The Third Level Graduate Programme allows non-EEA graduates holding an award of a recognised Irish awarding body to remain in Ireland after their studies and apply for employment opportunities.
The Irish government has agreed to a temporary concession to allow students to remain in their home countries and still apply for the scheme.
A spokesperson said that the concession – due to Covid-19 – will allow the 2020/21 international student community, otherwise eligible to apply for the third level graduate permission scheme, to “remain in or return to their own countries to study online for semester 2.
“The amendments to the eligibility criteria will significantly reduce the number of students seeking to travel to Ireland up to the end of the academic year.”
In order to be eligible for the concession, students must meet a range of existing and new criteria.
Students who are currently studying remotely can apply for the scheme when they complete their course in summer 2021, if they provide a letter from their higher education institution stating that they were a student for the academic year 2020/2021.
They must also provide a letter from their institution stating that their course was taught 100% remotely and that they were not required to attend classes in person.
The new criteria mean they must provide a letter from the relevant awarding body or institution saying that they have achieved the award for which they were enrolled as a student.
Students who will have completed a one year masters with an Irish higher education institution, and were unable to travel to Ireland to register their permission as a student in the State (for the academic year 2020/2021), will have to travel to Ireland prior to the issuance of their final results in order to register their permission and qualify for the Third Level Graduate permission Scheme.
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