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There were loads more Brazilians in Ireland last year... And here's why*

*We’re talking about the people, not the *ahem* beauty treatment.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

BRAZILIANS TOOK OUT more residence permits for Ireland last year than any other group as the nation cemented its place as one of Europe’s top study hubs.

Eurostat figures out today said while Ukrainians were granted the highest number of permits across the EU, people from the major South American nation were granted easily the biggest share of residency places in Ireland.

Brazilians received over 22% of all first-time permits issued for the republic – some 7,263 out of the 32,780 issued to all nationalities.

The next largest share went to US citizens, who received 4,177 permits, followed by Indians with 2,506 permits.

The sudden lift in the number of Brazilians, who were coming to Ireland in only their hundreds to study a few years ago, came after Ireland and Brazil penned a deal to bring up to 4,000 undergraduate students to the country between 2013 and 2016.

The Irish government estimated the arrangement could inject up to €136 million into the economy in tuition fees and students’ general spending.

The students are coming

Out of the 28 nations in the EU, Ireland had easily the highest share of all new residency permit recipients citing “education reasons” as their reason for coming last year.

Almost two-thirds of all the Irish permits granted in 2013 were for study, nearly double the percentage for the next-highest nations and over three times the EU average.

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Immigrants Only 20% of residence permits issued across the EU last year were for education purposed - compared to nearly 66% in Ireland Source: Eurostat

Overseas students  have been flooding to Ireland as an English-language pathway to the EU and each one has been estimated to be worth at least €20,000 per year to the local economy in tuition fees and other spending.

But after several English colleges were shut down because of visa breaches, the government announced it was tightening up the rules on which courses were eligible for non-EU student visas from next year.

It also flagged possible changes to the types of paid jobs students could do in Ireland while they were studying.

READ: The number of students in alcohol-free accommodation in UCC has quadrupled >

READ: Just one Irish university makes top 200 in world rankings >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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