STUDENTS STUDYING IN IRELAND WITH A STUDY VISA – FAQs
Do I need a visa to study in Ireland?
If you are from an EU country, you do not need a visa to study in Ireland and you do not need to register with the department of immigration. If you are from a country which it not in the EU, you will need a visa to study in Ireland.
Students from countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina can arrive in Ireland without a visa, but with a letter of acceptance from the school, and get their student visa after you arrive. Students from China and Venezuela (for example) will need to organise a visa through their local embassy before they arrive. The Irish Immigration Service has a webpage where you can check whether you need a visa to study in Ireland. You can access it here: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/check-irish-visa
How long is a study visa?
For English language courses, a study visa is for 8 months. Students study for six months and have two months holidays at the end of their course.
Can I take a holiday at the start of my course?
No, it is not possible to have a holiday at the start of your course.
How do I register as a student in Ireland?
To register, you need to book an appointment at the immigration office in the city centre. You need to book the appointment online at the following web page: https://burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie/
What do I need to take with me to my appointment?
- A letter from your school detailing the course you are on.
- A letter from your school showing proof you have paid for your course in full.
- A bank statement in your name showing you have at least €3000 to cover your living expenses while in Ireland.
- A letter from your medical insurance company, showing you have medical insurance covering your time in Ireland.
- A VISA card (or any credit card) so you can make the registration payment of €300.
- Your appointment time and date printed out (this will be sent to you by email when you make the appointment)
- Proof of your address in Ireland
What are the obligations of the student visa?
There are some obligations which you need to follow as a visa-required student. Firstly, you need to attend the course. You must be present for a minimum of 85% of your classes. If you miss more classes than this, the school needs to inform the department of immigration.
You need to do an external exam at the end of your course. Depending on your class, this will be, Cambridge PET, Cambridge FCE, Cambridge CAE, Cambridge CPE or IELTS Academic.
Can I stay for longer than 8 months?
Yes, you can renew your student visa twice and will need the following:
- You need to be enrolled on a course with a regulated school which is registered on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)
- You must show evidence of payment in full for your language course.
- You must be present for a minimum of 85% of your classes. If you miss more classes than this, the school needs to inform the department of immigration.
- You need to do an external exam at the end of your course. Depending on your class, this will be, Cambridge PET, Cambridge FCE, Cambridge CAE, Cambridge CPE or IELTS Academic.
- You must have full medical cover in place. The school offers a special student medical policy which can be purchased at any time and covers the duration of your course.
- Your passport must be in date with more than 8 months renewal required.
Can I pay in instalments?
Yes, you can pay for a course in installments. However, you will need to show immigration that all fees have been paid in advance at the start of your course.
What if I pay my fees and then I don’t get my visa?
If you are not successful in your visa application and you haven’t started your course with us, you are entitled to a full refund minus an administration charge of €200. There is an appeals process which Active Language Learning will help students with.
Can I work on a student visa?
On an 8 month study visa you are entitled to work part time (up to 20 hours per week) once your work doesn’t interfere with your study times. In May, June, July and August, and between the 15th December and the 15th of January, students are allowed to work up to 40 hours per week.
Needing to work is not an acceptable excuse for missing classes. Any work that you do must take place after 2pm or at weekends.
Something has come up and I need to go home. What can I do?
In exceptional circumstances – a death in the family etc. – a student may take a break without prior notice. However, the school will need some type of assurance/evidence that this is indeed the reason for the student’s absence. Talk to the academic manager if you need advice.
Grievances are initially presented to the Academic Manager.
The Academic Manager completes the appropriate grievance form with the student/teacher/staff member.
The Academic Manager seeks to resolve the complaint and meets again with the person filing the complaint.
If the complaint is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, it is referred to the owners of the school.
The owners meet with the complainant and record any details in addition to the original complaint form.
The owners seek to resolve the complaint and consult with the complainant.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, a further meeting may be sought with an independent respected member of the sector.
At all stages, the complainant can have a witness present when meeting with other parties.
If the original complaint is against the Academic Manager then the complaint goes directly to the school owners.
If the original complaint is against the school owners, then stages 4-6 are void and the complaint proceeds directly from stage 3 to 7, if it has not been resolved at stage 3.
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