Study in Ireland

Detailed Guide About Studying and Living in Ireland

Country

The Republic of Ireland is a small independent nation situated on the West Coast of Europe, with a population of under four million people. Although they do have their own distinctive Celtic language and culture, English is the predominant language spoken in Ireland today. Irish people are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality. The Island of Ireland, including Northern Ireland which is administered by the United Kingdom, has the population of five million. Because of its size, travel within Ireland is relatively easy. The United Kingdom and other parts of Europe are also easily accessible by both air and sea. The capital of Ireland is Dublin. As the gateway of Europe, this modern nation whose vibrant Celtic origin continues to regulate the pulse of the country, offers a truly rewarding experience for the visiting student.

Geography & Climate

Ireland enjoys a temperature climate influenced by the relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream in whose path the island lies. During the winter months temperatures rarely drop below freezing and snow is uncommon. The coldest and wettest months are December, January and February. July and August are the warmest months.

Currency

The official currency of Ireland is Euro.

Education

Ireland’s long and honorable tradition in educational excellence is recognized the world over. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Ireland held the position of the principal education providers to the western world. The Irish Education System was traditionally divided into three levels: primary(8 years); secondary (5 or 6 years) and third level which offers a wide range of opportunities from post-secondary courses, to vocational and technical training, to full degree and the highest postgraduate level

Culture

Ireland has a rich heritage and the influence of its culture has been felt the world over, probably more than any other, from music, art, myths, language, food and literature. For a very long time, with no newspapers, radio or TV, news and events were put to music and relayed by the Bards that traveled the land. A Bard was always welcome, as his music and poetry was entertaining as well as bringing news of what was happening throughout the country side.

Major Cities

Cork, Waterford, Galway, Limerick and Belfast.

Sports

Soccer and Rugby

Ireland’s long and honorable tradition in educational excellence is recognized the world over. Dating back to the Middle Ages, Ireland held the position of one of the principal education to the western world.

Types of Programs

The Irish Education System was traditionally divided into three basic levels: Primary (8 years); Secondary (5 or 6 years) and Third level which offers a wide range of opportunities from post-Secondary courses, to vocational and technical training, to full degree and the highest post-graduate level.

Primary Education

The primary education system emphasizes a child-centered approach and is founded on the belief that high quality education enables children to realize their potential as individual and to live their lives to the fullest capacity appropriate to their particular stage of development.

Second Level Education

The second-level education sector in Ireland comprises secondary, Vocational, Community and Comprehensive Schools. The types of schools mainly differ on the basis of administration and sources funding.

Higher Education

Third Level Education System in Ireland is broad in scope and encompasses the university sector, the technological sector, the college of education and private, independent colleges. The first three grouping which comprise 34 institutions are autonomous and self governing, but are substantially state funded.

Programmes available at Third Level Institutions are as follows

  • One-Year Certificate: 1 year full-time course
  • National Certificate : 2 years full-time course
  • National Diploma : 1 year after National Certificate
  • Bachelor’s Degree : Normally 3 or 4 year course
  • Graduate Diploma : Usually 1 year
  • Masters Degree: Either by research or through a taught programme-1 or 2 years duration.
  • Doctorate (PhD): Usually takes a minimum of 3 years of original research

Universities

Universities offer degrees at Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate levels and undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas over a full range of disciplines. Teaching at undergraduate level is normally by way of a programme of lectures supplemented by tutorials and, where appropriate, practical demonstrations and laboratory work. Masters degrees can be taken by coursework and research or by research alone. Doctoral degrees are awarded on the basis of research.

Important: This list is intended as a guideline only and does not limit the discretion of the visa officer in dealing with individual applications.

General Information on Irish Visas

Although a visa is a form of pre-entry clearance, it does not guarantee entry to the State. Immigration officers at point of entry are entitled to deny access and to question students regarding their bona fides.

Accordingly, it would be in everyone’s interest if school could make arrangements to be represented at points of entry, particularly where they believe the student’s standard of English may be poor. It would also be sensible for either the school or the student to have on hand copies of any supporting documentation, which have been lodged in support of the Visa application.

Processing Time

All applications falling under the category of student visa must be referred for decision to the Department of Justice, equality and Law Reform in Dublin. This Process normally takes a Minimum of 8 weeks.

Where and How To Apply

All student visa applications must be made through the embassy of Ireland, New Delhi. It is not necessary to present your applications in person and may apply by post or through an agent.

