Travelling to Ireland on a Student Visa will give you fantastic educational opportunities and many people have benefitted from living and studying in Ireland.
If you are from the EU, you can study in Ireland without the need to apply for a visa, however, if you are a national of a non-EEA country, you must be granted a Student Visa in order to study here.
As part of the visa application, you will need to submit a number of documents with your application form to prove your eligibility.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) for Student Visa
The application process can be divided into a number of stages and it is important to follow the application process as outlined by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) which is overseen by the Department of Justice.
The visa that you apply for will depend on how long you wish to spend studying in Ireland. The two study visas include those designed for three months’ study or less and study visas for periods of longer than three months.
You must apply for a full-time course that lasts for at least a full academic year and ensure that your weekly study time lasts at least 15 hours per week.
What documents do you need for the Student Visa?
There are a number of documents you will need to submit as part of your Student Visa application. As with all visa applications, some of the information you provide will depend on your personal circumstances.
Your Student Visa document checklist includes:
- Letter of Acceptance from an approved educational institute confirming your acceptance on an eligible course
- Evidence of minimum English language skills in order to complete the course (e.g., IELTS results)
- Evidence you have the academic ability to complete your course (e.g., by submitting exam results of prior qualifications)
- Proof that you have fully paid the course fees (by submitting a copy of an Electronic Transfer of Funds or valid receipt) to the organisation
- Proof that you have adequate funds of at least €7,000 to financially maintain yourself for your initial stay
- Evidence that you (or your sponsor) can access at least €7,000 for each year of your course and pay each years’ course fees in full
- Proof of holding private medical insurance
- A letter outlining your educational history in which you explain any gaps
- Proof that you have commitments to your home country and intend to return home when the visa expires
- Certified translations of any documents in a language other than Irish or English
- Two colour passport-sized photographs less than 6 months old
- Your current passport and copies of all previous passports
- Signed letter of application
- Details of any previous visa refusal (where relevant)
- Police clearance certificate (where relevant)
Application process checklist for Student Visa
The application process can be complex and each stage must be followed within the given deadlines to maximise your chances of a successful application. Before applying, ensure that you meet all the Student Visa requirements.
The first stage is completing the online application through AVATS (Irish visa application site), and the second relates to submitting the documents.
- Apply for your place at an approved educational institute (which must be listed on the Interim List for Eligible Programmes).
- Receive confirmation that you have been accepted to the programme and have obtained your Letter of Acceptance.
- Apply for the visa three months before you intend to travel and ensure that you have gathered all the necessary documents.
- Submit your application online from the country in which you are a legal resident.
- Send your passport and documents for processing.
- Pay the associated fees.
- Wait for your application to be assessed and receive confirmation that you can travel to Ireland (if your application is refused, you may be entitled to appeal the refusal).
- Book your trip to Ireland and ensure that you have all the relevant documents in your possession when travelling.
- Meet with an immigration officer when you arrive at the Irish border and outlined how you have been granted permission to enter and for what purposes (if accepted, you will receive a stamp in your passport).
- Register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) following your arrival. You will receive Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A.
Depending on your circumstances, there may be additional steps that you are required to complete in order to come and study in Ireland.