Study in Ireland Requirements

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Ireland University Admission for International Students

In this section of the website, you will find much of the information you need to apply to study in Ireland. Before submitting an application, you should try to get as much information as you can about your preferred programme, institution and accommodation as well as funding and student visa criteria. Once you are completely satisfied with all your choices, you will need time to gather the necessary paperwork.

Citizens of certain countries who wish to pursue a course of study in Ireland must apply for a visa to enter Ireland before they travel here. Information on those who need an entry visa is available in our document

If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Ireland, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at an Irish university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for the visa application.

The following are some of the most popular academic disciplines in Ireland:

  • Masters in Computer Science in Ireland
  • Masters in Education in Ireland
  • Masters in Sociology in Ireland
  • Masters in Political Science in Ireland
  • Masters in Management in Ireland

some of the best universities in Ireland:

  • University College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • Dublin City University
  • University of Limerick
  • Dublin Institute of Technology

Application Requirements in Ireland

For each course, a minimum academic score of 60% and above in Standard XII is required. Foundations and Diploma programmes are available for students who have secured around 50%. The student should have completed 18 years of age before joining a degree program. It is important to remember that even though entry requirement is lower at Irish universities, the education standard is not. Hence, you should carefully enhance your ability to cope with the high standard of education through the course of next few years beforehand.

The documents to be submitted are:

  • Academic Transcripts: Mark Sheets of Standard X, XII, and the bachelor’s degree (if applicable)
  • Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • If you have work experience then two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager who knows you well and can comment on your professional abilities
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Academic Resume
  • Portfolio (in case of students applying for art and design courses or architecture programs)
  • Others (Certificates/achievements at the state and national level and extracurricular activities)
  • Proof of funds
  • Health insurance
  • A copy of your passport
  • Photocopies of these documents should be translated in English and certified by the educational institution or by notary.

Admission Process: For undergraduate courses, the Irish universities accept applications through Central Applications Office (CAO) an online enrolment system.

You will have to create an account on the CAO website to provide your basic information, submit the scanned version of your documents, a score of TOEFL/IELTS and pay application fees. You will be informed about the application process and its stages through this account.

Application Fee: All colleges require you to pay the application fee while applying, the amount of which may differ depending upon the college and course being applied to, so check with individual colleges about their application fee.

Steps: The common steps to applying for admission are as follows:

  • Search for colleges and courses
  • Contact schools and visit websites for information
  • Narrow down your list of schools
  • Take the language exams like TOEFL or IELTS
  • Write Statement of Purpose, and ask for Letters of Recommendation
  • Register at Central Applications Office
  • Apply to the colleges which fit your interests
  • Appear for video interviews of the colleges that shortlisted you (if applicable)
  • If accepted, apply for Study Visa
  • Statement of Purpose: A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is your introduction to the college and admission officers. It is always written in the first person and describes the reason for applying to a particular college. It needs to highlight why you are a perfect fit for the college and why the college should accept you. The style of writing could differ from formal to casual, but it is important to remember that it should reflect your personality as well.

Essay: College essays are also required to be submitted by a prospective student. Essays are an important part of the university admissions process. Students may be required to write one or two essays, along with a few optional essays too. Common topics include career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, skills, experiences, and reasons for considering a particular school.

English Language Requirements in Ireland

A good grasp of the English language is essential for students whose first language is not English. You need to be able to understand, converse and write English well as it is the language of instruction at all Irish institutions of higher education. 

Students must show a proficiency in English to be accepted for a degree programme.  Good news – many universities and colleges provide English language training courses for students hoping to study with them. There are also over 100 private English language training schools nationwide which run short and long-term courses.  

The list below indicates the minimum standards in English which should be met. All English language certificates must have been issued within 2 years of the expected commencement date of your course. In certain circumstances, results in examinations other than those outlined below may be accepted as proof of ability.

