Everyone arriving in Ireland has to pass through Immigration control. If you have obtained all the necessary documents in your home country before leaving, you should not have any problems on arrival.

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Check your visa status before travelling to Ireland. 

Applying for a study visa to enter Ireland

Students from certain countries will need an entry visa before arriving in Ireland. Check the Irish Immigration Service website to see if your country is exempt or requires one. You must complete the online visa application using AVATS - the online facility at www.visas.inis.gov.ie.

We strongly advise students to work with one of our trusted agents for their visa application. Please note that NCI cannot advise on individual visa applications.

You should read the visa application details very carefully and understand what documents you are required to submit.

Checking your visa status

You should apply as early as possible for your visa for it to be processed. Each country will have a different processing time, which can range from one week to four months.

You can track your visa on the Irish Immigration Service website. This shows current processing time and visa decisions, and is updated weekly.

If you are refused a visa you may appeal the decision within 2 months. However, as this would affect your date of arrival in NCI you may need to seek advice on latest possible arrival date from our International Office or potentially defer until the next intake.

Our advice on your visa application

  1. Ensure your passport is valid for 12 months.
  2. Make sure you have your health insurance before you submit your application.
  3. Show that you have enough money to support yourself while in Ireland. The visa office normally requires €7,000 of available funds or an education bond.
  4. Make sure you explain any gaps in your CV.
  5. Explain why you want to be a student at NCI and what you plan to do after you graduate.
  6. Make sure you understand your chosen course and its modules.

Registering with immigration in Dublin

All students, whether you needed an entry visa for Ireland or not, are required to register with the immigration authorities in Dublin. You will then receive an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card which will give you permission to remain in Ireland for the duration stated on the IRP card. Students on an academic course lasting more than one year in duration will be required to re-register with the immigration authorities in each year of study and receive an updated IRP card each time.

This process will be fully explained to you during your welcome meetings at NCI.  We also have a number of visa guides on the Letters and Guides section of the NCI website.