USA and the UK
Introduction to Ireland Student Visa
Students who are US citizens do not require a visa to enter or study in Ireland.
However, all non-EEA nationals, including those without visas, will have to receive permission to enter Ireland from an immigration officer at the border. You must also register at a local immigration office and apply for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) if you intend to study for longer than 3 months in Ireland.
If you are not a US citizen and are not from a visa-exempt country, you will need to apply for an Ireland student visa. For studies shorter than 3 months, the ‘C’ Study Visa would be suitable. For studies longer than 3 months, you will instead have to apply for a ‘D’ Study visa.
Study visas can be applied for up to 3 months before you travel to Ireland.
To apply for a visa, you have to complete an online Ireland student visa application. You must print, sign and date the application form with your supporting documents.
You must make your visa application from the country where you are ordinarily a resident. Requests to make a visa application from any other country (such as a country you are visiting while on vacation) will not be accepted.
- Introduction to Ireland Student Visa
- Ireland Student Visa Requirements
- Documents Required for Student Visa Ireland
- Finances for Student Visa Ireland
- Private Medical Insurance
- Application Fees for Ireland Student Visa
- Student Visa Processing Times
- How can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Ireland Student Visa Requirements
To be eligible for a student visa, there are some requirements you will meet to prove your eligibility.
You need to be accepted from an approved educational institute on an eligible course, meet the minimum language requirements, prove you have fully paid your course fees to the organization, prove you are able to support your stay in Ireland, and prove you have private medical insurance.
Additional documents will be needed as part of your application to prove your eligibility.
There are a number of documents you will need to submit as part of your Student Visa application. These documents include:
- Your application form, signed and dated
- Application letter, which includes:
- your full name and postal address listing, the reason you want to come to Ireland, and the dates you plan to arrive and leave. In the letter, you must also confirm that you will comply with the requirements of the visa, refrain from relying on any public services and leave the country before the end of your permission. You should also indicate if you already have any family members living in Ireland or the EU.
- Two color passport-sized photographs taken in the last 6 months, with your name and visa application reference number on the back
- Your current passport and a full copy of all other or previous passports
- Evidence of your enrolment on an eligible course – letter of acceptance from the college or Irish university. The letter should confirm:
- that you have been accepted and enrolled on a full-time course (involving a minimum of 15 hours of instruction each week), details of the course, the amount of fees payable for your course, and the amount that you have paid.
- If your course fees are below €6,000, these must be fully paid off before you submit your visa application. If they are more than €6,000, you must pay at least €6,000 of the total fees before you submit your application.
- Evidence accounting for any gaps in your education history, including full details of your employment history if you have filled any gaps in education by periods of employment
- Evidence of fee payment to the college. You must provide a copy of Electronic Transfer of Funds to the Irish Bank of the college or a valid receipt demonstrating that they have been paid
- Evidence of suitable academic ability for your course, i.e. exam results or qualifications
- Evidence of your level of English (or Irish) – must show that you can do your chosen course through the medium of English
- If you have been refused a visa in the past for any country, you must provide the details and provide the original letter issued to you
- Summary of finances for study visa application: all applicants for a long-stay Irish study visa must complete a financial summary form (FSF). All finances declared in the form must be backed up with documentary evidence.
You must provide original documents in either English or Irish.
If you have translated documents, each document must come with a confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the document in question, the state of the translation, the translator’s full name and signature, and the translator’s contact details.
Any State issued official documents, such as Birth Certificates, that were issued by a State outside of the EEA or Switzerland, must be attested as genuine by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the State that issued that document, for it to be accepted as evidence for Irish visa purposes. Official State documents that are issued by a State within the EEA or Switzerland do not require to be attested as genuine.
All letters submitted by a business, company, or other organization should be on an official headed paper and provide full contact information.
You must show that you have enough funds for your stay in Ireland. Funds should be acquired without relying on Irish public benefits or employment whilst in Ireland.
For all academic courses due to begin after 1 July 2023, you must demonstrate that you or your sponsor has at least €10,000 for every academic year you’ll spend in Ireland.
If the duration of your course is less than 6 months you must have access to €700 per month of your stay or €4,200 whichever is lesser.
Evidence of your finances must be provided via a recent bank statement, showing all transactions over the last six months.
