Even though vaccination programmes are well under way in most countries, COVID-19 cases still remain on the rise, and therefore a large number of international students still remain in their home countries and continue their study online. This has raised significant concerns about international students’ eligibility for post-graduation work schemes. Many countries such as the UK and Australia have rolled out revamped graduate routes and deadlines to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by not being in the country where they study.
Ireland has also followed suit by allowing international students in their second semester of a course being administered by an Irish higher education institution to remain eligible for the post graduate work programme called the Third Level Graduate Programme. The programme essentially allows international students graduating from a degree awarding course at an Irish higher education institute to seek graduate-level employment for up to 24 months. Upon successful attainment of work within these 24 months, the students can apply for a work permit.
Until the recent change to the norms, students, before the pandemic, had to seek work while studying for their course. With the new changes in place, students who are currently undertaking remote study and are enrolled in an Honours bachelor’s, master’s, and post-graduate course, can apply up to May 31st, 2021.
Students, however, will need to show, that they were enrolled in a programme at a higher education institute in Ireland for the academic year 2020-21 and that the course that they were enrolled in was delivered 100% remotely. A letter from the awarding body that awarded the student their degree or certification will be required as well. To apply for this programme, students will need to mail in the relevant documents along with other scans of required documentation to the registration office.