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Study Abroad in Ireland Visa; Requirements, Medical Insurance, Visa Fees etc

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Unwana Akpan

As in many other nations, you require student visa to study in Ireland if you come from any non-EU countries. You would need a visa to study abroad in Ireland if you are a resident of any of the countries outside of the EU countries. This is a review of study abroad in Ireland visa for international students

The process of student immigration is divided into two groups, which depends on whether you apply for a degree program offered by a higher education institution or whether you want to study English as a non-graduate.

Applying for an Irish Student Visa

You must apply for your visas electronically using the online AVATS facility, which is available online across the globe and is to be used by all applicants.

You will be processed only when you complete your form online AND obtaining from the relevant office a required paperwork, picture of the passport or the necessary fee, as shown by the on-line system.

You should carefully read the information regarding the visa application. You will be denied your visa if you don’t have the documents you need.

Some points for you to note when making an application you must;

  • Complete the online application form
  • Check the Irish Embassy details where your documentation is to be sent
  • Provide a passport sized photo
  • Ensure your passport is valid for 12 months
  • Pay the application fee
  • Enter a signed application letter explaining why the visa is needed
  • A letter stating that you have been approved and enrolled on a full-time education course, with a minimum of 15 hours of regular schooling, each semantics from the Irish university, college or school. You (the applicant) must use this letter to check the course title/duration. The amount of fees you have to pay for your course should also be confirmed and this amount paid. If the college has covered you on behalf of the medical institution, this letter of acceptation must contain specifics of this. If the college is not organized, you must coordinate it yourself and give your application evidence.
  • Evidence of fee payment; proof that all payments were payable before the applicants submitted a visa application. These requests can either contain
    A copy of the applicant’s electronic transfer of funds to the college’s Irish bank showing details of transaction
  • A clear receipt stating that the payments for the class were paid from an authorized payment program for students.
  • If less than €6,000 are incurred, the fees must be billed to the college in full. If the course fee is more than 6000 euros, you must pay this amount at least. The minimum is a prerequisite for immigration. You will however require full payment of fees at the college that you wish to attend.
  • The fees charged at the university affect the student and the university. The college can however, reimburse the fee within fair time if a visa application is denied (less a small administration fee).
  • Show proof of language skills, you must show that you can take full advantage of the English medium in your chosen course. INIS requires IELTS of five, but IELTS of 6.5 are typically sufficient for most Irish universities and colleges.
  • Make sure that all records are provided with copies
    Please search the Irish Embassy website for more documents if you are applying from China, India, Nigeria, Russia, the United Arab Emirates or the UK.

Ireland Student Visa Application Fees

While the fees depend on the country of origin, the standard application fees for one-time visas amount to €60 (US$80) and for multiple entries to €100 (US$135).

Evidence of Sufficient Funding

You need to prove that you can afford enough money to cover your tuition fees and living costs. You must prove that you have enough money to sustain your stay in Ireland without using public funds or relying on casual work. To show that you have access to enough finances, you need;

  • A clear statement of your bank account covering a span of six months immediately before you apply for a visa and displaying enough funding to cover your expenses.
    Provide official acknowledgment that you earn a bond.

Note; For a student for one academic year the average cost of living in Ireland is €7,000. You must show that in addition to the course costs for each of those years, you or your sponsor have ready access to a minimum of €7,000 for each year of your thesis. Where Non-EEA students study for less than 6 months, non-EEA students must access the minimum amount of €500 per month of stay, or the minimum amount of €3000.

Alternative Evidence of Finance – Degree Programme Students

A pilot program, which will enable graduate students to supply an alternative form of proof of finances to bank statements, has now been launched. An educational award with a minimum value of €7,000 would be the alternative option. The bond shall be deposited with an authorised payment service for students (e.g. the electronic fee payment service offered by EduStep).

Study Visa Application Tips

  • You can apply for your visa as soon as possible, as it typically takes eight weeks to complete, although it may take longer during busy time periods.
  • You should search online for processing of your visa (using your Visa Application Number). This is a weekly update.
  • The Embassy you are going to will append a visa to your passport if you are approved for a visa.
  • You will appeal the decision within 2 months if you obtain a visa denial.

Note; Ireland is not a party in the Schengen Agreement. Therefore even though you have a Schengen country visa, you will always need to apply for an Irish visa.

