Post-study work visas in Ireland for international graduates
Dublin is one of the best cities in the world to live and work, combining the thriving cultural and social life you’d expect in a capital city with a warm village feel that means Dublin has been voted the friendliest city in the world (Rough Guides 2023). This historic city offers striking architecture, an eclectic music scene, and opportunities for fans of sports, culture, and foodies alike.
When it comes to work, some of the biggest multinational companies in the world are based in Dublin. In fact, Ireland is home to 16 of the top 20 global technology companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft (IDA Ireland, 2023), as well as more than 430 financial services companies, including Allianz, Mastercard and PayPal. On top of that, over 30,000 people are employed in the bio-pharma industry.
These impressive career opportunities and a generous post-study work visa – which allows international students to work in Ireland for up to two years after graduating – make Dublin one of the best cities to start your career after you graduate.
So, if you’re wondering how to apply for a work visa in Ireland, read on for all the information you’ll need about post-study work visas in Ireland.
How to get a work visa in Ireland
In order to get a post-study work visa in Ireland, there are several eligibility requirements that you need to fulfil, and you must either have an agreed work contract or a job offer from an Irish employer.
Your Ireland work visa application is submitted online via the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS). This can be submitted by either you or your employer. If you are transferring from another country to the Irish branch of your company (known as an intra-company transfer), your employer in your home country can also submit the application for you.
You will also need to pay the Ireland work permit processing fee before completing your application. The permit processing time is then usually around 13 weeks.
Benefits of a post-study work visa
1. Gain professional experience
After completing your degree, the next step is to put what you’ve learnt into practice – and where better to use your Irish degree than at an Irish company? Develop your practical experience and earn money whilst continuing to learn even more about your subject.
2. Develop your English skills
Spending another two years in Ireland means even more time to practise your language skills – Ireland is the only native English-speaking country in the EU to offer post-study work visas. An added benefit of doing this while working is that you’ll learn vocabulary specific to your career, which you may not have had the chance to do at university. Employers all over the world look favourably on English language fluency, so this is a great way to open up employment opportunities worldwide.
3. Discover more of Ireland
A post-study work visa opens up work opportunities across all of Ireland, not just Dublin. Did you visit Cork on a trip and fall in love? Or feel like swapping city living for a new life in the countryside? With a post-study work visa, you’ll have the freedom to live wherever you find work so that you can discover more about life in Ireland.
4. More travel opportunities
One of the biggest benefits of living in Europe is how easy it is to travel. With cheap flights and trains available almost everywhere, you’ll be able to discover more of Europe with just a short journey. Dublin is ideally located for exploring further afield, with a large international airport offering flights to many exciting destinations. And with the income you’ll have from working, you’ll have more opportunities than ever to travel.
There are several nationalities that don’t require a visa to study in Ireland. You’ll still need permission to arrive in Ireland, as well as proof of your university offer and English language proficiency, but not needing to go through the visa application process is a huge benefit.
Here are some of the countries whose citizens don’t require a visa to study in Ireland:
- Costa Rica
- Hong Kong (SAR)
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
You must still register your presence in Ireland with your local immigration authority. You’ll then get an Irish Residence Permit (IRP), whether you have a student visa or not. The IRP card proves you’re residing legally in Ireland, so it’s important to get and keep it with you.
Can international students stay in Ireland after graduation?
Yes, international students are able to stay in Ireland after graduating through applying for a post-study work visa.
Who is eligible for a post-study work visa in Ireland?
To qualify for this scheme, you must demonstrate to Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that you: have graduated in Ireland with a bachelor’s, masters, or doctoral degree and can provide evidence of your qualification; have valid Stamp 2 student immigration permission; have not applied more than two times for this programme; and have not exceeded the seven year maximum limit of stay for non-EEA graduates In addition, your degree must have been granted by a recognised Irish awarding body.
Is it difficult to get a work visa in Ireland?
The difficulty of obtaining a work visa in Ireland depends on various factors, including your qualifications and professional field. Securing a work visa is usually possible if you have a job offer from an eligible employer.