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Working in Ireland - A guide for international students

Can I work while studying in Ireland?

Students from the EEA - All nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) are free to take up employment in Ireland while studying.

Students from outside the EEA - Students attending a full time course of at least one academic year are entitled to take up casual employment provided that the course of study is included on the government's list of visa eligible courses. Casual employment is defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week during standard term-times, with the ability to work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) for specified periods during the traditional summer and winter college holidays. More information

Important points to note:

  • Unless you are attending a recognised course, you will not be allowed to access employment during your stay in Ireland.
  • The right to work lapses automatically once the period of study is completed, except for a 12 month extension available to third level graduates.
  • When applying for your student entry visa, you will need to show that you have sufficient funds to cover the entire period of your course, without having to rely on income from a part-time job.

Am I entitled to work if I am attending a foundation course before term beings?

If you are attending a foundation/preparatory course prior to enrolment on a full-time course you are not entitled to work until you have commenced your full-time course.


How do I obtain a PPS Number when I have an offer of work?

If you are taking up employment in Ireland you will need to obtain a PPS Number to be registered with the Irish Tax office, which is called Revenue. You cannot obtain a PPS number simply because you are looking for work, only when you can show you have an offer to take up employment or need it to deal with a specified body.

» See more on how to obtain a PPS Number.


What are my rights in the workplace?

Everyone who has permission to work in Ireland has the same rights in the workplace, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. This means that you have a right to a legal contract, to lawful hours of work, to a salary at or above the minimum wage and other entitlements as set out in Irish law, including holiday leave, sick leave, parental leave and the right to join a union.

However, you should be aware that an employer is not legally required to offer working hours that suit an employee's study timetable. If there is a possibility of conflicting demands between studies and a job, it is important to discuss these issues and agree on suitable arrangements as part of accepting any offer of employment.

The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) and the Immigrant Council of Ireland both offer an advice and support service on workplace issues.


Will I still be able to work in Ireland when I graduate / or after my student visa expires?

Citizens of other EU/EEA countries generally require no special permissions to continue living and working in Ireland after their studies.

Non-EEA graduates and postgraduates can apply for a green card or work permit under the Third Level Graduate Scheme on completion of their studies.

In all other cases, the right to take up employment will cease upon the expiry of your student visa.


What opportunities are available for researchers?

New arrangements to facilitate recruitment of qualified researchers from abroad to carry out research in Ireland were introduced in October 2007. These new arrangements implement a European Union Directive on the admission of third country researchers for the purpose of carrying out research. Under the new arrangements approved research organisations can recruit researchers from outside the European Economic Area (i.e. the EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to carry out research in Ireland without the need for a Green Card or Work Permit.

Procedures have been put in place for accreditation of research organisations to enable them to make use of the new arrangements. Accredited research organisations can now enter into a hosting agreement with a third country researcher to carry out defined research. Once a hosting agreement is in place, the researcher will be admitted into the State for the purpose of carrying out the research, subject to normal immigration requirements

Details of the Scheme for Accreditation of Research Organisations and further information regarding hosting agreements is available from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation.

For researchers interested in research job opportunities in Ireland see Ireland’s Researchers Mobility Portal


Last updated: February 2015