University College Dublin
Ireland's Global University 

Before Arriving in Ireland

Before Arriving in Ireland

Some but not all non-EU/EEA students require an entry visa for Ireland. You can check on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website. Check if you need a visa to enter Ireland here.

Applying for a Visa
Note: Due to increased volumes of applications, the Irish Visa Office is taking longer than normal to process visa applications. If you require a visa to enter Ireland we strongly recommend that you commence application as soon as possible to ensure you are arrive in time for orientation.

• If you require a visa, you must make your visa application on-line using the AVATS on-line facility. Completing the on-line application form is the first step. The application will only be processed when the on-line form is completed AND the required documentation, passport photograph and appropriate fee are received by the relevant office as indicated by the on-line system.

• If you are applying from China, India, Nigeria, Russia, United Arab Emirates or the United Kingdom, please also check the Irish Embassy website for details of further documentation which may be required.

• You should read the visa application details very carefully. If you do not provide the documentation required, your visa will be refused. Remember to check the Irish Embassy details where your documentation is to be sent for any additional instructions.

• Some points for you to note. When making an application you must:

  • Check the Irish Embassy details where your documentation is to be sent for any additional instructions
  • Complete the on line application
  • Pay the application fee
    • Two colour passport sized photographs not more than 6 months old (your name and visa application reference number must be printed clearly on the back)
    • Your current passport and a full copy of any previous passports (your current passport must be valid for at least 12 months after your proposed date of arrival in Ireland)
    • Provide evidence from UCD that you have been accepted on a full-time course of study
    • A signed letter of application including your full contact details outlining your reason for wanting to come to Ireland and confirming to Visa Officials that you will observe the conditions of your visa, that you will not become a burden on the State, and that you will leave the State on the expiry of your permission to remain
    • Show evidence of tuition fees paid. Where the course fees are less than €6,000, fees must be paid in full to the college. Where the course fees are in excess of €6,000, you must pay at least this amount prior to applying for your visa. This minimum amount, of €6,000 is an Immigration requirement.* You are encouraged to use our PayToStudy payment facility which includes a receipt for visa purposes. If using a direct payment method (Bank Transfer) you should contact to request a receipt providing them with your name/course/student number or application number. This can take up to 10 working days.
    • Have private health insurance (See UCD website for information on health insurance providers. Please note that private health insurance is not provided by UCD**)
    • Show that you have enough money to support yourself while in Ireland (bank account statements for six months previously, evidence of access to €7,000, sponsorship letter etc)***
    • Show evidence of language proficiency. INIS requires IELTS of 5 (please refer to UCD English language requirements and specific programme requirements).
    • Any other documents as requested by INIS or the Irish Embassy through which you are applying
    • Make sure you keep copies of all documents submitted.

*See for details on tuition payments.
** Cheap medical expenses insurance policies, which satisfy the INIS, can be purchased on-line from and from
***INIS allows you to lodge an amount of €7,000 to an ‘education bond’. See INIS website for further details.

UCD Supports
• Please let us know your visa application number so we can assist you in securing your visa (remembering though we can contact the Visa Office on your behalf, it does not mean that our intervention will lead to a quicker decision). Confirming that you have already submitted a visa application will also help us understand where you are in your preparations to come to Dublin.
• Please advise us of your visa application number through the Incoming Student Portal.

Checking on your visa status
• You should apply as early as possible for your visa as it normally takes eight weeks for it to be processed but in busy periods may take longer than this.
• You can track your visa on here which shows Current Processing Times and Visa Decisions. These are updated weekly
• If you get approval for a visa, the Embassy to which you sent your documents will affix a visa to your passport.
• You can contact our International Student Adviser Mr. Colum Cronin if you are experiencing delays in receiving a decision. You will need to provide your visa application number, your country of origin and the course you are accepted to. While he can contact the Visa Office on your behalf, it does not mean that any intervention will lead to a quicker decision.
• If you are refused a visa you may appeal the decision within 2 months. However, as this would affect your date of arrival in UCD, you would need to seek advice on final acceptable arrival date from the course director/administrator.

Note: Ireland is not a member of the Schengen Agreement. You will, therefore, still have to apply for an Irish visa even if you have a visa for a Schengen country.

Contact us


Postal Address:
UCD International
Gerard Manley Hopkins Centre
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 716 8500