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Student Visa for Ireland – Visa types, Application, Fees

by Dushyant Patni

Student Visa Ireland – Ireland is a small island country located near the western-most tip of Europe. Students may not have prioritized it as an option to study abroad, but in recent years it has emerged as one of the top study-abroad destinations in the European region. The reason for this gradual popularity is the ranking of the Irish Education system among the Top 20 in Europe by university ranking publications such as the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. Also, the primary language spoken in the country is English which makes it significantly easier for international students to acclimatize to a foreign country. 

International students from non-European countries require a student visa to enter Ireland and enrol in an institute of higher education.  The government of Ireland offers different types of student visas depending upon the duration of the course – the type ‘C’ short stay visa and the type ‘D’ long stay visa. 

The following article seeks to clarify the programs available, visa requirements, application procedure and documents required by international students who wish to study in Ireland.  

Latest Reads: Admission Timeline in Ireland & IELTS exam dates

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Student Visa for Ireland – Course Requirements

International students who wish to apply for a student visa must be – 

  • Enrolled in a full-time course under the Degree Program for Higher Education or the Language and Non-Degree Program of Ireland. The Degree Program refers to full-time, day-time academic courses leading to major awards(degrees) at or above Level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications.

The list below breaks down all the NFQ Levels above 7 according to degrees and their durations: 

  • NFQ Level 7 – Ordinary Bachelor Degree (3 years duration) 
  • NFQ Level 8 – Honours Bachelor Degree (3-4 years duration)
  • NFQ Level 8 – Higher Diploma (1-year duration)
  • NFQ Level 9 – Postgraduate Diploma (1-year duration)
  • NFQ Level 9 – Masters Degree (1-2 years duration)
  • NFQ Level 10 – Doctoral Degree (approximately 4 years duration)

A full list of courses that require a study visa can be found on the Interim List of Eligible Programs or ILEP. If a course/institution is listed on the ILEP, it means that they have fulfilled the criteria to allow them to offer admissions to international students. 

Student Visa Ireland – Visa Types

There are two types of student visas available for international students depending upon the duration of their stay: 

  • Short Stay ‘C’ Study Visa This visa is required for entry into Ireland if the duration of your stay is less than 90 days. 
  • Long Stay ‘D’ Study Visa – This visa is required for entry into Ireland if the duration of your stay is more than 90 days. 

A short stay visa is recommended for students who are going for language courses or other short-term courses that will last for 3 months or less. The long stay visas, on the other hand are recommended for students who wish to study programs that may last for a year or longer. 

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Student Visa Ireland – Visa Fees

The fees for visas are:

  • Single Entry – EUR 60
  • Multiple Entry – EUR 100
  • Transit – EUR 25

Note – The visa fee covers the cost of processing your application. The fee cannot be refunded if your application is refused or withdrawn. 

Student Visa for Ireland – Visa Application Process

To apply for a student visa for Ireland, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Decide on the course and the institution that matches your criteria for studying in Ireland. You can explore the https://admission.buddy4study.com/study-abroad-details/ireland page which will provide you with every significant information regarding higher education institutions, programs offered, cost of study, quality of institutions and scholarship options. 

Step 2: After you have chosen your preferred program and institution, the Buddy4Study counselling team can help you in applying and securing admissions.

Step 3: Once the admission/enrolment offer has been secured, our counsellors will help you with the visa application process as well. Ensure that you have all the necessary documents ready before this stage. 

Step 4: After the visa has been received, Buddy4Study will help the students to secure education loans and accommodation in Ireland as well. 

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Student Visa Ireland – Documents Required for Visa Application 

You will need to provide a certain number of documents to support your visa application. Given below is a guide to the important documents that you will need to ensure that your visa application gets approved: 

  1. Two full-colour passport sized photographs, not more than 6 months old. Your name and visa application reference number must be printed clearly on the back. More information on photograph requirements can be found here
  2. Your current passport and a full copy of all previous passports. Your current passport must be valid for at least 12 months after your proposed date of arrival in Ireland. 
  3. A signed letter of application including your full contact details and:
    • Outlining your reason for wanting to come to Ireland.
    • Giving details of any members of your family who are currently in Ireland, or any other EU Member State.
    • Undertaking that you will observe the conditions of your visa, that you will not become a burden on the country, and that you will leave the country on the expiry of your permission to remain.
    • Undertaking that the course you now wish to study naturally follows or relates to your educational/employment history. In the case that it doesn’t, you need to give valid reasons, supported by documentary evidence of why you decided to go for an unrelated field of study.

