Internship Legislation and Students Visa in Ireland
Ireland’s outstanding education system and high quality of life have made it a sought-after destination for students and interns globally. As the world of work continues to evolve, internships have become a critical stepping stone for students looking to gain practical experience and make their mark in their chosen industries. For EU citizens studying in Ireland, understanding the country’s internship legislation is crucial.
Discover invaluable knowledge on Ireland’s internship laws and student visa application process for citizens, EU, and non-EU individuals. Rely on Piktalent as your trusted source for current regulations and exceptional career prospects in Ireland. Empower your journey with us today and unlock your full potential!
As an EU citizen, have you ever considered expanding your professional horizons by undertaking an internship in Ireland? With its robust economy and diverse industries, present a wealth of opportunities for ambitious individuals looking to gain practical experience and enhance career prospects.
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that as an EU citizen interning in Ireland, you’re entitled to the same employment rights as Irish citizens. This includes receiving the national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and the freedom to join a trade union.
No Work Permit, No Problem
One of the many advantages of being an EU citizen is the freedom to work anywhere within the European Union without the need for a work permit. This includes Ireland. However, if you plan to stay in Ireland for more than three months, you’ll need to register with the local immigration office upon arrival to obtain an Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
Social Insurance and You
In Ireland, employers are required to pay social insurance contributions (PRSI) on behalf of their employees, including interns. These contributions provide cover for various benefits such as illness, maternity, and unemployment. As an EU citizen who has paid PRSI in Ireland, you may be entitled to these benefits, providing an additional layer of security during your internship.
Taxation and Relief
a) For Employers Offering Internships:
Employer’s PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance): All PRSI contribution rates will increase by 0.1% from 1 October 2024. This means that for paid internships, the Employer’s PRSI rate will be slightly higher than the current rate of approximately 11.05% on earnings above a specific threshold (e.g., €398 per week as of 2023).
Benefit-in-Kind (BIK): No specific changes were noted for BIK in the Budget 2024. Therefore, non-cash benefits provided to interns, such as accommodation or a company car, remain subject to BIK tax at standard rates.
b) For Interns:
Income Tax: Income tax rates remain the same (20% and 40%), but the standard rate tax band will increase by €2,000 to €42,000 for a single person from 1 January 2024. This means interns will start to pay a higher rate of tax on a higher amount of income.
Universal Social Charge (USC): The ceiling for the 2% USC band will increase by €2,840 from €22,920 to €25,760 from 1 January 2024. The 4.5% USC rate will be reduced to 4% from 1 January 2024. The 4% rate will apply to income between €25,760 and €70,044.
PRSI Contributions: Interns will see a slight increase in PRSI contributions due to the 0.1% increase in all PRSI rates from 1 October 2024.
Key Considerations for Internships:
Minimum Wage Compliance: The national minimum wage will increase by €1.40 to €12.70 per hour from 1 January 2024. Employers must ensure that paid internships comply with this updated minimum wage unless specific exemptions apply.
Record Keeping: Both employers and interns should maintain accurate records of all payments and benefits for tax purposes.
Tax Credits and Reliefs: Interns may be eligible for increased tax credits, potentially reducing their overall tax liability. The personal tax credit, employee tax credit, and earned income tax credit will increase by €100 to €1,875.
Consider an intern earning €450 per week in 2024. The employer would pay slightly more than 11.05% PRSI on this amount due to the 0.1% increase from October 2024. The intern would pay income tax at 20% on earnings above €13,000 annually, along with USC and PRSI contributions based on their income level. With the increased standard rate tax band, the intern would have more of their income taxed at the lower rate of 20%.
Employers in Ireland are obligated to ensure the health and safety of their employees, including interns. This includes providing a safe working environment and appropriate training. At Piktalent, your safety is our priority, and we work closely with our partner companies to ensure that they adhere to these important standards.
Embarking on an internship in Ireland as an EU citizen is an exciting and rewarding venture. With us by your side, you can navigate the internship landscape with confidence, secure in the knowledge that your rights and interests are being protected. So why wait? Start your Irish internship journey with Piktalent today!
For non-EU/EEA nationals, understanding the legal requirements, such as employment permits and visas, is crucial before embarking on this exciting journey.
Internship Employment Permits in Ireland
An Internship Employment Permit allows non-EU/EEA students enrolled in third-level institutions outside of Ireland to undertake an internship in an Irish company. This permit is issued for a maximum period of 12 months and cannot be renewed. However, during this period, the permit holder can apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit or General Employment Permit.
To apply for an Internship Employment Permit, both the employer and the intern need to meet specific criteria. The employer must be trading in Ireland, registered with Revenue and with the Companies Registration Office. The intern must be enrolled in a third-level institution and the internship must be a mandatory part of their academic program.
Understanding the Difference: Internship Employment Permits vs. Visas
While the terms are often used interchangeably, an Internship Employment Permit and a visa serve different purposes. An Internship Employment Permit is a document that grants non-EU/EEA nationals the legal right to work in Ireland. It is issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
On the other hand, a visa is a document that allows non-EU/EEA nationals to enter and stay in Ireland for a specified period. It is issued by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. It’s important to note that having a visa does not automatically grant the right to work in Ireland – this is where the Internship Employment Permit comes in.
