If you are a student planning to settle in the mesmerizing country of Ireland, you’ll find Ireland’s welcoming reputation backed up by an open and simple immigration process.
It’s hassle free to enter, stay, work and live!
1. Start by getting an admit:
Apply for exams like TOEFL, IELTS, GAMSAT etc. Use various sources to collect information about the universities that you want to apply for like their eligibility criteria, application procedure etc. Send in your application before the deadline and make sure that you have a valid passport.
2. Get a student visa:
First, find out which types of visa you need:
'C type study visa' – for any study program/course that lasts less than three months.
'D type study visa' – if you applied for a course that lasts longer than three months.
You will be required to provide proof of English language proficiency through an internationally recognized certificate that has been issued within two years of the expected start date of the course to be considered valid. Accepted English exams are IELTS, TOEFL, PTE etc.
3. Get internship – increase your chances of full-time employment
You can apply for various internships to get practical exposure, as well as to earn some extra money. You can work part-time (up to 20 hours per week during semesters) or full-time (40 hours per week during scheduled holidays).
4. Get a residence permit:
If you enrolled for a study degree that lasts longer than three months, you will need to register at the local GNIB as soon as you arrive in Ireland.
The residence permit allows you to stay in the country for up to 12 months and will receive a Certificate of Registration (known as a Green Book), which must be renewed before it expires.
4. Get your work permit
There are 2 key type of work permits:
The Irish General Work Permit is an employment permit which allows a non-EU citizen to work in Ireland. The permit is initially granted for two years. This employment permit is granted to applicants with a job offer.
Critical Skills Employment Permit is open to those in professions on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List, which includes the tech industry. Getting this permit means that your quest for permanent residency is fast tracked.
Note that a minimum remuneration of €30,000 is required for work permits. In exceptional circumstances, work permits may also be considered where the remuneration is less than €30,000:
- A non-EEA student who has graduated within 12 months from an overseas third-level institution and has been offered a graduate position on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations list.
- A non-EEA student who has graduated within 12 months from a non-EEA institution and has been offered a graduate position from the ICT Category on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations list.
In both of these cases, in order to renew the permit, you must be earning at least €30,000.
Fees for these permits are fairly small: there is a €500 fee for a permit of 6 months or less, and a €1,000 fee for a permit of 6 months to 2 years. If unsuccessful, 90% of this fee will be refunded to you.
5. Extending your work visa
You will normally be given permission for the duration of your stated purpose. Permission is generally granted on an annual basis. The general employment permit can be issued for a duration of 6 months to 2 years and extended up to a further 3 years. Permit holders may be able to bring their dependents to Ireland after 1 year, but must be able to support them financially.
6. Apply for permanent residency
Generally, you can apply for residency after legally living in Ireland for 5 years – this includes General Employment Permit holders. However, as a nice advantage for techies, Critical Skills Employment Permit holders can apply for residency after just 2 years! Once you’ve been granted residency, you won’t need any further employment permits.
7. How to get citizenship?
After five years of residency and supporting yourself in Ireland, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship. Being a citizen in Ireland entitles you to apply for an Irish passport as well as to vote in all Irish elections and makes you a citizen of the EU.