4. Evidence that you are enrolled on a privately funded course, i.e. you must submit a Letter of Acceptance from the college:

  • Confirming that you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time education, involving a minimum of 15 hours organised daytime tuition each week.
  • Giving details of the course that you will be studying.
  • Stating the amount of fees payable for your course.
  • Stating the amount that has been paid.
  • If the college has taken out medical insurance on your behalf, stating that the college has done so. 

Note: Where the course fees are less than EUR 6,000, they must be paid in full to the college prior to applying for your visa. Where the course fees exceed EUR 6,000, you must pay at least this amount prior to applying for your visa and evidence of this should be shown in your Letter of Acceptance.

5. Evidence accounting for any gaps in your educational history, i.e. you must provide information to account for any gaps between your last period of full-time education and your application to study in Ireland. 

6. You must provide evidence that fees have been paid to the college by providing a copy of an Electronic Transfer of Funds (ETF) to the Irish Bank of the college, showing details of the beneficiary’s name, address, bank details and the same details for sender. 

7. You must provide evidence that you have the academic ability to follow your chosen course in the form of exam results and qualifications relevant to the degree you wish to pursue.

8. Evidence of your level of English except in the case of an application which is solely for an English language course. Read more about the English language requirements here

9. You must show that you have sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland without having to resort to public funds or rely on casual employment. You must show proof that you have immediate access to at least EUR 7,000. This is officially calculated as the estimated cost of living in Ireland for a student for one academic year. You must also demonstrate that you and/or your sponsor(s) have ready access to a minimum of EUR 7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies in addition to course fees for each of those years. If you the duration of your course is less than 6 months you must have access to €500 per month of your stay or €3000 whichever is the lesser.

10. Private Medical Insurance cover is required; your college may arrange this on your behalf. If so, the details of this must be included in your Letter of Acceptance from the college. 

11. If you have been refused a visa in the past for any country, you must provide details. The original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country must be provided with your application. 

Note – All documents accompanying your application must be original. You should keep copies of all the documents that you provide. 

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Student Visa Ireland – FAQs

Q. What courses are available to an international student looking to study in Ireland?

If you are an international student coming to study in Ireland, you can enrol in any full-time course that is on the Interim List of Eligible Programs or ILEP. In general, the ILEP is limited to English language courses and higher education programs. Programs included in the ILEP for student immigration permission can be divided into 4 categories:

  1. Higher Education Programs leading to Major Awards
  2. Higher Education Programs leading to Non-Major Awards
  3. Professional Awards
  4. English Language Programs

Q. Can I apply for a student visa if I apply for a full-time language course?

The course must be listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programs (ILEP). A student who wishes to enrol in a full-time language course may obtain a student visa that will last for up to 8-months for that course. The visa can be renewed 3 times for a duration of 8-months each time. The total duration of their stay cannot exceed 2 years. 

Q. What are the types of visas available for international students?

There are two types of visas available for international students depending on the duration of their course and stay in the country. A short-stay or ‘C’ visa is required for students who wish to stay in the country for 3 months or less. A long-stay or ‘D’ visa is required for students who wish to stay in the country for more than 3 months to pursue long-term degrees. 

Q. What are the visa costs and can they be refunded if my application is rejected?

There are different costs for the visas. A single-entry visa will cost you EUR 60 and a multiple-entry visa will cost you EUR 100. The visa costs will not be refunded if your application is rejected and you will have to pay the full-price if you decide to re-apply in the future. 

Q. How do I apply for the visa?

The visa application process begins online and continues on from there. Students who find it daunting can visit Buddy4Study where our team of expert counsellors will guide you through the process from start to end. They will help you in navigating through the application process, securing enrolment offers from universities, getting your visa ready and even helping you fund your education in Ireland by providing you with assistance in securing scholarships, student loans and accommodation once you make it to Ireland. 

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