The tightening of H1B work visa rules in US under current Trump administration in the last couple of years has led many Indians, who wish to settle abroad, to explore other options. These include countries like the Republic of Ireland (not to be confused with Northern Ireland which is British territory) which, unlike the US, have not yet imposed severe restrictions on the entry of migrants from other parts of the world. On the contrary, Ireland in general and Irish people in particular, are well known for their welcoming nature.
In this blog, Student Cover brings you a step-by-step guide to getting permanent residency in Ireland. If you possess the right set of skills and expertise that are in great demand in that country, getting a permanent residency and eventually, citizenship, should not be so difficult. But before we proceed further, there are certain things that you need to know first.
Republic of Ireland is a member of the European Union (EU) and hence, falls in the European Economic Area (EEA). It means that there is no restriction on the movement of persons from any of the EU member countries to Ireland and vice-versa.
For residents of non-EEA countries like India, visa is mandatory. There are two categories of visas issued by Ireland namely, Type ‘C’ and Type ‘D’ visas. Type ‘C’ visas have a validity of 90 days and are usually issued to those who come to Ireland on short visits. Type ‘D’ visas on the other hand are issued to those who wish to live and work in that country.
Those who seek to eventually settle down in Ireland are required to get ‘D’ visas. One can get visa to Ireland by applying online and then submitting the relevant documents at the Embassy, consulate or designated visa offices in one’s respective country.
Getting a work permit
To work in Ireland, one first needs to apply for work permit. There are two types of work permits issued to foreign nationals. They are Critical Skills Employment Permit and General Employment Permit. The Critical Skills Employment permit is issued to those individuals who possess skills and expertise in areas such as web designing, programming, Chemical Science, Engineering, IT Project Management, Nursing etc. General Employment Permit is issued to those individuals who possess skills that are in short supply in Ireland and which do not fall in the list of jobs ineligible for employment permit.
However, to get the above mentioned permits, one must first secure a job in Ireland. A work permit is not issued to an individual who does not have a job offer from an Irish employer or if the yearly remuneration offered is less than €30,000 (for Critical Skills Permit) or €27,000 (for General Employment Permit).
How to get permanent residency in Ireland
- Get admitted to a relevant course – Ireland has a small population of only 4.78 million and as mentioned above, individuals with certain set of skills are in great demand in Ireland. So, one can take up a course based on the demand in the Irish labor market. This way, one would not only be able to get quality education from an educational institution in Ireland, but, his or her chances of getting a job in Ireland would also increase.
The average tuition fees for undergraduate courses in universities in Ireland range from €9000 (Rs. 7,03,800) to €45,000 (Rs. 35,19,000) per year and for Masters and Ph.D. it ranges from €9,150 (Rs.7,15,530) to €37,000 (Rs. 28,93,400) per year. Courses such as Business Management and Medicine from top ranked universities could be as high as Rs 35 Lakhs per annum. Student Cover provides unsecured education loans of up to Rs. 40 lakhs to students who wish to pursue higher education in countries like Ireland. Click here to know more about Student Cover’s education loans to study abroad.
- Apply for ‘D’ Visa – As mentioned earlier, one requires ‘D’ visa if he or she is going to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days or three months. In order to get the visa, one must be proficient in English language. One is required to score well in English language tests such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Pearson’s Test in English (PTE) in order to get the visa.
- Apply for Residence Permit – A citizen or Non-EU and Non-EEA country is required to register for residence permit if he or she is going to stay in Ireland for more than 3 months. One can register for the permit at any local Grada National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), a unit of Ireland’s national police force. The registration fee at GNIB is €300.
- Apply for job – In order to get work permit, a student should have a job offer from EEA employer who has the requisite permission to operate in Ireland. One should also apply for job that falls in Highly Skilled Eligible Occupation List. However, one should accept only that job offer where the annual remuneration is €30,000 (in case of Critical Skills Permit) or €27,000 (in case of General Employment Permit).
- Apply for work permit – After getting a job, one can apply for work permit either by himself or through his or her employer. The work permit allows an individual to live and work in Ireland till the time his visa does not expire. If an individual is employed, he can renew the visa and continue staying in Ireland.
- Apply for Permanent Residency in Ireland – While it takes a total of 5 years of stay in Ireland to become eligible to apply for permanent residency in Ireland if one holds General Employment Permit, it requires only 2 years in case of those who hold Critical Skills Employment Permit. The completion of 5 years or 2 years is calculated from the time of registration for the residence permit at GNIB. After living in Ireland for a period of 5 years post permanent residency, one becomes eligible to apply for citizenship of Ireland if he or she chooses.
We, at Student Cover, hope that the readers will find the content of this blog useful during their planning and stay in Ireland. We invite students to provide suggestions, if any, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries related to student loans to study in US, UK, Canada or Ireland.