International students in Ireland call for a visa extension to fulfil their reasons for studying in the country to gain graduate-level employment. A Third Level Graduate Programme in Ireland allows non-EEA graduates to stay in the country after completing their respective academic programmes. International students are then allowed to work for one to two years in Ireland.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in tow, companies were hiring fewer people, and more graduates were engaging in unpaid jobs or holding positions unrelated to their profession. International graduates hung on to odd jobs to be able to survive amidst the pandemic. At present, the economy is opening and hiring people again, but most international graduates have only a few months left to look for a job and be established before their visas expire.
According to Suchita Rani, an Indian MBA graduate, international students are a vital part of the Irish economy and need a chance to prove their worth. Other graduates have also saved a lot of money to have quality Irish education, and they would want a visa extension to find a job in line with their degrees rather than resort to survival positions.
“In many cases, they have been working in frontline services that have been really important to Ireland in difficult times. We’ve heard of people who’ve done an MBA or accountancy working as carers. We think that contribution should be recognised by the Government by granting a 12-month extension to their visas, “ said Brian Hearne of the Irish Council for International Students.
The Department of Justice announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some might not find graduate-level employment before their Stamp 1G permission expires. To help these individuals, there will be applications for an extension on a case-by-case basis.
Just recently, the government of Ireland released an update on the return of onsite activities for higher education and international students, but it made no mention of visa extensions.
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