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Third Level Graduate Scheme Permit - Irish Job News - News on Jobs for Ireland

Third Level Graduate Scheme Permit

25 June 2007 | Ireland | 62 Responses by paul savage.

Since April this year there has been yet another product from the Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. This one is called the “Third Level Graduate Scheme“, which allows a “legally resident non-EEA third level graduates to remain in Ireland for the purpose of seeking employment and applying for a Green Card or Work Permit“. This may seem like a mouthful, but what it means is that once you have finished your studies in Ireland, you now apply for permission to look for a job here. They will give you 6 months to find such a position, otherwise you will have to leave.

Irish Green Card

Who can Apply

This permit is for anyone who will be receiving a primary, masters or doctorate degree from an Irish third level educational institution.

Length of Permit

The graduate is allowed to stay for 1 stay of up to 6 months after the date they receive their exam results. The purpose of these 6 months is to give the graduate a chance to find a job that would allow them to qualify for an Irish Green Card.

How to Apply

The relevant forms can be picked up from a local Garda station, and you will need to include the following in your application:

  • An original signed letter from the college registrar’s office stating your completion of your course.
  • Current Passport (this must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of any such permit)
  • Certification of Registration issued by Garda National Emigration Bureau.


With this permit you can legally work 40-hours a week without a further employment permit. And unless you receive an Irish Green Card or get another valid permission to stay under some other scheme you will be required to leave the country.

62 Responses

  1. Bhaskar said on 26 Jul 2007 at 10:51 am

    I am currently doing my PgC BMS from the University of Ulster, I am a practicing BMS with a Degree in Medical Lab Sciences from India and have 25 years of work experience (including 15 years experience overseas)my field of specializing is Histology,My date of birth is 04 August 1957.
    Please suggest to me if I stand a chance to migrate and work in Ireland as experienced senior skilled medical worker?

  2. paul.savage said on 26 Jul 2007 at 10:57 am

    Bhaskar : you don’t qualify for the Third Level Graduate Scheme Permit Program as you are not studying in the Republic of Ireland. But if you find a job, in the medical industry, you have a good chance of getting a green card. Remember you need a 2 year contract and at least €30k in wages. Either you or your employer can apply once you have a job offer.

  3. Bhaskar said on 26 Jul 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you Mr. Paul for your kind suggestions, please enlighten me as to what value is this 30 currency. how much does it equal in Sterling pound or in Irish currency.

  4. paul.savage said on 26 Jul 2007 at 1:00 pm

    it’s called the Euro , Symbol € , and live exchange rates can been seen on

  5. Jessica said on 9 Aug 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Hi. I’m currently in law school in the states. After I wrap up my degree, I learned that I can take the New York bar and then qualify to sit for a transfer test to get an Irish Solicitor’s license. Can any kind of lawyer qualify for a green card? And after I take the Qualifying Lawyer’s Transfer Exam in Ireland do I get 6 months to look for work? Thanks for your help! This site is great.

  6. kumar said on 15 Aug 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Hi, after completion of bachelors in ireland , can i apply for work permit

  7. jassica said on 6 Sep 2007 at 7:38 am

    hi.should i finish my acca part 3 in ireland, do i qualify for this Third Level Graduate Scheme permit?

  8. khurram shahzad said on 19 Sep 2007 at 1:30 am

    hello mr.paul, I am a non-eu, have been living in Ireland as student, finished the graduate diploma in management studies, well intending to study Master of business managent, well i want to knw after finishing the masters in Ireland , can I get a green card or working visa, if yes then how? what catageries of work i wud need to study my masters in..becoz i wud be business studying analyst after finshing tht..? thanks for ur reply

  9. paul savage said on 19 Sep 2007 at 8:17 am

    first things first khurram, this is the internet, not a mobile phone platform, so please use proper words. We are not limited here for space. You can find a list of what jobs qualify for a green card here : If you find a job in these areas you can get a green card.

    jassica : where did you get your ACCA accreditation from ? Is it an Irish third level educational institution. But I fear it fails on the grounds that it’s not primary, masters or doctorate degree.

