Study in Ireland
Ireland's worldwide reputation for high quality education is built on the solid foundation of commitment to excellence. Ireland is a beautiful island, combining contemporary modern cities with an unspoilt countryside, cityscapes steeped in history and a rich natural habitat. Renowned for friendliness, our safe, English speaking country offers the warmest of welcomes to students from all over the world. Join the growing number of international students choosing Ireland to fulfil their potential.
English Speaking Country
While Ireland has its own language and distinct cultural identity, English is the universal spoken language. In fact, Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, and that’s one of the reasons why so many multinational businesses locate their European base here.
It also makes Ireland a great choice for international students. English is now the global language of business. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review more and more multinational companies, including Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor and Microsoft in Beijing, are establishing English as their common corporate language in order to facilitate communication across geographically diverse locations and business functions.
Extensive Choice of Courses
Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions have over 5,000 courses on offer across the spectrum of medicine, science, technology, engineering, business, law, languages, literature, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology and other humanities as well as the creative, visual and performing arts.
Degrees are available at ordinary and honours Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels and you can also choose undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas over a full range of disciplines.
Internationally Recognized Qualifications
Ireland is in the top-twenty worldwide for its higher education system, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013.To put the learner in control, the Quality and Qualifications Ireland has developed a National Framework of Qualifications known as the NFQ system. This 10-level framework enables comparison of different qualifications from different education institutions and ensures their recognition – both in Ireland and overseas.
Long Tradition in Education Excellence
Everywhere you go in Ireland, you will find a genuine and deep-seated love of learning. Today, almost 1 million people (almost a quarter of our population) are in full-time education. And according to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011, Ireland is a leader in higher education achievement.
Leading Global Companies in Ireland
Companies who require a skilled, educated and highly capable workforce to drive their success chose to locate in Ireland.
Visa applicants must apply online for their visa - see 'How to apply'. If you wish to study in Ireland for less than 3 months you should apply for a 'C study visa'. If your course lasts longer than 3 months, you should apply for a 'D study visa'. Generally speaking, the duration of a 'C study visa', is not extended once you have arrived in Ireland. Extensions will be granted in exceptional cases only. It's very important, therefore, to make sure you know the duration of your course before you apply for a visa. Further information on how to apply to extend a student visa is under 'How to apply' below.
You will need to provide the following with your visa application. (Please remember, original documents are required and must be in English or accompanied by a notarised translation):
- Letter of acceptance from a recognised school/college/university in Ireland confirming that you have been accepted on a course of study. This course of study must be full-time (lasting an academic year) and have a minimum of 15 hours per week study time.
- Evidence of your academic ability to pursue the chosen course through the English language (unless it is an English language course).
- Evidence that the fees for the course have been paid in full.
- Evidence that you have enough funds (€7,000) to maintain yourself for the initial part of your stay.
- Evidence that you or a sponsor have access to at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years.
- Evidence that you have private medical insurance
- An explanation of any gaps in your educational history
- Confirmation that you intend to return to your country of permanent residence when you leave Ireland.
Remember, the granting of a student visa to study in Ireland does not confer the automatic right of anyone to join or visit you in Ireland (whether they are a relative or not).
If I don't need an entry visa to enter Ireland, do I need a student visa to study?
No. If you do not require an entry visa to enter Ireland, you do not require a student visa to study in Ireland. However, all non-EEA nationals, including those with visas, must obtain permission to enter the State by reporting to an Immigration Officer at the port of entry. (The members of the EEA are the 27 countries of the European Union (EU), together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein)
You should have all documentation relating to your studies on your person when coming through immigration. In other words, you should have your letter of offer of a place at the school, or educational institution ready for inspection at immigration.
Permission to remain
Students from a non-EEA country who intend studying in Ireland for a period of more than 3 months must register, after they arrive, with the local immigration officer for the district in which they are living (Garda National Immigration Bureau if living in Dublin). Their passport will be endorsed with the conditions and period of time for which they have permission to remain.
Access to employment while in Ireland on a student visa
If you are attending a course on the Internationalisation Register under one of the above programmes you will have stamp number 2 endorsed on your passport when you register with your local immigration officer. You will be allowed to take up casual employment of up to 20 hours part-time work per week in term time or up to 40 hours per week during normal college vacation periods. The stamp will be valid until you have finished your course of study and your entitlement to take up employment ceases when your permission to remain expires.
If you are not attending such a course, you will not be entitled to take up part-time work or engage in any business or profession. You will get stamp number 2Aon your passport. This stamp gives you permission to remain until you have finished your course.
What do I do if I want to leave for a short while?
The visa issued to you allows you to enter the State once. If you have wish to leave for a short while and then return you must apply for a re-entry visa. (See 'How to apply' below for information on how to apply for a re-entry visa.)
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa (if required) for the country you intend travelling to. Please note that you must obtain a visa from the UK authorities before travelling to Northern Ireland (Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone).
Extending a student visa for Ireland
The local immigration officer in your area (Garda National Immigration Bureau if in Dublin) can advise you on any application forms you will need to complete to extend your student visa. Your application to extend your visa should contain the following information:
- Details of and proof of payment of course/study fees
- Details of the course of study
- Information on where you will live
- Evidence that you are self-sufficient
- Copy of your passport with your original study visa
- Visa reference number and your nationality
- Details of attendance if this is a further education course.