Coming to Ireland

Student Immigration

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Visas and Immigration

It looks like you are from a country whose citizens require a visa to study in Ireland.

All students from outside the EU/EEA must comply with Irish immigration requirements, which can be different for every country. Some, but not all, students will require an entry visa for Ireland. Information for your country should be sourced in the following ways:

You can check the Irish Immigration Service website to see if you require a visa.

Information on how to apply for your student visa can be found on (please ensure you read the ‘Student visa guidelines’ document carefully before applying for your visa).

An excellent and comprehensive guide to applying for your visa can be found in this document.

You may need to liaise with the Irish Embassy or Consulate for your country during the visa process. Visit Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for these details.

We strongly recommend you start your visa application as early as possible in order to avoid delays and ensure you arrive in UCD in time for orientation. Here is a useful timeline in relation to the application process, but please remember that processing times will differ for everybody and you should apply as early as possible, and some embassies do not accept applications after a certain date.

Your Immigration Timeline

    • Upon accepting your offer (within three months of your travel date)

      Do your research - visit the INIS website and find the Irish Embassy or Consulate details for your country.

    • Post-research

      Gather all documentation you need, as outlined on the Irish Embassy or Consulate website for your country. Documentation requirements differ from country to country - make sure you read all requirements.

    • Before Applying Online

      Check the Irish Embassy or Consulate website for your country to see where your documentation should be sent and for any additional instructions.

    • June: three months from your date of travel to Ireland (if possible)

      Apply for your visa online using the AVATS Online Application Facility.

    • Upon application

      Pay the visa application fee

    • After application

      Check the status of your visa on the INIS website. Advise UCD of your visa application number through the Incoming Student Portal.

    • Upon Arrival

      The Embassy or Consulate who you have liaised with will affix a visa to your passport.

    • If refused

      You can appeal within two months, but as this would affect your date of arrival in UCD, you would need to seek advice on a final acceptable arrival date from your course director/administrator.

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.

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 

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.

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.

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.

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