    Jessica : I don’t think so, as it’s not a primary, masters or doctorate degree.

    kumar : yes you can.


  10. khurram shahzad said on 20 Sep 2007 at 12:42 am

    hello mr. paul, thanks for your reply, well could you please let us know that what do they mean by primary degree? they mean may be higher national diploma or graduate diploma? what do they mean by that…we are so thankful the way you are helping us.

  11. paul savage said on 20 Sep 2007 at 8:19 am

    khurram : Primary Degree is like a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) or Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Higher Diploma is a follow on qualification after you have completed a Bachelors. A Masters would be equivalent to a Graduate Diploma. Again these need to be from a 3rd Level intuition, like UCC or DCU, etc.

  12. khurram shahzad said on 20 Sep 2007 at 4:50 pm

    thanks again mr.paul, well i have one more question paul that, the colleges and universities on department of justice’s website are the only approved institutions by immigration , if I go for any other college which is not on their list, would I be able to apply for green card after completion of the degree course? please reply me

  13. paul savage said on 20 Sep 2007 at 9:52 pm

    khurram: you can see the list here . If you don’t qualify for the graduate scheme, you will need to leave the country. If you get a job offer you might qualify for a green card. Check for more info.


  14. Amit said on 24 Sep 2007 at 5:36 pm

    hello to all

    Myself Amit, I am wandering to know some more specific information in relation to Green Card or Work Permit.

    My Question is Under what category of Green Card , do the following job titles comes.
    1) Network Administrator
    2) Networ Support Engineer
    3)System Engineer
    4)Technical Support Engineer
    5) Deskside Support Engineer
    6)IT Administrator.
    7)IT Cordinator
    Network Analyst

    actually recently I have finished Master’s degree in Computing Science degree , and soon I will be on Graduate scheme Visa , and will start looking for jobs.
    all these titles jobs offers 30K or near pacakage to an employee.

    so is it necessary to have same titles of Job as mentioned in Green Card Catalogues at ? do all these jobs comes under Netwrok Professionall category ? I will be very thankful, if anyone can reply my questions… all my future depends on these answers because I need to have correct information with me .

    is there anybody else who is under processing of Green Card/ Work Permit after getting a Graduate Scheme Visa . who can Advise me what steps do i

    Please reply all replies are Welcome .. thanks to all in advance ..

  15. Amit said on 15 Oct 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Hello Paul can you plesase advise me on my last Post

  16. Hui said on 15 Oct 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Hi,Paul, I will be appreciated if you could answer my question.
    I am in Ireland on base of green card, my wife is here also on student visa(stamp 2), she is due to complete here master degree next year. I just wonder if she finish her degree and wants to apply for the spouse work permit, does she have to leave the country to apply for the spouse work permit or she can stay in Ireland while applying for the spouse permit?
    Thanks a lot.

  17. Naveen said on 27 Oct 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Hello Mr Paul, This is Naveen completed MBA in India, righ now studing in Limerick Ireland, Doing my post graduation Diploma in Management Studies… I have 3 years of work experience in India I have worked for insurance company and Us recruiting companies… Kindly suggest me how can i get work permit in ireland Thanks for your valable time

  18. Martin said on 16 Nov 2007 at 11:08 am

    Hi Paul,
    I am a non-eu, have been living in Ireland in spouse visa. I heard that the spouses of a working visa holder will get the permit to work in Ireland. Could you please tell me the procedure to get that permit and the eligibility criteria?…or please tell me where i can get this information? thanks for your valuable time

  19. tabassum said on 25 Nov 2007 at 5:08 am

    hi,i live in pakistan.i have done masters in economics.i am married with towo toddlers.i wish to immigrate to ireland via availing third level graduate scheme.can i come to study with my kids?i have extended family residing in dublin.thank you for your time.

  20. paul savage said on 25 Nov 2007 at 8:37 am

    tabassum : This offer is ONLY available for people who have studied IN Ireland.
    Martin : you need to contact the DETE as far as I know
    Naveen : Naveen find a job that will get you a work permit. There is a list of jobs that qualify, so simply find one of those
    Hui : I am not 100% but I think she can still apply while in Ireland. But do ask the DETE directly
    Amit: it sounds more like ICT Professional. Here is the list of jobs that qualify for a green card.

