COVID-19 Updates from DCAS
Face-to-face classes to recommence at DCAS campuses on 21st Sept
Updated at 12:00 Wednesday, 9th of September 2020
After almost 6 months of the closure of our buildings, due to the pandemic, we are happy to announce that face-to-face classes are returning to DCAS from Monday, 21st of September 2020!
Following the government guidelines on public health, we are working tirelessly to implement all the health and safety requirements necessary for the wellbeing of our students and staff.
Shortly, you will be receiving more updates regarding your return to the physical classroom, such as DCAS Book Rental Scheme for students, COVID etiquette while at the school (e.g.: face coverings or face shields to be used while indoors), and other relevant information.
Everyone at DCAS is looking forward to welcoming you back to our campuses.
From Government of Ireland:
- COVID-19 Public Information Booklet
- COVID Tracker App (NEW)
From Health Service Executive (HSE):
- COVID-19 translated resources
From Department of Education and Skills:
- Guidance for students in the English language education sector
- Statement for students in the English language education sector (in English and other foreign languages)
From Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI):
- COVID-19 Updates
From Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP):
- COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
for all students
DCAS classes are moving 100% online under national Level 5 restrictions
Updated at 17:00 Tuesday, 20th of October 2020
We hope you are safe and well.
As communicated by the Irish Government at 9pm last night, Ireland must move from a short-term emergency response approach to a medium-term approach to managing risk and repairing the damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on society. A 5-level Framework for Restrictive Measures has been developed to help us to go about our daily lives as much as possible, while managing the behaviour of the virus.
From midnight tomorrow, Wednesday 21st Oct, Dublin will be under ‘Level 5 restrictions’ for COVID-19 control. Furthermore, on the instruction from the government department for Adult Education, just released this afternoon, all English language schools are immediately to move online. This means that all DCAS classes will be online from tomorrow, Wednesday 21st of October 2020, do not come to DCAS 1 or 2 as both buildings will be closed.
International students on a Study Visa should attend online classes in the same way as they would for in-person classes – this is a requirement from Immigration Service Delivery (ISD). All other students should also attend their classes online, as English language lessons will continue to be delivered as planned.
Class times for all DCAS online lessons are: morning classes from 08:45 to 12:45 and afternoon classes from 13:30 to 17:15. Class days are the same, 4 days/week for both morning and afternoon classes.
Stay safe and please follow government guidelines to reduce COVID-19 cases in the country. Every individual action has an impact in our society.
Face-to-face classes to recommence at DCAS campuses on 2nd December
Updated at 12:00 Monday, 1st of December 2020
Following the government guidelines, DCAS is looking forward to welcoming you back to our campuses from tomorrow.
DCAS classes are moving 100% online under national Level 5 restrictions
Updated at 12:00 Thursday, 31st of December 2020
Following the government guidelines, DCAS English classes will be happening 100% online. All our services will be delivered online while campuses are physically closed.
Immigration Residence Permit (IRP) cards for international students on their 1st Study Visa
13:00 Tuesday, 8th of July 2020
The Garda Naturalisation and Immigration Bureau (GNIB) Registration Office in Burgh Quay will reopen on July 20th to facilitate international students based in Dublin who need to register for the first time. As first-time registrations require biometrics (a photograph and fingerprints) to be taken, it is not possible to do these online.
Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, announced yesterday:
“With the reopening of the Registration Office in Burgh Quay we will initially prioritise appointments for people who had their first time registrations cancelled when we had to close the office in March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Immigration Service Delivery will be contacting those affected to organise a new appointment.”
Anyone who did not have an appointment but needs to register should contact ISD at firstname.lastname@example.org and request an appointment. A template email can be found below (fill your personal details before sending the email):
EMAIL SUBJECT: IRP registration appointment request
I’m an international student based in Dublin seeking an appointment for my 1st IRP registration (Stamp 2). Please see below my personal details:
Date of Birth:
Looking forward to hearing from you.
The GNIB processes applications outside of Dublin through the Garda Station network. GNIB are currently considering how they can reopen registration offices countrywide while adhering to public health guidelines, and applicants should contact their local office to confirm when they will reopen.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
New online Registration Renewal System for non-EEA Students
17:00 Monday, 22nd of June 2020
The Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today announced a new online Registration Renewal System for non-EEA students based in Dublin.
Students seeking to renew their permission should now complete the application form online, upload copies of supporting documents online, pay the applicable fee and then submit their passport and current IRP card via registered post. Documents will be checked and, if approved, the passport will be stamped and returned by registered post and an IRP card issued by express post.
