Ireland: Eligibility and Guidelines for Students and Recent Graduates

Unlock the door to your dream internship experience in Ireland.

Ireland, a country renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and booming industries, has become a sought-after destination for internships. With its robust education system and diverse business sectors, Ireland offers a wealth of opportunities for students and recent graduates looking to gain practical experience in their chosen field. However, before you pack your bags and embark on your Irish internship journey, it’s crucial to understand the eligibility requirements and guidelines.

At Piktalent, we offer an informative guide that provides a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process. Empower yourself with the necessary knowledge to maximize the potential of this thrilling opportunity.

Curricular Internships

integrated into a student's curriculum and are usually a mandatory part of the course. They are designed to provide students with practical experience in their field of study.

Extracurricular Internships

these are internships that students choose to do outside of their curriculum. They are not a mandatory part of the course but can provide additional practical experience and skills. These internships can be done during the summer or other vacation periods.

Erasmus+ Internships

part of the Erasmus+ program, these are internships that Irish students do in a foreign country. These are funded internships, allowing students to gain international experience in their field of study.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Internships

some universities in Ireland offer co-op programs where students alternate periods of academic study with periods of work experience in positions related to their field of study. These internships are usually a mandatory part of the course and can last from six months to a year.

Placement Year or 'Sandwich year'

this is a year-long break from studies where students work in an industry relevant to their degree. This is usually taken after the second or third year of university.

Embark on a career-boosting internship in Ireland, your ultimate launchpad! Explore abundant opportunities in diverse industries, and ignite your professional journey in this thriving destination for young talent. Unleash your potential and kickstart your career in Ireland today!

Eligibility Requirements for Internships in Ireland

Internships in Ireland are designed to facilitate the employment of foreign nationals who are full-time students, enrolled in a third-level institution outside Ireland. These internships provide an invaluable opportunity to gain hands-on experience in your field of study. 

Understanding the Internship Employment Permit

The Internship Employment Permit is a key element of the internship process in Ireland. This permit, issued to the foreign national, allows the intern to be employed in Ireland in the occupation and location specified on the permit. It’s important to note that these permits are issued for a maximum period of 12 months and are non-renewable.

Navigating the Eligibility Criteria

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment examines several factors when assessing Employment Permit applications:

  1. Remuneration: The pay must be at least the National Minimum Wage.
  2. Internship Field: The internship must be related to one of the employments on the Critical Skills Occupations List.
  3. Course of Study: The course of study must be primarily concerned with the skills shortages identified on the Critical Skills Occupations List.
  4. Course Requirement: It must be a requirement for the completion of the course of study to gain experience in the practice of those skills or qualifications.
  5. Visa Requirements: Non-EU/EEA students need to obtain a valid work permit or visa to undertake an internship in Ireland. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) provides detailed information on the visa application process.
  6. Post-Internship: At the end of the internship, the intern must leave Ireland and is expected to return to their third-level institution to complete their course of study.
Employer and Employee Criteria

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment also assesses the credibility of the employer and the eligibility of the employee. Applications will only be accepted from employers registered with the Revenue Commissioners and currently trading in Ireland. Furthermore, an Employment Permit will not be issued unless at least 50% of the employees in a firm are EEA nationals.

For the employee, applications will only be accepted from full-time students, including post-graduate students, enrolled in a third-level institution outside Ireland, who are pursuing a Degree course or higher, and have an offer of an internship with an employer in Ireland.

The Application Process

The application for an Employment Permit must be received at least 12 weeks before the proposed employment start date. The application can be made online on the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS).

Fee Structure

The processing fee for an Internship Employment Permit is €500 for an Employment Permit of 6 months or less duration, or €1,000 for an Employment Permit from 6 months up to 12 months duration. If an application is unsuccessful, 90% of the fee will be refunded.

Embarking on an internship in Ireland can be a transformative experience, providing you with invaluable skills and a global perspective. By understanding the eligibility requirements and guidelines, you can navigate the process with confidence and focus on what truly matters – making the most of your internship experience in Ireland. So, gear up for an enriching journey that promises to enhance your skills, broaden your horizons, and provide a stepping stone for your future career.

Irish Student visas

Internship regulations for national and foreigner

Irish Working Visas

Job regulations for foreigners

Guidelines for Internships in Ireland

Legal Rights and Regulations
  1. Contract: Ensure you have a written agreement outlining the terms of your internship, including duration, tasks, working hours, and any remuneration or benefits.

  2. Working Hours: Under Irish law, interns are entitled to a maximum 48-hour working week, unless they’ve agreed to opt-out.

  3. Pay: Unpaid internships are common in Ireland, but some companies offer a stipend to cover expenses. Paid internships must adhere to the National Minimum Wage Act.

  4. Equality: Interns are protected by the same equality laws as employees, prohibiting discrimination based on gender, age, race, religion, etc.

Making the Most of Your Internship
  1. Be Proactive: Take the initiative to learn, ask questions, and seek feedback. Show enthusiasm and willingness to contribute.

  2. Network: Use this opportunity to build relationships with colleagues and industry professionals. Networking can open doors to future opportunities.

  3. Reflect and Learn: Regularly reflect on your experiences, skills gained, and areas for improvement. This will enhance your professional development.

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Ireland Cultural Considerations

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural fabric of Ireland throughout your internship journey.

Friendliness and Hospitality

Irish people are known for their warmth, friendliness, and welcoming nature.

Sense of Humor

Irish people appreciate humor and often use it as a way to connect and build relationships. Be open to lighthearted banter and wit.


Being on time is valued in Irish culture. It's important to be punctual for meetings, appointments, and work-related commitments.

Piktalent Services for Ireland

We can provide a range of services to make the internship experience unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most internships in Ireland are open to students enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate courses. Some companies also offer opportunities to recent graduates. Non-EU/EEA students need to obtain a valid work permit or visa.

As an intern in Ireland, you have the right to a maximum 48-hour working week, unless you’ve agreed to opt-out. You should also have a written agreement outlining the terms of your internship. If paid, your remuneration should adhere to the National Minimum Wage Act. You are also protected by the same equality laws as employees.

To make the most of your internship, be proactive in learning and seeking feedback, network with colleagues and industry professionals, and regularly reflect on your experiences and areas for improvement.

If you’re a non-EU/EEA citizen, you will generally need a visa that allows you to work in Ireland. The Working Holiday Authorisation is often used by international interns.

Some internships in Ireland are paid, while others are not. Whether an internship is paid can depend on factors such as the industry, the intern’s duties, and whether the intern is receiving course credit for the internship.

Yes, many internships are open to both students and recent graduates. However, the eligibility requirements will vary depending on the specifics of the internship program.

Non-EU students will need to apply for an Internship Employment Permit. EU students do not require a work permit.

Ireland offers internships across various fields such as IT, Engineering, Business, Marketing, and more. Availability depends on the company and the time of year.

Co-op internships in Ireland are university programs where students alternate between academic study and work experience in positions related to their field of study, typically lasting six months to a year.

A placement year or ‘sandwich year’ in Ireland is a year-long break from studies where students work in an industry relevant to their degree, typically taken after the second or third year of university.


Yes, Erasmus+ internships in 2023 can often be credited towards your degree in Ireland, but it’s essential to confirm this with your university’s Erasmus+ coordinator or academic advisor.

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