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Ireland Student Visa

Ireland student visaThe Republic of Ireland is an increasingly popular place for international students to undertake their studies, and it’s easy to see why. Ireland is a beautiful country with stunning coastline, beautiful countryside, cosmopolitan cities and world-class universities, not to mention friendly locals and a thriving social scene.

Another thing in its favour is that Ireland has a relatively straightforward student visa system that is usually makes it very simple for international students to apply for. However, remember that if you have applied a student visa to Ireland before and have been refused for some reason then you must inform them of this during your new visa application process. Any student from outside of the EEA who is enrolled in a qualifying course – known as the Interim List of Eligible Programs will need to apply for a student visa to study in Ireland. You will find all postgraduate courses, such as masters level students and PhD students will be on this list.

International students who have graduated from their postgraduate course are entitled to remain to work and live in Ireland for an additional two years after the end of their course. This is a great advantage to choosing to study in Ireland as an international student as you will be able to put into practice what you have learnt in the country that you have learnt it.

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Non-EEA Students Attending University In Ireland

Here is a table illustrating the number of international students studying at universities in Ireland from 2013 to 2017. As you can see there has been a large increase in non-EEA students over the five years.

International Students in Ireland

Ireland Visa Application

Students in Ireland should apply online via the Department of Justice and Equality or your local Irish Embassy. Some embassies will require you to attend an interview and others will not, so it is best to check with your local Irish Embassy as early on in the process as you can so you can ascertain what you need to do. Before you make your application you should gather together the documents that you need and then begin to fill in the forms online. Once your application is completed and you have paid the fee of €60 for a single student visa you will hear what the next step that you need to take.

When To Apply

Once you been accepted, enrolled and paid for your postgraduate course at university in Ireland it is then time to apply for your student visa. You can’t do it before this stage, as some of the documents that you will receive from the Irish institution will be required during the Ireland visa application process. Most international students – for example those from countries like India should apply for their visa around 12 weeks before they intend to travel to Ireland. Processing times vary throughout the year, but it can take around eight weeks to process a student visa application for postgraduate study in Ireland so you should apply as soon as you can.

Necessary Documentation

All of the supporting documents for the Irish student visa must be in English, although the use of Irish is acceptable throughout Ireland, it is unadvisable to have the documents translated into Irish. You must have a letter of acceptance to your course and evidence that it is a full-time course of at least 15 hours per week. International students must provide proof of their English language skills and evidence that they have paid their course fees in full. You will also need to provide evidence that you have €7,000 per year to cover your additional costs of living in Ireland or proof that you have sponsorship to cover this amount. You must provide information about any educational gaps that you have and have proof of medical insurance. Postgraduate international students in Ireland must also confirm that they will return to their permanent nation of residence after their student visa expires. Other necessary documents will include passport-sized photographs and some students will also need to provide a medical certificate.

Potential Restrictions

International students in Ireland can only work for 20 hours per week during term time. The dependents and family members of international postgraduate students do not qualify to accompany the student unless they apply for their visas. Not all international students can travel to the UK from Ireland without an additional visa, and this means that they may not necessarily be able to leave the Republic of Ireland and travel to Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. International students must also carry an Irish Residence Permit with them at all times when living in Ireland.

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