ExaminationLevel Required
Irish Leaving Certificate in EnglishOrdinary level grade D
GCSE English LanguageGrade C
GCE O-Level English LanguageGrade C
University of CambridgePass in Use of English Examination
IELTSComposite score of 6.0- 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in any one component
Cambridge ProficiencyGrade C
Cambridge AdvancedGrade A
ARELS oral examinationsPass
ETAPPGrade C1
PTE AcademicMinimum score of 36

 Type of Visa Needed to Study in Ireland

If you’re not from the EU or EEA, you need to apply for a visa to enter Ireland and study there. The type of visa you should apply for depends on the length of your degree:

  • C-type study visa – for any study programme/course that lasts less than 3 months (90 days)
  • D-type study visa – for any study programme that lasts longer than 3 months. To stay longer than 3 months, non-EU/EEA students also have to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, which can grant the permission to stay in Ireland beyond the initial 90 days.

When and where to apply for the study visa in Ireland?

  • You can apply for a study visa up to 3 months before your date of arrival in Ireland.
  • To apply, you must simply complete an online application form on the website of the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service.
  • After filling the online application process, follow the instructions and submit your supporting documentation.
  • You may be required to provide your Biometrics information as part of the application process.
  • The visa processing time is variable, depending on your nationality and other factors. Usually, you will get an answer in 4 to 8 weeks from the date on which your application is lodged at the Visa Office/Embassy/Consulate.
  • It is best not to buy travel tickets until you receive an official answer from the Irish consulate.

The wide range of work opportunities, the highly reputed Irish Education System, extensive choice of courses, and also low educational costs compared to other countries make Ireland a favorable study destination among international students.

All international citizens of a Non-European country require a student visa to study in Ireland. The conditions and requirements needed for a successful Ireland student visa process will be discussed on this page.

You must first decide what type of visa will be required, depending on the duration of your course –

  • If you wish to study in Ireland for less than 3 months you should apply for a ‘C study visa’. The short-stay C visa is typically a training visa that allows you to come to Ireland to attend a training course for work or professional development for a short period of 90 days. This training visa does not allow you to work, paid or unpaid, in any way.
  • If your course lasts longer than 3 months, you should apply for a ‘D study visa’. An international student generally applies to a D study visa when planning to stay in Ireland.

When to apply for the Ireland student visa?

Usually, the processing time of the student visa Ireland is up to 4-8 weeks from the date of application. However, you are advised to apply for the Ireland student visa up to 3 months before your traveling date to Ireland. This will increase your chances of getting approved and give you sufficient time to re-apply in case your visa gets rejected.

Make sure you go through the Ireland student visa checklist twice before submitting the application. Your application may take longer if you have not submitted all necessary supporting documentation, your supporting documentation needs to be verified, or because of your personal circumstances (criminal or legal convictions).

What are the conditions to apply?

Before applying, keep in mind that you will need to qualify and prove the below conditions as a part of the student visa process:

  • Purpose of visit to Ireland and Intentions to return home: Your statement of purpose for Ireland student visa must clearly mention that you plan to return to India post completion of your studies. If the visa officer finds that your intentions are to find a job or to become permanent residents of Ireland, your visa will more than likely be denied.
  • Sufficient Financial Support: You must show evidence that you have immediate and ready access to at least 7,000 EUR in addition to the course fees to be paid. This is the estimated cost of living in Ireland for a student for one academic year.
  • You must also demonstrate that you and/or your sponsor(s) have ready access to at least 7,000 EUR for each subsequent year of your studies in addition to course fees for each of those years.
  • Admission to an Approved School: Student visa for Ireland is necessary to prove that you are accepted by an Irish institution. You can submit the letter of acceptance from the concerned Irish university confirming that you have been accepted for a full-time course.
  • Ties to your home country: Another essential part of the student visa process is proving strong ties to your home country, including family, job offers, bank accounts, or other assets.

How to apply for an Ireland student visa?