Conditions for Non EU Students

A Degree Student;

  • In order to proceed to the next year of the program, you need to prove you are advancing academically and passing tests.
  • You must provide the higher education institution with evidence of full-payment of courses.
  • You will not take advantage of any state benefits.
    For a period of seven years, you can only remain in Ireland.
  • You can’t transfer to the language and non-degree program from a degree program.
  • To prove they have retained private medical benefits, students must show a letter of renewal.

Refund Policy

The cost of the course will be refunded to students who have charged any or all of their fees to a college and who are then denied a visa. They must have proof of this refusal with written evidence. Any charge or percentage fee deducted for administrative purposes by the college from payments must be explicitly specified in its refund policy.

Registration in the State (GNIB)

If you are not from the EU region and hope to come to Ireland to study for more than 90 days have to, by statute, register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) (GNIB). (The Síochána Garda is an Irish police force). Even if you do not need a study visa to enter the country, this applies to you.

Before you register for a degree program as a student (this applies to those who need a visa and those who do not), you have to;

  • Have a passport which is valid
  • A valid ID card for students
  • Have a higher education institution acceptance letter stating that you have been admitted and enrolled in a full-time day-to-day education program.
  • Prove the charges have been paid to your chosen institution of higher education. The full amount of the fees must be charged in advance if your fees are less than EUR 6,000. If the fees surpass €6,000, this amount must be paid at least in advance.
  • At the time of registration, prove that you have private medical insurance.
  • A EUR 300 registration fee (payment by bank giro or credit card)

Note; Students seeking a visa must demonstrate that they have access to EUR 7,000 before they can be provided with a visa. From 1 April 2011, such students must have access to EUR 3 000 at the time of first registration at the Garda National Immigration Office, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland.

A certificate of registration will be issued to successful applicants, enabling them to study here. This registration lasts for a period of one year and must be extended for a maximum of three years per year.

Every time a student registers, there is currently a charge of €300.

I want to travel to another country for a weekend/holiday. Do I need another visa?

Only once does your study visa allow you to enter and leave the country. It is a necessity to request another visa before you arrange to go even if for a small period of time. You can apply via posting for that special visa.

Medical Insurance Requirements

You may feel like you are invincible, but even the fittest of us happen to have injuries. In any event, under immigration law, in order to enter Ireland, all non-EU students must have their own private medical insurance. In addition to injuries and sickness, you should be covered by insurance for a hospital stay.


  • When registering with the immigration authorities, you need to have evidence of your private medical benefits.
  • A letter of registration mentioning this would be sufficient proof for the authorities if you are part of a community insurance scheme run by your college.
  • You must secure your own medical care from Ireland if you are not part of a scheme like that.
  • Irish travel insurance would be ample evidence for newly-arrived first year students if it protects you for a full year or where you stay for the duration.
  • Evidence of insurance coverage of at least EUR 25,000 for injuries and EUR 25,000 for illnesses and as indicated, for any stay in hospital will be needed.
  • Travel insurance is no longer available after the first year and you must get private medical insurance for any future years.
  • All non-EU students can prove that they have obtained private medical insurance from Ireland by way of a letter of renewal in order to register in the second or later years.
  • It is particularly necessary to remember that cancelling medical benefits after registration is a violation of the conditions of immigration. Even if you fail to receive evidence of insurance in English, the immigration authorities do not have to report you.

EU Nationals

In Ireland, students from EU member states who hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to public health services. You may receive this card from the health authorities in your home country. Further information on your healthcare privileges can be found on the EHIC website while you are here.

Care for your teeth

In general, subsidized dental care is not provided by medical or student services here, and since dental treatment in Ireland is relatively costly, students are encouraged to have a check-up before they move. If required, the Student Health Service will provide you with information about a local dentist.

Meningitis C Vaccination

While there are more cases in the under-one (infant) age group, the highest mortality rate for Meningitis C occurs in the late adolescent years, and students under the age of 23 are recommended to undergo vaccination prior to arrival.

The Irish Department of Health and Children has a national policy for immunization against this disease for all up to and including 22 years of age.

Meningitis can kill in hours, and understanding the symptoms, which are frequently confused with colds and flu, is extremely important. Vomiting, fever, extreme headache, sore knees and a stiff neck are the most common symptoms.

Other symptoms that develop as the illness takes hold include light dislike, disorientation, diminished consciousness, likely resulting in a coma and a red or purple rash that does not disappear under pressure. Contact your doctor or nearest hospital immediately if you are concerned in some way or think you might have meningitis. For a disease like meningitis, the time is worth it.

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