International students get to stay more in Ireland after graduation

The Irish government has some great news for all non-EU/EEA students who are currently completing their masters or doctoral studies: from now on, non-EU/EEA students studying in Ireland are entitled to stay for up to 24 months in the country to get employment or apply for work permit/green card.

Up until now, non-EU/EEA graduates of masters and doctoral programmes were allowed to stay in Ireland for a maximum of 12 months after their graduation. With this new expansion programme, they have up to 24 months to look for a job and apply for work permits. However, this regulation doesn’t apply to non-EU/EEA students completing honours undergraduate degrees.


The main reason why this option has been introduced is due to a broader and more ambition plan coming from the Irish government, which aims to increase the international enrolment in higher education in Ireland by 33% and boost the enrollment in ELT programmes (English Language teaching) by 25% - reaching 132,500 students in the first half on 2020.

Although these programmes have seen great improvements in 2015, the Italian and Spanish education markets were accounted for 73% of all enrolments. This new regulation would boost the Irish economy to US $2.34 billion in less than 3-4 years (from US $1.67 billion at the moment).

Read more about this “stay-back option" for international students studying in Ireland on ICEF Monitor’s website.