If you are an EU citizen, there are no visa requirements when entering Ireland.
If you are not an EU citizen please contact your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate to find out whether or not you require an entry visa or you may enquire from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Those who do not have an Irish diplomatic mission in their home country should download a visa application form well in advance of their departure www.inis.gov.ie
Please note that, it is possible for international students who require a visa and are residing in certain countries to apply directly to the Department of Foreign Affairs online. A full list of these countries and the link to the online application form is available at www.inis.gov.ie
Important: Apply for your visa well in advance and allow six to eight weeks for your application to be processed if you are applying from abroad.
In their application students will be asked to supply the following information:
Valid passport: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the expected completion of your studies in Ireland. If you hold any previous passport, you should also submit this with your application.
- Evidence of Course:
- A letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time education, involving a minimum of 15 hours organised daytime study each week.
- This letter should specify the course you will be studying. The course that you are going to pursue must be included in the Internationalisation Register administered by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI)
- It should confirm the amount of fees payable for your course, and that this amount has been paid.
- If the college has taken out medical insurance on your behalf, details of this must be contained in this letter of acceptance.
Note: The primary purpose for a student to be in the State is to study. It is not permissible for a student to come to Ireland to undertake a part-time course, or a distance learning course.
- Ability to Follow Your Chosen Course: You must provide evidence that you have attained the necessary level of academic achievement required to follow your chosen course.
- Such evidence will include – exam results, qualifications obtained and certificates proving this level of English
- Level of English:You must show that you have the capacity to fully partake in your chosen course through the medium of English and satisfy the Visa Officer in this regard.
- It is recommended that all applicants, regardless of nationality or educational background, undertake the IELTS test, and provide the original certificate with your visa application.
- Other acceptalbe certificates will be those from an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or Cambridge or ETAPP
- Failure to provide such a certificate may result in delays in processing your application, and possible refusal of same.
- Submission of false or fraudulent certificates with your application will result in it being refused and no appeal will be permitted.
- Any certificate must have been issued within 2 years of the expected commencement date of your course.
- The recommended band scores are :
- · IELTS minimum score of 5
- · TOEFL minimum score of:
o 173 (Computer-based)
o 61 (Internet-based)
o 500 (Paper-based)
- · Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) or higher
- · ETAPP – Minimum grade of B2
NOTE: This is for immigration purposes only if the English language requirement of the college is higher than the scores above, you must meet the college requirements. (Students applying solely for an English Language course are currently exempt from this requirement).
Short -term Preparatory English Language Courses
If you have been accepted on a specific course of studies, but you need, or are required, to complete preparatory course of English prior to commencing your main course, the following requirements apply:
- English language course must be short term, and not exceed a maximum duration of 6 months
- You must submit a detailed study plan, including the duration and dates of your preliminary English course, and details and dates of your main course of study
- Fees for both the English preparatory courses AND the first year of your main course must be paid in full to the college
- English Language Requirements for such courses:
- IELTS – minimum score of 137 (Computer based), 47 (Internet-based), 457 (Paper-based)
- Cambridge – PET (Preliminary English Test)
- ETAPP – Minimum grade of B1
- · Fees: Where the course fees are less than €6,000, fees must be paid in full to the college, prior to applying for your visa. Evidence of the amount paid should be included in your Letter of Acceptance from the college. Where the course fees are in excess of €6,000, you must pay at least this amount prior to applying for your visa, and evidence of this should be shown in your Letter of Acceptance.
- Private Medical Insurance: Every student should have full private medical insurance. Evidence of such insurance cover will be taken to be the Letter of Acceptance provided by the host school, college, university or other education institution.This Letter of Acceptance will contain details of the insurance cover taken out on behalf of each student by the host school, college, university or other educational institution on behalf of the student. Alternative evidence will be taken to be a Certificate of Private Insurance taken out by the student in his or her own country prior to travel. Travel insurance will not be accepted.
- Family Members: Applicants should disclose details of family members who are already residing in Ireland or in other EU countries. For this purpose family members include first cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews or grandparents. The granting of a student visa does not entitle you to have family members join you in Ireland.
- Applicant’s Self-sufficiency: Applicants must provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to support their stay in Ireland, including emergencies, without recourse to State funds.
- Visa Required students are required to demonstrate access to €7000 before they may be issued with a visa. From 1st April 2011 students must have access to €3000 at first registration.
- Bank statements which clearly identify the holder together with a translation and details of conversion rates at the approximate date of application are required.
- Please note that although you may be permitted to work part-time in Ireland during your studies, these potential earnings will not be taken into account when assessing your financial capabilities .
- If your studies were funded by a scholarship please provide details of the funding and a letter in support of this.
- A statement of purpose explaining why you wish to study in Ireland
- A detailed Curriculum Vitae with no gaps in history
- Employment Details of applicant in Country of origin: If the applicant is in employment the employer must state
- That all course costs are being met by the Employer or, if the employee is meeting the costs, the employer must state that in the opinion of the employer the employee has the financial resources to meet all such costs
- The length of leave being granted to the employee and this must not differ from the stated duration of the course on which the applicant has been accepted
- The purpose of participating in the proposed course of study
- The applicants level of pay and the currency it is received in
- 3 Recent passport photographs
- The processing times for Student Visa Applications vary depending on the volumen of applications lodged, and the time it takes for an application to reach the Visa section in Dublin from the Embassy in which it was lodged
- You should allow as much time as possible when applying for a visa but a minimum time of 8 weeks is recommended.
- Visa decisions are published weekly on www.justice.ieYou can check a decision by entering the Visa Reference Number.
Right of Appeal
If you are refused a visa you may appeal this decision within 2 months
Appeals must be submitted in writing to:
The Visa Appeals Officer,
Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform
13-14 Burgh Quay
- If you applied to the Visa Office in Abuja, Beijing, Cairo, London, Moscow or New Delhi, you should submit your appeal to the relevant office.
- Your appeal should fully address all the reasons for which your application was refused. Any additional supporting documentation should be submitted with your appeal for consideration.
- You must quote your Visa Reference Number on your appeal, along with your name and nationality.There is no fee payable for appealing a visa refusal decision.
- There will be no appeal allowed if you are found to have given false or misleading information in any part of your application, or submitted false, forged or fraudulent documentation.
- The initial visa issued to you will be valid for a single entry to the State
- If you have a valid reason for leaving the State for a short period of time you must apply, in advance of making any arrangements, to the Department of Foreign Affairs, for a re-entry visa.
- You must be able to prove you will be continuing with your studies on your return to the State
- Before a re-entry visa can be issued, you must be registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau
- For information on how and where you can apply for a Re-Entry visa please see link to ‘Re-entry Visas’ on www.justice.ie
- It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa (where relevant) for the country you intend travelling to
- Note: A visa must be obtained from the UK authorities prior to travelling to Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland consists of Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone)
Study Visa Renewal
You are responsible for renewing your GNIB registration card each time it expires. It will usually expire at the end of your academic year, and must be renewed for the coming academic year of your course. To renew your GNIB registration card, you will need a letter from the collegel with details of your course and your course attendance over the past year. Note that if your attendance is low, you may not be given permission to stay for the next year of your course.