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What is the ILEP and why is it so important to International Visa students who want to study in Ireland?

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What is the ILEP and why is it so important to International Visa students who want to study in Ireland?

On January 23, 2016, Posted by , In Citas BLOG, By ,, , With 2 Comments

The Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP), which is managed by the Department of Justice, is the complete list of courses which comply with the requirements necessary to obtain an International Student visa in Ireland.  This list contains a comprehensive list of courses provided to International students by universities, colleges and English language schools in Ireland.  They comprise of graduate and post graduate courses as well as English languages courses with a duration of 6 months or more.

inis-left_header_1All institutions included on the ILEP have been vetted by the Irish government. The courses listed have been assessed to ensure that they meet established criteria including the mandatory provision of learner protection in respect of enrolled non-EEA students.  For the English language sector a maximum class size of 15 students applies to all ILEP listed providers and schools and colleges must also have demonstrated that their teaching staff are properly qualified.

Students on an International Student visa are allowed a concession to work part-time in Ireland (20 hours per week and 40 hours during university holiday periods).  They are also allowed to travel freely as a tourist throughout Europe.  From the date of the recent ILEP publication (20 January 2016), English Language students  on an International Student visa can get a maximum of 8 months permission to study in Ireland. This visa can be renewed twice (three consecutive visas are allowed.)

You can see this list published on the website.  The link is also provided below:

2 Comments so far:

  1. Jenny says:

    I’m considering studying at your school for 25 weeks. However, I’m a bit confused about the qualification.
    I’m from Taiwan who belongs to non-EEA student.
    I saw that the school meets the IELP and learners protection, but it seems not meet the ACELS and QQI.
    Therefore, could you please help me get this confusion cleared?
    If I need to have a student visa, CITAS could meet the requirements of the immigration ?
    Thanks for reading this message and I’m really looking y having your reply!
    Sincerely yours,

    • Jane Langley says:

      Thank you for your inquiry to our blog. In response to your question “If I need to have an International Student visa, could Citas College Dublin meet the requirements of Immigration?” the answer is:
      Yes, CItas College Dublin is listed on the ILEP and provides quality English Language courses that comply with the requirements of the International Student Visa.
      To answer your question about ACELS, this is a voluntary organisation which is no longer fully-operational in Ireland. The long-term strategy of the Irish Government is to close ACELS completely and to introduce a national quality standard called IEM (International Education Mark), which will be managed by QQI. However, this plan is still in the developmental stages.
      In the interim period – before the introduction of the IEM – all educational courses in Ireland that comply with requirements of the International Student visa are managed by the immigration service of the Department of Justice and Equality. These courses are all listed on the ILEP (Interim List of Eligible Programmes). The ILEP is currently the only fully-operational, government-recognized standard for all schools and colleges in Ireland providing educational courses for Non-EEA students in Ireland.
      In order to be listed on the ILEP, language schools must meet a certain standard in terms of both company-standing and course-offering. Included within ILEP criteria are the following requirements:
      – Mandatory provision of learner protection in respect of enrolled non-EEA students
      – A maximum class size of 15 students
      – Properly qualified teaching staff
      You can see more about this on the INIS website:

      So the short answer is:
      If you would like to come to Ireland to study on an International Student visa, you must sign up to a course on the ILEP. The ILEP is the only standard that is effect in Ireland at present.

      More information on ACELS can be found on the ACELS website where they explain that:
      ” The Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services (ACELS) is a legacy function of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).”
      This means that the organisation is no longer open to new membership, but remains in existence simply to provide support to providers who had been previously recognised. ACELS was disbanded to make way for a new government (QQI) accreditation called the International Education Mark which unfortunately has not yet been implemented:
      “QQI is continuing to engage with the Department of Education and Skills regarding the IEM and will communicate revised plans for its introduction when available.”

      I hope this answers your question? We look forward to the introduction of the new IEM standard, when there will no longer be any confusion about the historical role that was previously played by ACELS.
      If you have further queries, feel free to write me at

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