Interviews

A proportion of student visa applicants may be called for interview at the Embassy after the application has been submitted. Should you be called for interview, you will be notified in advance and asked to arrange a suitable date and time.

Visa Fees

The visa fee for student visas is Rs.1400. Payment should be made in the form of a demand draft made payable to the Embassy of Ireland, New Delhi. The fee is non-refundable.

Right To Appeal

Any decisions to refuse a visa can be appealed by writing to

Visa appeals Officer
Immigration Division
Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform
BURGH QUAY,
Dublin 2

Only written appeals will be dealt with. The visa reference number, decision number and nationality will facilitate processing.

Obviously the success of an appeal will be enhanced if the applicant is in a position to forward additional supporting documentation in favour of the application or to submit a document previously omitted.

Valid Passport

There should be no less than 6 months validity on the passport from the date of the course’s completion.

If available, copies of previous passports exhibiting the immigration history of the applicant should be provided. All pages, not just those with valid visas must be included.

Evidence Of Course

The college should provide an original letter, indicating that the person has been accepted on a full-time course of education (specify subject) entailing 15 hours or more study in a privately funded course. Provisional letters offering a place are not acceptable

The college must be in a position to satisfy the Department of its educational and other credentials. Recognition by the Department of Education through ACELS meets the criteria.

Fees

Evidence must be supplied that the course fees have been paid in full. However while this is desirable, it is not expected that an applicant pay more than € 6,500 prior to visa approval. Evidence of payment may be incorporated into the above evidence of course letter which should include accommodation, fees and other relevant charges.

Private Medical Insurance

Every student should have full private medical insurance. Evidence of such insurance cover will be taken to be the Letter of Acceptance provided by the host school, college, university or other educational institution.

This Letter of Acceptance will contain details of the insurance cover taken out on behalf of each student by the host school, college, university or other educational institution on behalf of the student.

Alternative evidence will be taken to be a Certificate of Private Insurance taken out by the student in his or her own country prior to travel.

Persons attending a course of study of a least one academic year in duration are entitled to public health services in Ireland under the terms of Department of Health guidelines on ordinary residence.

Family Members

Applicants should disclose details of family members who are already residing in Ireland or in other EU countries. For this purpose family members include first cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews or grandparents.

Curriculum Vitae

The applicant MUST include a brief CV giving all details of educational and employment history from the time he left school to the present. It is important to account for all time between leaving school and present, therefore exact dates should be given for educational courses undertaken, jobs held, periods of unemployment etc. A sample CV is attached at the back of this document.

Educational Qualifications

Originals of the following educational qualifications achieved to date must be submitted.

  • Year 12 Certificate
  • Year 12 Result Sheet

Where the applicant holds third level qualifications:

  • Degree/Diploma Certificate OR Provisional certificate if the original is not available
  • Final year result sheet only

Please do not submit any additional documents. If the visa officer requires further documents in order to make a decision, they will be requested.

English Language

Except in the case of an applicant intending to pursue an English language course, evidence that the applicant has an adequate level of English is required.

65% + in English in Year 12 Standard
OR
IELTS certificate showing score of 6 band or above

Financial Support

If the applicant is being funded by a family member, guardian or employer, that person must sign an affidavit confirming their support for the applicant for the duration of his studies. The affidavit should give details of the nature of the support – payment of fees, accommodation expenses, maintenance in Ireland etc. The original affidavit must be submitted with the application.

If the applicant is funding himself, a brief financial statement from a chartered Accountant must be provided giving details of all movable and immovable assets and providing a conversion to US$.

If the applicant is financing himself, he should submit the most recent original bank statements in his own name corresponding to the amounts stated in the financial statement. If the applicant has obtained a student loan in order to pursue the course , evidence of this must be supplied.

If the applicant is being funded by a sponsor, he should submit the most recent original bank statements in that person’s name corresponding to the amounts stated in the Financial statement.

Applicant’s Character

There should be nothing in the person’s personal history which would give rise to concerns on public policy, public security or public health grounds.

Occasionally, applications are refused on these grounds, despite the production of all of the required documents for reasons that will not be disclosed.

Public policy is taken to include the protection of the common travel area and accordingly refusals or negative immigration history in the UK will be taken into account. Where an individual has been refused a visa and/or entry to the UK, details of the refusal should be provided to enable a decision to be made on the case’s individual merits.

Applicant’s Self -sufficiency

Applicants must provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to support their stay in Ireland, including emergencies, without recourse to State funds.

