How to apply for an Ireland student visa

  • 5 min read
How to apply for an Ireland student visa

EU or EEA countries aren’t required to get an entry visa to study in Ireland; this is also the case for a large number of countries outside of the EU and EEA, however, you may still need to register with immigration in Ireland when you arrive.

Find programs in Ireland

Countries that require a visa for Ireland

Check if you need a visa before arriving in Ireland.

If you are a student from a country that requires a visa, then it’s likely you will need to apply for a D Type Study Visa. Most students will need to pay a visa fee of €60 — this increases to €100 if you want a multiple entry visa.

You can apply for an Irish study visa up to three months before your date of travel to Ireland, but it’s recommended that you don’t buy travel tickets until you know the outcome of your visa application.

Ireland student visa process (Type D)

  1. Accept a university offer: you should accept and secure your place at an Irish university before applying for a visa.
  2. Apply online: this type of visa has to be applied for online and will not be processed until the immigration services receive any requested supporting documentation from you.
  3. Get your summary form: this is generated when you complete the online section of the visa application. You need to print it and sign it as it forms one of your supporting documents. The form contains information on where to send all your requested documents.
  4. Send supporting documents: you’ll be told exactly which documents you need to send as this varies depending on your home country.
  5. Give biometrics: If requested, you will need to give your biometrics at an Irish visa application center (VAC) near you.
  6. Receive a decision: In general, you will need to wait up to eight weeks for a decision on your visa application.
  7. Apply for an IRP: When you arrive in person to Ireland, you need to register for an Irish Residence Permit within 90 days (before the end date of your landing stamp). This needs to be done in person at a registration office. An IRP will cost you €300.

Visas for dependents

In general, you won’t be able to bring your family with you to Ireland on a study visa. If you wish a spouse to join you during your studies they will have to apply for a visa separately — your visa status has no impact on theirs. Any children you have are also unable to join you in Ireland on a study visa.

Ireland student visa requirements

For a type D student visa you will need to provide documents during your application. These can vary slightly depending on the person and the country they are from, but can include:

  • Two recent color passport photos
  • Your passport, valid for 12 months following your arrival in Ireland
  • Any old passports
  • Proof of finances for your study
  • Evidence you are enrolled and have paid the University any fees
  • Educational history
  • Biometrics
  • A letter of application
  • Private medical insurance — this may be provided by your university
  • Visa documents — for registration when in Ireland

If your documents need to be translated into English, this must be done by a translator with their confirmation the translation is accurate, contact details, and signature.

What to provide in your letter of application

Your letter of application should give an idea as to why you want to study in Ireland and the subject of your choice. You also need to give the details of any family you have in Ireland or the EU. You should acknowledge that you understand you cannot remain in Ireland beyond your visa.

If your educational background does not show a clear link to the degree program you have chosen, you should explain and show evidence of an interest in the subject.

Irish student visa processing time

How long it takes to get your visa varies depending on your nationality and other factors. Usually, you will get a decision in between four and eight weeks from the date you submitted your application.

Your application will take longer if you forget or need to re-submit any documents, so it's worth making sure you supply everything first time round.

You can apply for your visa up to three months in advance of your travel date to Ireland, so it's worth starting as soon as you can.

Working with an Irish student visa

A D Study Visa allows students to work full time during the months of June, July, August and September and from 15 December to 15 January. For the rest of the year you can only work up to 20 hours per week.

In addition to the rules around working hours, international students are not permitted to work as taxi drivers or work as self-employed.

What to do if your Ireland study visa is denied

If you are refused a D Study Visa, you will be given a refusal letter that includes the reason you have been denied and whether or not you can appeal the decision.

If you appeal you must do so within two months of receiving the refusal. In your appeal make sure you clearly outline why you think your application should be accepted, and supply any supporting evidence you have.

Alternatively, you are also able to pay for and submit a new visa application. This is the best option if the reason for your rejection can be easily put right, for example, if you forgot to include a document.