- Student Visas
- Who needs to apply for a visa?
- How do I apply for a student visa?
- After visa is issued
- Approval in Principle
- Further Information
- How long will it take
- What happens if my visa is refused?
- Study Visa Renewal
- Can I work in Ireland
- Re-entry Visas
- Registration and Permission to Remain
- British Irish Visa Scheme
- Post Study Visa
- Things to do after arriving in Ireland
Irish student visas may be granted for the duration of the student's course in Ireland although it is important to ensure that you apply for the right type of study visa. In Ireland, study visas are issued in two categories, the 'C visa', and the 'D visa'. The former is designed for those who will be studying in Ireland on a very short-term course of less than three months; the latter is for those who need to study in Ireland for three months or more.
Study visas are not intended as a route to living and working in Ireland per se, however, they do permit the applicant to engage in a limited amount of work in Ireland to supplement their income. Students may work part time in Ireland for a maximum of 20 hours per week. However, visa applicants will be expected to be able to support themselves and any dependents during their time in Ireland and this must not be based upon the ability to work once they arrive in Ireland.
One of the key benefits of an Irish study visa is that students graduating from Irish institutions may be able to participate in the graduate program. The graduate scheme applies to all students who successfully obtain a tertiary qualification from an Irish institution and allows the candidate to remain in Ireland for an additional six months during which time they may seek full time employment. If a candidate secures a position of employment they may be able to remain in Ireland through an Irish work permit or by making a green card application.
Who needs to apply for a visa?
- Ireland is not a member of the Schengen Agreement. Students who have obtained a visa for a Schengen country, will need to apply for a separate visa for Ireland.
- Students from the EU/EEA do not require a student visa to study in Ireland.
- Students from one of the countries listed below will not need a visa to visit Ireland.
- Students from a country not listed below require a visa prior to arrival.
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Hong Kong (SAR)*
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America
(Students from Hong Kong should consult the Irish Naturalization and Immigration website for full details)
- Students who do not require an entry visa to enter Ireland (that is, if they are an EU/EEA national or from a country listed above) do not need to apply for a student visa before travelling, but should still have all documentation relating to their studies on their person when coming through immigration. In other words, they should carry their offer letter and receipt from the school ready for inspection at immigration. Later they must bring this documentation to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) when they receive their visa locally.
- The student immigration process is divided into two categories, based on whether one is applying for a degree programme offered by a higher education institution or one intends to pursue an English-language or non-degree course.
- Only students who intend to enrol on full-time academic programmes can apply for a student visa. Student visas are not approved for part-time academic programmes.
How do I apply for a student visa?
- Here is a list of documents you will require in order to be eligible to apply for a visa:
- Letter of Offer from respective University
- Receipt of fees evidence from University
- Private medical insurance
- To apply for your study visa you must prepare a number of documents for your application. Your application should be submitted to your closest Irish Embassy or Consulate.
- If your country does not have an Irish mission, you should forward your complete visa application to your respective University for submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
- A list of Irish Embassies and Consulates overseas can be found by visiting the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs website at www.dfa.ie
- The Department of Justice in Ireland has issued guidelines for preparation of your visa application.
- The following information outlines the minimum documentation you must submit along with your application. Please read carefully.
- Visa application form
- A copy of the visa student questionnaire
- A copy of your birth certificate
- Passport size photographs
- Detailed CV/Resume
- A student affidavit/declaration
- If you are being sponsored, an affidavit/declaration from your sponsor(s)
- A certificate of relationship between you and your sponsor(s)
- A statement of purpose/study plan explaining why you wish to study in Ireland
- Your previous academic records (relevant academic qualifications and exam transcripts: certificates and mark sheets from high school and university)
- Translated copies of your academic records if issued in another language than English
- English language test is compulsory. The following are acceptable - IELTS, PTE (degree courses only), Cambridge English Language Assessments, Pearson Test of English Academic or English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes.
