If you’re looking to study abroad, then you should consider Ireland. Known as the Éire to the locals, the island is famous for its high quality of education. In fact, it offers one of the best education standards in the world.
Once you’ve gained admission to an Irish university, your next step would be to apply for a student visa for Ireland. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about getting one:
What documents do you need to apply for a student visa in Ireland?
There are two types of student visas available. The Short Stay Visa C is applicable if you’re only staying for less than 90 days.
The Long Stay Visa D applies to full-time students who need to stay for more than 90 days.
Here are the requirements for these Ireland student visa. Remember: all of them should be original.
Your passport should be valid for 12 months after your planned departure date.
You also need to submit copies of your previous passports.
Passport photos, two pieces
Here are the guidelines for your visa photo:
- Size: 35-38 mm in width and 45-50 mm in length
- Less than six months old (at time of application)
- The Head must be centered, and the face should occupy 70-80% of the photo
- Neutral expression
- If wearing glasses: eyes must be clear/visible in the photo
- Hair covering is allowed for religious reasons
More importantly, you should indicate your name and visa application number (in block capitals) on the back of the photos.
Evidence of enrollment
The foremost evidence for this is your letter of acceptance.
For the consular visa to honor this letter, it should indicate the following:
- Your enrollment in a full-time course (minimum of 15 hours of organized daytime tuition)
- The details of your course
- The amount you have paid, plus the fees you need to pay for your course
- Note: if your tuition costs less than EUR 6,000 or $7,090, you should pay the total amount before applying for a visa.
- Medical insurance, in case the institution has taken one on your behalf
Evidence of fee payment
Submit a copy/form that proves you have made an electronic bank transfer to your institution. It should bear yours and the institution’s:
- Bank details
Another proof you can submit is a valid payment receipt. This should be given by an accredited payment service, such as the Pay to Study program.
Evidence of ability to pursue the program
You also need to submit exam results or qualifications. These serve as proof that you are qualified to pursue the program you wish to study.
Document proving language proficiency
If you are admitted to an English-taught course, you will need to meet the language requirement for an Ireland student visa application. According to the Irish Department of Justice, you may do so through any of the following tests:
- PTE Academic: 30
- IELTS: 5.0
- ETAPP: B2
- Duolingo: 75
- TOEFL: 61 for iBT, 22 for paper test
Documents regarding educational history gaps
If there are gaps in your education, you need to provide documents showing why this occurred. For example, if you worked, you need to submit your employment history.
To prove that you have the means to study in Ireland, you should show evidence that you have immediate access to an amount of at least EUR 7,000 ($8,275.)
If you are sponsored, your benefactor should show proof of access to the same amount.
Acceptable financial documents include bank statements (on headed paper). You may also need to submit an explanation for any large lodgement.
Proof of insurance
The institution is usually in charge of this (as shown in the acceptance letter.) If not, you will need to buy one for yourself.
Details of previous visa refusals
If you have been denied a visa application in any country, you need to submit the letter that documents so.
Additional documents for students aged 18 years old and below
If you haven’t hit the age of majority, you will also need to submit these together with the documents mentioned above:
- Birth certificate
- Parent/guardian’s consent
- Certificate of accommodation or vetting
How much money do you need for an Irish Student Visa?
The student visa application will cost you EUR 60 or $80.
Some nationalities, however, don’t need to pay this visa fee. So before you pay yours, check this page to see if you’re exempted.
Steps on Applying for a Student Visa in Ireland
The Irish student visa application is mainly lodged online. Here are the key steps to doing so:
1. Complete your online application.
Log onto the AVATS page to apply. The program will create a summary form according to the details you have provided.
Remember: it’s best to start with the Ireland student visa application at least three months before your intended departure date.
2. Print the completed form.
You will need to sign, date, and submit this paper with the documents listed above. The form itself bears the details on how you should lodge the visa requirements.
3. Book an appointment.
Depending on where you are located, you may need to submit your documents to:
- The Irish embassy or consulate
- Dedicated visa offices in London, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Ankara, or New Delhi
- Directly to INIS in Dublin
In most cases, you may have to book an online appointment with VFS global, the authorized body of the Irish embassy for certain countries.
4. Attend your appointment.
Head to the visa application center where you are assigned. Here, you will submit your documents for your student visa in Ireland. You may also need to provide your biometric information.
5. Wait for your visa to be processed.
Typically, it will take about eight weeks or two months to process your student visa for Ireland. This may even get longer, depending on the time of the year.
The processing may also be delayed due to incomplete documents or personal circumstances (i.e., convictions.) The need to verify these documents will also require additional processing time.
You can track your application through the embassy or consulate if you have lodged it there.
If you have applied via VFS global, however, you may track the application through their site.
I hope that this article on getting a student visa in Ireland was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page!