A Guide to International Students’ Work Rights in Ireland

A Guide to International Students’ Work Rights in Ireland

A Guide to International Students’ Work Rights in Ireland

For many international students, the reason why they choose to study in Ireland is due to its reputation of having quality education. In addition, Ireland has a rich history and friendly communities. Aside from that, other students choose Ireland due to the many opportunities it offers, including the chance to work while studying. 

If you are planning to study in Ireland and take a part-time job at the same time, here are some of the things you need to know about students’ work rights in Ireland. 

An Overview of Students’ Work Rights in Ireland 

Foreign students who are permitted to work in Ireland are entitled to the same employment rights that Irish citizens have, regardless of their immigration status and nationality. 

Those rights include the right to have a legal contract, the right to minimum wage, the right to work within lawful work hours, the right to file a complaint, and so on. 

Moreover, international students are also protected from discrimination of any kind in the workplace. 

The Difference Between EEA and Non-EEA Students

When it comes to accessing employment, there may be some slight differences between foreign students from European Economic Areas (EEA), and foreign students from other countries. 

EEA students are free to take on any employment opportunity as soon as they arrive in Ireland, and they can choose to do it full-time or part-time. 

On the other hand, non-EEA students need to first get an Irish Residence Permit card before taking part-time jobs. Also, whereas EEA students can work full-time, non-EEA students can only work part-time, or for 20 hours a week (except during holidays). They can work up to 40 hours a week. These two holidays are the following: 

  • Summer holidays (June to September)
  • Christmas holidays (December to January)

Where To Ask for Help in Case of Problems 

In case students encounter some issues with their work, there are various organizations that they can ask for help. These are the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), the Immigrant Council of Ireland, and the International Council for International Students (ICOS). All organizations provide support services and advice on work-related issues to international students. MRCI, and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, are both specifically working to promote the rights of migrant workers in Ireland. 

Other Rights Working International Students Are Entitled To

Other rights international students are entitled to during their stint as students and workers in Ireland include the following: 

  • The right to have breaks, or to be specific
    • A 15-minute break if working for 4.5 hours
    • A 30-minute break if working for 6 hours
  • Paid day off during
    • Public holidays
    • Personal annual leave
  • Get a written statement within five days that includes the student’s and the employer’s name, duration of the contract, details of the student’s pay, and expected hours of work
  • Get a fully written contract within two months of starting a job 

This is just a quick guide about students’ work rights in Ireland. If you want to learn more about the specifics, such as the processes of applying for an Irish Residency Permit, you can check out Ireland’s immigration website. If you want to know the steps to start working part-time in Ireland, check out our other articles here at MSM Unify.


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