How to Get a Student Visa to Study in Ireland?
Ireland is a popular destination for higher studies. The capital city of Dublin is home to the world-renowned Trinity College, University College, University of Dublin, etc. Every year, a select few numbers of students from India get accepted into these prestigious universities for numerous courses. The process of applying for a student visa to study in Ireland is not known to all of the students who look forward to pursuing their higher education in Ireland.
This article aims to give you a clear cut understanding of the Ireland student visa process. Details such as the Ireland student visa processing time, Ireland student visa fees, the student visa documents checklist, etc. will be elaborated in the article. Let us first begin with understanding the basic requirements of an Ireland student visa.
Changes in Ireland Student Visa Application Process Due to Covid-19 Pandemic
By law, those travelling to Ireland will be required to fill out a form called the ‘Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form’. This form (which can be completed before you travel) may be used by Irish health authorities to contact you to verify your location in Ireland. It will also help contact tracers to contact you if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus on your flight.
Applicants should also be aware that people can face a fine of up to €2,500 or six months in prison, or both, if:
- They do not complete this form;
- If they provide false or misleading information; or
- If they fail to provide an update of any information should they move to a different location within the 14-day self-isolation period.
When to Apply For a Visa to Study in Ireland
It is advised that you apply for a student visa at least 4 months prior to the commencement of your course. The embassy or consulate accepts visa applications submitted up to 3 weeks prior to the commencement of course of study and no later than that. The Irish immigration department has categorized higher education courses into three groups depending on the nature of the course chosen by the student. The application timeline for each of the categories is different from the other.
- Undergraduate courses
- Postgraduate/Masters courses
- All other courses
The Ireland Student Visa Application Timeline for Undergraduate degree courses is four months before the commencement of course. Students from India who are waiting for their academic results and have been offered admission into undergraduate degree courses in universities in Ireland are allowed to apply under the Approval in principle scheme. The particulars of this scheme will be explained in later paragraphs. The Approval in Principle scheme is applicable only to Indian and Sri Lankan students who have applied for a student visa to study in Ireland for undergraduate courses.
The Ireland Student Visa Application Timeline for Postgraduate/Masters Courses is 4 months prior to the commencement of a student’s course. Students whose courses commence in Autumn are advised to apply for a student visa to study in Ireland by the end of July 2020. For the students who wish to apply for an Ireland student visa to study for language courses and other short-term courses, the ideal time to apply would also be 4 months before the date of commencement of their respective courses.
What to do if Your Admission Letter is Issued Late?
The time taken by different universities to process applications for admission to certain courses may vary. Certain universities take longer than usual to process student’s application forms. In such cases, students get their confirmation of enrolment really late into the process. It is for this reason that the Irish immigration department has increased their application intake timeline to 3 weeks before the date of commencement of course. In order to receive their visa to study in Ireland on time, students must furnish the necessary documents which state the reason behind applying for a student visa so late.
Deadline for Submission of Student Visa Application
The general rules laid down by the Irish government regarding student visa applications to study in Ireland state that students are allowed to apply for one no further than 3 weeks prior to the commencement of their course in Ireland. Hence, it is essential that all students who plan on dropping their application requests bear this point in mind while applying for a student visa to study in Ireland. Let us move on to understanding some of the Ireland student visa eligibility requirements in the next section.
Ireland Student Visa Eligibility Requirements
Students who apply for a study visa to pursue higher education in the country must fulfil certain requirements in order to be deemed eligible. The government of Ireland has furnished certain requirements for the students who apply for a student visa to study in Ireland.
- The candidate must have received a letter of confirmation of place for any of the approved courses in universities in Ireland. Indian candidates who have already applied for undergraduate courses in universities abroad and are awaiting their final academic results can apply for a visa to study in Ireland under the Approval in Principle scheme introduced by the Irish government.
- Candidates who have been accepted into Irish universities are required to make payment of the tuition fees for the entire course period and submit proof of payment to the embassy while applying for a student visa to study in Ireland. Those who have applied for enrolment and are still awaiting their confirmation letters from the respective universities are required to make the payment of at least half of the tuition fee. If your tuition fees amount upto 12,000 Euros, you are expected to pay at least 6000 Euros and provide proof of the same to the embassy at the time of applying for a student visa. If the tuition fees exceed 12,000 Euros then you need to make payment of at least 50% of the total course fees and provide proof of payment at the time of submitting your Ireland student visa application.
- Students who have received scholarships which cover their tuition fees partially or fully are required to furnish that
- you have paid 50% of your gross tuition fees when you are in receipt of a scholarship for part of the fee OR
- 50% of the net tuition fee if the scholarship awarded is more than half of the tuition fee.
- Candidates must be of good character and should not have had any previous records of felony convictions in their native country. The documentation which proves this also has to be provided at the time of applying for a student visa to study in Ireland.
