Information for international students on COVID-19
Updated on 04 April 2022
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**
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.
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
International students travelling to Ireland no longer need to provide a negative PCR test or show proof that they have been fully vaccinated with an eligible COVID-19 vaccine.
From 1 February 2022, COVID-19 certificates will only be valid for travel in the EU for 270 days after the second dose of the primary vaccine (not including Ireland). There is currently no time limit on vaccine certificates that are issued after the booster / third vaccine dose.See here for details.
Latest Update on COVID-19 Restrictions
The government has removed all COVID-19 restrictions.
However, you must continue to use masks in certain places, for example, on public transport, in pubs and restaurants, and supermarkets, see here for more information. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should isolate and get tested.
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.
Higher education institutes and English language schools are teaching through a mixture of online and face-to-face classes.
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.
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 should self-isolate.
Advice on how to self-isolate can be found by clicking on this link.
The government has announced a new temporary visa extension for non EEA international students until 31 May 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 31 May 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.
- You may apply for a visa extension in the normal way that you would apply to renew your visa.
- 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.
- 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 31 May 2022 (in accordance with immigration rules). However, they must enrol in an ILEP approved higher education course by 31 May 2022 to remain in Ireland legally.
- ICOS has also received confirmation that new international students can travel to Ireland to study English.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Third level students who are currently studying remotely in their home countries will be able to apply for the Third Level Graduate Programme (Stamp 1G) when they have successfully completed their course, see here for more 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.
- 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.
You are advised to 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.
Staying well is important. Washing hands is particularly helpful in avoiding illness, see a guide to hand washing by clicking on this link.
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.
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.