Ireland is a warm and welcoming place for students from around the world. The Irish economy relies on international graduates to help the many global companies based in Dublin to continue to grow. Because of this, Ireland has an attractive visa offering for students, which includes a guaranteed graduate visa which allows you to work, full-time, for 12 months after you graduate.
Non-EU citizens may require an entry visa to enter Ireland, although many countries (including Brazil, Canada, Japan, Malaysia and the United States) are designated as Non-Visa required. The requirements vary depending on your citizenship, so you should check the “Students” section at www.inis.gov.ie or contact the nearest Irish consulate or embassy. All non-EU students must register with the Immigration Bureau within a set period after arrival.
In order to register with the Immigration Bureau, all non-EU students will be required to provide proof of full-time university registration, private health insurance and sufficient funds to support their stay. For complete details on the requirements please check www.inis.gov.ie. NCI have a rate for medical insurance with O’Driscoll O’Neil, please visit www.odon.ie/nci.
Working on your Student Visa
Students attending a full time course and in possession of a student visa are entitled to take up casual employment. Students can work for up to 20 hours per week throughout the year, and up to 40 hours per week during the Christmas and Summer holidays each year.
If you are attending a pathway course prior to enrolment on a full-time course you are not entitled to work until you have commenced your full-time course.
To undertake any work in Ireland, you will need to be registered with the Irish Tax office and obtain a PPS number.
Students graduating in Ireland with an NCI degree (degree, higher diploma, masters or doctorate) are automatically entitled to gain a 12 month graduate visa. During this time, graduates are allowed work for up to 40 hours per week, with no restrictions.
Top Tips when Applying for your Visa
You need to supply the following in your visa application:
Visa application form – this must be fully completed
Study Plan – details of what, why and for how long you intend to study in Ireland etc.
Letter of acceptance from NCI
Approved in Principle – Under this scheme, applicants for a study visa from certain countries, who have been accepted on to an approved course, can apply for a study visa without having to pay the requisite college fees in advance. Fees need only be paid when the visa application has been approved. Once evidence of the Electronic Fee Transfer has been submitted to the visa office the visa will be issued.
Finances – Evidence that you have immediate access to at least €7,000. This is the estimated cost of living in Ireland for a student for one academic year. You must also demonstrate that you or your sponsor has ready access to an amount of at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years. Evidence of the source of your funding – minimum 6 months savings history. Bank loans can be submitted as evidence of finances.
Evidence that you have the academic ability to follow your chosen course - You must provide evidence that you have attained the necessary level of academic achievement required to follow your chosen course. Such evidence will include – exam results, qualifications obtained and certificates proving your Level of English.
English language test compulsory – IELTS, TOEFL* (only accepted for degree courses and above), Cambridge, PTE Academic or ETAPP. This test must be issued within 2 years of the date of your visa application.
Your CV – if there are gaps they must be fully explained.
Evidence of your intention to return to your country of permanent residence following completion of your studies in Ireland.