Ireland has over the years become a popular study destination among international students. The government has pumped in large investments in its higher education institutions making the state-of-art-institutes robust for higher studies. The language of instruction used in the universities is English and international students can benefit from the comparatively lesser tuition costs and living expenses as compared to the United Kingdom.
International students wanting to study in Ireland and belonging to non-European countries would be required to apply for an Irish Student Visa. Only after being accepted by the Irish university, can a student apply for the Ireland study (student) visa, as their acceptance letter would be required during the visa application process. So Indian students, need to acquire a student visa to enter Ireland for the purpose of education. Read on to understand the entire process of applying for an Irish student visa.
Important Updates on Studying in Ireland
VFS Global Revises Service Fee
Students applying for their Ireland Study Visa through VFS Global Services would be required to shell out more money from June 2021 onwards. The revised VFS Global Service Fee has been increased from INR 1,700 to the current INR 3,380 per application. The Ireland Visa Fee is still unchanged at €100 for a multiple-entry visa. Students will not be required to pay any additional charges for scanning service at the centre. Students should note that external devices such as pen drives with scanned documents will not be accepted at VFS Global. Candidates are also required to clearly write the name of the university or college they are attending on the signed AVATS summary sheet.
Vaccination Guidelines for Indian Students travelling to Ireland
Indian students travelling for study must complete a period of mandatory hotel quarantine unless they have been fully vaccinated. Indian students who have been fully vaccinated by Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield Vaccine will be considered fully vaccinated after 15 days of having administered the second dose of the vaccine. Other recognized vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine - 7 days after the second dose and Moderna Vaccine - 14 days after the second dose.
However, students who are fully vaccinated and are travelling to Ireland are required to present a negative PCR test upon arrival, taken no later than 72 hours before departure, and complete a fourteen-day period of self-quarantine at their pre-arranged accommodation. Candidates are advised to organise accommodation for the fourteen days of quarantine. This could either be on-campus accommodation or in a hotel. However, candidates would be required to furnish this information upon arrival at the airport as this would be verified by Irish officials.
Types of Ireland Student Visa
Visit the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service to find out details about the Irish student visa and make your online application by visiting the AVATS Online Application Facility. Broadly speaking, students can apply for the ‘C Study Visa’ or ‘D Study Visa.’
- Ireland ‘C Study Visa’ - is for study programs/courses that are for a total duration of three months or less. It is highly unlikely that candidates would be allowed to extend this type of visa, hence, they should apply for a visa that covers their entire duration of stay in a foreign country.
- Ireland ‘D Study Visa’ - is for study programs/courses that stretch longer than three months.
Ireland Visa Fee and Charges
Candidates looking to apply for a long stay D Study Visa in Ireland would be required to pay €60 for a single entry valid for 90 days and €100 for long-stay D Visa multiple entries. The visa charges are the same for the short stay C Visa.
Applying for your Ireland Student Visa
Here are the application guidelines for your Ireland Study Visa:
- You can apply for an Ireland Study Visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to Ireland. We strongly advise you not to confirm your travel arrangements until you have received your visa.
- As mentioned earlier, candidates would be required to visit the official website of the Irish Immigration Service to complete their online student visa application.
- Visa applicants would be required to complete the online application form, submit supporting documents, and follow instructions on the summary application form generated by the system. The summary application sheet will also contain your application transaction number. This is important, as you will need it later.
- The summary application sheet will tell you whether you are required to be present at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) for providing your biometric information and to submit your documents.
- Candidates would be then required to pay the Ireland Visa Application fee.
- Once you have completed the payment and appointment booking process, the payment receipt and an appointment confirmation receipt will be sent to your email address. You must print the receipts and bring them with you to your appointment.
Note: Applicants should refrain from providing false or misleading information, as this would lead to the immediate termination of their visa application. In certain cases, the candidate could be banned from appealing the visa decision for a period of 5 years.
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Documents required for an Ireland Study Visa
Applicants would be required to bring the following documents with them to the visa centre. These include:
- Two colour passport-sized photographs not more than 6 months old (refer to the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for photograph specifications)
- Your current passport and a full copy of all previous passports
- A signed letter of application including your full contact details
- Evidence that you are enrolled on a privately funded course
- Evidence accounting for any gaps in your educational history
- Evidence fees have been paid to the college
- Evidence that you have the academic ability to follow your chosen course
- Evidence of your level of English (often in the form of a TOEFL or IELTS or PTE test score)
- Evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while studying in Ireland which includes, applicants must show evidence that they have immediate access to at least €7,000. This is the estimated cost of living in Ireland for a student for one academic year. They must also demonstrate that they and/or their sponsor(s) have ready access to at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of their studies in addition to course fees for each of those years. If the duration of the course is less than 6 months then the applicant must have access to €500 per month of their stay or €3000 whichever is the lesser.
- Private Medical Insurance
- Previous Visa Refusals
- An agreement stating that the candidate intends to return to their home country upon finishing their course in Ireland.
Additional documentation for unaccompanied students under 18 years
- Birth certificate
- Consent of parent /legal guardian
- Accommodation and vetting certificate
- No entitlement on the part of other family members to accompany or join the student in the State
Ireland Student Visa Important Updates
All supporting documents must be original documents and in English, or accompanied by a notarized translation. The supporting documents that you submit are important because they provide information about your personal circumstances
Missing documents or copies
The visa application centre will not accept your application if you are missing one or more of the documents listed above. In such an event, the visa application centre will highlight the missing documents to you and will give you the opportunity to provide the missing documents on the same day. If you choose not to do so you can reschedule your appointment or cancel your application.
If your application is missing documents, other than documents listed above i.e. common supporting documents, the visa application centre will highlight the missing documents to you before accepting your supporting documents and will give you the opportunity to:
- Provide the missing documents the same day before progressing your application,
- Proceed with your application on the condition that you sign a confirmation that the omission was highlighted to you by the visa application centre,
- Reschedule or cancel your appointment
If you are missing copies of original documents, the visa application centre will highlight this to you and give you the opportunity to provide the missing copies the same day. You will have the option of using the photocopying services available within the visa application centre at an additional cost or getting the photocopies done from elsewhere. Alternatively, you can reschedule or cancel your appointment.
Attend your appointment
These are important to remember on your Ireland Student Visa application appointment date
- On the day of your appointment, plan to arrive 15 minutes early at the visa application centre.
- Bring your documents with you.
- When you arrive at the visa application centre you will collect a token. Wait until your token is called to make your application.
- Once the visa filing process is completed you will be issued an acknowledgement receipt.
Ireland Student Visa Processing Time
The Ireland Student Visa processing time is variable, depending on the country you submit your application. Usually, the applicant would get an answer in between four to eight weeks from the date on which his application is lodged at the Visa Office/Embassy/Consulate.
For the benefit of our readers, we have provided a video guide on how to apply for your Ireland Student Visa below.
Choose how you want to collect your documents
Choose whether you would prefer to collect your documents in person at the visa application centre or have them delivered to you by post.
Also, read about student visas for study abroad and student visas for prominent international study destinations:
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