Visa Information, Visa Requirements, Visa Application Guidelines, Immigration Rules and Inquiry

Studying in Ireland

Ireland flag
Citizens of certain countries who wish to pursue a course of study in Ireland must apply for a visa to enter Ireland before they travel.

Since January 2011 there are changes to the immigration system for non-EEA students. If you are a non-EEA national traveling to study in Ireland you must be enrolled in a full-time course under the Degree Programme or the Language and Non-Degree Programme. 

You will need to provide the following with your visa application:

  • Letter of acceptance from a recognised school/college/university in Ireland confirming that you have been accepted on a course of study. This course of study must be full-time (lasting an academic year) and have a minimum of 15 hours per week study time.
  • Evidence of your academic ability to pursue the chosen course through the English language (unless it is an English language course).
  • Evidence that the fees for the course have been paid in full.
  • Evidence that you have enough funds (€7,000) to maintain yourself for the initial part of your stay.
  • Evidence that you or a sponsor have access to at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years.
  • Evidence that you have private medical insurance
  • An explanation of any gaps in your educational history
  • Confirmation that you intend to return to your country of permanent residence when you leave Ireland.

The granting of a student visa to study in Ireland does not confer the automatic right of anyone to join or visit you in Ireland (whether they are a relative or not).

If you don't need an entry visa to enter Ireland, do you need a student visa to study?
No. If you do not require an entry visa to enter Ireland, you do not require a student visa to study in Ireland. However, all non-EEA nationals, including those with visas, must obtain permission to enter the State by reporting to an Immigration Officer at the port of entry. (The members of the EEA are the 28 countries of the European Union (EU), together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein)

You should have all documentation relating to your studies on your person when passing through immigration. In other words, you should have your letter of offer of a place at the school, or educational institution ready for inspection at immigration.

Permission to remain in Ireland
Students from a non-EEA country who intend studying in Ireland for a period of more than 3 months must register, after they arrive, with the local immigration officer for the district in which they are living (Garda National Immigration Bureau if living in Dublin). Their passport will be endorsed with the conditions and period of time for which they have permission to remain. Since 1 April 2011 they must have €3,000 when they first register. 

Non-EEA students traveling to Ireland for the first time may not get permission to remain in Ireland if they have their children with them, or intend their children to join them later on. 

Access to employment while in Ireland on a student visa
If you are attending a course on the Internationalisation Register (Internationalisation Register (Updated 02 June 2015) under one of the above programmes you will have stamp number 2 endorsed on your passport when you register with your local immigration officer. You will be allowed to take up casual employment of up to 20 hours part-time work per week in term time or up to 40 hours per week during college vacation periods that is, from May to August inclusive and from 15 December to 15 January. The stamp will be valid until you have finished your course of study and your entitlement to take up employment ceases when your permission to remain expires.

If you are not attending such a course, you will not be entitled to take up part-time work or engage in any business or profession. You will get stamp number 2A on your passport. This stamp gives you permission to remain until you have finished your course.

What to do if you want to leave Ireland for a short while?
The visa issued to you allows you to enter the State once. If you wish to leave for a short while and then return you must apply for a re-entry visa. 

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa (if required) for the country you intend travelling to. Please note that you must obtain a visa from the UK authorities before travelling to Northern Ireland (Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone).

Countries whose citizens are not required to be in possession of a valid Irish visa
Andorra Guatemala Poland
Antigua & Barbuda Guyana Portugal
Argentina Honduras Romania
Australia Hong Kong (Special Admin. Region) Saint Kitts & Nevis
Austria Hungary Saint Lucia
Bahamas Iceland Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Barbados Israel Samoa
Belgium Italy San Marino
Belize Japan Seychelles
Bolivia Kiribati Singapore
Botswana Latvia Slovak Republic
Brazil Lesotho Slovenia
Brunei Liechtenstein Solomon Islands
Bulgaria Lithuania South Africa
Canada Luxembourg South Korea
Chile Macau (Special Admin. Region) Spain
Costa Rica Malawi Swaziland
Croatia Malaysia Sweden
Cyprus Maldives Switzerland
Czech Republic Malta Taiwan
Dominica Mexico Trinidad & Tobago
El Salvador Monaco Tuvalu
Estonia Nauru United Kingdom & Colonies
Fiji Netherlands United States of America
Finland New Zealand Uruguay
France Nicaragua Vanuatu
Germany Norway Vatican City
Greece Panama
Grenada Paraguay

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