Watch this video announcement from INIS Registration Office with more information:
If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact our Student Support team.
Immigration offers temporary arrangements for IRP registrations
16:30 Monday, 25th of May 2020
A few days ago the Immigration Service Delivery made an announcement regarding facilitating first time IRP registrations (see full Notice 2 here).
In short, new international students in Ireland (first time study visa - Stamp 2) can now, between 21st of May and 20th July 2020, apply to the Registration Office to request a letter confirming their permission to remain in the State and the conditions attached. For international English Language Students, the extension means that they may continue to work if they wish, but must be enrolled in a course of study to adhere to the conditions of their permission.
All required documentation (see website for details) should be scanned and included in the application email. All eligibility criteria will continue to apply. Applications may be submitted electronically to the Registration Office, Burgh Quay, Dublin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact our Student Support team.
**** UPDATE FROM IMMIGRATION - 26/05/2020 ****
Further temporary measures to assist international language students - Eligible students will be allowed additional time in Ireland due to disruptions caused by COVID-19
Students who left the State before completion of their studies due to COVID-19 may return and resume their studies and the duration of their absence will not count towards the 2 years maximum period of English language study allowed.
Language students with a current and valid permission who are still in the State and who have completed the maximum 2 years permitted as a language student, but due to COVID-19 are unable to return home, may remain as students until the end of the year provided they re-enrol in an online course of study for the remainder of the year. The requirement to register remains for those students who have completed their maximum two years and wish to take up the option of re-enrolling in an online course of study until the end of the year. These students must re-register once the Registration Offices reopen. (For those students who find themselves in situation 2 above, DCAS is offering special courses with a duration that is shorter than the normal 25-weeks. This is due to an exceptional permission from INIS which will end on 31/12/2020, Please note that all DCAS classes, including this exceptional course, end on the 18/12/2020 - Please contact DCAS sales team for prices.)
Immigration clarification on Study Visas during the COVID-19 Pandemic
16:30 Wednesday, 20th of May 2020
Thank you for sharing your online learning experience with us. We were happy to see that most of our students are enjoying studying with DCAS Online. Also overall student satisfaction increased sharply during the past few weeks, after we received your feedback and took further actions, always focusing on making your experience the best possible.
Earlier this month, the Government published a roadmap to reopen Ireland's society and economy. We are currently in the Phase 1 where lockdown isn't as strict as it was before. During Phase 5, which should start from 10th of August, adult education centres will be reopening on a phased basis, along with primary, secondary, and third-level education centres.
Meanwhile, Immigration has clarified some important questions international students are having now regarding their study visas and online classes. See below an extract of this official document from INIS (FAQ on the “Immigration Service Delivery – Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and International Protection”):
"Q 25. My permission was automatically renewed by two months; am I required to re-enroll in a new course, and if so, can I wait until the end of the two months before doing so?
A. The renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions attach. For students, this means you will be able to continue to work if you so wish but you must also re-enroll in a course of study. This must be done as soon as the previous course is completed and failure to do so will be considered a breach of the permission which may result in your future registration being refused.
Q 26. My current course/ new course has moved to online study due to COVID-19. I didn’t move to Ireland to do online study; can I pause my course until physical classes return or resume?
A. No. While it is appreciated that students have travelled to Ireland to avail of in-person classes, unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, this is not possible at this time. Anyone resident in Ireland with a student permission is required to attend scheduled classes and, in the current circumstances, this includes where classes are provided online."
**** FURTHER UPDATE FROM IMMIGRATION - 21/05/2020 ****
INIS also informed us that in order for a student permission (Stamp 2) to be registered and/or renewed at a later date the student must demonstrate they have continued to study in the State as normal and there should be no gaps between courses. Students are expected to re-enrol in a new course as soon as their previous course ends. If a student is unable to continue with their current studies because their course provider has not provided an online tuition then the student will have to provide evidence from their current course provider to that affect when registering/renewing their permission in the future.
Therefore, keep attending your online English classes and stay safe!
New Virtual Student Lounge and Mental Health
16:30 Thursday, 23rd of April 2020
We very much hope you are enjoying your DCAS Online learning experience. We know that during these lockdown times, practicing social distancing can be mentally challenging. Please take time to consider this part of your wellbeing and follow recommended advice (https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/covid-19/) on how best to spend these days in a healthy positive frame of mind. Engaging yourself in a learning experience and interacting with others is more important now than ever before, so we would like to encourage you to take advantage of the full 15h/week online classes with your English teacher and classmates; you will be socialising while improving your English skills.