language (e.g. PTE or IELTS)
- A reference letter from your school/college if you are currently a student
- A letter from your employer if you are currently working (this letter should confirm your position and salary. Your employer should also state the length of leave being granted to study abroad, and the purpose of participating in the proposed course of study. If currently in employment, evidence of your salary received such as a recent pay-slip)
- A copy of the bank draft
- Recent bank statements (no older than three months)
- Your sponsor(s) pay-slips if employed, or trade license and tax income certificate if owner of a business
- A police clearance certificate
- Copy of valid passport (it must have 6 months validity from the date of course completion) and a copy of every page must be submitted. This includes previous/cancelled passports as well
- The required application fee
- Details of family members living in Ireland or the EU
- 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.
- Please also note that all copied documentation must be notarised, and official translations must be submitted where documentation is not in English.
- All reference and documentation must be on official letter-headed paper, which includes contact addresses and telephone numbers. Please note that references may be checked by visa officials, and that students may be required to attend an interview.
- Any unsigned declarations, false information, forged or fraudulent documentation will result in the refusal of your application and no appeal will be permitted.
- The onus is on you, the applicant, to satisfy the Visa Officer that a visa should be granted.
- Applicants should note that visa applications can take time to be processed and that this time period can vary from a few weeks to, in some cases, six months. The average processing time is approximately 8-12 weeks.
After visa is issued
- If your application for a visa has been approved, the Embassy to which you applied will affix a visa to your passport.
- The dates entered on your visa indicate the dates between which you may seek to enter the State.
- It is important to note that a visa is a form of pre-entry clearance to the State only, and does not guarantee that you will be permitted to enter or remain in the State.
- Immigration Officers at the point of entry are entitled to question any person on arrival. If they are not satisfied with the bona-fides of any person, or their reasons for wishing to enter the State, they have the right to deny entry to any such person, despite the fact they hold a valid visa.
- It is recommended that you have supporting documentation related to your course of study with you to present to the Immigration Officer on disembarkation from your flight.
Approval in Principle
Under this scheme, applicants for a study visa from India, who have been accepted on to an approved course (the educational institution can advise if the course is approved), can apply for a study visa without having to pay the requisite college fees in advance. Fees need only be paid when the visa application has been approved. Once evidence of the Electronic Fee Transfer has been submitted to the Visa Office New Delhi the visa will issue.
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.
While applying for a visa you must provide a copy of valid passport and a copy of every page must be submitted.
You have been granted a Study Visa on the basis that you will attend school/college to partake in a course which involves at least 15 hours of organised daytime tuition each week.
It will be necessary for you to show evidence of your attendance record to the Garda National Immigration Bureau when seeking to have your permission to remain in the State extended.
If you do not show a satisfactory attendance rate at your course you will not be entitled to remain in the State. It is expected that students will be able to demonstrate an attendance rate of 80% or higher at their chosen course of study to which the visa relates.
How long will it take for me to get my student visa?
The length of time needed to process a visa varies from country to country. Applicants should note that visa applications can take time to be processed and that this time period can vary from a few weeks to, in some cases, six months. The average processing time is approximately 8-12 weeks.
What happens if my visa is refused?
If your study visa application is refused, you have the right to a visa appeal. If you wish to proceed with a visa appeal, and if the college considers it feasible, it will write this appeal for you and submit it directly to the Department of Justice. A visa appeal generally takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
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 and Equality,
13-14 Burgh Quay,
- If you applied to the Visa Office in Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Beijing, 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
Will I get a refund of fees if my visa is refused?
If your visa is refused you will receive a full refund of fees. No part of your fee will be retained. To apply for your refund you should post a copy of your visa refusal letter to the respective college. Upon receipt of this your refund will be raised, and this will take approximately 10 working days to process.
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 your University 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.
Can I work in Ireland during my studies in Ireland?
- Only students attending a full time course of education of at least one year’s duration leading to qualifications recognised by the Minister for Education and Science will be permitted to take up casual employment.
