Irish VISA Information

A visa is a document that allows a person to enter or transit through a country. If you are coming to Ireland through another country (for example you need to stop in the UK, Germany, France, USA, etc. on your way here) it is important that you check with the appropriate embassy to see if you need a transit visa.

Please view Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2012 to determine whether you need a visa – if you are from a country in Schedule 1, you DO NOT need a visa to enter Ireland. If you do not need a visa to enter Ireland you will still need to have your letter of offer of a place at your Irish university ready for inspection by Immigration at the port of entry. Please ensure you have your letter with you in your carry-on bag when boarding your airplane!

If your country is NOT on Schedule I, please read the instructions on how to apply very carefully.

If you do need a Visa before entering Ireland, applications should be made directly to your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate in your home country. A List of Contact details for Irish Embassies and Consulates can be found at the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs: www.dfa.ie.

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website (www.inis.gov.ie) has very useful information on the visa application process, including information specific to students, which is summarized below.

Please read the full student visa guidelines carefully.

The main conditions of being a Full Time Degree Programme Non EEA student are:

  • The maximum time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending courses at degree level is limited to seven years;
  • A Letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time, day-time education
  • You must have proof that fees have been paid to the college. The full amount of the fees must be paid in advance.
  • You must show financial proof that you have access to €3,000 at first registration. This is in addition to your course fees and can be proven with bank statements or an education bond.
  • All students are required to have private medical insurance, either personally or through a group scheme operated by your college, at time of registration.

In some countries it is now possible to apply online for an Irish visa – further information on this can be found on the INIS website (www.inis.gov.ie)

Important Notes:

  • You will be required to have private medical insurance coverage before you are granted your visa.
  • The granting of a student visa to study in Ireland does not confer the automatic right of anyone to join or visit you in Ireland (whether they are a relative or not).
  • It is not permissible for Students who come to Ireland on a Degree Programme to enrol in a Non-Degree or Language Course. Students may be permitted to undertake a foundation language course, if required, where this has been arranged in advance and has been clearly stated in any application for a visa. Similarly, students who complete a Degree Programme cannot subsequently enrol on a Language/Non Degree Programme.
  • Students must register on a full-time programme to receive a student visa. It is not permissible for a student to come to Ireland to study part-time, or by distance learning.
  • Although students are allowed to work part-time while studying (up to a maximum of 20 hours per week),the primary purpose for a student to be in Ireland is to study on a full-time programme. Any student who wishes to work part-time must apply for and receive a PPS number.

The visa issued to you allows you to enter Ireland once. If you wish to leave the State for a short period of time you must apply, in advance of making any travel arrangements, for a re-entry visa. The responsibility to comply with this requirement rests fully with the visa required individual.

In circumstances where an individual exits the State without a valid re-entry visa, the only option available to that individual is to submit a fresh visa application to the local embassy or consulate in their country of origin. It should be borne in mind that the time frame for consideration of such visa applications can take up to 6—8 weeks for processing. Non-EEA nationals (who are visa required) are strongly urged to ensure that they comply with the above requirement.

You can only apply for the re-entry visa after you have arrived and have completed registration with Irish Immigration. You will find details of how to apply for a re-entry visa on www.inis.gov.ie. You should apply for your re-entry visa well in advance of your proposed dates of travel. You will need a letter to state that you are a registered student. Please use the form on our website to request this letter (link on the right).

Please ensure you inform the International Office at your Irish university and Inspire Learning at the earliest possible opportunity if you plan to travel outside Ireland (including travel to Northern Ireland) in the first weeks of term. The International Office will try to facilitate an early appointment with the Immigration Officer. If you travel outside of Ireland before gaining your re-entry visa, you may not be allowed to re-enter the country.

Please note that a Re-entry Visa is required for travel purposes only. If you do not plan to travel outside of Ireland before you complete your studies, you do not need to obtain one.

Documents required in support of re-entry visa application are stated on the application form. A Visa Officer may ask for further documentation where necessary. You can find more information and the application form on the Immigration website (www.inis.gove.ie).

Single Entry €60*
Multi Entry €100*
*Correct as of September 2014

Bank drafts or postal orders are the only methods of payment that can be accepted and must be made payable to: The Department of Justice and Equality.

No cash or personal cheques will be accepted and no exceptions to this policy will be made under any circumstances.

If applying by post:

Submit the completed re-entry visa application form, along with all the required documentation by registered post to:

  • The Re-entry Visa Processing Office
  • Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service
  • 13-14 Burgh Quay
  • Dublin 2

All efforts will be made to process your application, where possible, within 4 working days of receipt. All documentation will be returned to the applicant by registered post;

Please ensure your address on the application form is complete and clearly legible.

Applications can also be placed in the dedicated Re-entry Visa box in our reception area and returned in the same time it takes to complete a postal application. We endeavour to process your application within 4 working days of receipt and will return your documents to you by registered post.

Alternatively you can apply in person:

Where doing so please bear in mind that:

  • You should have your application form fully completed and all documents with you:
  • Opening hours are 8.30am to 2.30pm – Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays)