Dáil Éireann - Volume 526 - 15 November, 2000
Written Answers. - Student Work Permits.
Ms O'Sullivan Ms O'Sullivan
131. Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has received a submission from the Union of Students in Ireland regarding work restrictions on non-EU students studying in Ireland; if so, his response to the submission; the steps he will take to regularise the work position of non-EU students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25780/00]
Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): I have recently received the submission referred to by the Deputy and its contents and proposals are currently being reviewed in my Department.
It has been the long standing position that non-EEA nationals admitted to the State as students are not entitled to take up employment while pursuing a course of studies here, with the exception of any work experience required as an integral part of their course of studies.
In general the arrangements relating to the residence of non-EEA students work well and facilitate genuine persons who wish to study here. There is, however, evidence of abuse of those arrangements in some cases by persons whose primary intention is to obtain employment or to migrate permanently rather than to study and return home.
Consideration of any proposal to permit all non-EEA students to take up employment when they would not otherwise be entitled to do so without a work permit would have to take into account both the level of abuse which already exists and the potential for abuse which would be created in the system. There would clearly be an unwelcome incentive for persons whose real objective is to access the labour market to enrol in a course or to prolong their attendance at a course, simply to be able to remain in employment here. It would be extremely expensive in terms of Garda resources, if not impossible, to police such arrangements with a view to ensuring that only genuine students were working.
I can assure the Deputy, however, that policy in this area is being kept under review and that the submission from the Union of Students in Ireland will be taken into account in that regard.
Dáil Éireann 526 Written Answers. Student Work Permits.