  21. Adil said on 18 Dec 2007 at 2:30 pm

    hi everyone I am adil and economics graduate from UCD and currently holding graduate visa (6 month graduate visa). I am wondering what catogaries of job should i apply in order to qualify for work permit/green card scheme. Thanks

  22. pavani said on 5 Jan 2008 at 11:44 am

    hi i am doing my masters in business strategy in grafton college .can anyone tell me if grafton cllg is in the list of third level institutions.

  23. Deleep Jose said on 12 Jan 2008 at 10:32 am

    i am in spouse visa. i have done three year diploma in electronics and communication engg. in India. 12 years work experience. eployers asking work permit to offer a job. how can i get a work permit. thanks

  24. Chris said on 13 Jan 2008 at 4:38 pm


    I’m doing the professional diploma in accounting at DCU. It’s one year full time study. Does this count for the graduate scheme 6 month visa? Cheers

  25. Arjun said on 5 Feb 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I am on graduate visa right now, I have done B.Tech from DIT Bolton street. just wanted to know that can i qualify for green card. also mechanical engineering is not in the list of jobs which qualify for green card. and does 30k rule apply to graduates also. Thanks.

  26. Kumar said on 21 Mar 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I am Kumar, a non-EU Citizen. I have completed my Higher Diploma in computers in Sept 2007 and have registered for masters in Computing Science(Due this sept). My Visa was extended on the same basis. I have not availed the graduation scheme which is actually available to all the graduates from the reputed College.
    I wish you can answer the following questions and help me regarding the same.
    Actually, I got the job in IT with all the requirements to start filing for the Green Card. But, the company manager is in doubt about the conversion and the possible time for the conversion from a student Visa to Work visa/green card. Moreover, Can I avail the graduation scheme, as there are 10 days left for the 6 months of my graduation? Actually, the exam results were posted on 18th of September.So will the Scheme be available till the end of march or just till 18th of march?
    I hope you answer these Questions and help me out in this for further contacts with my employer.
    Thanking you.
    Warm regards.

  27. srilatha said on 17 Apr 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Hi sir,
    I am Srilatha,a non-Eu Citizen.I have completed my Post graduation degree in Msc Home Science(Human Development)in India.In Ireland iam staying with my husband with stamp 3,dependent spouse visa.I applied here for Foreign Qualification recognition in Ireland.They have compared to an Irish Qualification and given me Level 9.Am i eligible to apply Third Level Graduate Scheme Permit?

  28. Johnson said on 26 Apr 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Please, sir I need answers to the following questions to enables me make a decision. (1)What is Third Level Degree? (2)I am a non EU citizen, do I qualify to work in Ireland? (3)What do I need to do to qualify for the Irelan Green Card?
    Thank you

  29. paul savage said on 27 Apr 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Johnson:a 3rd level degress is a qualification form a 3rd level institute, i.e a University in Ireland.
    As for a greencard, use the search function. There is more than enough info on here about it.
    srilatha : only degrees from Ireland qualify.

  30. RAJIV PAL SINGH said on 4 May 2008 at 3:26 pm

    my name is rajiv pal singh advocate,
    i am bca. llb. and i wanna be lawyer in eu.kan u
    suggest me relevent course of study in ireland.

  31. Rashid said on 7 Jun 2008 at 9:04 am

    Dear Paul,
    If I’m not misunderstood the Higher Diploma is a level equal to or higher than the Bachelor’s – primary degree in Irish educational system.
    Could you answer to my questions, please.
    Is Higher Diploma in computer science from UCD considered as a Third level degree? Can I apply for a Third level graduate scheme with this diploma. Thank you

  32. Umesh said on 3 Jul 2008 at 5:14 pm

    i am an electronics and communication engineering passout with six month industrial experience what is the write way to get work permit i real need help.

