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To: (1) Irish Universities Association, (2) Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, (3) Department of Justice, (4) Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, and (5) Higher Education Authority

Hosting Agreement for All Non-EU/EEA PhD Students in Ireland

Hosting Agreement for All Non-EU/EEA PhD Students in Ireland

Make the Hosting Agreement Scheme accessible to all Non-EU/EEA PhD students conducting research in Ireland.

Why is this important?

1. We understand that Non-EU/EEA PhD students conducting research in Ireland can access the hosting agreement scheme but on condition that they have an employment contract as captured in the first Hosting Agreement FAQ on the Euraxess website here: https://www.euraxess.ie/ireland/fast-track-work-permit-non-eu-rd-hosting-agreement-scheme/i-wish-research-university it states:

'Can I have a Hosting Agreement if I am a PhD student in Ireland?
Yes, providing you have an employment contract with your university or research-active organisation in Ireland. Contact the Hosting Agreement office of EURAXESS Ireland by emailing ***@iua.ie for more information.'

2. It is typical that many Non-EU/EEA PhD students are supporting Irish research projects without employment contracts because most universities do not employ PhD students but hire them on scholarship contracts which disqualifies them from accessing the hosting agreement. This is an affordable way of hiring early stage researchers to conduct research while not considering the impact it has on their immigration status in Ireland and to their dependants.
(Only those who get employment contracts qualify to apply for the hosting agreement)

3. Denying access to Non-EU/EEA PhD students on research scholarship contracts while giving those on employment contracts brings about inequality among Non-EU/EEA Early Stage Researchers in Ireland.

4. Lack of access to the hosting agreement to most Non-EU/EEA PhD students means that their time in Ireland is not reckonable & creates potential red tapes to access employment in the future. Those on hosting agreement can apply for stamp 4 VISA after 21 months and their time is reckonable while those who do not have are on stamp 2 VISA status throughout their PhD program.

5. The lack of access for many PhD students to the hosting agreement means that their spouses have no direct access to employment in Ireland despite their qualifications and experience. On the other hand those on hosting agreements have their partners access employment with no restrictions. This makes the families of PhD students without hosting agreements to be vulnerable and therefore it means more stress to the researcher. Treating these researchers differently brings about inequality among them.

6. It is only fair that the contributions of all Non-EU/EEA PhD students to research in Ireland is equally recognized, valued, and given credit without looking at their contractual terms. Those PhD Students on hosting agreement and those not on hosting agreement are equally qualified and hold same responsibilities in Research and Development in Ireland. Treating these two groups differently based on the terms of their contracts creates inequality and is unfair.

7. The eligibility criteria for accessing the hosting agreement should be reviewed not to rely on types of contracts researchers are hired on but their contribution to Research and Development in Ireland.

References
http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/inis/pages/registration-stamps
https://www.euraxess.ie/ireland/fast-track-work-permit-non-eu-rd-hosting-agreement-scheme/i-wish-research-university#:~:text=Can%20I%20have%20a%20Hosting,iua.ie%20for%20more%20information.
http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/inis/pages/researchers
https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/migrant_workers/employment_permits/spousal_work_permit_scheme.html

How it will be delivered

By email to the joint Committee on Public Petitions - Houses of the Oireachtas

Updates

2021-06-11 07:45:51 +0100

100 signatures reached

2021-06-10 20:09:08 +0100

50 signatures reached

2021-06-10 18:35:01 +0100

25 signatures reached

2021-06-10 17:08:28 +0100

10 signatures reached