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What do I need before leaving?

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Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to study in Ireland? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

To come to Ireland as a student, you must:

  • be enrolled in an eligible full-time course; You cannot come to Ireland Ireland to do a part-time or distance learning course.
  • obtain a valid entry visa, unless you are exempt;


Where and how to apply

Student Visa

If you are coming to study full time in Ireland you must be enrolled in one of two types of course, a Degree Programme courseor a Language and Non-Degree Programme course.� See list of Interim list of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)

To study in Ireland, you must apply for a visa, unless you are exempt.

If you are staying for less than three months and need a visa, you must apply for a short-stay "C visa". C visas are not renewable.

For stays of three months or more, you must apply for a "D study visa".

You must apply online unless you are already living in Ireland and are making a re-entry visa application.

Student residence permission

Following the granting of a visa (if required) and entry to Ireland, you must register with the local immigration registration officer and show evidence of sufficient funds.

If you are in Dublin this is with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. Otherwise you should register with the District Headquarters in other Garda districts.

Grounds for rejection include:

  • inability to support yourself financially;
  • intention to work in excess of the hours set out under the student work concession;
  • suffering from a medical condition listed on the International Health Regulations or specified in the Immigration Act;
  • conviction of an offence punishable by imprisonment in excess of one year;
  • not holding a valid visa or passport;
  • existence of a deportation order or other reasons relating to the public good, national security or public policy;
  • intention to travel to the United Kingdom, if you would not have qualified for admission had you arrived from elsewhere in the world (Immigration Act 2004, Section 4).
Documents required Student visa

When applying for a student visa, the application form should be submitted along with all supporting documentation. Original documents are required and must be in English or accompanied by a notarised translation of same.

The required documentation includes:
  • enrolment in a recognised school/college/university in Ireland, involving at least 15 hours of organised daytime tuition each week on a full-time basis (one academic year);
  • payment of the requisite fees to the educational institution (i.e. a copy of an Electronic Transfer of Funds from the applicant to the Irish Bank of the college, showing details of beneficiary's name, address, bank details and the same details for sender);
  • academic ability to follow the particular course;
  • sufficient proficiency in English language to undertake the course (except for English-language courses);
  • sufficient funds (€ 7,000) to support your stay without recourse to public funds;
  • evidence that the sponsor or yourself has at least € 7,000 for each subsequent year of studies in addition to the course fees for each of those years;
  • private medical insurance;
  • adequate explanation for any gaps in educational history;
  • intention to return to the country of permanent residence following completion of the studies in Ireland.
Generally, the same conditions apply for students who do not require a visa.

More on financial requirements

More on the documents required
Duration of validity of permits You will be issued a student residence permission for a maximum of one year. This permission is renewable each year for the duration of your studies, provided that you can prove that you satisfy the requirements for renewal of your student permission. These requirements are clearly set out on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website.


If a visa application is refused, you will have two months from the date of the decision to appeal the decision to the Visa Appeal Officer.

More on appeals

Further information More on coming to Ireland as a student

More on the Irish education system

More on student visas


Family Reunification

A student visa does not give you any right to family reunification.

Currently only PhD students are considered for family re-unification. Such students will be required to make academic progress. Such students should also have adequate financial support to maintain themselves and their family whilst residing in the State.

Your family members will be subject to normal immigration requirements regarding visas, entry and registration.

More on family reunification

Employment during studies

Not all international students are permitted to work while they study. Full time non-EEA students pursuing a course on the Internationalisation Register holding a valid immigration stamp 2 permission will be permitted work 40 hours per week only during the months of June, July, August and September and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive. At all other times students holding Immigration permission Stamp 2 will be limited to working 20 hours per week.

It should be noted also that the hours specified are the maximum that a student can work in any given week and not an average over time. A student who is working for more than one employer remains subject to the overall limits (e.g. during the period when the 20 hour limit applies a student could not work 15 hours each for 2 employers). The permission to work ceases on the expiry of the students Stamp 2 immigration permission.

More on working during your studies

Employment after studies

Non-EEA students who hold a Stamp 2 or 2A immigration permission, may apply to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for an Employment Permit, if offered employment in an eligible occupation apart from those on the Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits list. The assessment of skills, labour market shortages and appropriateness of the salary level will be determined by that Department.

If you obtained a degree from an Irish third-level education institution after January 2007, you can benefit from the Graduate Scheme for the purpose of seeking employment and gaining a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a General Employment Permit.

Under this scheme, students who complete a recognised Degree qualification in Ireland at NFQ Level 7 can avail of the Irish Third level Graduate Scheme for a non-renewable six-month period. During these six months, you can be employed for up to 40 hours per week.

Students who complete a qualification in Ireland at Level NFQ 8-10 and receive an award from a recognised Irish awarding body may be granted a one-year permission to stay under the Graduate Scheme.

Self-employment is not allowed, unless a business permission is granted.

More on working after your studies