  33. Umesh said on 3 Jul 2008 at 5:16 pm

    i want to work in ireland plz give me a suggestion how can i get work permit i am presently living i india

  34. Khan said on 4 Jul 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Hello Paul. thanks for all information u give to all,i just want to know i am im finishing my degree in B.S hospitality managment,so is there scope of that i can get green card or work permit on the base of it.if u know related field with this degree with whom i can get green card.ill b thanks.thank you

  35. Subin said on 17 Jul 2008 at 2:46 pm

    hi paul can I ask a graduate diploma from university of limerick is eligible for student extension scheme

  36. LUCRICIA said on 18 Jul 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Hello, I was doing bachelor of veterinary medine in dublin and my student visa expires in september 30 2008. I graduated on the 9th of june 2008.So under the graduate schene, is my visa extended from june or from september?

  37. Nasir said on 5 Aug 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I am a non-EU citizen planning to come in Ireland for PHD with Teagasc fellowship (12500 EURO per year). Do you think it will be enough to live in Dublin? Moreover, if I want to bring my spouse in Ireland what will be the best way to do that?
    My phd specialization will be on Biology/Horticulture/Agriculture and I may work as teaching assistant/lab instructor for several hours in a week at the college. In this situation what types of possibility I might have for the Irish Green Card/Residence and How?

  38. subin said on 11 Aug 2008 at 9:39 am

    hi all
    I got information that the graduate diploma from UL is eligible for third level extension scheme

  39. gadde said on 12 Sep 2008 at 8:25 pm

    hi paul, this is gadde. i finished my MS in nov 2007 in ireland from DIT. now am in UK in search of the jobs. i would like to apply for the graduate visa now. can i? thanks for ur concern and time. byenow.

  40. Keith said on 22 Oct 2008 at 12:12 pm

    This is for “The Graduate Scheme”, a scheme for Non EU students who studies IN IRELND to remain in Ireland after their studies and work.Not for those who have sutied outside Ireland. EVERYONE is asking about work permits and do they quilify. Why dont you all contact Dept of Trade and Enterprise and Employment!!!!! which is the correct people to talk to. Paul is very accurate in his replys but surely someone looking to move and start a life in another country would not get the vital and most important information from a website not affiliated with the proper authorities???!!! Cop on is hard to come by these days.

  41. Sam said on 24 Mar 2009 at 10:02 am

    Hey Paul, I have finished my Masters from Ireland. I am on my Graduate scheme Visa. My question is if i am getting a package of more then 30k in a year from a company, do i have to go through with same rules for applying or for Graduate scheme visa helps me in any case? I hope my question is clear? Do let me know.Thanks

  42. karan said on 15 Apr 2009 at 9:50 pm

    please help , if i get my MA in human resource from dublin business school through which i get degree by liverpool john moore university am i eligible for work seacrh visa for 6 months? please help me asap its urgent

  43. Fardeen Khan said on 16 Apr 2009 at 1:55 am

    Hi Paul..I did Bachelor from Glasgow University Scotland and after that I went to Edinburgh University and did MSc in Quantity Surveying in construction.Now I still living in UK and looking for work permit in Ireland. My degree is existed on your Dept of Trade and Enterprise and Employer skills shortage list. But wondering what I need to do further?

  44. Johnboy said on 27 Apr 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Alot of people here are going to the wrong place for this info. Check out for work permit and green card info. Also for immigration information.
    Sam: Your graduate visa only allows you to remain for 6 months to find a job so you can apply for work permit or green card as normal. it gives no advantage in the actual green card/work permit application other than allowing you to remain in Ireland while you apply.
    Karan: You are eligible for the graduate visa presuming you recently finished your course (last 6 months)
    Fardeen: For requirements for work permits, etc see

  45. Subin Stephen said on 27 Apr 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Hey third level scheme let yu work 40 hours a week with a work permit so this time will cover most jobs .so yu can say to employer I can work now 40 hours with out work permit which let yu start the job with out any hussle okkk once yur in job with offer letter apply for work permit.It defenitly hav some consideration if write on top under third level scheme .So its not waste cheers

  46. Subin Stephen said on 27 Apr 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Sorry 40 hours with out a work permit okkk

  47. Binu said on 28 Apr 2009 at 11:33 am

    am a post graduate in HR, can I have a chace to work in ireland I have my relatives who already are settled there.

