The Third Level Graduate Scheme: the Ireland post-study work visa

Ireland stands out as a top study destination for several compelling reasons. Its reputation for high-quality education is anchored in a history of academic excellence, with several universities ranking among the top in the world. It’s also known for its welcoming community and vibrant culture. These provide international students with an enriching environment to immerse themselves in. The country also fosters strong connections with global industries, offering students unparalleled opportunities for internships and career advancement. One of the strongest pulls for any aspiring student looking to study abroad is the prospect of staying after graduation to pursue a career in the country. Does Ireland give post-study work visas for international students? Yes, they do! In this article, we’ll talk about the Ireland post-study work visa; its eligibility requirements, application process and validity duration.

The Third Level Graduate Scheme

What is a post-study work visa? As its name suggests, this type of visa allows overseas graduates to remain in the country to work for a certain period after completing their studies. The Ireland post-study work visa is known as the Third Level Graduate Scheme.

This scheme allows Irish-educated non-European Economic Area (EEA) graduates to remain in Ireland after their studies for a certain period if they:

  • hold at least a level 8 award from a recognised Irish awarding bod
  • are legally residing in the country.

According to the policy document, the program is “for seeking graduate level employment and applying for either a general employment permit, a critical skills employment permit or a research hosting agreement.” This scheme also permits graduates to work for up to 40 hours per week. Students who hope to work above 40 hours per week must, instead, obtain a relevant work permit.

Who is eligible for the Ireland post-study work visa?

The Third Level Graduate Scheme is open to any non-EEA graduate who:

How can one apply for the Ireland post-study work visa?

Applicants must have a valid Stamp 2 student immigration permission, must not have applied more than two times for the program and must not have exceeded the seven-year maximum limit of stay for non-EEA graduates. Students looking to apply would need to prepare the following requirements:

  • a copy of the award granted to them
  • their valid passport
  • medical insurance
  • a fee of €300 to register.

What is the Ireland post-study work visa duration?

The Third Level Graduate Scheme may be valid for 12 or 24 months. Graduates holding an NFQ level 8 may stay up to 12 months. Applicants with an NFQ level 9 or above will be granted permission for 12 months initially, but this can be renewed for another 12 months if they show immigration authorities that they’ve taken appropriate steps to access employment (e.g. attendance at job interviews, signing up with graduate employment agencies, etc.).

The Third Level Graduate Scheme ultimately enhances Ireland’s appeal as a study destination as it facilitates a smoother transition from study to employment, serving as a compelling incentive for prospective students. To learn more about Irish education and post-study work routes, reach out to our business development experts today.

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