a student. Where a student is eligible to avail of a one year Graduate scheme permission but only takes six months then the student will only be permitted to take the balance of six months if they then graduate from another course at a higher level.

For example – Student A completes a Level 8 Honours Degree over four years. Student A then avails of the Graduate Scheme for one year. Student A then returns to education to pursue a Masters Degree. The maximum time allowable for Student A to complete that course will be two years.
In addition the Student will not be permitted to avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme at the end of their Masters course.

Stamp 2 will be issued in this situation.

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 Enterprise Trade and Innovation. Check their website for details on how to obtain a working permit. (Available at http://www.deti.ie).

Overview of Conditions for Language and Non-Degree Programme Student

The main conditions of being a Full Time Language and Non-Degree Programme Non EEA student are
The maximum time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending courses at language/non degree level is limited to three years;
The duration of course and award must comply with the conditions below
A Letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time day-time education involving a minimum of 15 hours organised daytime tuition each week between the hours of 8am and 6pm
You must have proof that fees have been paid to the college. Where your fees are below €6,000, the full amount of the fees must be paid in advance.
You must have access to €3,000 at first registration. This is in addition to your course fees.
All students are required to have private medical insurance, either personally or through a group scheme operated by your college, at time of registration in accordance with the conditions set out below regarding private medical insurance.
Full conditions and requirements are set out in the Guidelines attached below. It is the responsibility of the student to familiarise themselves with these requirements.

What is the Language and Non Degree Programme?

The Language and Non-Degree Programme refers to two types of course.
English Language Course
English Language courses for the purpose of non-EEA Student Immigration must be included in the Internationalisation Register, administered by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) (Visit www.nqai.ie for more information).
Further Education Non-Degree Course
Further Education courses refer to full-time, day-time academic courses leading to non-school major awards at Level 5 or Level 6 of the National Framework of Qualifications (see NFQ “fan diagram” at Appendix 1).
The course that you are going to pursue must be included in the Internationalisation Register administered by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) (Visit www.nqai.ie for more information).
Vocational, business, management or other programmes (certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate diplomas).

In order to facilitate students attending programmes leading to the awards described above, and colleges delivering these programmes, these programmes are included on the internationalisation register in the same way as non-Degree programmes and must meet the criteria set out for nondegree / language programmes.

Students should be aware that where a student seeks to progress through certificate, diploma, advanced diploma and graduate diploma, each of these will be as a discrete course with its own discrete award.