Can I stay and work in Ireland after I graduate?
Students graduating in Ireland with an Irish accredited degree (primary, masters or doctorate) may apply to stay on after their studies for the purpose of seeking employment and applying for a green card or work permit. To qualify for the Third Level Graduate Scheme, the student's award must be granted by a recognised awarding body based in the Republic of Ireland (such as QQI or a university). Overseas accreditation - for example an award studied in Ireland but accredited by UK university - will not qualify for the scheme.
A person who qualifies will be granted one non-renewable extension to their current student permission (Stamp 1G from 1st February 2016) for a maximum twelve month period starting on the day upon which they received their exam results. For students whose degree is at a minimum of level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications the period for the Graduate Employment Scheme is 12 months. (Note: it was extended with effect from 28th October 2010 - after the publication of the ICOS leaflet). Students on level 7 of the NFQ will be offered the 6 month scheme.
What are my entitlements under the scheme?
This scheme allows the person to work for up to 40 hours a week and/or to seek employment and apply for further permission to remain in the state under green card or work permit arrangements.
Students are also entitled to return to education after availing of the Graduate Scheme if they re-enter at a higher level and can finish the new course within the overall 7 year limit on studies for non-EEA students.
How do I apply?
To apply graduates should present at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, or their local Garda Siochána registration office, with documentary evidence of their exam results in addition to the usual requirements for renewal of a GNIB card.
Where can I find out more?
For more information of the conditions and requirements of this scheme please visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website.
Also check out the 2009 ICOS leaflet Employment of International Graduates in Ireland. See note above regarding October 2010 change.
Last reviewed/updated: January 2016