- Access to employment is denied to all other students.
- Casual employment is defined as up to a maximum of 20 hours part time work per week, or full time work during normal college vacation periods. Such work should not interfere with your course attendance, as failure to provide evidence of a satisfactory attendance record will result in refusal of any extension to your permission to remain.
- The entitlement to casual employment will cease on completion of your college course.
- The stamp placed in your passport by GNIB will indicate whether or not you are permitted to take up casual employment.
- If you are in doubt about this you should check with GNIB before you accept any job offer.
- Any breach of your visa conditions will lead to a review of your case and possible removal from the State.
- 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, 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.
- 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).
Registration and Permission to Remain
If you intend on staying in Ireland for more than 90 days, it is a requirement that you register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) either at 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, or the Immigration Officer in area in which you are residing. There is a charge of €300 each time you register.
Extensions of your permission to remain in the State to pursue your studies will only be granted if the Immigration Officer is satisfied with matters such as your level of attendance at your course, evidence of your accommodation, finances and medical insurance.
Permission to remain in the State is not usually granted for a period of more than a total of 18 months unless the student is attending a full time course of at least one year’s duration leading to qualifications recognised by the Minister for Education and Science.
British Irish Visa Scheme
- Allows for short term travel to and around the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland, on the basis of a single visa, by nationals who are visa-required for the purpose of travel to or entrance into both jurisdictions.
- The Scheme involves the mutual recognition by either jurisdiction of certain classes of visa issued by the other.
- Not applicable to students.
- Information note - www.irelandinindia.com
Post Study Visa
Can I stay in Ireland after I complete my studies to seek employment?
It may be possible to stay in Ireland after you complete your studies for the purpose of seeking employment under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. This scheme exists to allow legally resident non-EEA third level graduates to remain in Ireland for the purpose of seeking employment and applying for a green card or work permit.
During the period of permission -under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme, a student can work full time (up to 40h per week).
The permission the student will have will remain that of student.
The permission under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme is non renewable.
A student can only avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme once.
Once a student has availed of the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme they are not permitted to re-enter full time education and to be registered as a student at the end of this period.
One Year Permission under the Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission
To be eligible for a one year permission under the third level graduate scheme a student is required to have studied in Ireland and completed a qualification at Level NFQ 8-10, an award granted by a recognised Irish awarding body (overseas accreditation will not be accepted), i.e.
Six Month Permission under the Third Level Graduate Scheme
A six month permission under the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme is available to students who have graduated a course at Level 7 of the NFQ.
Things to do after arriving in Ireland
Once you arrive at the school you will need to carry out the following steps:
Students who intend staying in Ireland for more than 90 days are required to register with GNIB. In addition to course fees, the student must have access to €3,OOO at first registration with GNIB or where Non-EEA Students are studying for a period of less than 6 months they must have access to €5OO per month of stay or €3,000, whichever is the lesser.
- Get a letter from the reception to allow opening of a bank account.
- Open the bank account with a minimum balance of €3000. The bank statement, which is for immigration purposes, is issued immediately.
- Return to school to get an immigration letter stating course duration, type, insurance, and ACELS code.
- The school simultaneously delivers a copy of the letter to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).
- Wait one week before presenting at the GNIB office with passport, bank statement and €300.
- If you are staying for less than 25 weeks you should receive a student visa in your passport. If you are staying for 25 weeks or more, you should receive a student visa with permission to work part time.
- If you are staying in accommodation organized by the school, you may request letter to apply for a Personal Public Number (PPS) number to be sent to the address of your accommodation. It takes one week.
- Checklist of documents required for Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB):
- Valid Passport
- Evidence of financial support (€ 7000) to maintain you for the duration of your studies in Ireland
- A letter from your University indicating your student status, start date, and duration of your programme
- Receipt of fees paid
- Evidence of health insurance
- € 350 GNIB fee