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Ireland: Int’l Students Urge for Visa Extension While the Country Faces Labour Shortage for Summer Season

International students in Ireland are calling on the government to extend the Stamp Two visa permits, set to expire on May 30, or they should anticipate a staff crisis for the summer season.

According to local Irish media, the representatives for English language students are urging the government to extend the Stamp Two visa validity from May 30 to September 30, which would enable them to work for 20 hours a week during term and up to 40 hours a week during the holidays, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

As the English Language Students Union (ELSU) reveals, two to three thousand workers can risk Ireland by the end of the leaving month to return in September for the start of the new academic year, while several of them have placed deposits for the upcoming course and risk to lose their jobs, accommodation and investment on their education.

Laws in Ireland allow for English students to apply for a new visa after two years of studying there and showing positive results in their studies.

As argue, the funds used for students to return home during the summer season could instead be used for education in Ireland.

This wouldn’t be the first time Stamp Two visas would be extended, as it happened before during the pandemic. However, the long processing times and system backlogs have caused such a problem.

“What we’d like to see is that the government extends the visa permissions for another six months. This will affect people and businesses across the country. There is a percentage of people who will be fine, but there will be plenty who will not be,” Adrian Cummins of the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) said.

He also pointed out the devastating effect it would have on the industry, as the country is facing a great labor shortage.

Fiachra Ó Luain, the co-founder of the ELSU, also called on the government to extend the visa permits in order to help thousands of students, calling the situation of an “utmost urgency”. He also urged the government to make an announcement by this week, so students have enough time to adjust their travel plans and stay in Ireland to continue their work and pursue their academic careers.

“Ireland cannot afford to lose critical labor capacity during the high season of the summer months when these students are allowed to work full time, this will also help them be able to save up for the academic year ahead,” Ó Luain said, emphasising that Ireland is removing thousands from labor force while everyone is looking to hire people.

The Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, is also familiar with the issue.

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