In this blog we will explain how to work and study in Ireland and what needs to be done to plan your trip!

1 – Applying for your visa – How to work and study in Ireland

At present under the current system, Non-EEA students can apply for a one-year visa to study in Ireland. In order to qualify for this visa, you must enrol on an English language course for a minimum 6 months in duration with minimum 15 hours of class per week. This would allow you to study for 6 months and then stay in Ireland for an additional 6 months to work legally or to travel in Ireland or the EU. This programme has become known as ‘One Year Academic’ or ‘Work and Study in Ireland’.

New regulations now state that 8-month visas will now replace the one year visa. This means that when you enrol on a 6-month / 25 week course you will only be permitted to remain in Ireland on completion of the course for an additional 2 months. You will still be entitled to three permissions but the minimum requirement of a 6-month course will still be in place.

2 – Make sure your course is on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)

At present, Irish language schools are included on an international register. This will now be replaced by the more restrictive ‘Interim List of Eligible Programmes’ (ILEP). Only those schools which demonstrate that they have reached an acceptable quality standard will be permitted to appear on the list following the introduction of the new regulations. Schools which are not on this list will no longer be able to accept non-EEA students and will no doubt close. In addition to this Further education and vocational education and training programmes will no longer feature on the list. English language schools which offer business and tourism diplomas will no longer be able to offer these to non-EEA students.

3 – Accreditation of Courses

At present many schools advertise accreditation on their websites from such UK bodies as LCCI, NCFE and EDI. These will no longer be recognised by immigration authorities and visas will not be issued to students wishing to study in these colleges unless they also have accreditation from Irish awarding bodies such as ACELS.

4 – End of course exam

It is compulsory for you to sit an externally assessed end-of-course examination at the end of their 25 weeks of English language classes.

5 – Learner Protection

Several schools at present offer learner protection with no real policy in place. In the past, students have paid fees to these schools and have been left out of pocket when the school closes. New regulations will request that schools will need to have a transparent policy in place and provide written details of this policy alongside Irish accreditation. We recommend that you should consider looking for schools which are part of MEI (Marketing English in Ireland) and at a minimum have accreditation from Irish awarding body ACELS.

We would also advise you to be careful when choosing a college and to be cautious of;

•    Colleges with no Irish accreditation. Accreditation from such UK bodies as LCCI, NCFE and EDI will no longer be accepted.

•    Colleges offering cheap one-year programmes. Many colleges are aware that they will close and are using lower prices to attract students and to generate as much money as possible before closing.

•    Colleges which delay or defer start dates, or expel students with no real reason. Colleges which are destined to close have now filled their classes with students who paid for cheap courses with no remaining places left. In order to recruit more students, they are still accepting money and delaying or deferring start dates. We recommend students carry out as much research as possible, contact students presently in these colleges and find out if these practices are taking place.

•    Colleges with no information of who the management is. In some cases, management and marketing teams from some colleges which closed are now involved in several colleges still in operation.

•    Colleges with a high level of non-EAA or South American students. As with some colleges, their business model has been based on the recruitment of non-EAA students due to the ease of generating a large amount of money in one transaction as opposed to recruiting European students for short, two-week courses. Once the new regulations come into place, this business model will result in some schools losing a large majority of their target market and will ultimately close, leaving the student out of pocket.

For information about our Work and Study in Ireland or if you would like help finding out how to work and study in Ireland please visit our page here.

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