Information for international students on COVID-19

COVID-19

Updated on 06 December 2021

ICOS knows that there is a lot of uncertainty and concerns in relation to COVID-19, so we have put together some helpful information and resources.

**Always refer to official sources for information, watch out for fake news, and be careful about what you read on social media**

** DOWNLOAD THE COVID-19 TRACKER APP TO HELP SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19**
 

What is COVID-19

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus. The novel strand of coronavirus that originated in Hubei Province, China, has spread to most countries around the world.

COVID-19 Vaccine

International students who do not have a PPSN can register to be vaccinated by calling the COVID-19 helpline for free at 1800 700 700. Alternatively, you can attend a walk-in vaccination centre without an appointment.

Find your nearest walk-in vaccination centre here.

Travel to Ireland

From Sunday 5 December 2021, international students travelling to Ireland must have proof of a negative test for COVID-19 and complete a Passenger Locator Form before arrival, see here for details.

The Irish government has removed all countries from the mandatory hotel quarantine list, however, international students travelling to Ireland from any of the countries below must first apply for a visa ( entry visa or transit visa).

South Africa
Botswana
Eswatini
Lesotho
Namibia
Zimbabwe
Mozambique

Visa Applications will only be processed if they meet the emergency criteria, see link for details.

ICOS has also received confirmation that new international students can travel to Ireland to study English.

Latest Update on COVID-19 Restrictions

The Government has announced new COVID-19 restrictions:

If you live with someone who has COVID-19, you should restrict your movements for 5 days, even if they are fully vaccinated

The closing time for bars, clubs and restaurants will be midnight, from 18 November

A COVID-19 vaccine certificate is needed to go to cinemas and theatres

See full details on restriction here.

 

    Information for International Students

    ICOS has put together information about the health, travel, educational and well-being matters, that international students may need to be aware of.  

    We will update this page with more information, as it becomes available and you can send us information by contacting us.

    Education

    Most higher education institutes and English language schools are teaching through a mixture of online and face-to-face classes depending on the situation with COVID-19.

    Health Information

    Advice from the Health Service Executive (HSE) is available on how to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19, including advice on washing hands, using face masks, and shopping safely. More information in multiple languages can be found here. You can also find regular updates on the World Health Organisation's website.

    ICOS would like to remind students that they should not attend a GP in person if they believe they may have COVID-19. Instead, they should phone the GP in order for a test to be arranged. Find your nearest GP here.

    If you have not yet been vaccinated, you can find your nearest walk in vaccination clinic here.

    Travel Information

    **It is currently compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport, in shops, and other places where social distancing cannot be observed.**

    The government has introduced a mandatory hotel quarantine list of 'high risk' countries for COVID-19. Anyone who arrives from one of the countries on this list must book accommodation for 12 nights mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival which they must pay. See list of countries that require mandatory hotel quarantine here.

    More details on travelling to Ireland can be found here.

    Accessible Information

    Deaf people can contact the HSE using Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS).

    Translated information on COVID-19 in different languages.

    Self - Isolation

    If you have COVID-19 or suspect you have the virus, you must self-isolate.

    Advice on how to self-isolate can be found by clicking on this link.

    If you cannot self-isolate because of your accommodation situation, then you can self-isolate in one of the HSE's self isolation centres.
     

    Immigration

    The government has announced a new temporary visa extension for non EEA international students until 15 January 2022. If your visa is due to expire during this period, then your visa has been renewed automatically. Anyone who already received one of the previous visa extension will also have their visa automatically extended until 15 January 2022. Please remember that you must be enrolled in a English language course or third level course.*

    • Third Level Graduate Scheme Visa (Stamp 1G) visa holders who have been unable to secure work during the pandemic may apply for a 12-month visa extension.
    1. You may apply for a visa extension in the normal way that you would apply to renew your visa.
    2. The main thing you must demonstrate is that you have been unable to find work in your area, or have had limited opportunities to work in your area, as a result of the pandemic.
    3. You can do this by showing the efforts you made to find employment such as applying for jobs, signing up to agencies etc. If you were working in an area outside your field of studies, you could show proof of this through your contract / payslips,  or if you were receiving the PUP, you could use this as proof that you were not working.

