The Immigration Service Delivery have updated the FAQ document regarding the Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and International Protection – updated 26th of May 2020.
The update deals with English language students who were resident on a student permission but who left the State as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have finished their English course but are unable to leave the State.
Ordinarily the maximum time which a non-EEA national student is permitted to spend in Ireland studying English is two years. The ISD have confirmed that where a student can prove that they were absent from the State due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that this absence will not count towards the two-year period. When returning to the State students are advised to arrange to resume their studies with their school and contact their local immigration office in order to be issued with an updated IRP card.
Many English language students who were studying in the State would have left to return to their own countries when the seriousness of the pandemic became apparent. It is great news for students to learn that this time will not be counted towards the two- year period to allow them to return to finish their courses and avail of the practical experience of learning English in an English-speaking country. Visa required nationals whose IRP cards have expired will need to apply for visas to return to the State when visa offices re-open so students will need to be mindful of this when making arrangements to return.
Where students have completed their two years of English language study but are unable to leave the State as a result of the pandemic, the ISD have confirmed that they are permitted to remain in the State as a student until the end of 2020. Students are obliged to enrol on an online course of study up until the 31st of December 2020, and to register with their local immigration office as soon as the registration offices are open.
The full FAQ document can be found here – file:///C:/Users/Una/Documents/cov19%20INIS%20update/Immigration-Service-Delivery-Covid-19-FAQ4%2026.5.2020.pdf
The Immigration Department of Sinnott Solicitors have extensive experience in dealing with all Irish immigration matters.