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Stay Back Option for International Students in Ireland


Stay Back Option

Two Year Permission under the Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission

This allows non-EU/EEA students who have graduated from Irish higher education institutions to remain in Ireland for up to 24 months to seek employment.

To be eligible for a two-year permission under the third level graduate scheme, a student is required to have:

  • an award granted by a recognised Irish awarding body, for example, Dublin Institute of Technology, Irish universities, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Institutes of Technology with delegated authority). 
  • Students are eligible for scheme if they have a Bachelor, Master or PhD degree
  • Employers can hire graduates who are eligible to work for up to 40 hours per week.
  • You must have a valid GNIB card which will be extended for up to 24 months

When should you apply for the Third Level Graduate Scheme:

  • You apply, after your results issue, to the GNIB office. You must:
    • Provide a letter from the university or college you attended indicating you have obtained your examination results and are eligible to graduate
    • Have a valid passport
    • Have your GNIB Card
    • Pay €300 by credit/debit card.
  • After 24 months, you may be eligible for the Green Card or Work Permit Scheme.