Ireland Study Visas
The balance of a lively student scene, rich heritage and culture coupled with some of the world’s most prestigious and well-sought after universities and colleges makes the Republic of Ireland a top destination for international students. People of all ages flock to the State to enhance their educational and career prospects while residing in the luxury of a truly picturesque and green landscape.
Yet it is not always plain sailing to get here: in order to come and study in Ireland, non-EEA students are faced with extremely stringent immigration rules that their European counterparts do not need to meet. In addition, there are two different routes that must be considered when you are planning on taking up a course in Ireland which includes if you intend on remaining in the State for longer than 3 months or if you want to pursue higher education or even employment in the country once your visa expires.
By endowing the Immigration Advice Service with your Study Visa concerns, the burden of meeting the complex requirements will be lifted. Instead, you will be able to focus your energy on moving to the country and can even prepare ahead for your chosen course. Let your IAS immigration lawyer worry about your Study Visa application for you.
Contact our client care team on (+353) 061 518 025 to hear what kind of Student Visa packages and services the IAS has to offer.
What is the Long Term Study Visa?
A Long Term Study Visa allows you to legally reside in the State and study here for over 3 months.
However, before you travel to Ireland, you will need to secure your Study Visa in advance which necessitates already being enrolled on a full-time course outlined on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes that the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) provides. This will then allow you to receive a Stamp 2 in your passport which comes with its own set of rules and requirements. Your stamp will also detail your expiry date, after which it will also need to be renewed if you want to remain in Ireland.
Once you have arrived in Ireland and have successfully passed border control with the right documentation, you must register with a local immigration officer in the district that you plan on living in. If you are one of few that does not require a Study Visa upon entry, you must have €3,000 when you initially register. Upon registration, you will then receive your Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
What is the Short Term Study Visa?
Not everyone who studies in Ireland wants to take on a full course in a university or a college. Some prefer to have just a taste of Ireland by picking up a short-term course that lasts just one semester. Others alternatively need to travel to Ireland to sit an important exam or to take up an internship related to their current or future studies. This Short-Term studying route also welcomes those who are travelling to Ireland to attend a training course.
However, this is not an entire visa on its own per se. The Short-Term ‘C’ category Study Visa is a type of short-stay, Visit Visa which grants applicants up to 90 days in the State.
If you are unsure about which type of Study Visa best suits your circumstances, call us today to be put in touch with a member of the client care team who will instantly assign you with an IAS immigration lawyer. Your IAS lawyer will walk you through every step of the way of your Study Visa application.
How can the IAS help me with my Study Visa application?
At first glance, the Study Visa application you must fill out in order to study as an international student in Ireland can appear daunting.
Fortunately, our immigration lawyers are spread out all across Ireland in numerous offices that you can book an appointment with. Our lawyers are well versed in Irish immigration law and know how to tick all the boxes of your Student Visa application and work to help you meet the rigid Study Visa requirements. Each case varies depending on the person and their own unique circumstances. However, IAS offers custom-made and tailored packages to suit you and your needs.
You can opt for a one-on-one Advice Session in which one of your immigration experts will provide a rough skeleton plan for the types of documents you need to submit with your application and will assess the merits of your case.
Taking it a step further, your IAS immigration lawyer in Ireland can also offer you a full breakdown of your Study Visa application – and will even fill it out for you on your behalf.
Some alternatively like to risk making the application themselves but just want some general guidance. In this event, the Document Checking Service that IAS has on offer might be best suited to you.
Can I get a Study Visa Application Package with IAS?
Yes, you can get a Study Visa Application Package from the IAS. In fact, most students prefer to opt for this comprehensive service.
In this, our immigration specialists will advise you on every aspect of your application. You will feel at ease knowing that your application is being filled to the highest standard and you will receive a full consultation throughout the process.
One of the many advantages of the Application Package is that your lawyer will write and provide a Letter of Representation to accompany your application which highlights the merits of your case and person.
Other benefits of the Application Package include:
- A head-to-toe assessment of your eligibility
- A step-by-step ticking process to ensure you meet the requirements
- Having your Study Visa application organised for you with documentary evidence supported at each point
- Submitting a fully completed, high-quality application to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS)
By seeking application advice with an immigration lawyer at the IAS, your case will be assessed from the beginning and you will be advised on what steps you need to take next to fill your application properly. After this consultation, you have 7 days to ask any follow-up questions in regards to your application.
