I’m coming to Ireland to study. Do I need a visa?
You don’t need a visa if you are a citizen of any of the member countries of the European Economic Area or the European Union’s single market. These are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Swiss nationals and citizens of any country listed in the Further Information table on this page, don’t need a visa either.
You do need a visa if your passport or travel documents have been issued by any of the countries listed here.
Am I eligible for a visa?
You are eligible for a visa if you are enrolled in a full-time course on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). Make sure to check the list on the National Immigration Service site. Your college will also be able to tell you whether its courses are eligible.
How do I get a visa?
You must make your visa application online. Your application will be processed only when the online form is completed and the required documentation, passport photograph and appropriate fee are received by the offices indicated by the online system.
What will I need to do when I apply for a visa?
- Complete an online application.
- Check the Irish Embassy details where your documentation is to be sent.
- Provide a passport sized photo.
- Pay the application fee.
- Provide a signed letter of application which explains why you require the visa.
- Provide evidence from your college that you have been accepted on a full-time course of study.
- Show evidence of tuition fees paid. Where the course fees are less than €6,000, fees must be paid in full to the college. Where the course fees are in excess of €6,000, you must pay at least this amount prior to applying for your visa.
- Ensure your passport is valid for 12 months.
- Have private health insurance.
- Show that you have enough money to support yourself while in Ireland (bank account statements for six months previously, evidence of access to €7,000, sponsorship letter etc).
- Show evidence of language proficiency. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service requires a grade five in the International English Language Testing System.
- Provide any other documents as requested by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service or the Irish Embassy through which you are applying
- Make sure you keep copies of all documents submitted.
A guide to the application process and supporting documentation is available here.
What if I’m applying for a visa from China, India, Nigeria, Russia, or United Arab Emirates?
Check your local Irish Embassy website for details of further documentation which may be required.
What will my visa cost?
Fees vary from €25 to €100, so please see the INIS fees page for more information.
Can I work in Ireland while I’m on a student visa?
Yes. You can take up casual employment of up to 20 hours part-time work per week in term time and up to 40 hours per week during college vacation periods (from June to September inclusive and from 15 December to 15 January).
I’m a non-EU/EEA national. I’m not Swiss either. What happens when I arrive in Ireland?
- When you arrive in Ireland, an immigration officer at the airport will review your passport and paperwork. Make sure you bring all the documents you will have received from your college (eg: offer letter, evidence of tuition fees paid, scholarship details or US Financial Aid if applicable, evidence of private medical health insurance, accommodation details, etc) so that you can show a complete record to the immigration officer.
- You will get temporary immigration permission for either one or three months stamped into your passport. You must register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service within this time frame stamped on the passport.
- If you’re a non-EU/EEA student you must register with INIS after you’ve registered with your college in order to obtain permission to remain. INIS registration must take place before the expiry date stamped on your passport by the immigration official at the airport.
What if I’m coming to Ireland from the USA, Canada, Australia or Brazil?
Citizens of these countries do not require a visa to enter Ireland but are still are required to register with INIS after arrival.
How do I complete immigration registration with INIS?
You must make an appointment to meet with INIS at the Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin. Appointments must be booked online.
I’m an EU/EEA national and I want to work in Ireland after graduation – what do I need to know?
As an EU national you are entitled to come to Ireland to take up employment or self-employment. You do not need an employment permit. Nationals from the other countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), that is, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and Switzerland do not need employment permits to work in Ireland.
I’m a non-EEA national and I want to work in Ireland after graduation – what do I need to know?
The Irish government runs a ‘Third Level Graduate Programme’ which is intended to allow legally resident Irish- educated non-EEA graduates holding an award of a recognised Irish awarding body to work in Ireland after their studies.