    * English language students who have already renewed their visa 3 times for English language studies do not need to enrol in a new English language course, and can continue to legally work until 15 January 2022 (in accordance with immigration rules). However, they must enrol in an ILEP approved higher education course by 15 January 2022 to remain in Ireland legally.

    • ICOS has also received confirmation that new international students can travel to Ireland to study English
    • From Monday 13 September 2021, immigration will begin processing short stay visa applications.
    • There is a new immigration services website - https://www.irishimmigration.ie/
    • If you have a question about registering with immigration for the first time, renewing your visa ,or in relation to a re-entry visa, you can now contact immigration's new customer service support at immigrationsupport@justice.ie.
    • Third level students who are currently studying remotely in their home countries will be able to apply for the Third Level Graduate Scheme (Stamp 1G) when they have successfully completed their course, see here for details.
    • If you live in Dublin and you need to renew your visa, but your passport has expired and you unable to get a new one e.g your country has no embassy in Ireland, then you should submit an application on the ISD appointment system, submit your expired passport, and explain why you are unable to renew your passport.
    • If you live in Dublin, you no longer need to send your passport as part of the online renewal process. See link for full details.
    • International student graduates who have returned to their home countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for the Third Level Graduate Scheme Visa (Stamp 1G) online. See link for full details.
    • Immigration has introduced a new online Registration Renewal System for visa required international students. If you are living in Dublin, you need to register / renew your visa online. See link for full details.
    • English language students who left Ireland before completing their course due to COVID-19 may return to resume their studies. The time spent outside of Ireland will not count towards the 2 years maximum period for English language studies.

    Temporary Financial Support

    For more information on how to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, please visit this link.

    If you are still eligible to receive the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment you need you to confirm your continued entitlement to receive this payment.

    If you access this benefit, you will not be penalised by immigration.

    Accommodation

    Any International student that thinks they will have a problem paying their rent should inform their landlord immediately. If a solution cannot be found, students can contact the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) which provides a dispute resolution service for tenants and landlords.

    ICOS recommends that all students take steps to help minimise the spread of the virus, and comply with all necessary COVID-19 measures such as self-isolation. Even if self-isolation is not possible, students should do their best to restrict their movements and avoid contact with people.

    Public Transport

    You must wear a mask on public transport.

    Dublin Bus website for more details on their service and operating times.

    Visit Bus Eireann website for more details on their service and operating times.

    Visit the Luas website for more details on their service and operating times.

    Visit the Dart and intercity train services website for more details on their service and operating times.

    For more further information visit Transport For Ireland.

    Maintaining Wellness

    It is important that people can stay both physically and mentally well. While steps can be taken to remain well and avoid spreading the virus, you may come into contact with it or your learning environment can be affected.

    Physical well-being

    Staying well is important. Washing hands is particularly helpful in avoiding illness, see a guide to hand washing by clicking on this link.

    Mental well-being

    International students may experience anxiety or loneliness during these difficult times. Students studying at higher education institutes should check what supports are available at their college or university.

    There are also local mental health services in the community. You can freephone 1800 111 888 to find out more information on mental health service close to you. In an emergency, call 999 or 112.

    The HSE has a dedicated mental health website and the UK health service, the NHS, has developed and support for maintaining mental well-being during self-isolation. This includes a mood checklist, another useful resource can be found here.

    Racism

    There have been some isolated reports of racist incidents specifically referring to COVID-19. Racism of any kind is unacceptable and if you experience hear of or witness racism, you can report it to the Gardai  and to the Racist Incident Reporting System iReport.

    Up to date information from Universities and Colleges

    All schools, colleges and universities are currently closed. ICOS has compiled a list of some of the main higher education institutions below where you will find up-to-date information on changes to lectures, tutorials, and labs, as well as any alternative arrangements that have been made.

    Athlone IT

    Champlain College

    CCT College Dublin

    Cork Institute of Technology

    Dublin Business School

    Dublin City University   

    Institute of Art Design & Technology

    Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

    Griffith College

    IT Carlow   

    Limerick Institute of Technology

    Mary Immaculate College

    Maynooth University

    National College of Ireland

    NUI Galway

    Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

    Trinity College Dublin

    TU Dublin

    University College Cork

    University College Dublin

    University of Limerick

    Waterford Institute of Technology