Many students in Ireland work while studying to help cover some of the costs of their studies. Here you will find information on your entitlements to access work in Ireland, what a PPS number is, and your rights in the workplace.
Students from the EEA
All nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) are free to take up full-time or part-time employment in Ireland while studying.
Students from outside the EEA
Students attending a full-time course and in possession of a Irish Residence Permit card are entitled to take up casual employment provided that their course of study is included on the government’s list of visa-eligible courses, known as the ILEP.
Casual employment is defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week, except for two standardised periods when it is permissible to work full-time (i.e. up to 40 hours per week). The periods are December 15 to January 15 and June 1 to September 30 only, corresponding to the traditional summer and winter college holidays. These dates are fixed for all non-EEA students, regardless of the actual college teaching calendar for their course.
The right to work lapses automatically on expiry of a student’s immigration permission, except for an extension that may be available to graduates of third level courses under the Third Level Graduate Scheme.
How To Get a PPS Number
A Personal Public Service (PPS) number is a unique reference number that everyone who works in Ireland must have. It ensures that you are registered with the Irish taxation authorities, known as the Revenue Commissioners.
You cannot obtain a PPS number simply because you are looking for work; you will receive a PPS number only when you can show you have an offer to take up employment or need it to deal with a “specified body“. If your course of study is accredited by QQI, you will likely already have a PPS number as a requirement of your course.
To get a PPS number, you will need to go to one of the allocation centres of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social protection. The paperwork you will need to bring with you depends on whether or not you are from an EEA country, and you can find more information here.
See further information on Employment Rights .