New scheme to allow non-EU former students to remain in Ireland

Carrie McMullan

The new scheme could allow up to 5,000 former students to legally remain in Ireland.

A scheme to allow non-EU former students who held a valid student permission between 2005 and 2010 to remain in Ireland was opened to applicants on October 15. 

The scheme is fronted by the Department of Justice and Equality and will allow eligible applicants to continue living in Ireland for a renewable period of two years. An applicant will be granted a Stamp 4S permission which will automatically grant them immigration permission and the right to work without the need for an Employment Permit.

The scheme was created in response to a policy made in 2011 which allowed non-EU students to stay for a maximum of seven years. However, this new scheme could allow up to 5,000 former students to legally remain in Ireland.

Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said that the scheme should show that successful applicants are self sufficient and not a burden on the State.

“In these circumstances, beneficiaries can be expected to be net contributors to the economy,” said Flanagan.

Eligible applicants must have first registered as a student in Ireland between January 1st, 2005 and December 31st, 2010. They must have retained their student permission or have held it for at least two years while continuing to live in the State since their arrival.

Successful applicants living in County Dublin are to register at Burgh Quay Registration Office to receive their Irish Residence Permit. Elsewhere, they are to register at their local Garda Registration Office.

The cost of the application is €700 with €250 of this going towards the processing of the application and the remaining €450 paying for the permission if granted. A further €300 fee will be required for registration.

The scheme does not support family reunification. However, family members already living in Ireland may be eligible to apply for permission to remain on a case by case basis. The only family members that will be considered are “the spouse/civil partner/de facto partner and dependent children”.

A person may be classed as a de facto partner if the relationship is “akin to marriage or civil partnership in practice though not in law”.  Each family member over the age of 16 will be required to pay the €300 registration fee as well.

All applications will be handled by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. The application process is open for 14 weeks with the closing date being January 20th, 2019.


Carrie McMullan

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