If you are planning to study in Ireland and you are a citizen of a country that needs a visa to be admitted to the country, you must apply for a study visa first before you travel. In addition, if you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area or EEA, your course of study must also be listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes or ILEP. Remember to check back with us from time to time for changes to the ILEP.

You must of course, do your due diligence to check the reputation of a service provider even if its courses are listed on the ILEP.   Courses listed on the ILEP have met minimum criteria including, among others, "learner protection for enrolled non-EAA students."  The protection extends to fees you may have advanced to the college or university.

But what's really great about studying in Ireland is that the government adheres to a National Framework of Qualifications or NFQ.  With NFQ education standards in place, you acquire a degree that would most likely be recognized in countries belonging to the EEA and beyond!

As an English-speaking country in the Eurozone, Ireland Institutes of Technology or IoTs, private colleges and universities also offer English language courses to international students.  You may wish to do so as well before starting your main degree programme.  Before you do so though, check that the course meets the following:

Financial Evidence

Ireland Naturalization and Immigration Service (or INIS) announced changes regarding evidence of finances for all Non EEA students on first registration:

If you decide to use the Education Bond Ireland facilities, your funds will be released immediately once you arrive in Ireland and  provide a copy of your visa.

Visa application and documentary requirements for the consular interview.

While attendance in a provider (school, college or university) in respect of one of their ILEP-listed full time courses is an eligible reason for a non-EEA national to go to Ireland, your application will still be subject to normal immigration controls. 

Visa applicants must apply online for their visa. If you wish to study in Ireland for less than 3 months you should apply for a 'C study visa'. If your course lasts longer than 3 months, you should apply for a 'D study visa'.

This is important: your application will only be processed when the online form is completed and the required documentation has been received by the Irish Embassy or Consulate indicated by the online system.

And even though application for a student visa is made online, you will still have to provide the following documents after your application is lodged. (Please remember, original documents are required and must be in English or accompanied by a notarized translation):

Remember, the granting of a student visa to study in Ireland does not confer the automatic right of anyone to join or visit you in Ireland (whether they are a relative or not).

And this last is sure to make you happy.  Unlike other countries, there is an avenue for an appeal on a refusal.  Once you have received official notification of your refusal, you will be allowed two months to file an appeal to overturn the decision. Just be sure that you did not submit fraudulent documents or make misleading statements in your application otherwise you may lose the right to appeal. You might also be barred from applying for any Irish visa application for five years.

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About the Author

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

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