In this article we examine Stamp 1A permission for trainee accountants. This article takes into account new arrangements introduced from July 2019.
What is Stamp 1A?
Stamp 1A is an immigration permission for trainee accountants. Stamp 1A is unique in the way it combines permission to work with permission to study. As opposed to a Stamp 2 for full-time students (which allows you to work part-time during your study), under Stamp 1A permission you are entitled to complete your qualification while working full-time as a trainee accountant.
Who is eligible for Stamp 1A?
First and foremost, you need to secure a Training Contract with an accountancy practice/business associated with one of the Recognised Accountancy Bodies.
In addition to that, you have to have a Third Level Degree Qualification (University or comparable). Your degree can be in any discipline and it doesn’t have to be obtained in Ireland. If your degree is from an accountancy-related field, you may be awarded some exemptions from your course.
Recognised Accountancy Bodies
There are three recognised Accountancy Bodies eligible to provide accountancy training for Stamp 1A permission:
- The Institute of Certified Public Accountants Ireland (CPA)
- The Association of Chartered Accountants Ireland (ACI)
- The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Ireland (ACCA)
The trainee and the accountancy practice/business providing the training contract have to be registered with one of them.
Please note that popular entry-level Accounting Technician courses are not eligible as a basis to apply for Stamp 1A.
Immigration Registration Conditions
The maximum amount of time you can remain in Ireland on Stamp 1A permission is four years. During this time you will have to re-register every year and show sufficient academic progress. This means checking if you are on track to complete the qualification within the required time. Each of the accounting bodies has a maximum number of modules that you can fail each year. Make sure you don't exceed those limits.
Under normal circumstances, while on a Training Contract, you are not allowed to change your employer.
What happens after I get my qualification
At the completion of the Training Contract it is possible to get an extra six months permission to finalize the Accountancy Body membership and to apply for an Employment Permit.
The extra six months cannot be used for exam retakes.
Useful external resources
Immigration Conditions for Stamp 1A Trainee Accountants [PDF]