Citizens of the US and Canada do not require a visa to enter the Republic of Ireland; however, there are many countries whose citizens are required to hold a valid visa to enter the country. For a complete list of countries whose citizens do, or do not require a visa, please visit the Irish Immigration Service.
If a visa is required, it is generally issued to students who have been accepted into a full-time degree course and who satisfy funding requirements. It is advisable to allow at least eight weeks (or more) for processing. To begin the visa application process, visit the Irish Immigration Service website.
Whether you require a visa or not, all persons entering Ireland are subject to ordinary immigration control and should be prepared to present the following documents to the immigration officer at your port of entry:
*The immigration authorities will expect to see that a full-time student has at least €3000 available to them when they enter the country. As an alternative for providing proof of financial viability, Education Bond Ireland can be used by students to satisfy entry requirements as well as formal immigration registration.
Daily flights can be found easily between Ireland and North America and from all over the globe. Most of the major international air-carriers are represented in Ireland. There are four main international airports in the Republic of Ireland located at Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock and one in Belfast, which is in Northern Ireland. Student discounts may be available by contacting STA Travel or the Canadian Federation of Students for more information.
Ireland also has a modern and expansive infrastructure of transportation methods available. Whether traveling throughout the country as part of your studies or simply to enjoy the rich, historical and beautiful land for which Ireland is famous, it makes the journey relatively effortless.
The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service require that all non-EU students have private health insurance while studying in Ireland. Students should be prepared to present proof of insurance when arriving in Ireland.
Students enrolled on a course of more than one academic year must buy a combined insurance policy that offers both (i) Health Insurance and (ii) student accident and repatriation. Such a (combined) policy meets the requirements for immigration.
To secure such a policy you can visit the Study and Protect page from the Arachas Insurance Company.
The Arachas policy will meet the requirements of the immigration authorities and they are endorsed by the Irish universities. Atlantic Bridge Tip, select the box titled “Medical Expenses (on a course of more than one academic year”).
NOTE: You must purchase a policy that is written by an Irish Registered Insurance Company such as Arachas.
The Irish National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012, requires all students to undergo a police vetting process (criminal background check) to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults in clinical settings.
Consequently, students are required to provide a Police Clearance Certificate from each country where they have resided for a period of 6 months or more since the age of 16.
Students who are accepted to a program will be provided with detailed instructions at the time of acceptance.
Healthcare professions have a duty to provide proper care to the public, and, accordingly, in the interests of the safety of both patients and students, Irish health care regulations require that a student entering a health care-related program undergo a health screening at the university health centers after registration with the school. This is required to ensure that students are free of any infectious disease that may cause harm to patients, other students or faculty.
Documents for such screenings are provided by the universities should an offer of admission be received. Please note that there is an associated cost of approximately €225 – €300 (depending on the school) for health screening. Health screening fees are payable to the university.
The average international student in Ireland spends about Euro 18,000 annually on living expenses including rent, food, travel etc. Most Atlantic Bridge students use a combination of personal funds, student loans, and bank loans/lines of credit to fund their studies.
The Garda Síochána (the Irish term for the Police), administer the Irish Immigration Service on behalf of the Department of Justice. All non-Irish nationals, who are not citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland are required to register in person with the Irish Immigration Service after arrival in Ireland and after completing registration with the university. You will be required to register with the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) at Burgh Quay if you live in Dublin, or with the GNIB (Garda National immigration Bureau) at designated Garda Stations at locations outside Dublin. After registration your passport will be stamped with your Immigration Permission and you will be issued with an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card, usually within ten working days. At this registration, you will be required to present a variety of documents such as a valid passport, a student identification card (available at university registration), evidence of financial support (e.g. a bank statement) and proof of private health insurance coverage to name a few. There is a €300 fee payable at the time of this registration, and it must be paid by credit card or ATM card. This fee cannot be paid in cash. You will be asked to re-register with the Immigration Service each year, after registration with the university.
IMPORTANT NOTE: International students under the age of 18, at the time of registration, may be expected to have met one of the conditions noted below:
The official currency of Ireland is the Euro. There is a modern financial system in Ireland and banking is as simple and convenient as it is in North America. There are three major banks in Ireland, Allied Irish Banks (AIB), Bank of Ireland, and Permanent TSB.
In order to open a bank account you will need to show (i) a photo ID (passport is best) and (ii) proof of your address in Ireland. Once you have completed registration, the university will provide you with an official letter stating your Irish address and confirming that you are a registered student. You can then use this letter to open your bank account.
NON-EU students registered in a full-time degree course for at least one academic year are permitted to work part-time, up to 20 hours per week during term time, and up to 40 hours per week during holidays. Upon registration with the Garda National Immigration Bureau(GNIB) students receive their permission to stay in the country, which will contain a stamp reflecting this allowance.
Once in Ireland students should register with the student travel organization USIT, which provides employment related advice and informative public information sessions in their offices.
Irish immigration regulations require spouses and partners of non-EU students who wish to remain in Ireland (beyond the standard 90 day allowance) to apply for Permission to Remain from the Department of Justice and Equality, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. To apply for Permission to Remain, the couple must demonstrate that they have adequate funding and private health insurance.
A spouse/partner can also register as a student or possibly secure their own work permit in which case they will not need to seek Permission to Remain.
If you wish to bring your spouse or partner with you while studying in Ireland then you should visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website, and/or contact the Irish Embassy or a Consular Office in your home country. They can provide you with official details and guidance on the process.
The following links may also be helpful:
Workers & Permits
Extension of Visitor Permission
On average, students will spend approximately €18,000 (Euros) per year on living expenses (housing, food, supplies, transportation, books, etc.). Medical school students should also consider that there may be additional costs associated with board exams and travel for interviews for residency positions.
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