An article in the Irish Times on 17th August reports that children of non-EU nationals are required to pay substantially more in college fees than an Irish national student. This financial burden means that in the first round of CAO offers, many non-EU students will be forced to reject or defer placements. Many of these students have resided in the state for a number of years, but the accumulated time is not sufficient to exempt them from the international student fees.
Children of non-EU nationals are required to register with the GNIB at the age of 16, and often, they are given residency classifications that mislabel them as foreign students or foreign workers, despite many of these students having resided in Ireland for a substantial length of time. They wish to apply for citizenship based on the citizenship of their parents, since without citizenship they do not qualify for the EU tuition rates, but most of the time, their parents have not resided in the state long enough to obtain naturalisation before the student turns 18 and begins applying for college.
Some universities have acknowledged this problem and allow these students to pay EU fees, which are less than non-EU fees but still substantially more than Irish fees. This system effectively bars many bright, capable students from going to colleges where they have well earned their place.