Registering with the Immigration Services
If you are not an EU/EEA/Swiss national and will be staying in Ireland to study for more than 90 days, you will need to register with the Irish immigration services.
Here you will find useful information on how to register, and the requirements you will need to meet.
Immigration services in Ireland are managed by two government bodies – the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Services (INIS) and the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).
If you are living in Dublin you will register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services (INIS). To register you will need to make an appointment online at burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie. Appointment slots are made available on a rolling basis weekdays at 10:00 and 14:30. It is recommended that you book your appointment well in advance of your arrival in Ireland as there is a lot of demand. On the day of your appointment, you will go to INIS’ office on Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
OUTSIDE OF DUBLIN
If you are living outside of Dublin, you will register with your local Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). You should consult the GNIB website for up-to-date information on registration locations outside Dublin and their opening times.
To register as a student and be issued with an Irish Residency Permit card, you will need to bring the following to either INIS in Dublin or your local GNIB registration office:
- Your passport.
- A letter from the Registrar's office of your school/university stating that you are a registered student, stating the start date and completion date of your course, and confirming that you have paid your fees in full.
- Your student ID card, if applicable - a university or large college will provide you with one when you register as a full-time student; smaller schools and colleges may not issue student cards.
- Your medical insurance policy.
- Proof of finances if you did not require a visa to come to Ireland. Acceptable proofs include: an Irish bank statement showing that you have €3,000 or more in your bank account (or €500 per month for stays of less than 6 months); a foreign bank statement in your name showing access to equivalent funds; a pre-paid credit or debit card with a verification of the amount in credit. For more information, see INIS' guidance notice.
- A €300 fee (credit/debit card or bank giro available at INIS offices - cash is not accepted).
If your visa application is successful, you will receive a stamp in your passport and your IRP card will be posted to you. Immigration stamps and certificate of registration cards are issued for different lengths of time depending on the type of course being studied.
For higher education programmes, the normal period until expiry is 12 months; for 25 week English programmes, the period until expiry is a maximum of 8 months.
- If you are from a country listed on Schedule 1, you will not need a re-entry visa to return to Ireland after a trip. However, you should carry proof that you are a student to show to the immigration officer at point of entry. Be ready to answer questions about your studies and attendance on the course.
- If you required a visa to enter Ireland (i.e. countries that are not on the Schedule 1 list), it is important to understand that the visa originally issued to you was to allow you to enter the Republic of Ireland once only.
- If you want to leave for a short while and then return - including visiting Northern Ireland - you must apply for a re-entry visa in advance, and you are advised to submit your application 5-6 weeks before you intend to travel. Applications must be made by registered post only, although appointments can still be made where an individual needs to travel at short notice, for example due to a family emergency.
- A single entry visa costs €60; a multiple entry visa costs €100 (with some exemptions for family members of EEA/Swiss nationals). Payment is accepted by bank draft or postal order only - payable to The Department of Justice and Equality. When applying, you should take care to follow the guidelines and all instructions on the application form.
Under Irish immigration law, non-EEA citizens may only study in Ireland for a maximum period of 7 years. Periods of time previously spent in Ireland studying courses count toward this 7-year time limit.
- The process is similar to original registration, except that proof of finances is not normally required.
- The fee for renewal is €300.
- For those in English schools and private higher education colleges, the renewal period will be determined after a check on your course attendance, which your college is required to record. If your college records show that you have less than 85% attendance, you may only be granted a 3-month extension on your visa, with a further extension possible if your attendance rate improves. This will again incur the renewal fee of €300. Should your attendance be significantly lower than 85%, if you have been expelled, or (for those in private higher education colleges) you are required to repeat a full academic year, you will not be permitted to renew.
- For those in public universities and institutes of technology, an attendance rate is not always recorded, but you will be expected to have passed the academic year. If your grades are such that your higher education institution requires you to repeat the full academic year, you will not be permitted to renew.
Under EU/EEA regulations, students from other EEA states who are attending a course of study in Ireland are entitled to medical services in the public health system and are not required to have health/medical insurance. However, some conditions may apply. Learn more about health insurance in Ireland
The Irish immigration service requires that all non-EEA students have at least a basic policy covering emergency medical expenses, and proof of insurance is required at the time of registration with immigration authorities.
For short-term students and newly arrived first year students, travel insurance may suffice in some circumstances. You may obtain private medical insurance in your home country provided that it is in English, valid in Ireland, and meets the requirements of the Irish immigration services.
Medical insurance meeting minimum immigration service requirements is likely to be available through your college in Ireland. Many have a group medical insurance scheme in place. The premium for this type of policy from a college is likely to be between €100 and €150. There is, however, no requirement for you to obtain medical insurance through your host institution, rather than another provider, and no college should make purchase of their medical policy compulsory.
More information on immigration and visa requirements is available from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
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