715. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Justice if she will clarify the situation regarding persons who are presently here on a stamp 2 visa which facilitates their study and part-time work; if she will further clarify the situation upon their graduation from their studies and their entitlement to move to a stamp 1G visa; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52106/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy James Browne): All Non-EEA students coming to study in Ireland must be enrolled on a full-time course or programme on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) and must show that they have sufficient funds to support their stay in Ireland without recourse to public funds, or the reliance on casual employment.
However, since April 2001, non-EEA students with an immigration Stamp 2 permission, and who are enrolled on courses with education providers listed on the ILEP, including English language courses, have been afforded the opportunity to work.
This allows them to take up casual employment to supplement their income while studying in Ireland. During term time, non-EEA students can work up to 20 hours per week and during normal college holiday periods they can work on a full time basis up to 40 hours per week.
When an applicant has completed their studies in Ireland and gained an award at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) or above, that person may qualify for a Stamp 1G for 12 months. Where an individual receives an award at Level 9 NFQ, they may qualify for a Stamp 1G for up to 24 months subject to the overall limit of 8 years on student conditions that applies. Graduates at level 9 NFQ or above who qualify for a Stamp 1G permission will be granted the permission for 12 months initially.
The Stamp 1G indicates that a person has permission to look for employment in the State under the Third Level Graduate Programme. The Stamp 1G is granted for 12 months to ensure that such students are making genuine efforts to access suitable graduate level employment, for example attending job interviews or signing up with graduate employment agencies. However, my Department recognises that, due to the impact of Covid-19, some people may not have been able to find graduate level employment before their Stamp 1G permission is due to expire. In an effort to assist such people, my Department will consider applications for an extension of Stamp 1G immigration permission on a case by case basis.