When do I apply for an Irish study visa and what do I need? It is advisable to start the application and visa process at least 6 months prior to your course commencement date. If your application to NCI has been successful you will receive an Initial Offer letter from National College of Ireland . When your fees have been paid in full NCI will supply you with a Final Offer letter. When you have received this letter you will be able to apply for your study visa. Please note that in some Provinces in the PR China it may not be necessary to pay your fees until after you have been issued with a study visa in principal. Please contact the Irish Visa Office in Beijing for more information about this.