Ireland has witnessed a rise in the number of foreign students. In 2018, 18.500 non-EU students were studying in the country. Ireland has become a prominent education center for EU and non-EU students. Its higher education certificates are of high value across the world. Students also consider the great nature and beauty of Ireland too. IF you are considering Ireland for further studies, you might need an Ireland student visa.
In this blog, we will explain who needs and does not an Ireland student visa, eligibility, requirements, application process, FAQs, and more.
Who Needs and does not Need an Ireland Student Visa
Whether you need an Ireland student visa depends on:
- Your nationality.
- The length of your study course.
The lengths of the study courses in Ireland divides into two categories:
- Up to three months
- Longer than three months
Three months Study courses
Whether you need a visa for three months-Study courses in Ireland depends on your nationality. A few countries are free of Ireland short-stay visa. You won’t need an Ireland student visa:
- Providing that you are a national or citizen of short-stay visa-free countries.
- The study course takes less than 90 days.
To study at a short-term study course, you need ‘C study visa’. Receiving a student visa does not guarantee your entrance to Ireland. The countries
Please note that for up to 90 day-courses, you could also apply for an Ireland tourist visa. The application process is easier and straightforward.
Study courses longer than three months
The EU, EEA, and Switzerland nationals don’t need an Ireland student visa. However, non-EU citizens must apply for a student visa when the course lasts longer than 90 days. To study at a long-term study course, you need a ‘D study visa’.
Who is Eligible for Ireland Student Visa?
To apply for an Ireland student visa, you have to comply with the eligibility criteria:
- Applicants have to provide an acceptance letter from an educational center in Ireland.
- The course must be full-time and day-time. It must also be on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). The ILEP is a tool that the Irish government uses to evaluate admissible programs for international students.
- Candidates must pay the fee for study courses.
- Providing the course costs up to €6,000, you must pay the complete fee.
- In case the fee is higher than €6,000, you have to pay the amount before applying.
English Proficiency Requirement for Ireland Student visa
There is also English proficiency for Ireland student visa. Applicants must prove they can communicate in English. There are standard international tests for it:
- PTE (Pearson test)
Please note that the result of the tests is only valid for two years. The Irish university or educational center will set the least required score.
Requirements for Ireland Student Visa
The requirements for an Ireland student visa are as follows:
A. Application form
You should complete the online application form for an Ireland student visa. You could do it in the Irish Government’s official website. When you completed the form, you should print the summary page. The computer you use must have access to a printer. Date, sign, and keep the printed summary form until submitting it to officials.
Provide two photos of yourself. You must take them in the latest three months before the application. Nothing must hide your face and head, scarf, veil, hat, etc. The background must be white-clear.
Your passport must be valid, issued in the past ten years. It would be better to get a new one if it is about to expire. The validity of the student visa won’t be longer than the passport’s validity.
D. Previous passport (if applicable)
If you have other passports, provide them. The Irish authorities want to know about your travel history. If you have visited different countries, it will improve your chance to receive a visa.
E. Proof of accommodation in Ireland
You must make clear where will you stay in Ireland. A hotel, with a friend or family, etc. could be an option.
F. Proof to have enough funds
You must hold enough money to cover your expenses in Ireland:
- The least required fund is €7,000 every year. It is aside from the tuition.
- If someone in Ireland will cover part or all of your expenses, he/she must be able to do it.
You and your sponsor (if have one) must provide the following documents related to financial independence:
- Bank statements for the past six months.
- The statements must show all the transactions made in the account.
- The type of the account, account number, name, and address of the owner.
- If the account has had large transactions, there must be explanations for it.
G. Personal declaration letter
It is a letter from you to the Irish government. You state in it:
- The reason you are visiting Ireland.
- Full contact details
- Details of any family member or relative living in Ireland or the EU. You will be staying with them or not doesn’t matter.
- Commitment to obey the rules and regulations set by the Irish government.
