Who can apply for Ireland’s Study Visas?
Ireland has one of the best education systems globally, and always ranks high in the world’s top countries for peace, quality of life, and human development. This explains why it is a top destination for international students. It also provides a friendly working environment for international students who wish to stay and build their careers after their course.
However, obtaining an Ireland student visa can be stringent for non-EEA nationals due to its immigration process requirements. There are two immigration routes open to international students, depending on the duration of your course of study.
Those undertaking short term courses with a duration of not more than 90 days will need a short term study visa. Those whose course durations are longer than 90 days will need a long term study visa. Each route has its own set of requirements, processes, and supporting documentation, which can be somewhat cumbersome.
The good news however is that with the help of an immigration lawyer, some aspects of the process can be made smoother and more efficient. This is where Immigration Advice Service comes in. Our team will help lift the burden of this rigorous process and prepare you for each stage of the visa application.
Long Term Study Visa
A long term study visa allows you to stay and study in Ireland for more than 3 months. You will need to obtain a visa before you can enter the country.
This means you must have been offered admission to study a full-time course in Ireland.
The course must be on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) provided by the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS).
As a successful long-term study visa application candidate, you will receive a Stamp 2 permit in your passport.
A Stamp 2 permit comes with certain rules, which include employment guidelines for international students who wish to work during their course.
It also contains information on your visa expiry date, and when to renew it if you want to remain in Ireland after the expiration.
You will follow the steps below to obtain your long term study visa.
Step 1: Enroll on a Course and Pay for Your Course
The first step is to enroll for a course in one of the approved institutions in Ireland. After you have been offered admission, you must pay all the required fees.
Step 2: Apply for a Study Visa
After paying your course fees, you can now apply for a long stay Study Visa, also known as Long Stay ‘D’ visa. You should apply 3 months before your intended travel date.
You will submit the visa application online and send your passport along with other supporting documents for processing. You must apply for a visa from your home country or country of residence.
Step 3: Arrive in Ireland
If your visa application is successful, you can use the visa to travel to Ireland. After arriving in Ireland, you will need to undergo a border control process to determine if you are eligible to enter the country.
Step 4: Apply for Permission to Stay and Register with Immigration
After successfully passing the border control checks, you will need to register with a local immigration visa office in the district you plan to live in.
This immigration permit registration is also required for international students who don’t need a visa to come to Ireland. If you are in this category of non-visa-required international students, you must have €3,000 for this registration. After you have successfully registered, you will receive your Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
Short Term Study Visa
The short term study visa is for those that want to partake in a short-term course in Ireland for 90 days or less. It is known as the short stay ‘C’ visit (Study) visa.
People leverage this visa for various kinds of short term engagements in Ireland. For instance, those who only want to have a taste of Ireland sometimes get this visa to partake in certain short-term courses that only last for one semester.
Some also use it to attend an important exam or engage in an internship related to their current or future course of study. It is also available to those coming to Ireland to attend a training course and those attending a short term English language course.
If you are not sure which type of these two study visas best suits your travel needs, you can contact us today for guidance. We will assign you an experienced immigration lawyer to help you choose the right visa and walk you through the application process.
Study Visa Requirements
Requirements may vary from one student to another, depending on the course, nationality, and some other factors. However, most non-EEA visa required student visa applicants will need supporting evidence that includes the following:
- Your Letter of Acceptance from the school, college, or university where you that offered you admission in Ireland
- Proof of your academic records in your chosen course such as past exam results and any qualifications you may have
- Evidence of your English language abilities (unless your chosen study is to learn English)
- Evidence that your full-time study covers at least 15 hours a week
- Proof of maintenance funds. You must have at least €7,000 to support yourself for your first year of studying
- Proof that you have paid your course fees in full
- Proof that you have private medical insurance
- A written explanation if you have any gaps in your educational history
- A declaration that you intend to leave Ireland and return to your home country once you complete your course of study
Keep in mind that you may be required to provide more evidence than what is shown above. The immigration authorities will let you know what exactly you should submit during the application process.
Non-EEA students are required to show they have access to sufficient funds to support themselves throughout their period of stay in Ireland. Currently, the required amount you must demonstrate access to is €7,000. This is one of the key requirements during your visa application.
Students who don’t require a visa must demonstrate their financial proof on their first registration after entering Ireland. They will need a minimum of €3,000 to prove that they can support themselves.
If you have a scholarship that either partly covers or fully covers both your course fees and living costs, you must provide a letter from the relevant organization confirming the details of the scholarship.
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As a non-EEA student coming to study in Ireland, you are required to have private medical insurance. At registration with the immigration authorities, you will be required to provide proof of the appropriate medical insurance.
You can book a date with one of our Irish immigration lawyers today to discuss what our immigration services can do for you through this number (+353) 061 518 025.
Generally, international students are not allowed to bring their families with them to Ireland based on their student immigration status. However, your spouse or partner may still join you, but they will have to make their own visa application. Their application will be judged in their own right and cannot be on the basis of their relationship with you. Children are not allowed to join or accompany their parents on a student visa. Only children born during your stay in Ireland are allowed to stay with you.
Yes, international students on Stamp 2 permit are allowed to work while studying. You are permitted to work full-time in accordance with the Irish employment law during the months of June, July, August, and September and from December 15 to January 15. But at all other times, you will only be allowed to work for 20 working hours per week.
The overall period of time a non-EEA student can be allowed to remain in Ireland to pursue a course or courses of study is 7 years. Periods of time previously spent studying courses count toward the 7-year limit.
You may be eligible to stay in Ireland after completing your course for the purpose of seeking employment under the Third Level Graduate Programme.
The programme is designed to allow legally resident educated non-EEA graduates with necessary credentials to remain in Ireland after their studies. This will be to seek a graduate level employment and apply for a general employment permit, research hosting agreement, or critical skills employment.