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How to Get a Student Visa in Ireland
3 min

How to Get a Student Visa in Ireland

May 9, 2022
3 min

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 delighted students with their study abroad experience.

Good news if you've decided to study abroad in Ireland and are from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland! You will not require an Irish student visa. If you are not a citizen of the EU/EEA, proceed to the next step and prepare to apply for your student visa.

Apply to an Irish university and get your acceptance letter

If you are still undecided about where you want to study in Ireland, you must decide before beginning the 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:

  1. Dublin University College
  2. University of Maynooth
  3. Limerick University
  4. University College Cork
  5. Dublin Institute of Technology 
  6. Dublin City University

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 recognized by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program  (SEVP).

Tier 4 visa: The Tier 4 Student visa allows international students to come to the UK and take advantage of educational opportunities. With some of the world's leading and most prestigious universities, colleges, and schools, the United Kingdom is a popular choice for first-rate education students.

To find out if you need a visa to enter Ireland, go to the Department of Justice and Equality's official website.

When and where to apply for the study visa in Ireland?

  1. You can apply for a study permit up to three months before your arrival date in Ireland.
  1. Simply fill out an online application form on the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service's website.
  1. Follow the instructions and submit your documentation after completing the online application process.
  1. As part of the application process, you may be asked to provide biometric information.
  1. The processing time varies according to your nationality and other factors. Typically, you will receive a response within 4 to 8 weeks of submitting your 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.

To be granted a student immigration permit, international students must meet the minimum English language requirements.

You must provide proof of English language proficiency in the form of an internationally recognized certificate issued within two years of the course's expected start date. English exams that are accepted include:

Language requirements for studying in Ireland

To be granted a student immigration permit, international students must meet the minimum English language requirements.

You must provide proof of English language proficiency in the form of an internationally recognised certificate issued within two years of the course's expected start date. English exams that are accepted include:

  1. IELTS Academic
  2. TOEFL iBT
  3. PTE Academic

Documents required for the student visa in Ireland

  1. Two recent colour passport-size photographs
  2. Passport and a full copy of any previous passports
  3. A signed letter of application including your full contact details (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

A student's estimated cost of living in Ireland for one academic year is 7,000 EUR. Non-EU/EEA students studying for less than six months must demonstrate their ability to cover living expenses of 500 EUR per month.

The official Irish government website has more up-to-date information on the student visa for Ireland. 

Apply for a work permit in Ireland

EU and EEA students can work in Ireland without restrictions, whether they work full-time or part-time. 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 requirements:

  1. Hold a GNIB card, a registration certificate issued by the Immigration Office upon your arrival in Ireland.
  2. Be enrolled in a study programme on the government's list of visa-eligible courses.

Conditions to apply for a residence permit

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:

  1. Passport
  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 must be renewed before it expires.