3 OPTIONS FOR A WORK VISA POST GRADUATION IN IRELAND

It is possible for non-EU/EEA and Swiss students to work in Ireland after completing their studies. Ireland has a program for international students who want to stay and work, the name of the program is Third Level Graduate Scheme. This scheme exists to allow postgraduates who are legally outside the EU to remain in Ireland to find work or apply for a green card or work permit.
With over 1,000 well-known multinational companies operating in Ireland such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, Ireland is one of the most popular destinations for international students in Europe. Not to mention that many Irish universities have been ranked in the world rankings of most popular institutions e.g. Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD) and National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG).

Check out the options below if you are looking to stay in Ireland after completing your studies.

option 1

Third level graduate program

This program enables non-EU/EEA Irish graduates who are awarded a scholarship from a recognized Irish institution to remain in Ireland after their studies. It should serve the purpose of seeking a university-level position and applying for a general work permit, basic skills work permit, or research guest agreement. It is strongly recommended that you allow sufficient time to renew your registration and obtain a revised immigration permit before your current permit expires. Your application will be rejected if your current Irish residence permit has expired.
Irish qualifications are classified into 10 levels according to the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ) which is based on nationally agreed standards of knowledge, skills and competence. The NFQ level for higher education begins at Level 6, which relates to higher pre-bachelor certification programs. They are typically short courses and do not provide access to the third level graduate program.

There are two types of licenses in the Third Level Graduate Program:

Residence permit up to 12 months

Those with NFQ Level 8 honors receive a twelve-month pass for up to seven years of general study leave.


Residence permit up to 24 months

Individuals with a Level 9 or higher score on the NFQ who are eligible for the program receive a 24-month pass for up to eight years of general student leave.

In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You have a bachelor’s or master’s degree or are applying or completing a doctorate
  • Was selected for awards for recognized awards
  • Hold a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP)

option 2

general work permit

This permit applies to all work and can be obtained with a 12-month employment contract. The license can initially be granted for two years and then extended by three years. After five years, you can apply for a long-term residency permit through Immigration Service Delivery (ISD).

To qualify, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Vacancies in Ireland.
  • You have all the skills, experience and qualifications required for the position.
  • This admission is subject to a labor market needs test, which means that the employer must have advertised the position in the EEA before offering the position to non-EU/EEA nationals.
  • Achieving the annual minimum wage of €30,000 or €27,000 for non-EEA students – who have graduated from a third level Irish university within the last 12 months and obtained a postgraduate position from the Skills Jobs list critique. After renewal, the minimum annual remuneration must be €30,000.

You must prepare the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport with photo, signature and personal information.
  • The passport photo meets Irish photo requirements.
  • A copy of the employment contract signed by you and the employer.
  • Contact details of the person: name, position in the company, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • The relevant business registration/PIN or license number issued by the Irish Government Agency or relevant Government Minister.
  • Copy of IDA/Enterprise Ireland support letter if applicable.
  • Company and employer details such as company registration number, address, name and relevant certificates

The processing fee for the new general work permit is:

  • €500 for a work permit of 6 months or less or
  • €1,000 for a work permit from 6 to 24 months.
  • Permit requests must be received at least 12 weeks prior to the proposed start date. After obtaining a work permit, you must register with the National Department of Immigration Guard to change your immigration status.

Variant 3

Work permit for essential skills

The critical skills work permit replaces the green card type work permit. The Critical Skills Work Permit is designed to attract highly qualified individuals to the labor market to encourage them to establish permanent residence in Ireland.
The job offer must be at least 2 years old and you must have stayed with the original employer for at least 12 months. The job must have an annual minimum wage of €32,000.

You must prepare the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport with photo, signature and personal information.
  • Passport size image meets Ireland photo requirements
  • A copy of the employment contract signed by you and the company/employer.
  • Contact details of the person: name, position in the company, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • The relevant business registration/PIN or license number issued by the Irish Government Agency or relevant Government Minister.
  • Copy of IDA/Enterprise Ireland support letter if applicable.
  • Company and employer data such as company register number, address, name and corresponding certificates from the authorized body.
  • Job details such as salary, responsibilities, duties and duration.

The processing fee for the Critical Skills Work Permit is €1,000. After obtaining a work permit, you must submit your change of residency status to the National Bureau of Immigration Guards. The advantage of this permit is that you do not need to apply for an extension, but you can apply for a letter of support from the Department of Economy, Enterprise and Innovation and then apply for a registration extension with the Garda National Immigration Office. With this permit, you can bring your family into the family reunification program.

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