  48. srinivasan said on 8 May 2009 at 8:23 am

    hi,i am a graduate mechanical engineer with 15 years industrial experience in india,now i am living in ireland with spousal visa,if i get a job in ireland ,can i get work permit in this current suitation

  49. sam said on 28 Jul 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Hi, Am sam a non-eu about to complete a Master degree in NUIG. I do qualify for the 6 month graduate visa. My question is after the 6 months if I can’t find a job can I apply for a school and transfer back to student visa.

  50. devan said on 9 Oct 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Respected moderators,
    First of all a zillion thanks for being very patient and answering the questions of many of our freinds across the world.
    I have a query as well. I have been accepted for a phd at a prestigious univerisity in Ireland. Could you be kind enough to tell me if having a phd from Ireland gives me any special consideration while applying for a Green card?

  51. sameer said on 2 Mar 2010 at 8:16 am

    Hell Mr paul !!! hope you r doing good sir?? just simple query I’m a Masters graduate from Smurfit business school and I’m on graduate visa right now sir!! and i got a job offer from a company or businessman who has wide range Of business in Ireland and he wants me to be all in manager like to see all his accounts and database and make websites for him because as he is or his company is growing and he is willing to offer me 31000 euros per annum can i apply for a green card sir???? Thank you Regards Sameer

  52. Stephane said on 4 Mar 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Hi, I just complete my PgD in ICT Management and i’m wondering if I can apply for the “Graduate Scheme” as the Pgd is higher than a Primary and a Bachlor degree”.7

  53. Catea said on 12 May 2010 at 12:38 pm

    can someone help me with my query?
    I moved to Ireland with my family over 8 years ago. I went to school here, and to college. (so my 8 years in the country didn’t as reconable residence in ireland) After graduating college i’ve got a job under the graduate scheme as a junior web developer. When applying for my visa i was told that since my company is a marketing company i am not entitled to a green card. Is there a way around it? Is there a different way of of extending my Irish Visa?
    (a dependant visa is not an option)

  54. Masood said on 27 Jul 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I have been studying in Ireland for the past 4 years, and have finished my Hons degree in Accounting & Finance. I am thinking to apply for Grad.Scheme, I am curious to know that if I fail to find a job during that 6 months, will it be possible for me to continue my ACCA in Ireland.

  55. anonymous said on 26 Aug 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Hi, I finished my studies in Ireland and left in April 2008, my permission to remain expired in October 2008.

    I have a third level qualification from Ireland, would I be able to apply for the graduate scheme now?

  56. How to get an Irish Work Permit « said on 24 Sep 2010 at 12:56 pm

    […] Third Level Graduate Scheme Permit […]

  57. Joyce said on 27 Oct 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Massood, I’m quite sure if you don’t find a job you can precede to the ACCA here in Ireland as the Graduate Scheme state that in the 6 mths the graduate should either get a work permit or engage in further studies. Give the GNIB a call they normally good in clarifying this matters.

  58. SINGH said on 19 Nov 2010 at 10:19 am


  59. Lalit Chauhan said on 6 Mar 2011 at 6:27 am

    HI paul,

    I am a NON EEA citizen, came here for my studies, I have done MSc and awaiting for my Dissertation results. So will I apply for the Graduation Schemen visa when I will get my result??
    Is the graduation visa is for 1 year or 6 months??

    Thanks Paul..

    Lalit Chauhan

  60. china man said on 7 Jun 2011 at 11:10 pm

    OMG there is no job in ireland
    do u people not understand
    How are they going to pay you 30K just out from college

  61. china man said on 7 Jun 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Go Home and try to save money
    keep on wasting your rent and food money
    and keep on studying
    in the end they will still kick you out
    Good Luck

  62. Gha13 said on 13 Oct 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Hi, I am a Part Qualified ACCA but am qualified by experience over 7 years. Am I eligible to apply for Green Card? My salary offered is at EUR40K. Many Thanks

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