On May 13, The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., announced that immigration permissions, due to expire between 20 May and 20 July 2020, will be automatically extended for two months. Any permission which was renewed by the earlier notice of 20 March 2020 and which therefore has a new expiry date between 20/05/2020 and 20/07/2020 is automatically renewed again by this notice.
The Minister made clear that for international English Language Students, the extensions mean that they may continue to work if they wish, but must also re-enroll in an on-line course of study to adhere to the conditions of their permission.
On May 26, the following further guidelines and explanations were issued:
Stamp 2 Permission & Online Courses
- To be eligible for Stamp 2 permission, students must be enrolled in a course listed on the ILEP, and if re-enrolling, students must re-enroll on a course where classes are actually being provided. (Cork English Academy Online Course)
- Where a college is providing courses online, then students are required to enroll and ‘virtually’ attend in the same way as if they were physically present in the classroom.
- While permissions have been renewed for 2 months, students are still required to re-enroll in courses of standard duration (Cork English Academy Online Course).
- Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, it is understood that in-person exams are not possible at this time. As an exceptional, short term and temporary measure, and in the absence of online exams being available, Immigration will accept a teacher’s assessment in lieu of the exam for Registration purposes. The exam shall be completed by students when available.
First time registration
- As registration offices are currently closed and in light of the difficulties some students may encounter due to not having an IRP card, as a temporary measure between now and 20th July 2020 prospective students can apply to the Registration Office to request a letter confirming their permission to remain in the State and the conditions attached.
Students who have left the State
- Students who left the State before completion of their studies due to COVID-19 may return and resume their studies and the duration of their absence will not count towards the 2 years maximum period of English language study allowed.
Students who have completed the maximum 2 years English language study
- Language students with a current, valid permission who are still in the State and who have completed the maximum 2 years permitted as a language student, but due to COVID-19 are unable to return home, may remain as students until the end of the year provided they re-enrol in an online course of study for the remainder of the year. For these students, the duration of a course shall be from the date of enrollment to 31 December 2020 (Cork English Academy Online Course).
Permission to Work
- Students who hold Stamp 2 permissions and who attend colleges which have physically closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may in these exceptional circumstances work 40 hours a week. This is conditional on the student completing their course online if this service is provided by their college and represents a short term and temporary measure.
Breaches of Permission
- If a student does not complete an online English Language Programme, where provided by the college concerned, then they will be considered to have breached the conditions of their permission by both failing to attend classes and, where applicable, working in excess of the permitted 20 hours and this may result in future registration being refused.
- Students, including those who have completed 2 years study and who wish to remain in the State as students, are required to re-enroll in a course of study as soon as the previous course has been completed with no gaps between courses allowed. Failure to do so will also be considered a breach of the permission and may result in future registration being refused.
- Once the Registration Offices reopen all students are expected to register as normal.
- As the situation develops further updates will be issued.
Please view here for Cork English Academy’s Live Online/ Virtual Course.