This is important as recourse to State funds might have a detrimental effect on the person’s future immigration prospects. Bank statements which clearly identify the holder together with a translation and details of conversion rates at the approximate date of the application are required.

Applicant’s Profile

The applicants profile should appear to match the course of studies proposed. Colleges should endeavour either through interview or through their agents to satisfy themselves as to the bona fides of the prospective student. Information regarding checks/interviews of the candidate which have been undertaken by the school or its agents can be submitted in support of the application.
The applicants’ prospects of obtaining a visa are enhanced by the submission of verified details of their profile, including family background, history of study etc.

Employment details of applicant in Country of origin

If the applicant is in employment the employer must state:

  • That all course costs are being met by the employer or, if the employee is meeting the costs, the employer must state that in the opinion of the employer the employee has the financial resources to meet all such costs The length of leave being granted to the employee and this must not differ from the stated duration of the course on which the applicant has been accepted
  • The purpose of participation in the proposed course of study
  • The applicant’s level of pay and the currency it’s received in

Consistency Within Application

None of the details within the application or its supporting documentation should be of a conflicting nature. E.g. the proposed length of stay on the application form should not conflict with the verified course acceptance

Change Of Status

Full details of course duration should be disclosed in the initial application in so far as they are known.

If there is any probability that a person intends to study for longer than 90 days (3 months) they should ensure that they apply for a ‘D’ study visa. Persons who seek to study for less than this period can apply for a ‘C’ study visa.

In the case of an applicant with a ‘C’ visa, extensions of permission to remain will only be entertained where a written request is made to the visas appeals officer and will be given in very exceptional circumstances only. The following details must be supplied to allow the request to be considered and applications that do not supply all the required documents will be refused:

  • Itemised details of payment of relevant fees and proof of payment
  • Details of the course of studies proposed
  • Accommodation details identifying host family
  • Evidence of financial self sufficiency, all financial details should identify the student
  • Details of the students attendance at the initial course of studies must be lodged
  • The particular circumstances of the applicant will be a major issue in the decision
  • A copy of the passport exhibiting the original visa must be lodged

Entitlement To Take up Casual Employment

Non EEA nationals who have permission to remain in the state as students will be entitled to take up casual employment (defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week, or full time work during vacation periods) for the duration of their permission to remain. The entitlement to take up employment ceases upon the expiry of their permission to remain as a student and their being in casual employment will not, in itself, entitle them to further permission to remain.

Conditions Of Permission to Remain

Students will be required to sign an undertaking as part of the visa application process stating that:

  • They will not enter full time employment while in the State other than casual employment as defined in the student visa guidelines.
  • They will not visit Great Britain or Northern Ireland or any other country without a valid entry visa and a re-entry visa for Ireland.
  • They will ensure that they do not breach the Visa requirements if this State.
  • Students will be required to acknowledge that should they breach their conditions their case will be reviewed with a view to being deported.

Will the qualifications I gain at an Irish institution be recognised internationally?

Any academic award achieved from an Irish University is of a very high standard and will be recognised internationally.

Before undertaking a course at an alternative institution you should ensure that the qualification is approved by the Higher Education and Training Award Council (HETAC), a body established by the Irish Ministry of Education. Qualifications awarded by this body are internationally recognised by academic, professional, trade and craft bodies.

How do I find more specific information on my chosen area of study?

Each of the individual institutions will be able to provide you with comprehensive information on course content, fees, academic entry requirements etc. Their individual websites are an excellent starting point.

How much should I budget for accommodation and Living expenses?

Costs vary depending on the course of study, the length of stay and the lifestyle of the student. However, we have calculated that, on average, a student can expect to pay between Euro 6,500 and Euro 10,000 in living costs per year. For a more detailed breakdown of costs please refer to our ‘Costs and Living Expenses’ section.

What additional services are available to international students?

Most of the universities have an International student office with trained staff on hand to deal with any issues arising for overseas students. This office usually organises an orientation programme at the start of the academic year to assist students in acclimatisating to Irish life and college procedures. Other events such as day and weekend excursions and sporting and cultural activities are also run by the international student offices. Overseas students are also encouraged to join the many clubs and societies enjoyed by their Irish counterparts.

Will my children have to learn the Irish Language if they are joining the Irish education system having had part of their education overseas?

Students exempt from studying Irish are those who:

  • have had their primary education outside of Ireland and enroll in the Irish Education System after 11 years of age. id
  • Have lived outside of Ireland for the three years prior to their enrolment and return after 11 years of age