How to get a visa to study in Ireland
Do you need a visa to study in Ireland?
Follow our easy guide to finding out if you need a visa to study in Ireland – and how to get one if you do.
Applying for a visa to study in Ireland is not a hard process, but it can take time and you must have certain documents for the application. We have outlined the process below as simply as possible, but please always contact us if you have any questions.
Firstly, not all students require visas to study in Ireland. All EU students do not require a visa for entry to Ireland. Many non-EU students also do not require a visa – these are “visa waiver” countries. Your first step is to see if your country is included in the visa waiver list on the following link: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/check-irish-visa
If your country is in the visa waiver list
Good news – you can come to Ireland on a tourist visa for three months, but you must book and pay for your course before you travel. At Delfin School, we will send you an Entry Letter that you can use during checks at the airport when you arrive.
If you want to study for longer than three months, you must apply for a Long Stay (D) Visa through immigration (called the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in Ireland). With this stamp, you can also work part-time or during holidays while you study. Application for this stamp must be made in person in the Burgh Quay GNIB office in Dublin City Centre. Appointments can be made up to 10 weeks in advance and we’d strongly advise you to set up this appointment as soon as you have booked and paid for your course and know when you’ll be arriving in Dublin. You do have three months to complete your application when you get to Dublin, but appointments book up very quickly. If you are in a hurry, a small number of extra near-term appointments are also released every day at 2.30pm Irish Time. You can make your appointment through the following link: https://burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie/
The application costs €300 (you can pay this at the office with a credit or debit card) and you must bring a number of documents with you to your appointment:
· Your passport
· The Entry Letter provided by Delfin School
· Your original receipt from the payment of your college fees
· Proof that you have private medical insurance
· Proof that you have €3,000 in an account that can be accessed in Ireland or in a pre-paid credit card (or if you’re staying less than six months, €500 a month for your duration of your stay)
More details of the requirements can be found in the following link: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/registration-study-language#notes
If your application is successful the immigration officer will stamp your passport and register you before your appointment ends. Your Irish Residency Permit (IRP) will then be sent to you by post within ten days – please make sure to confirm your exact address before leaving the registration office.
Renewing your visa can be done through the same link – make an appointment early for a day about two weeks before your visa expires
If you need an entry visa
If your country is not on the visa waiver list, then you will need to apply for an entry visa before you travel to Ireland. You can check if you need an entry visa through the following link: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/visa-required-countries
Before applying, you must book and pay for your course. Once you have been accepted, you can begin the process. If you are staying for less than three months, you can apply for a tourism visa to Ireland – make sure to prepare your application three months before you travel. Fees and required documents can be different for various countries – more details can be found on the following link: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Visit%20Tourist
In general, the application has three parts:
· Create a visa application online (through this link: https://www.visas.inis.gov.ie/AVATS/OnlineHome.aspx)
· Pay the visa application fee
· Send your passport and other documents for processing
Remember that when you travel, you must prepare for border control when you enter Ireland – make sure you have a valid entry visa, your passport, your Entry Letter from Delfin and any other documents required.
If you are staying longer than three months, you must apply for a study visa through the link above. You may need different documentation according to your circumstances – for example, you may need to prove you have €7,000 in your account to support you in Ireland. More details can be found in this link: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Study
Once you have arrived in Ireland, you must then register with immigration (GNIB) using the process described above.
Remember that we are always here to help you in Delfin! Please contact us if you need any help with your GNIB after your arrival.