There are rigorous requirements that fall under the Study Visa category – and it is important you fulfil the criteria in order to successfully gain entry clearance into the country.
You must submit your evidence in original document form and in full English. Anything written in another language must be accompanied by a notarised translation.
The evidence you must submit include:
- Your Letter of Acceptance from your chosen school, college or university in Ireland
- Evidence that your full-time study encompasses at least 15 hours a week
- Proof of your academic ability in your chosen course such as past exam results and any qualifications you may have
- Evidence of your English language capabilities (unless your chosen study is to learn English)
- Proof that you have paid your course tuition fees in full
- Proof of maintenance funds as you must have at least €7,000 to support yourself for your first year of studying
- Additional evidence that either you or your sponsoring body grants you access to at least €7,000 for every year of subsequent studies after your first year on top of the course fees for each year
- Proof that you have private medical insurance
- A written explanation if you have any gaps in your educational history
- A declaration that you intend to return to your home country once your course ceases in Ireland
This list is by no means exclusive and applying for a Study Visa without legal guidance can be administratively burdensome. Let IAS ease the pressure for you by ensuring you meet the requirements in your application in either one of our Advice Sessions or Application Packages.
Your IAS immigration lawyer is able to talk you through any concerns you may have in person, on the phone or even on a video call.
You will be granted a Stamp 2 to accompany your Study Visa in your passport – or a Stamp 2A if you only study for one semester in Ireland.
However, if you wish to stay in Ireland after you graduate, you can seek a Stamp 1G via the Third Level Graduate Programme.
Ireland is always open to international students and wants graduates to start their careers in the country. To achieve this, the Third Level Graduate Scheme was established for non-EEA nationals.
Under this scheme, graduates of Level 8 courses including Honours Bachelor Degree and Higher Diploma will need to apply for a Stamp 1G to remain in Ireland for a further 12 months. Graduates of Level 9 or 10 courses (Masters Degrees and PhDs) can receive a Stamp 1G which can last for as long as 24 months.
In order to successfully achieve a Stamp 1G in your passport and authorisation to remain in Ireland for at least 12 months after you graduate, you must submit evidence of the following:
- Your final award/certificate of your studies
- Your passport
- Your valid Irish Residence Permit
You must also pay €300 to accompany your application.
How long you get to remain in the country depends on which level you have graduated from. In general, graduates with a Level 8 award have a maximum of seven years spent in Ireland in total, including time spent on a Stamp 2 to study and the 12 months on a Stamp 1G via the Third Level Graduate Scheme.
If you have been issued a Stamp 2 in your passport signifying your acceptance as a student in Ireland, you are granted permission to take up casual employment for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Outside of your studies, you can work for up to 40 hours per week during semester breaks and holiday periods.
However, once your course ends and your Stamp 2 expires, you will be required to leave the State or seek a different visa such as an Employment Visa or a Stamp 1G to remain in the country as a graduate for 1 year.
Not every non-EEA national requires a Study Visa to come and take up a course in Ireland. However, you will need a visa before you arrive in Ireland if you are from:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Congo (Brazzaville)
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Faroe Islands
- Marshall Islands
- North Korea
- North Macedonia
- Papua New Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- State of Palestine
- Timor Leste
However, even if your country does not appear on the list and you may not need a visa to study in Ireland, you will still require entry clearance and pre-approval. Without proper authorisation, you may be turned away by Ireland’s border control.
For this reason, it is best you check with an Irish immigration lawyer to check exactly what you need and which requirements suit your circumstances.
However, these sessions may not be best suited to your enquiry. For example, you may need to Fast-Track your application in order to meet a deadline. If you are studying and your course starts soon, this package may be best suited to you in order to receive your visa and entry authorisation on time.
Others may have already tried to fill their application on their own but require legal guidance to check over their documents and supporting evidence. At IAS, we offer a Document and Application Check in which your IAS lawyer will assess your application from head to toe and advise on any gaps or other evidence that you could submit to strengthen your application.
However, applying without guidance comes with a high risk of facing a visa refusal. If you have tried on your own but failed, you may need an Appeal Package from IAS instead. In this service, your IAS immigration lawyer will guide you through your appeal and find out where your initial application originally went wrong and rectify the mistakes.
Get in touch with our IAS client care team today to put you in touch with a lawyer who can walk you through your study visa application from start to finish.