Bank statements must be on headed paper, or internet printouts that have been notarised by the bank with a statement confirming its authenticity. Any large or irregular lodgements, such as student loans, must be fully explained in your statement. You should also include a letter from your bank stating that you’re able to withdraw money from your account if you’re submitting a bank statement from a deposit or savings account.
Credit cards cannot be used as evidence of finances.
In the case that you’re being supported (fully or partly) by a family member or friend, you must supply the name and relationship details (including evidence of your relationship) of each person supporting you.
Your sponsor must also provide clear details of the financial support they intend to give you, including how much financial support they intend to give and that they are capable of doing so while still managing to maintain themselves and other family members.
Student Bond System
There is a pilot program available to enable students to provide alternative proof of finances other than bank statements; this is an education bond worth at least €10,000. This bond must be registered with an approved student fees payment service, such as Transfermate (formerly Pay to Study).
To be eligible, the bond should be held by the applicant all the way through the visa application to the time where you will register with the Irish immigration authorities. You will be able to cash in the bond after your arrival in Ireland or if you end up not travelling to study in Ireland for any reason.
In order to be eligible for this, you will have to show a receipt showing proof of payment for the bond to the ISD. Note, however, that you may also be required to show additional proof of finances in addition to this.
Private Medical Insurance
Private Medical Insurance coverage is required for all non-EEA students studying in Ireland. Your college may arrange this on your behalf. If so, your letter of acceptance from the college must include details of this. If it is not arranged by the college, you must organize this yourself.
Application Fees for Ireland Student Visa
A single entry visa fee is €60 and multi entry is €100.
This covers the cost of processing your application. This fee cannot be refunded if your application is refused or withdrawn.
There are some visa fee exemptions, including certain nationalities, if you are a family member of an Irish citizen or a qualifying family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen under the Free Movement Directive.
Student Visa Processing Times
Applications are processed in date order.
Processing times can vary between countries and visa offices, embassies, or consulates. It can also vary during high-volume periods during the year. Generally, you can expect a decision within 8 weeks from the date on which you lodge your application.
Your application may take longer if you have not submitted all necessary supporting documentation, if there is verification needed for supporting documentation, and depending on personal circumstances.
If you visit the website of the visa office, embassy, or consulate that is handling your application, you can check the processing times for applications.
It is advised not to buy travel tickets before knowing the outcome of your visa application.
It is a requirement for all non-EEA students who intend on staying in Ireland for more than 90 days to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). This can be done at the GNIB in Dublin or with the Immigration Officer in the area in which you are residing.
When you first register with GNIB, you will be required to provide proof of the following:
- You are enrolled on a privately funded course in the Degree Program
- A Letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time day education
- Proof of fees paid to the college
- Bank statements showing financial evidence
- Private medical insurance
Upon successful registration, you will be given a certificate indicating that you have been given immigrant permission allowing you to study in the State. It is good for one year and is renewable on an annual basis for a maximum of 7 years.
When you renew you will need to prove you have been engaging in full-time education, show verifiable academic process, proof of fees paid to college, and proof of maintained private medical insurance.
Gaining assistance from one of our experienced immigration advisors can help make your application for a study visa go smoothly. Here at IAS, we have the tools and expertise to help you, regardless of your circumstances or complexity of your application.
We can help you with your visa application, check over the necessary documents, and provide advice on how to register your permission in Ireland.
Last modified on September 7th, 2023 at 6:30 am
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Yes, it is permissible for students to change courses. Some conditions, however, will apply:
- Students will not be allowed to change course during the first year of study
- Students will only be permitted to change course to a new course of study leading to a major award or equivalent on the same level of the NFQ or a higher NFQ level
- It will not be permissible for Students to move from the Degree Program to a Non- Degree or Language Course
Certain students may engage in casual employment, but you must be able to pay for your course and support yourself, live in Ireland without going into business or getting a job or state benefits.
During term-time, non-EEA students can work up to 20 hours per week, and during normal college holiday periods, non-EEA students can work a full-time basis up to 40 hours per week with Stamp 2 permission.
Your time on a student visa is not reckonable, therefore does not take into account any application for long-term residence or citizenship.
After you graduate from an Irish educational institution, you may be eligible to apply for the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. This Scheme allows recent graduates to remain in Ireland for an additional year so they can look for work or apply for an Ireland work permit.
If you find a job in Ireland and receive an Irish work permit, you may be eligible for permanent residency after five years, in some cases, after two years.