- If you are studying in a major not related to your previous one, you must explain why.
H. Acceptance letter
You must provide an official acceptance letter from an Irish educational center. It must have the following features:
- The letter must state the it’s a full-time course.
- The complete details of the study course.
- It must make clear whether you have paid tuition r not. If yes or not, how much.
- The state of your medical insurance must be clear in the letter.
I. Language proficiency proof
J. Proof to have medical insurance
K. Proof to have paid tuition fees
L. Copy of all academic certificates or qualifications
M. Evidence of any educational gap (if applicable)
N. Biometrics (if Irish officials ask)
Please remember that your documents must be in English or Irish. If not, have them translated. A certified translator must complete the translation.
Application Process for Ireland Student Visa
The application process for Ireland student visa is as follows:
1. Figure out if you need a visa or not
Before you do anything, find out whether you need a visa or not. As we explained above, a few countries are exempt from Ireland student visa.
2. Register in an Irish education center
First, you must get accepted to a college/university. When you registered, pay the required fees. They should provide you an official acceptance letter. The letter is a mandatory requirement. Then pass an English proficiency test.
3. Complete the online application form
The first requirement to prepare is an online application form. You should complete the form in the Irish government official website. There is a summary page when you complete the form. Print, date, and sign it. Keep until submit along with the other requirements to the authorities.
4. Submitting requirements
When you complete the form, the Irish officials will inform you to submit the requirements. The place depends on the place you live in. Please remember that if your documents are not complete, the application will take longer.
5. Wait for processing
Now you should just wait. Wait until your application gets processed. When the officials approve and issue it, they will send it to your address. If it gets denied, they will inform you of the reason. You could also appeal to the authorities’ negative decision in two months.
6. Border control
When you received an Ireland student visa, you can move to the country. However, receiving a visa does not confirm your entrance. When you arrive in Ireland, you have to go through Border control. They will determine whether you are eligible to enter Ireland or not. The immigration officers will ask you questions and evaluate your eligibility. Please consider they have the right and permission to deny your entrance. So give true answers to their questions and be honest.
If authorities at the border control permit you to enter the country, they will stamp your passport. It will state the legal length of your stay in the country.
7. Authorization to stay in Ireland
Aside from student visa, non-EU, EEA students have to ask for permission to stay in Ireland. When arriving in the country, they have to register with the local immigration officer. The place depends on the district they want to live in.
Can I Work Under an Ireland Student Visa?
YES. The EU and EEA students have permission to work in Ireland without any limits. They can take part-time and full-time jobs. However, the rules are different for non-EU countries.
For non-EU students, the study course must be on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). If it is, they can work for 20 hours per week during the semester. During holidays, they can work for 40 hours per week.
Can I Apply for Permanent Residency Under an Ireland Student Visa?
The answer depends. When you graduate in Ireland, you might be eligible to apply for the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. The scheme permits graduates to stay in Ireland for one year. During this period, they can apply for a work permit or look for a job.
When applicants get a job offer and work permit, they might be able to apply for Permanent Residency after two or five years.
Processing Time for Ireland Student Visa
The processing time depends on different factors. The country you apply from, your case, the conditions of your requirements, etc. are a few examples. It often takes eight weeks for an Ireland student visa to get processed. However, it would be wise to apply as soon as possible.
Can I Bring My Family Under an Ireland Student Visa?
NO. You have no permission to bring your spouse or children under a student visa. The family must apply for a separate visa.
Ireland Student Visa Fees
The fee for Ireland student visa depends on the country you apply from. It is subject to change. Yet, the standard costs are €60 (US$80) for a single-entry visa. A multiple entry visa will cost €100 (US$135).
Let’s Sum Up…
In this blog, we explained all you should know about Ireland student visa.
We have covered the countries whose nationals need and don’t need a student visa, who is eligible for it, requirements, the application process, FAQs, and more.
You can find all the Ireland visa information in the world here.
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In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for applicants.