Procedure and Requirements to study in Ireland | Eligibility Criteria to  Study in Ireland | GoIreland

It is no news that you must apply for your Ireland student visa online.

It is important that you do not include false or misleading information or documents in your application. If you do, your application may be refused. In some circumstances, you may not be allowed to appeal the visa decision and may be blocked from getting an Irish visa for 5 years.

Apply for a student visa to study in Ireland via the following steps:

  1. To apply for a study visa visit AVATS online portal.
  2. Complete the online application form.
  3. Send documents according to the Irish embassy details. You may need to provide your biometrics information at the visa application center in your country.
  4. Pay the visa application fee for single, multiple, or transit entry.
  5. Provide an application explaining why you need this visa.

Ireland Student Visa Fees

The visa fee is an administration fee which covers the cost of processing your application. The fees for visas are:

  • Single journey visa – 60 EUR
  • Multi journey visa – 100 EUR
  • Transit – 25 EUR

NOTE – This fee cannot be refunded if your application is refused or withdrawn.

Ireland student visa checklist

To apply for Student Visa Ireland, you must produce the following documents:

  • 2 passport sized colored photographs not more than 6 months old
  • Current passport and copy of previous passports.
  • A signed letter of application including your full contact details and outlining your reasons for visiting Ireland.
  • Confirmation of enrolment or letter of acceptance from an Irish institution providing all the details
  • Evidence of fee payment to the university
  • An explanation of any gaps in your educational history
  • Valid proof of finances of minimum 7,000 EUR
  • Private medical insurance and related details
  • Reasons for previous visa refusals, if any.
  • Proof of English proficiency through test scores of IELTSTOEFL, or other accepted test scores
  • Accommodation and vetting certificate
  • Confirmation that you intend to return to your country of permanent residence when you leave Ireland.

Please note that all documents accompanying your application must be originals. You should keep copies of all the documents that you provide. All the documents must be in English. If you submit a document that is not in English/Irish, it must be accompanied by a full translation with the translator’s full name, signature, and contact details.

Medical Insurance Requirement

Non-EU students must have private medical insurance before traveling to Ireland. The insurance does not support dental care and in Ireland, dental care is quite expensive.

  • Non-EU students must get themselves checked before flying to Ireland.
  • If the documents are not in either Irish or English language, they must be translated in the given languages.
  • The documents must have translation date, translator details, Translator’s full name, signature, and contact details.

English language requirements for study visa Ireland

You must refer to these English language requirements for study visa application purposes when applying for a full-time course in Ireland-

Accepted testsMinimum Score
IELTS5.0 overall
TOEFL iBT61
PTE30

Working while Studying

If you have received stamp 2 on your passport, you can take up casual employment to supplement their income while studying in Ireland. During term time you can work up to 20 hours per week and during normal college holiday periods you can work on a full-time basis up to 40 hours per week.

If you are enrolled in a degree program you can get casual work permission for which you will have to:

  • Enroll in a recognized program leading to a qualification recognized by the Minister for Education & Skills
  • Attend a full-time program of education at or above NFQ Level 7
  • Undertake a minimum of 15 hours of daytime study
  • Get tuition, between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm per week for a minimum of 25 weeks per annum on a program of at least one year’s duration
  • Register for the Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

IRP Registration

After getting visa approval, international students must register with the authority which provides residence permit/GNIB card to non-Irish nationals or the students who are not the member of EU/EEA after the registration with the third-level institution.

Your registration certificate is called the Irish Residence Permit (IRP). Previously it was known as the ‘GNIB card’. From 11 December 2017, the new IRP has replaced the GNIB card.

  • IRP registration is mandatory for all international applicants, irrespective of the visa requirement.
  • An IRP costs 300 EUR per person each time.

Applying for an Ireland student visa is simple but is one of the lengthiest processes towards studying in Ireland. The student visa is necessary to start the process as soon as you receive the unconditional acceptance from the institution of your choice.

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