Ireland wants international students and graduates to build professional experience and begin their career in the country. As such, the Third Level Graduate Scheme has been established, allowing students and graduates to work in Ireland upon graduation.
The Third Level Graduate Scheme is relevant only to international students from non-EU/EEA countries (plus Switzerland). Students and graduates from EEA countries or Switzerland may study and then take up employment in Ireland without needing to be approved under the Third Level Graduate Scheme.
Under the Third Level Graduate Scheme, graduates of Level 8 courses (Honours Bachelor Degree and Higher Diploma) may be granted a Stamp 1G for up to 12 months. Graduates of Level 9 or 10 courses (Masters Degrees and PhDs) are eligible for Stamp 1G for up to 24 months. Initially permission is typically granted for 12 months; it can then be extended for a further 12 months.
Documents required for Third level graduate scheme application:
- Evidence of the final award being attained by way of a parchment or, in circumstances where the graduation ceremony is yet to take place, an official letter for the awarding body/institution confirming that the award has been achieved;
- A valid passport;
- A valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP, formerly GNIB) Card; and
- A payment of €300 by credit/debit card (cash not accepted).
The final award referred to above must be granted by a recognised Irish awarding body:
- The eight Irish universities; i.e. Trinity College, UCD, DCU, Maynooth University, UCC, NUIG, the University of Limerick and the Technological University Dublin
- Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
- Institutes of Technology
- Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
Please note that the Third Level Graduate Scheme is not available to Language and Non-Degree Programme students.
Duration of Third level graduate scheme
Graduates with an award at Level 8 may be granted a 12-month permission to a maximum of seven years’ student permission overall. (i.e. time spent on Stamp 2 as a student and on Stamp 1G under the Third Level Graduate Scheme cannot exceed seven years in total).
Graduates with an award at Level 9 or above may be granted a 24-month permission to a maximum of eight years’ student permission overall. (i.e. time spent on Stamp 2 as a student and on Stamp 1G under the Third Level Graduate Scheme cannot exceed eight years in total).
After 12 months, participants may be eligible for the Green Card or Work Permit Scheme.