Student scheme 2018

JFU at the Cliffs of Moher

A scheme was announced on 15th October 2018 which provides an opportunity for people who came to Ireland on a student visa between January 2005 and December 2010 to come forward and regularise their situation. If you came as a student between those dates don't miss your chance to apply for this scheme, closing date 20th January 2019.


It can be confusing and daunting to apply for a scheme like this. See below MRCI's step by step guide on how to apply for this scheme. We hope this will make it easy for you to check if you qualify and apply successfully for the scheme.

MRCI's Quick Guide to the Scheme

Step 1: Check your eligibility. Do you meet all of the criteria below? 

Note *: If you do not meet all of the criteria stated below your application may be rejected and you will be making your immigration status known to INIS.  

  1. First registered as a student between 1 January 2005, and 31 December 2010 and commenced your presence in the State lawfully under a student permission, NO exceptions.
  2. Have a minimum of two years' registered student permission; NO exceptions
  3. Have not had your immigration stamp changed (ONLY exception for Stamp 1G or stamp 2A, Temporary stamp 1 (without the need for employment permit), Stamp 2 (18 months), and Stamp 1A )
  4. Have made an attempt to remain legally in Ireland
  5. Have been residing in Ireland and can provide documentary evidence (at least for 2016, ’17 &’18 to date) and have not left the state AT ANY POINT since becoming undocumented
  6. Have no adverse criminal record in this State or any other jurisdiction;
  7. Did not violate the regulations while working as a student (e.g. no more hours than allowed/ show P60 forms or P45 forms)
  8. Can provide a history of your enrolment/registration as a student
  9. Only your spouse/civil partner/de facto partner and children (who came as minors) currently in Ireland can be included as your secondary applicants. Do not include anyone else on your application.

Step 2: Gather together all of the following documentation

Note**:  If you are missing one of the documents below, you can write a statement to explain why it is missing and provide documentary evidence that supports the reason it is missing.

  1. Copy of current passport (scan all pages) and full copy of the passport previous to your current passport for the applicant and their family members including children’s passport & partner’s passport (every page)
  2. Copy of last 6 months bank statements. If not available provide a record from the bank or reason
  3. Copy of pay slips.  At least for the period where you were working under student permission
  4. Copy of P60s At least for the period where you were working under student permission
  5. Copy of original educational awards/certificates achieved in the State.
  6. Copy of two bills demonstrating address for you and your spouse/partner. (This is to prove your address, if bills are unavailable please provide other evidence of your address)
  7. Evidence of Irish community involvement. (Not mandatory but try to show that you are part of a social or local community group in Ireland. e.g. sports team, volunteer group, gym, church, class)
  8. Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  9. Birth certificate for Children
  10. Evidence of your efforts to remain in the State legally. e.g. correspondence with INIS, presentation at GNIB, correspondence with Immigration Officer/Solicitor on how to fix your status, attempt to register for further studies or consultation with MRCI/other NGO.
  11. Other Documents: Include as many docs as you can to prove your continuous residency in the state: e.g. Tenancy agreement, other P60s, other payslips, insurance, state issued docs, other bills, school records.

Step 3: Make sure you have the documentation ready to upload

  1. All the documents above need to be uploaded during the application process so you will need to have them saved on your computer, email or on a USB key when completing the application.
  2. All files must be submitted as PDF, PNG image or JPEG image file so make sure you save as one of these when scanning physical documents
  3. If you submit a document that is not in Irish or English, it must be accompanied by a full translation into one of these languages. Each translated document must contain: Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document, Date of the translation, Translator’s full name, signature & contact details.

Step 4: Start your application

  1. Create a profile on the INIS website, for this you will need a valid email address. Go to and click on the ‘Register here’ link
  2. Fill the form and submit all the required documents online at There is a fee of €700 which you pay at the end of the application (If refused you will get back €450)
  3. It is a straightforward online form. For any assistance see the INIS guide available here.
  4. You can save your application and come back to it, you don’t need to complete it all in one go.
  5. The deadline is Sunday 20th January 2019
  6. Make sure to fill all sections even if you don’t have the exact documentation required. Try to provide the next best thing.

Step 5: Wait for the result

  1. INIS have not stated how long it will take to process applications
  2. If you are successful, you will receive a letter of approval in the post and be granted a 4S permission to remain in the State for two years.
  3. After two years, if you have adhered to the terms of your permission you will be granted Stamp 4 permission for a further 12 months.
  4. Dependents over 18 will also receive stamp 4S.

Disclaimer: These materials have been prepared by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) for information purposes only with no guarantee as to accuracy or applicability to a particular set of circumstances. The materials are not intended and should not be considered to be legal advice. The information given may change from time to time and may be out of date. The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland disclaims any legal responsibility for the content or the accuracy of the information provided.

Note**: If you have a question not covered in this guide please email & we will respond to you directly or come along to one of our information sessions.

Why not come along to our information session and speak to us confidentially about the scheme:


Information Session:

Date: Sunday 9th December

Location: Wynns Hotel, Lower Abbey Street

Time: 2pm to 5pm. All welcome.

See more information at link below


You can find further details of the scheme on the INIS website now as well as these useful answers to some of the big questions.

Here is the Minister's announcement of the scheme:

If the scheme DOES NOT apply to you we would love to hear from you. Our 'Justice for the Undocumented' Campaign will be working hard in 2019 for further schemes to regularise the status of all undocumented migrants in Ireland.

We need your help to be successful. If interested please email - it's safe and confidential and the best way to keep up to date with all the news. And this campaign gets results! One day longer, one day stronger.