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Working in Ireland - A guide for international students

Also see: holidays

Can I work while studying in Ireland?

Students from the EEA - All nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) are free to take up full-time or part-time employment in Ireland while studying.

Students from outside the EEA - Students attending a full time course and in posession of a Irish Residency Permit card are entitled to take up casual employment provided that the course of study is included on the government's list of visa eligible courses. Casual employment is defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week, except for two standardised periods when it is permissible to work full-time (i.e. up to 40 hours per week). The periods are 15th December to 15th January and 1st June to 30th September only, corresponding to the traditional summer and winter college holidays. These dates are fixed for all non-EEA students, regardless of the actual college teaching calendar for their course. Colleges are no longer able to issue holiday letters documenting a student as available to work full-time outside of these dates. More information

The right to work lapses automatically on expiry of a student's immigration permission, except for an extension which may be available to third level graduates.


Is it realistic for me to fund my studies by working?

Part-time work can make a useful contribution to your living costs as a student but it will not be sufficient to fund your studies as well.

If you need to apply for a visa to study in Ireland you will need to show that you already have sufficient funds to cover costs for the entire period of your course, without having to rely on income from a part-time job.


Am I entitled to work if I am attending a foundation course before term beings?

If you are attending a foundation/preparatory course prior to enrolment on a full-time course you are not entitled to work until you have commenced your full-time course.


How do I obtain a PPS Number when I have an offer of work?

If you are taking up employment in Ireland you will need to obtain a PPS Number to be registered with the Irish Tax office, which is called Revenue. You cannot obtain a PPS number simply because you are looking for work, only when you can show you have an offer to take up employment or need it to deal with a specified body.

ยป See more on how to obtain a PPS Number.


What are my rights in the workplace?

Everyone who has permission to work in Ireland has the same rights in the workplace, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. This means that you have a right to a legal contract, to lawful hours of work, to a salary at or above the minimum wage and other entitlements as set out in Irish law, including holiday leave, sick leave, parental leave and the right to join a union.

However, you should be aware that an employer is not legally required to offer working hours that suit an employee's study timetable. If there is a possibility of conflicting demands between studies and a job, it is important to discuss these issues and agree on suitable arrangements as part of accepting any offer of employment.

The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) and the Immigrant Council of Ireland both offer an advice and support service on workplace issues.


Will I still be able to work in Ireland when I graduate / or after my student visa expires?

Citizens of other EU/EEA countries do not need special permissions to continue living and working in Ireland after their studies.

Non-EEA graduates and postgraduates can go on to apply for a green card or work permit under the Third Level Graduate Scheme on completion of their studies.

In all other cases, the right to take up employment will cease upon the expiry of your student immigration permission.


What opportunities are available for researchers?

Qualified researchers are covered by Ireland's implementation of an EU directive on the admission of third country nationals by approved research organisations. These organisations can recruit researchers from outside the EEA to carry out research without the need for a Green Card or Work Permit on the basis of a 'hosting agreement' to carry out defined research. Once this agreement is in place, and subject to normal immigration requirements, the researcher can gain admission to the State for the purpose of carrying out the research.

Details of the Scheme for Accreditation of Research Organisations and further information regarding hosting agreements is available from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

For researchers interested in opportunities in Ireland check the EURAXESS website.


Last updated: May 2017