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Study in Ireland: Student Visas & Permits

Ireland is an EU member state, but it’s not within the border control-free Schengen Zone. This doesn’t affect nationals of the EU, the EEA, Switzerland or the UK, who can freely move there, but it does affect those from outside these countries. A Schengen visa isn’t valid in Ireland. You’ll need an Irish study visa. 

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But Ireland doesn’t make it difficult to get one of these. In fact, they make it about as simple as possible for Americans and Canadians. First and foremost, your course must last for at least three months, otherwise you’re classed as a tourist.

Ireland removes a lot of the complications and bureaucracy as, for the most part, the process is handled entirely online. 

irish sea

You should apply for your study visa three months before you plan to arrive in Ireland. First of all, comb through the list of documentation. Gather together documentation proving your identity, educational background, English ability (if you’re not from an Anglophone country), employment history and evidence accounting for any gaps in your education, like gap years, etc. One key requirement is that you provide evidence that you have paid at least €6000 (US$7100) in tuition fees before applying. If your course fees are less than €6000, then you must have paid the full amount. 

You'll also need to prove that you will be financially self-sufficient throughout your studies. 

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This can be through savings, trust funds or wages. Financial self-sufficiency includes taking out comprehensive health insurance before applying. 

This might sound like a lot, but the Irish Department of Justice and Equality makes it crystal clear what it does and doesn’t accept here. Compared to some other countries’ requirements, Ireland is refreshingly clear and uncomplicated. Do note, however, that, should you wish to explore other EU countries during your studies, you will need a multiple entry visa for both Ireland and the Schengen Zone. These are two separate visas. 

Fun fact: Irish visas are also valid in the UK, so you can hop over to London, Manchester or Edinburgh while you’re studying. 

Study in Ireland

Want an overview of Ireland? This section gives you a quick insight into what life is like in the Emerald Isle, as well as Ireland's history and world-famous culture.

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Education in Ireland

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Ireland? Ireland is an evermore popular destination for a variety of students, given its good programs, reasonable fees and its culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Ireland!

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Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Ireland.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Ireland can vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Ireland, but these fees can vary a lot. We've put together information on how this works, and on scholarships, in this section.

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Language & Culture

Ireland is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more! We also talk about how to stay safe in Ireland in this section.

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Application Process

Learn more about how to apply through Ireland's national application portal, as well as the more ad hoc approach to postgraduate applications.

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Ready to look at education in Ireland? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Ireland today!

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Last update: 29 Jul 2021


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