How to secure an international student visa for Ireland 🍀
Ever dreamed about studying in Ireland? Source: Elias Ehmann/Unsplash

Fancy taking brisk walks across the Irish countryside?

Explore the beautiful landscapes of Ireland. Source: Giphy

How about exploring the cobbled streets of big cities like Dublin or Cork?

If so, a study abroad adventure at an Irish university may be perfect for you!

But if you’re unsure about the student visa process, check out the below:

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) is the go-to site

If you’re serious about studying in Ireland, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

This is where you’ll apply for your visa – but you can start by checking whether you’re eligible.

It’s also wise to check the information about the new immigration regime for full time non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss students.

As it advises, “The provision of educational services to overseas students is a vital sector of the
economy, contributing not just in terms of the fees charged by universities and
colleges but also in terms of accommodation, hosting services and living expenses
while the student is in Ireland.

“While no definitive data exists as to the overall annual economic value to Ireland of international education services, various sectoral estimates have been made and these, if accurate, would suggest a gross cumulative value of up to €1bn per annum.”

So, if you’re worried about the reception of international students of Ireland, you can be sure that overseas students are welcomed with open arms!

Fill out your online application form

Long gone are the days of postal applications; your student visa process for Ireland should be quick and easy.

For the online application form, click here.

As INIS advises, “When you have completed the online application process, you must follow the instructions on the summary application form that is created by the online system. The summary form will contain information on where you are to submit your supporting documentation.”

Remember that the summary form, which you must print, sign and date, must be submitted with your supporting documentation.

Please also note that you may be required to provide your biometric information as part of the application process.

Account for visa fees

By checking out this fee table, you can ensure you’re paying the correct amount for your international student visa.

Nationalities that are exempt from paying student visa fees include:

Bosnia, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Peru, Ecuador, Republic of Macedonia, Indonesia, Serbia, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Montenegro and Zambia.

How long do I have to wait for my visa?

Visa applications are often processed in date order.

If you haven’t received your visa confirmation yet, don’t purchase any travel tickets or confirm your student accommodation arrangements.

According to INIS, “Processing times can vary between countries. They can also vary during high volume periods during the year. However, you can generally expect a decision within 8 weeks from the date on which your application is lodged at the Visa Office/Embassy/Consulate.”

What do I need for my visa application?

Read the full guide on supporting documentation for your visa here

However, you will definitely need:

  • Two colour passport-sized photographs no more than six months old
  • Your current passport and a full copy of all previous passports
  • A signed letter of application, including your full contact details, outlining your reason for wanting to come to Ireland and evidence that you are enrolled on a privately funded course, ie. a Letter of Acceptance from the college.
  • Evidence accounting for any gaps in your educational history.
  • Evidence that fees have been paid to college – you must provide 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 the sender.
  • Evidence that you have the academic ability to follow your chosen course.
  • Evidence of your level of English.
  • Finances – you must show that you have sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland without recourse to public funds, or the reliance on casual employment.
  • Private Medical Insurance.
  • Previous visa refusals.

So, if you have all of the above ready and are waiting to take the next step, start by filling out the online application form.

For further enquiries, contact the visa division here.

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