Updated: Jul 24
The pandemic has been psychologically taxing for everyone, but it has been particularly harsh for overseas students who came to Ireland in search of a brighter future.
After investing so much money in tuition fees (non-EU students pay three times as much as Irish students and twice as much as EU citizens), housing, stationery, technology, and gadgets, and then adding the agony of living away from loved ones during such unprecedented times whilst playing a critical role in fighting this virus, whether by staying at home or volunteering on the frontline.
International Students deserve a fair shot at the vibrant reopening of the Irish economy.
From virtual graduation ceremonies to virtual sesh, there is some positive news, as stated in an article published by The Times. "Overseas graduates may get visa extensions due to pandemic" and another article by RTÉ writes "More than 16,800 people are on a Stamp 1G or graduate work visa.","During the pandemic, fewer companies were hiring and many graduates have ended up in unpaid jobs, frontline services, and in positions, they are over-qualified for."
What do we know thus far?
To help such individuals and as a temporary measure in response to the pandemic, the department will consider extensions of the Stamp 1G immigration permission on an individual basis, however, graduates must demonstrate a genuine interest in securing suitable work by attending job interviews or registering with employment agencies.
In my view, the department will most likely create an online portal for such applications and if not, this is a viable idea. Lol. Now, I'm not going to go on and on about why foreign students deserve a chance cuz that's your job to fight for the opportunity; rather, I'm going to go right to the point about what you can do in such a scenario.
Write to Residence Division - Unit 1 attaching the following supporting documents:
A strong cover letter;
A colour copy of your passport's biometric page; (You may submit a copy of all pages, but go green and save paper)
A colour copy of the passport page that has a Stamp from INIS;
Copies of all pages of the passport with a stamp (optional);
Copies of your academic achievements, i.e. graduation cert, transcripts and any other qualifications attained here or from your home country;
Evidence of college fees paid;
Evidence of taxes paid to the state;
Evidence of expenses incurred i.e. rent receipts and any other major expenses linked to living in Ireland;
Evidence of residence in the state i.e. utility bills;
Evidence of medical insurance; (this is a basic requirement for the student visa, hence must be fulfilled, edit dated 30/08/2021)
You may submit copies of email communication between you and the company you applied to as evidence of job interviews and screenshots of signing up with employment agencies such as Jobs.ie, ie.indeed.com, etc.
A curriculum vitae (CV) showing your employment prospects and history.
Any other documentation that might strengthen your application and that you would want the Minister to consider.
What to write in the cover letter?
Para 1: Introduce yourself & write about your journey to Ireland
who you are;
when did you come to Ireland;
what & where did you study;
what Stamp you have and when did it expire;
why did you choose to study here;
what your goals are.
Para 2: Your achievements and how you have or can contribute to the state
if you did exceptionally well, then perhaps state that you completed your course with flying colours;
if you did a thesis explain what it was on, what you learnt and how it helps the wider Irish or global community;
highlight your employment prospects and how you can be a valuable asset to the state;
if you did volunteering in the fight against Covid, you were or are involved in the healthcare sector, write about it.
Para 3: Any other compassionate considerations other than the pandemic
if you took a loan for education;
death in the family;
awaiting work permit application result;
be honest about why you should get an extension.
Para 4: List the documents attached
Para 5: Conclusion
The state has an obligation towards the common good, national security and public policy. Hence, you may conclude by stating that you are a person of good character with no criminal history and have much to offer to the Republic of Ireland.
Lastly, the onus is on you to request the Minister for Justice for an extension at her discretion and the decision to grant such permission lies solely with her Department.
Send via Registered Post to:
Student Permission Section
Unit C – Domestic Residence and Permissions Division
Immigration Service Delivery
Department of Justice
13-14 Burgh Quay
DO2 XK70 Ireland
(It is advisable to regularly check contact details here.)
I hope this was helpful, please do share with others. Also, please sign the petition here.
Additional Info added dated 02/07/2021
Below is a snapshot of correspondence between Jithin Ram and the Department of Justice, with the assistance of Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamonn Ryan. Please note that this can be attached as an additional document.
Additional Info added dated 22/09/2021 (What happens after you've submitted your application by REGISTERED POST)