We at DCAS value our students' opinions, so please let us know about your DCAS Online experience here: https://www.dcas.ie/dcas-online-student-feedback . With your feedback, we can keep improving the school.
When it comes to socialising at the school, we are delighted to introduce a new space for all students: DCAS Virtual Student Lounge! This is a new “Team” open to all students accessible through Microsoft Teams. In this space, students can get together for a chat after class, before class, or during break time!
We would like to remind you that while delivering online classes temporarily, the DCAS afternoon timetable is Monday to Thursday, from 01:00pm to 05:00pm (including a 15min break per day). Morning classes are delivered Monday to Thursday, from 09:00am to 01:00pm (also with a 15min break per day). Remember that attendance is mandatory!
DCAS Student Support Team
Mandatory Online Classes for Students on a Study Visa | Online Classes Confirmed until 05.05.2020
15:00 Monday, 20th of April 2020
A very important update received today from the ILEP unit in the Department of Justice and Equality, regarding non-EU/EEA students registered with DCAS on a Study Visa, is below:
“One of the requirements for an English Language Programme to be included in the ILEP is that Non-EEA students must be physically attending the programme on a full-time, daytime basis. Where a college is physically closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeks to facilitate students continue their education through the provision of online learning, the requirement that students must be physically present has been suspended. This is an exceptional, short term and temporary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where a college is physically closed and no courses are being provided, then students will be considered to have met their attendance requirement during the college closure. This is a pragmatic move to ensure no student is unfairly penalised for non-attendance outside their control. However, where a college is providing courses online, then students are expected to complete same.
Students who hold Stamp 2 permissions and who attend colleges which have physically closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may in these exceptional circumstances, work 40 hours a week. This is conditional on the student completing their course online if this service is provided by their college and represents a short term and temporary measure.
If a student does not complete an online English Language Programme, where provided by the college concerned, and has worked more than 20 hours a week during the time the college is physically closed, then they will have breached the conditions of their permission to remain and risk being refused a renewal of that permission.”
New government guidelines are constantly being published in response to this everchanging situation, therefore, you should always pay attention to and the latest of these updates. Due to the most recent update from the Department of Justice, your attendance to online classes is no longer optional, as previously communicated by DCAS on the 25th of March 2020. From today, all non-EU/EEA students registered with DCAS on a Study Visa must also attend a minimum of 85% of the online classes provided, as per ILEP instructions.
Another important update is that DCAS will keep delivering online classes while lockdown in Ireland is in place, currently confirmed until May 5th 2020, as a short term and temporary measure. Please keep yourself updated regarding government guidelines and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remember that according to immigration:
“A non-EEA student is a consumer and entitled to protection as such. The student is also a person who has obtained immigration permission on the basis that they are attending a course of study. If they are not attending their classes then their immigration status is liable to be revoked.”
We understand some of you might be frustrated by the lack of face-to-face classroom based classes, but DCAS is trying the best to keep your educational progress continuing, even in these challenging pandemic times. Contact our Student Welfare team if you need extra support.
Easter Holidays and more COVID-19 Updates
16:00 Friday, 3rd of April 2020
Dear DCAS Students,
Thank you all for a successful first week of online classes. We are happy that so many of you are continuing to study with us through DCAS Online! We also extend a HUGE thank you to all our students who are working in essential roles to keep us safe.
Please see below for a list of important updates:
Easter Bank Holiday
There will be no online classes on Friday 10/04/2020 or Monday 13/04/2020 due to the Easter Bank Holiday.
Important Public Health Measures
As of today, important measures are in place until 13/04/2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Please continue to follow social distancing measures and only leave home if necessary. More information can be found here about how to protect yourself and others.
Updates from INIS/Department of Education
From INIS: ‘The Department of Justice and Equality has recently confirmed that immigration permissions which expire between 20 March and 20 May 2020 will be automatically renewed for a period of 2 months. This renewal is on the same basis as existing permissions and the same conditions will continue to apply.’
Additionally, Non-EU/EEA students are now permitted to work 40 hours a week, ‘conditional on the completion of their course online.’ This means that if you are a DCAS student attending online classes, you are eligible to work 40 hours a week during the Pandemic.
