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Ireland: Visa Guides - Must read

Applying for a student visa in Ireland

Our guide to getting a student visa for international students studying in Ireland

Galway Streets

Green, culturally rich and notorious for its friendly populace, Ireland is a top-tier study abroad destination for international students. With goals to boost the amount of international students in Ireland by 50% from 2012-2017, investments into the higher education sector can only serve to boost the nation’s appeal. Whilst sorting out your visa may seem a dampener on your study abroad planning process, it’s incredibly important you know what’s required and follow procedure diligently. We’re laid out the application process for a student visa in Ireland to offset some of the stress.


Are you an EU or non-EU Student?

You visa application process will vary depending on whether you are an EU or non-EU Student.


Check if you are an EU student.


I am an EU student...

Foreign students from EU countries do NOT need a visa to study abroad in Ireland.


I am NOT an EU student...

Students from selected non-EU countries will NOT need a visa to study in Ireland.


Check if you need a visa to study in Ireland


Which visa do I need?

Students staying for 90 days or less in Ireland will need to apply for a Short Stay (C) visa. Any student whose study programme is longer will need to apply for a Long Stay (D) visa. Students applying for a Long Stay visa must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) within 90 days of their arrival in Ireland. You will then need to pay a relevant fee, and will be issued with a Garda Registration Card.


When you complete the online component of the visa application, you will be asked whether you would like to apply for a ‘Single Journey’ or ‘Multiple Journey’ visa. The first will enable you to enter Ireland only once within the dates shown on the visa, and the latter will allow you to enter and re-enter Ireland on an unfixed number of occasions within those same dates.


Multiple Journey visas are not generally issued to international students unless they meet certain, specific requirements. If you are applying for a Long Stay visa then you should initially apply for a Single Journey visa only: once you have registered with the GNIB and been issued a Registration Card, you can apply for a Multiple Journey visa.


Click here for a full list of conditions for a Multiple Journey visa


Applying for a student visa in Ireland

All non-EU students must complete an online application form.


You will need to complete this online application form before submitting your complete visa application to an Irish Embassy, Consulate or Visa Office. Once you complete the form, there will be a summary page that you must print, sign and include in your application.


Online Application Form

When filling in the online application form, you will need to answer some questions regarding your immigration history, whether you have been to Ireland before (and, if applicable, under which circumstances), your personal details and your current occupation (if any). When all the sections of the form are complete, you will need to submit a declaration and then print the summary sheet which follows. This sheet will contain information about your application and provide the address of the relevant Irish Embassy, Consulate or Visa Office to which you will need to submit your complete application, fees and supporting documents. You will need to sign this summary sheet before you submit it.


Find your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate


What evidence/documentation do I need to provide for my Irish student visa?

Whilst filling out the online application form, you must answer all questions in English and have the following handy:

  • A valid passport or passport details, i.e. passport number and nationality. Note: your entered country of nationality needs to be the same as the nationality on your passport.
  • Proposed dates you will enter and leave Ireland. If you are applying for a Long Stay visa then you may leave the ‘To’ field blank.
  • Full address in your home country. Post Office Box addresses are not accepted.
  • Details of study and/or employment in your home country.


The following original documents need to be submitted in English or accompanied by an approved translation as part of your complete visa application:

  • Official letter of acceptance from your host institution into a full-time study programme with a minimum of 15 hours of class per week.
  • Confirmation you have paid your tuition fees in full to your host.
  • Signed letter of application written by you, outlining your reason for coming to Ireland, any details of family members currently in Ireland or any other EU state, and an explanation as to why you are embarking on a change in field if your educational or employment history has no obvious connection to your proposed field of study.
  • A valid passport.
  • Details of an instance in which you have been refused entry into a country, i.e. letter from authorities in that country.
  • Evidence that you have private medical insurance cover. In some cases, this may be arranged by your host university.
  • A passport-sized photograph that is no more than six months old.
  • English language proficiency scores (if a non-native speaker). TOEFL and IELTS are accepted. 
  • A detailed bank statement of your, or your sponsor’s account covering a six-month period prior to your application.
  • Evidence that you have access to at least €7000 (US$ 9719) for each year of your study programme to financially support yourself.
  • Proof that you will return to your home country once your study programme is complete (i.e. plane ticket home, confirmation from host institution).
  • The printed, signed summary page of your online application form.

Students applying to an Irish visa office in Abuja, Beijing, London, Moscow or New Delhi may also be required to submit additional documents.


Check if you need to submit additional documents


Irish Student Visa Fees

When students register with the GNIB, they must prove they have access to, but are not required to pay €3000 (US$ 4165). Where non-EU students intend to stay in Ireland for a period less than six months, they will instead need to demonstrate they have access to €500 (US$ 694) per month of their stay. You will however need to pay an actual registration fee of €300 (US$ 417).


For a single-journey visa, students will need to pay a non-transferrable application processing fee of €60 (US$ 83), whilst that of a multiple-journey visa will cost €100 (US$ 139).


Now that the visa application process seems less scary, why not start browsing courses in Ireland now and plan your study abroad adventure?


Useful Links

Applying to study in Ireland

Tuition fees in Ireland

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About Author

Galway Streets

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.