Student Visa for Ireland – Ireland is one of the best countries in the world in terms of education with some of the highest ranking programs in domains such as nursing, engineering, English language and literature amidst many others. Apart from the immense quality of education, other reasons why Ireland is popular amongst international students includes the peaceful student life, bucolic yet alluring landscape and the vase array of scholarships available for students amongst many others.
For prospective students of the top Irish universities, obtaining a student visa for Ireland is of utmost importance after the university application process. In order to obtain an Irish student visa, applicants need to submit requisite documents and fees as well as meet certain English language proficiency requirements. The application process for a student visa for Ireland is generally carried out online and is the next step after admission for students seeking an education in Ireland.
The student visa for Ireland process is of two types based on the type of education that the student intends to pursue in Ireland:
A degree program offered by an Irish university or college.
An English-language or a non-degree course
Prospective applicants must apply for a student visa online via the AVATS Online Application Facility. Submitted applications will be processed only after the requisite application and visa fee has been paid and all supporting documents have been submitted.
Candidates are required to complete the online application form for an Irish student visa.
Upon completion of the student visa application process, the candidate is required to follow the instructions mentioned on the summary application form which contains details regarding how to submit supporting documentation.
The summary form is required to be printed, dated and signed before being attached to the candidate’s remaining supporting documentation.
Candidates are also often required to provide biometric information as a part of the application submission process.
Candidates can apply for a student visa for Ireland up to 3 months before their date of travel to Ireland.
Irish Student Visa Eligibility: English Language Proficiency Requirements
In order to be applicable for an Irish student visa, the candidate must satisfy the requisite English language proficiency requirement if English is not the candidate’s first language or if the candidate hails from a country where English is not the primary official language.
English language proficiency requirements differ for candidates who:
Want to pursue a short term preparatory course in English language prior to the program of study in Ireland.
Want to pursue a a complete higher education program of study in Ireland.
In order for the candidate a complete degree program at an Irish university, he or she must submit an acceptable English language proficiency certificate with scores exceeding the requisite minimum score for a student visa for Ireland. Additionally, the certificate must have been issued within 2 years of commencement of the prospective course of study in Ireland.
Student Visa English Language Proficiency Requirement for Education in Ireland
English Language Proficiency Certification
Minimum Score Required For Irish Student Visa
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP)
Pearson Test of English (PTE)
For candidates applying to a short-term preparatory English language course, a detailed study plan is required to be submitted which includes the duration and dates of the preparatory course as well as the main course of study in Ireland. Additionally, the preparatory course must not exceed a duration of 6 months and the fees for both the preparatory course and the main course must be paid in full prior to visa application.
The English language proficiency certifications scores accepted for such candidates have the following minimum acceptable scores:
Preparatory Course English Language Proficiency Requirement for Education in Ireland
Student Visa for Ireland Application Supporting Documents Required
In order to complete the application process, prospective candidates for a student visa for Ireland must submit all the required application materials along with the student visa application for study in Ireland. This includes the following required documents:
A self attested letter of application explaining why the candidate requires the Irish student visa inclusive of the candidate’s full contact details.
A letter of appointment or admittance from the prospective Irish university of study.
Proof of private medical insurance arrangements (individually sponsored or sponsored by the university of study in Ireland)
Two recent passport sized colored photographs
The applicant’s current passport and copies of any previous passports
Evidence accounting for the candidate’s gaps in educational history (if any)
Proof that the requisite fees have been paid the to Irish university or college
Various exam results or qualifications which corroborate the candidate’s ability to follow the educational curriculum of the prospective program of study in Ireland.
Proof of substantial funds to support the candidate for his or her duration of study in Ireland.
English language proficiency certification which meets Ireland’s study visa English language requirements.
Documentation of the candidate’s previous visa refusals (if applicable)
Letter of Acceptance Requirements for Student Visa for Ireland
The letter of appointment or acceptance from the candidate’s prospective Irish university of study must detail the following:
The letter must confirm that the candidate has been accepted and enrolled to a full time program at an Irish institute for higher education.
The program of enrollment must have at least 15 hours of weekly organised daytime tuition.
The letter must contain the candidate’s name as well as the duration and title of the program of study in Ireland.
The letter must detail the total fees required payable by the candidate for the required course of study in Ireland as well as the amount of the fees which has been paid.
In the situation that the concerned Irish university has provided medical insurance for the candidate, the details of this provision must be listed in the letter.
If the course fees for the program of study in Ireland are less than €6,000 then they are required to be paid in full by the candidate prior to Irish student visa application.
If the program fees exceeds €6,000 then at least this amount is required to be paid prior to Irish student visa application irrelevant of the university’s individual tuition payment policy.
Student Visa for Ireland Processing Time
Generally, student visa applications for education in Ireland are processed in the order of date of submission. Candidates are advised to refrain from purchasing travel tickets until reception of the outcome of their student visa application.
The visa application processing time generally varies with the country of processing and sometimes varies during the high volume periods for student visa applications. The application may also take a greater processing time if the candidate has not submitted all the requisite supporting documentation. The average student visa processing time for applicants seeking education in Ireland is around 8 weeks from the date of application submission.
Student Visa Fees for Education in Ireland
The student visa fee is a non-refundable application processing fee and administration fee which is required in order for the application to be evaluated by authorities for issuing a student visa for Ireland. This fee will not be refunded to candidates if their application is refused or withdrawn.
Student Visa for Ireland Application/Processing Fees
Type of Irish Student Visa
Student Visa Fee
Apart from the visa fee, candidates may also be required to pay other additional local charges pertaining to the submission of documents which is dependent upon the individual Embassy or Consulate of application. Payment details such as additional charges and location of submission of fees will be available to applicants upon completion of the online application process.
Particular applicants are also exempt from paying the visa application fees. These fee exemptions are based on the applicant’s country of nationality, relations with Irish citizens etc.
Student Visa for Ireland Fee Exemptions
Student Visa Fee Exemption Type
Student Visa for Ireland Fee Exemption Details
Nationalities exempt from student visa fee
Republic of Macedonia
Family Members of Irish Citizens
Widower/widow (subject to death certificate)
Child (under 18 years)
Adopted child (under 18 years)
Free Movement Directive (qualifying family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens)
Dependent parent of spouse
Child (under 21 years)
Child of spouse (under 21 years)
Adopted child (under 21 years)
Other dependent family members of the applicant or applicant’s spouse in the direct ascending or descending line.
Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Program
Candidates who are long term legal residents in the Schegen are or the UK are exempt from the student visa for Ireland fees.
Other persons exempted
Candidates who are coming to Ireland in an official capacity or Programme Refugees (in reference to the Refugee Act 1996)
Irish Student Visa Contact
For Indian students seeking education in Ireland, enquiries can be made with the Embassy of Ireland in India. The primary body of the Embassy of Ireland is located in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi and prospective and current applicants for a student visa for Ireland can contact the Embassy at the number +91-11-4940-3200 or send an email via the official online querying system available on the Embassy’s web portal.
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