Updates from the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
As of 19th March: ‘Moratoriums on evictions and rent increases are being introduced for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency, to ensure people can stay in their homes during this period.’ This means that you cannot be evicted from your Irish home during the Pandemic. One resource to help you understand your entitlements during this time is Residential Tenancies Board, who have an online chat function to answer your questions.
Updates Regarding the DEASP Pandemic Unemployment Payment
If you were laid off and applied for the DEASP Pandemic Unemployment Payment, and you still have not received your payment, please check here for more information.
We would love to see your at-home study setups! Use the hashtag #DCASOnline to show us how you are studying English at home.
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @dcascollege and Like us on Facebook.
Thank you again for working hard to make DCAS Online a positive and fun learning environment.
DCAS Student Support Team
DCAS is going online
15:00 Wednesday, 25th of March 2020
Despite the fact that DCAS physical campuses have been forced to close until 19th of April for now, we are delighted to announce that from Monday 30th of March, the school will re-open online to students. DCAS Online will provide distance learning and ensure that students are receiving interactive online English language lessons, similar to face-to-face classes, using Microsoft Teams for Education.
Online classes will be delivered at all levels, from Beginner to Advanced, 15 hours per week. Attendance at classes is highly recommended, as the delivery of your course will re-start on Monday the 30th of March. Although non-EEA/EU students are not required to attend classes when it comes to compliance with immigration rules, DCAS calls all students to attend classes as tuition time will be delivered and counted as part of your course time.
DCAS staff and teachers are working remotely, and will be providing full services to all students.
DEPARTMENT/STAFF E-MAIL Video/Voice/Chat
e-Reception/Administration email@example.com +353 89 952 7144 (WhatsApp)
Director of Studies firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (Zoom)
ADoS & Student Welfare (AM) firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (Zoom)
ADoS & Student Welfare (PM) firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (Zoom)
Marketing/Admissions firstname.lastname@example.org +353 89 475 9934 (WhatsApp)
General Enquiries email@example.com 01 8783377
Emergency Number (out-of-hours) 087 1936500 (mobile number)
Student Orientation, Induction, and Placement Tests are taking place normally through Zoom. Our Centre Manager and our Assistant Director of Studies will be delivering those sessions remotely.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you next week online!
DCAS Online Classes are confirmed for 30th of March 2020
12:00 Tuesday, 24th of March 2020
I hope that this email finds you and your loved ones well.
Firstly, I would like to ask you all to follow the HSE guidelines and advice (https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/) regarding keeping yourselves and the rest of the community safe from the Corona Virus; please stay at home as much as possible and respect the rules of physical and social distancing when you are outside. These steps will hopefully slow the spread of the infection and make it more manageable for hospitals and health workers to deal with this current crisis.
Secondly, I am writing to assure you that, despite this unprecedented situation, we at DCAS are here to help you continue in your studies and offer any other assistance that we possibly can in these challenging times. As you know, under instructions from the Irish government, and for the safety of all students and staff, we closed both school buildings, at Capel St and Foley St, on Thursday 12th of March.
This pandemic has disrupted all our lives, but we at DCAS are determined to continue running the school as near to normal as we possibly can. With this in mind, we are putting DCAS online.
DCAS Online will be fully functional from Monday 30th of March.
To participate in this virtual version of the school you will need: internet access, your smartphone/tablet/computer, your coursebook, and a notebook and pen. You will receive an email with access instructions and other details later this week.
We look forward to seeing you and your classmates again very soon.
If you have any further questions, please contact email@example.com.
Kind regards and stay safe,
Director of Studies
School Temporary Closure Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
15:00 Thursday, 12th of March 2020
Further to the statement issued on Thursday 12th March 2020 by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, all schools, pre-schools and further and higher education settings should be closed from 12th March (06:00pm) until 29th March 2020, to support efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19. This is in line with the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team.
DCAS 1, at Capel St, and DCAS 2, at Foley St, will be closed from 06:00 pm today, Thursday 12th of March, until 29th of March 2020. We hope that this will be a temporary measure and that it will not impact too severely on your studies.
All students are urged to practice social distancing, and to minimise physical contact with each other, to help avoid the spread of Covid-19. This should include minimising social contact, avoiding meeting up and keeping physical space between them.
In order to minimise the impact on teaching and learning at DCAS, the school should be providing online resources for students and online lessons in due course, ensuring course continuity and allowing students to attend English courses online, registering new students, and fully operating online if necessary.
If you are a student, monitor your email and our social media channels regularly for updates.