Understanding the Irish Student Visa
Non-EU students wishing to study in Ireland must apply for a student visa. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) is responsible for visa services, and they have outlined specific criteria for eligibility. As of 2023, students must be enrolled in a full-time course on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). The course must last at least one academic year and require a minimum of 15 hours of daytime study per week. Furthermore, the Irish government has extended the stay for non-EU students up to two years after graduation under the Third Level Graduate Programme, allowing graduates more time to find employment within Ireland.
In 2023, the Irish government allows non-EU students holding a valid Stamp 2 visa to undertake an internship as part of their course of study. The internship, whether paid or unpaid, must be part of the academic programme and cannot exceed 50% of the duration of the programme. Notably, internships are now considered ’employment’ under Irish law, meaning that interns are entitled to the same rights as other employees, including the minimum wage.
Types of visas available for internships in Ireland
There are several types of visas available for non-EU citizens seeking internships in Ireland. Here’s a detailed look at the most common ones:
Irish Intern Visa: This is a type of Employment Permit where foreign citizens can travel to Ireland to work as paid interns. The application process involves applying online through the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website, providing evidence of an internship offer from an Irish company, proof of sufficient funds, and medical insurance. After arriving in Ireland, interns must register with the local immigration officer to get their visa endorsement.
Stamp 2 Visa: This is a type of student visa that allows non-EU students to work part-time during their studies in Ireland. The students are allowed to work 20 hours per week during the academic term and 40 hours per week during holidays. The visa is valid for the duration of the course of study and allows the student to stay in Ireland for a maximum of 7 years. The application process involves applying online through the INIS website, providing evidence of enrollment in a recognized full-time course, proof of sufficient funds, and medical insurance. After arriving in Ireland, students must register with the local immigration officer to get their Stamp 2 endorsement.
Post Study Work Visa (Third Level Graduate Programme): This visa allows non-EU students who have graduated from an Irish higher education institution to remain in Ireland for the purpose of seeking employment and gaining work experience. The permission under the Third Level Graduate Programme is non-renewable. The duration of the permission under the programme depends on the level of qualification achieved by the student. For example, students with an Honours Bachelor Degree can stay for 12 months, while students with a Doctoral Degree can stay for 24 months. The application process involves applying online through the INIS website, providing evidence of completion of studies, and proof of sufficient funds.
Work Rights During Study
The Irish government has updated its work rights for non-EU students. Students are now allowed to work up to 40 hours per week during June, July, August, and September and from 15th December to 15th January inclusive. The permission to work ends when the student’s immigration permission expires.
The Importance of Health Insurance
One crucial aspect of the visa application process is proof of private medical insurance. The Irish government requires all non-EU students to have a policy covering them for the entirety of their stay. It’s worth noting that the insurance must be in English and provide coverage of at least €25,000 for accident and €25,000 for disease.
Navigating the Application Process
You can apply online through the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website. You will need to fill out the application form and provide the necessary documents. Key documents include a letter of acceptance from the Irish university or college, proof of payment of the registration and tuition fees, and evidence of sufficient funds to cover living expenses for the duration of the stay.
Fees: There is a non-refundable visa application fee. The fee varies depending on your nationality and the type of visa you are applying for.
Visa Decision: Once a decision has been made on your application, you will be notified. If your visa is approved, you will need to register with the local immigration officer in the area where you will be living in Ireland.
Duration of Stay: The duration of your stay will be determined by the length of your internship. However, it cannot exceed 7 months.
Post Study Work Visa
Under the new rules, students who have completed a degree at level 8 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications will be allowed to remain in Ireland for 24 months to seek employment.
Please note that the information is subject to change and it’s always best to check the official INIS website or consult with a legal expert for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Piktalent Services for Ireland
We can provide a range of services to make your internship experience unforgettable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Non-EEA nationals who have been offered an internship in an occupation on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL) can apply for an Internship Employment Permit.
EU citizens do not need an Employment Permit to work in Ireland. They have the same rights to work as Irish citizens under EU legislation.
An Employment Permit is a document issued by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, allowing non-EEA nationals to legally work in Ireland. A Visa, on the other hand, is a document issued by immigration authorities allowing non-EEA nationals to enter and stay in Ireland for a specified period.
No, an Irish Intern Visa does not replace the need for an Employment Permit. The Intern Visa is designed for students who are enrolled in a course of study related to the internship, allowing them to gain practical experience in their field of study. An Employment Permit is still required for non-EEA nationals who intend to work in Ireland.
The duration of the Internship Employment Permit is 12 months. The permit is not renewable.
Interns in Ireland, whether they are EU or non-EU nationals, have the same rights as other employees. They are protected by the same labor laws, including minimum wage legislation, working time legislation, and health and safety legislation.
Non-EU/EEA nationals can apply for an Internship Employment Permit through the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS) of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The employer or the intern can make the application, but the employer must be registered with EPOS.
Yes, interns in Ireland are subject to income tax on any remuneration they receive. However, there are certain tax credits and reliefs available which can reduce the amount of tax payable.
Employers in Ireland are required to pay social insurance contributions (PRSI) on behalf of their employees, including interns. This provides cover for benefits such as illness, maternity, and unemployment.
The applicant must be enrolled in a third-level institution outside the state and the internship must form part of their course. The applicant must also have the qualifications, skills, and experience required for the internship.
The processing time for the Internship Employment Permit is typically 13 weeks. However, this can vary depending on the volume of applications.
The fee for the Internship Employment Permit is €500.