The Approval In-Principle Visa Scheme For Indian Students
This is one of the provisions made by the Irish immigration department for Indian students who wish to apply for a student visa to study for undergraduate courses in Ireland only. Students who are enrolled into postgraduate courses are not eligible to apply for a visa under this scheme.
According to the Ireland foreign affairs website,
The Approval in Principle scheme will only operate for students who are attending universities in India or Sri Lanka for undergraduate courses and are waiting to receive their results in late July/early August. You must provide a letter from your university confirming this.
Under this scheme, applicants applying for a study visa from India, and who have been accepted on to a University course, Institute Technology course or QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) approved course, can apply for a study visa without having to pay the full requisite college fees in advance. They must pay €6000 towards the cost of the fees when applying under the Approval in Principal Scheme and pay the remainder when they confirm their results with the Education Provider in Ireland.
Full fees need only be paid when the visa application has been approved and the applicant has received their results from the university in India. Once evidence of the Electronic Fee transfer (EFT) had been submitted to the Visa Office, Irish Embassy, New Delhi, the visa will be issued. This only applies to those students applying under the Approval in Principle Scheme.
Once the final results are out, students are required to take the following actions regarding their student visa process.
- the Visa Office will consider your application and inform you if it is approved in principal
- you must send your final results to the Education Provider in Ireland
- then send the following documents to the Visa Office:
- your updated letter of offer from the Education Provider
- receipt of electronic transfer fee showing payment made in full
Student Visa to Study in Ireland: Documents to be Submitted
Providing documentary evidence is an essential step in the application process of a student visa to study in Ireland. Before proceeding to collect the required documents, students must go through the Ireland student visa documents checklist and gather the necessary documents. The list of important documents as mentioned in the Ireland student visa documents checklist is as mentioned below.
- Students must include their provisional school results. This includes your graduation certificate if you have enrolled for a postgraduate program in Ireland and high school score sheets if you have enrolled for undergraduate programs.
- Avats Summary Sheet
- Signed Visa Ireland summary sheet.
- VFS/Consulate cover sheets
- Indian students who have applied for a visa under the Approval in-Principle scheme are eligible to apply for a visa to study in Ireland while awaiting their high school results. Such students can apply without having to pay their entire course fees. Once the results are declared, they may send the transcripts to their education provider in Ireland and make payment of the remaining fees and submit a proof of payment to the embassy in order to get their student visa to study in Ireland.
- Other supporting documents
- A police clearance certificate
- A colour copy of the visa application with original documents and passport. These copies must include every page of the passport, including the unused ones. The colour copy should be stapled and tabbed under part 11 of the submission.
- English language test results
- A fully completed and signed student supplementary form
- Medical Insurance cover.
- Cover letter from your education provider
- Medical insurance offering coverage for all your medical needs for the course of your study in Ireland.
- Financial documents include any of the following:
All financial documents from sponsors
All financial documents from you
All documentation in relation to bank loans
Financial Prerequisites for an Ireland Student Visa
All students applying for a student visa to study in Ireland must fulfil certain financial prerequisites before beginning their visa process. Students who do not fulfil these requirements will not be eligible to apply for a student visa to study in Ireland.
The embassy or consulate would only consider an Ireland student visa application if the following financial requirements are met. The requirements for students applying under the Approval in-Principle scheme and those who do not come under the scheme are different.
- can apply for a visa without paying your full course fees in advance
- must pay €6,000 towards the cost of your course fees
- must pay the remainder of your course fees when you submit your final results and get a confirmed letter of offer
All other applicants
- You must have paid your full course fees before you apply for a visa
- Check when you need to pay your full course fee with your Education Provider
How to Apply For an Ireland Student Visa?
Students may fill the online application forms and submit the same while applying for the Ireland student visa. Complete the online visa application form.
- Clearly write on the signed avats summary sheet which university or college you will be attending (e.g. If you are attending Trinity College Dublin you would write TCD)
- Print the Student Information Leaflet and Checklist
- You must use the VFS Check and Verify Service
- Submit the following:
- provisional school results with your application
- supporting documents
- Police Clearance Certificate
- colour copy of your visa application with your original documents and passport (every page of your passport, including unused pages). The colour copy should be stapled together and tabbed under part 11 of your submission.
Ireland Student Visa Fees
Students are required to submit their Ireland student visa application through VFS Global which is a universal facilitator of visas. It is approved by the embassies of most countries to process visa applications. VFS Global charges a service charge for certain other services it provides. This charge varies depending on the city from which you submit your application. VFS Global provides services in all of the major cities in India.
Ireland Student Visa Processing Time
The Ireland student visa processing time is 6 weeks.
Ireland Student Visa Validity Period
The Ireland student visa validity period is 7 years for a non-EEA student visa.
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