So you’ve been accepted to an Irish university and are ready to try your luck in the country of whisky. You go through your checklist one more time. Your Irish university’s acceptance letter? Check. Your passport? Check. Your lucky charm? Never would’ve left without it. Proof of fluency in English? Check. Your student visa? Uh-oh. Don’t worry, we will guide you through each step of your Ireland visa application process and even tell you how to get a residence permit and Ireland post-study work visa.
If you’re someone who likes to prepare and have just begun planning your journey to study in Ireland, here are some reasons to concretise your decision to study in Ireland, including the application process, costs and Ireland student visa requirements.
Why study in Ireland?
Ireland’s significant investments in its higher education system are one of the reasons why the country has welcomed so many international students in recent years. Irish universities rank among the best in an increasing number of academic subjects.
Here are some of the reasons why Ireland is so appealing to internationals:
1. The country belongs to the European Union (EU).
2. Educational institutions adhere to the Bologna system.
3. English is the language of instruction in universities.
4. Students benefit from lower tuition fees and living costs compared to the UK.
5. Ireland is well-known for its welcoming people and secure environment.
6. Ireland was named one of the top countries for students delighted with their study abroad experience.
What do I need to know when applying for an Ireland student visa?
Good news if you’ve decided to study in Ireland and are from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland! You will not require an Ireland student visa. If you are not a citizen of the EU/EEA, prepare to apply for your Ireland student visa.
If you are still undecided about where you want to study in Ireland, you must decide before beginning the Ireland student visa application process. After being accepted to an Irish university, you will receive an acceptance letter required for your visa application.
Consider the following excellent Irish universities:
- Dublin University College
- University of Maynooth
- Limerick University
- University College Cork
- Dublin Institute of Technology
- Dublin City University
What are the different types of Ireland student visas?
If you are not from the EU or EEA, you must apply for a visa to study in Ireland. The duration of your degree determines the type of visa you should apply for:
- C-type study visa: for any study programme or course lasting less than three months (90 days)
- D-type study visa: for any study programme lasting more than three months. Non-EU/EEA students who wish to stay longer than three months must also register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, which can grant permission to stay in Ireland beyond the initial 90 days.
- F-1 student visa: The F-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits international students to study at institutions recognised by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
- Tier 4 visa: International students are able to visit the UK and take advantage of educational opportunities thanks to the Tier 4 Student visa. With some of the best and most prestigious universities, colleges, and schools in the world, the United Kingdom is a popular destination for students seeking a top-notch education. To find out if you need a visa to enter Ireland, go to the Department of Justice and Equality’s official website.
When should I apply?
Since the visa application procedure typically takes eight weeks or longer, you should apply for your Ireland student visa as soon as you can. You may apply up to three months before your arrival.
How do I apply online for an Ireland student visa?
1. Fill out an online visa application form on the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service’s website.
2. Follow the instructions and submit your documentation after completing the online visa application process.
3. You may be asked to provide biometric information as part of the visa application process.
4. The Ireland student visa processing time varies according to your nationality and other factors. Typically, you will receive a response within 4 to 8 weeks of submitting your visa application to the Visa Office/Embassy/Consulate. It is best not to purchase airline tickets until you have received an official response from the Irish consulate.
Which documents do I need when applying for a student visa?
You must submit the required documentation, passport photograph and appropriate fee for the correct visa type to the correct offices. You may also be required to provide biometrics information.
Language requirements to study in Ireland
To be granted a student immigration permit, international students must meet the minimum English language requirements.
You might need to take an approved English language proficiency test such as IELTS, TOEFL, or Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic. The required minimum scores can vary, but they generally range from around 6.0 to 7.0 for IELTS, 80 to 100 for TOEFL iBT, and 59 to 65 for PTE Academic.
Ireland Student Visa Checklist
Make sure you possess the following documents when applying for an Ireland student visa:
1. Two recent colour passport-size photographs
2. Passport and a full copy of any previous passports
3. A written visa application letter with your signature and complete contact information (stating the reason you want to come to Ireland)
4. Letter of Acceptance from the college/university
5. Evidence accounting for any gaps in your educational history
6. Proof of payment of the registration and tuition fees
7. Copies of all academic qualifications and exam results required for university studies
8. English language proficiency certificate
9. Proof you have sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland without recourse to public funds, or the reliance on casual employment
10. Medical Insurance
11. Commitment to leave Ireland on the expiry of your visa
How much will it cost to get an Ireland student visa?
The fees for single entry visa, multiple entry visa and transit visa are as follows: $81, $136 and $34. In addition to the visa fee, as applicable, there is an additional $13 return shipping fee for the return of the original documents.
Further, a student’s estimated cost of living in Ireland for one academic year is €7,000. Non-EU/EEA students who wish to study in Ireland for less than six months can cover living expenses in €600 - €800 per month.
The official Irish government website has more up-to-date information on the Ireland study visa.
How do I check on my visa status?
To check the status of your visa application, you typically need to follow these steps:
- Using your visa application number, you may check the status of your visa application for an Ireland visa online to see if it has been accepted. Every week, this list is updated.
- The Irish Embassy office will affix your visa to your passport if your visa application is approved.
- If your visa application is rejected, you have two months to appeal the decision.
Can I work in Ireland after I finish my studies?
If you wish to work in Ireland after your studies, you can apply for a work permit in Ireland. EU and EEA students can work in Ireland, whether full-time or part-time, without restrictions. Non-EU/EEA students are permitted to work:
Part-time: during semesters, up to 20 hours per week
Full-time: 40 hours per week except on holidays
They must, however, meet the following Ireland study visa requirements:
1. Hold a GNIB card, a registration certificate issued by the Immigration Office upon arrival in Ireland.
2. Be enrolled in a study programme on the government’s list of visa-eligible courses.
How do I get a residence permit in Ireland?
If you have enrolled in a study programme lasting more than three months, you must register with the local Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) as soon as you arrive in Ireland.
You will be required to submit documents such as
2. Four recent passport-sized photographs
3. Documentation about your entry into Ireland (e.g. evidence of funds confirmation of enrollment on a recognised course)
You can stay in the country for 12 months with a residence permit. A Certificate of Registration (also known as a Green Book) will be issued to you, which you must renew before it expires. The friendliness and hospitality for which the Irish people are renowned contribute to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life and, particularly, student life in Ireland. Picking out student accommodation near your university in Ireland will be your next step if you wish to study in Ireland. Now that you have got your visa and are ready to live in Ireland, how about you check out our webstory on the ten cheapest places to live in Ireand to find the right place for you!