ICOS calls on immigration to review terms of visa extension for English language students

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ICOS calls on immigration to review terms of visa extension for English language students
 

The recently announced visa extension until 20 September 2021 has been warmly welcome by migrants, including international students, as it provides peace of mind to those who require a visa to be in the State.

However, English language students whose visas are due to expire over the coming weeks and months have been told by the Department of Justice that they must pay for a 25-week course in an English language school; irrespective of whether they are able to complete the course or not.

Speaking about this issue, Laura Harmon, Executive Director of ICOS, said ‘while we welcome the decision by the Department of Justice to extend international students’ visas until 20 September 2021, we feel it is extremely unfair that many English language students will be forced to pay for classes they will be unable to attend.

Given the financial strain that students are under as a result of the pandemic, it seems highly unfair, for example, that a person whose visa expires on the 20 July must enrol in a 25-week course when they can only avail of 9-10 weeks, and in addition to this, they are expected to pay €300 to renew their permission.’

Harmon also added ‘the information on the INIS website must be clearly displayed and in a language that non-native English speakers can expect to understand as ICOS continues to receive dozens of emails from international students who are unsure about the visa extension, or what they must do to renew, which is partly due to the confusing nature of immigration’s website.’

ICOS is calling on the Department of Justice to reconsider its position on requiring all English language students to enrol in a 25-week course as it needlessly penalises students whose visas will expire in the summer months. Instead, ICOS believes that a fairer approach would be to allow students to enrol in an English language course in accordance with the number of weeks remaining on their visa and for any renewal fee to be waived.
 

ENDS
 

Further information:

Brian Hearne, Communications Officer, Email: bhearne@icosirl.ie

For comment:

Laura Harmon, Executive Director, Ph: 0861738455 Email: lharmon@icosirl.ie

News type
ICOS News
ICOS Press Release