Coming to Ireland

Student Immigration

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Student Immigration

If you are coming to study in UCD and are a non-EEA/UK national, you will need to follow the student immigration path to be compliant with the local immigration legislation and policy guidelines.

Among other requirements, you may need to apply for an entry visa. If you are staying for more than 90 days, you must register in person with your local immigration officer after your arrival in the country. 

Please check the Student Immigration Timeline and the useful links below carefully. You can also watch this video to hear our Student Immigration Adviser, Lara Morais, explain the Irish Immigration system.

Student Immigration Guidelines

The Irish entry visa application process can be summarised in the following simple steps:  

  • Create your online application form via AVATS
  • Print and sign your completed form; 
  • Arrange your visa appointment with Visa Facilitation Service (VFS), if applicable.
  • Compile your supporting documentation  
  • Submit your documents based on the country-specific instructions on the printed AVATS form; 
  • Pay your visa fee (country-specific);
  • Await the visa application outcome.

Further information on how to apply is available on the Embassy website, while information on Irish student visa policy is available on the Irish immigration website.

Entry to Ireland, for any non-EEA citizen, visa or non-visa required, is determined by the Immigration Officer at border control and is based on the documentation presented at the time of arrival.

All relevant factors are taken into account, including but not limited to, the purpose of the stay and your ability to support yourself during your stay in Ireland.

Each application for entry to Ireland is assessed on its own merits. Therefore, we advise all our students coming from outside the EU to carry any relevant documentation with them for presentation to the Immigration Officer on arrival in Ireland.

When you land in Ireland, we recommend that you have the following documentation with you:

  • Passport (with your valid student entry visa if you are a visa required national).
  • UCD Offer Letter available in SISweb.
  • Evidence of private medical health insurance with detailed coverage information.
  • Evidence of tuition fees paid, scholarship or sponsorship details or US Financial Aid if applicable.
  • Evidence that you have access to at least €4,500. 
  • Accommodation details.

All documents presented should be originals and, if in a language other than English, accompanied by translation.

On approval, you will get a temporary immigration permission valid for up to 90 days stamped in your passport. You must register with the Irish Immigration Service within the timeframe stamped on your passport in order to obtain an Irish Residency Permit (IRP) card which provides permission to remain in Ireland beyond the date stamped on your passport.

Please be aware that it is not possible to change to student status if you receive a tourist immigration stamp on arrival.

First time registration with the Irish Immigration Service.

All non-EEA/UK students who are staying in Ireland for longer than 90 days, must register with Irish Immigration Service after they have registered with UCD and before the expiry date stamped on their passport by immigration officials at the airport. 

If you are resident in Dublin city or county, please call Freephone 1800 800630 and attend the Burgh Quay Office which is located in Dublin City Centre. If you are residing outside Dublin, you will be registering with Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

Please be aware that your biometric data such as fingerprints and photo will be collected as part of your registration process.

You must have the following when you go to register:

  • Your passport
  • Certificate of Attendance (All students can access an electronic Certificate of Attendance online via SISWeb
  • Proof that you have paid at least €6000 in course fees (an online copy of your Fee Receipt (known as a Fee Statement) is available through SISWeb)
  • Proof of scholarship funding (if relevant)
  • Proof that you have private medical insurance 
  • If you did not need a visa to come to Ireland, you must also prove that you can support yourself financially while you are in the country. You can do this by showing you have direct access to:

€4,500, if you are staying for more than 6 months

€500 per month or €3,000 (in total) if you are staying 6 months or less

  • Please see further information about evidence of finances on the Irish Immigration website.
  • A credit/debit card for payment of €300 registration fee 

You can check all requirements for first time registration on the Irish Immigration website. If any of the documents are missing, your application will be refused.

Please note that students under the age of 18 must have their guardian present at the time of first registration.  Guardians must have their own passport, written authorisation from the students parents (proof of guardianship) and proof of residence in Ireland. The 300 euros fee is waived for these students.

On successful completion of your ISD registration, you will be issued with an Irish Residency Permit  (IRP) card which is your registration certificate. This will be sent to you by post/mail within 10 working days. This is valid for one year, or for single semester students, until the end of their course. Your IRP card is a very important document and you must carry it with you at all times.

If you do not receive the card within 10 working days, contact ISD at with your full name, registration number (if available), nationality and date of birth.

