A Stamp 1G Student Graduate Permission is awarded in the Republic of Ireland to non-EEA National graduate students who have completed their studies and have been awarded a qualification at Level 8 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications by a recognised awarding body.  An Honours Bachelor’s Degree equates to a Level 8 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Under the current rules surrounding the Third Level Graduate Programme, Graduates who have been awarded a Level 8 qualification are entitled to be granted a twelve-month permission to remain in the State on Stamp 1G conditions.  Graduates who receive an award at Level 9 or above, may be granted permission to remain on Stamp 1G conditions for up to twenty-four months.

The purpose of the Student Graduate Scheme is to allow non-EEA national students a further period of time to reside in Ireland in order to secure employment and apply for an employment permit after they have completed their studies.  This is an excellent opportunity for non-EEA student graduates who have been educated to a high level in Ireland to contribute their skills and talents to the Irish workforce and allow them to continue to reside in Ireland, a country which many such persons now see as their home.

Unfortunately, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic many student graduates who are resident in the State on Stamp 1G conditions have struggled in securing employment to enable them to apply for employment permits in circumstances where companies were not hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Many graduates have during this time,  found themselves unemployed, or working in unpaid or low paid positions which they are completely overqualified for desperately trying to do anything which they can to improve their circumstances to remain in the State.  Unfortunately, time is running out for many non-EEA graduate student’s resident in the State to secure employment permits in circumstances where their immigration permission is due to expire shortly or in the coming months, with many expiring on the 20th of September when the automatic extensions of immigration permission to remain granted by the Minister for Justice will expire.  The process of securing employment in Ireland to obtain an employment permit can be a lengthy process which takes many months due to the time taken to secure a job, apply for an employment permit and await the processing of same.

International students contribute a huge amount to the Irish economy and exchequer through their payment of significant fees to colleges, rental payments, living expenses, tax paid through employment as well as their significant social contribution to Irish life and should be afforded a fair opportunity to remain in the Republic of Ireland to secure employment and reside here on a fulltime basis.

The Immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork offices have been approached by many desperate non-EEA national graduate students  in recent months who are extremely concerned regarding their immigration status and impending expiry of Stamp 1G student permissions.  In many cases we have successfully submitted applications on behalf of clients to be granted extensions of their Stamp 1G student permissions to allow them an additional period of time to remain in the State to secure employment and apply for an employment permit.  Whilst these applications have been submitted on a discretionary basis with each case assessed on its own merits, we have seen many approvals to date.

Sinnott Solicitors feel that the Department of Justice should recognise the invaluable contribution made by non-EEA graduate students and the difficult position which were placed in during the Covid-19 pandemic by granting a further twelve- month extension to their immigration permissions.  We will continue to submit applications to the Department of Justice on behalf of our clients who are seeking to be granted extensions of their 1G Student Graduate Permissions for which we have seen a high approval rate to date.

With offices in Dublin and Cork, Sinnott Solicitors have a dedicated team of Immigration Solicitors and Consultants who are experts on all Irish immigration matters. If you have any queries on the contents of this article or require assistance with any Irish immigration matter do not hesitate to contact our offices today on info@sinnott.ie or 014062862.