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Ireland Student Visa Guide

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Ireland, with its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities, is a popular destination for international students. Home to a number of universities that feature in the QS World Rankings, Ireland offers a high standard of education. The country is not just known for its academic excellence but also for its friendly people, historical sites, and a thriving cultural scene, making it an ideal place for international students to pursue their higher education.

Living in Ireland as a student means experiencing its bustling cities, serene countryside, and everything in between. With its well-connected public transport system and modern infrastructure, Ireland would be an excellent choice for international students.

Ireland Student Visa Process and Fees for International Students

If you are from a country that is not in the EEA (or Switzerland), you will likely need to apply for a visa to study in Ireland. There are two types of student visas for Ireland. One is the Short Stay ‘C’ visa, which is relevant only for students who will be in the country for fewer than 90 days. The other is the Long Stay ‘D’ visa, which is relevant for students who will be in the country for more than 90 days.

To apply for a student visa to study in Ireland, the initial step is to secure admission to an Irish university. Following your acceptance, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your study period, typically shown by having at least €7,000 in your bank account, which is the estimated cost of living in Ireland for a year.

After ensuring you meet the financial requirements, the next step is to apply for your student visa online through the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website. As part of your application, you will be required to submit several documents, including:

  • A letter of acceptance from the university confirming your enrolment in a full-time course
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living expenses
  • Evidence of private medical insurance
  • An English proficiency test score, if required
  • A current passport and passport-sized photographs

The visa application fee for a single entry student visa to Ireland is currently €60, and for multiple entries, it is €100. It’s important to apply for your visa well in advance of your intended travel date to Ireland, as processing times can vary depending on the time of year and your country of residence.

Upon arrival in Ireland, students may be required to register with the local immigration office, particularly if you plan to stay for more than 90 days. This registration is separate from the visa application and involves a fee of €300.

Ireland Student Visa Work Rules

Ireland offers many opportunities for international students to work while studying. Students holding a valid Irish student visa are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and up to 40 hours per week during holiday periods, such as over the summer and Christmas breaks.

This opportunity allows students to gain valuable work experience, improve their English language skills, and manage their living expenses. After completing your studies, you may be eligible to apply for the Third Level Graduate Programme, which allows non-EU/EEA students who have graduated from Irish universities to remain in Ireland for 24 months to seek employment or apply for a green card/work permit.

For further information about student visas, see our International Student Visas article.

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