A new online Registration Renewal system is currently in place for Dublin-based students. This means all Dublin-based students looking to renew their registration will no longer have to book an appointment and attend the registration office in person. If you live outside Dublin you should contact your local immigration office to arrange a time to register. 

Prepare to renew online by registering through the INIS Online renewal application portal.

Please see the documents you must upload to the portal for the renewal of registration:

  • Copy of Biometric page of your current valid passport(s)
  • Copy of your current Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or 'IRP card'
  • Proof that you are enrolled on a course of full time education (Certificate of Attendance available in SiSWeb). 
  • Proof that you have paid UCD fees (you must be able to show you have paid at least €6,000. An online copy of your Fee Receipt (known as a Fee Statement) is available through SISWeb. This receipt is an accurate and official reflection of your fee account.
  • To access your Fee Statement in SISWeb, navigate to Registration, Fees and Assessment > Programme Fees and Payments > Generate Statement.
  • Proof of scholarship funding (if applicable)
  • Proof that you have private medical insurance (you cannot use travel insurance)

A €300 fee applies to all renewals and this is paid online at the time of application.

Please make sure you have your correct address in SiSweb as it will be printed in your documents. Your new IRP card will be posted to the address you provide.

You can find further information about registration renewals on the Irish Immigration Service website and you can submit a query by emailing 

Ireland's graduate visa, also known as stay-back visa, refers to the Third Level Graduate Programme that allows non-EEA students, who have graduated from Irish higher education institutions, to remain in Ireland to seek employment. You must have graduated after 1 January 2017 with a Level 8 or above degree to qualify.

Find out more about the Stamp 1G permission or graduate visa for international students. 

Health Insurance

Private health insurance is insurance that helps cover medical and hospital costs incurred while you are in Ireland. The Irish Immigration Service also requires students from outside the EU/EEA to obtain private health insurance for visa application and immigration registration purposes. UCD Global does not arrange health insurance for students, however we have provided some recommendations below based on our communications with the different providers.

Non-EEA students must obtain private health insurance. You can purchase insurance in your home country for your first year, however you will need to ensure that it is valid in Ireland and in any other countries you plan to travel to. The requirements are below:

Private Medical Insurance or Travel Insurance with medical cover for accidents and medical incident including hospital stays in Ireland, valid for 12 months, or if less than 12 months for the duration of your stay.

There are different levels of private health insurance available. Students are advised to read their policy documents carefully and pay close attention to “waiting periods” particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, students should ensure that repatriation cover is included in their policy.

There are three main insurance providers in Ireland - Vhi, Irish Life and Laya Healthcare.

UCD Global recommends a dedicated group scheme for non-EU/EEA with Vhi Healthcare, Ireland’s largest Health Insurance provider. This scheme is available to students enrolled on an academic course of one year or more. It offers a discounted rate and concessions on the standard waiting periods that must be served when joining a health insurance plan. This means that UCD students will have immediate cover for all new and pre-existing conditions. Please read through the policy wording and prices via the links below. This policy is accepted for immigration purposes.

The Group Scheme Number with VHI is 88979 and you can read further information through the dedicated page for international students. Details of their main student plan is included in the link and payments must be made directly to Vhi in order to set up a policy (Vhi will contact you to confirm annual payment details). Please note the UCD pricing discount is given at time of purchase.

Vhi has a dedicated phone line for International Students which is +353 (0) 56 775 3157. Please reference the UCD group scheme number 88979 when talking with Vhi.

Please also see the VHI presentation webinar for international students. 

Further information on health insurance in Ireland, including a health insurance comparison tool, is available through the Health Insurance Authority website.


Students from EU Member States in possession of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to public health services in Ireland. The EHIC card is available from the health authorities in your home country. For further information and information on your entitlements to healthcare while in Ireland, please see the European Health Insurance Card website.

Health insurance must be purchased from an Irish provider after the first year - this requirement is applicable to any student renewing their IRP card. Please refer to the above section ‘Students from outside the EU/ EEA' for details on a Vhi policy which meets these requirements. In summary:

  1. For Registration - Private Medical Insurance or Travel Insurance with medical cover for accidents and medical incident including hospital stays in Ireland, valid for 12 months, or if less than 12 months for the duration of your stay.
  2. For renewals - Proof of your private medical insurance. Insurance must cover accidents & medical incidents including hospital stays for the duration of your residence. Travel insurance is not sufficient for Renewal.