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Visa and Immigration

Will I need a study visa?

You will need to check whether or not you are required to have a study visa before arriving in Ireland. A list of countries whose citizens do not require visas is available from the "Documents" link in the sidebar. For all other countries, a visa will be required.

What documents do I require if I do not need a study visa?

You should bring your UL offer letter in your hand luggage when travelling. You may be asked to present this to immigration when you arrive in Ireland.  Remember you will also need to register with Immigration (GNIB) during your first week at UL.

How do I apply for a study visa?

You should contact your local Irish Diplomatic Mission for advice on visa applications. A list of Irish embassies and consulates is available here. In the event that there is no local Irish Diplomatic Mission, you should contact the Visa Section at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS): +353 1 6167700 or visamail@justice.ie.

The visa application system is an online system. Information on this system is available from the INIS website.

What documents should I submit with my visa application?

The INIS student visa guidelines provide up-to-date information on student visas and the supporting documentation required for applications. The list below gives you a general idea of what is required.

  • Valid passport
  • Letter from the University of Limerick indicating that you have been offered a place on a full-time programme (available from the International Office)
  • Proof of payment of one year's tuition fees (UL International Student Payments Service)
  • Evidence to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while studying in Ireland. You are required to show that you or your sponsor has access to €7,000.
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • In some cases proof of English is required, such as an IELTS or TOEFL certificate

Where can I get medical insurance?

Medical insurance for non-EU nationals is a compulsory requirement when applying for an Irish student visa. Students attending the University of Limerick can purchase a medical insurance policy online at a cost of €120 through the UL International Student Payments Service webpage. Other companies providing private medical insurance include AVIVA, Quinn-healthcare and VHI Healthcare. 

When can I travel after receiving my visa?

You can travel to Ireland between the dates entered on your visa. You should have your offer letter and any other supporting documentation from UL with you on arrival at the airport.

Do I need to register with Immigration in Ireland?

If you are from outside the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), you must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) upon arrival in Ireland. This applies to you even if you do not need a study visa to enter the country.

How do I register with Immigration?

The GNIB office in Limerick is located at the Garda Station in Henry Street. There is a charge of €300 each time you register. You can only pay the registration charge of €300 by bank giro or credit card. Further details on the payment procedure are available here.

You will need to bring the following items to the GNIB office:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid UL student ID card
  • Evidence of financial support (e.g. current bank statement indicating your name or a letter of guarantee from a parent or guardian indicating the availability of sufficient funds to cover you during your period of stay in Ireland or a letter from your sponsor confirming your financial status)
  • A letter from the University of Limerick indicating that you are a registered student and indicating the start date and duration of your programme
  • Evidence of fees paid or of funded research position
  • Registration fee of €300 (payment by bank giro or credit card)

The GNIB office is open from Monday to Friday, 08h00 to 16h00. Tel: 061 212400

I want to travel to another country for a weekend/holiday or to attend a postgraduate conference. Do I need another visa?

Your study visa only allows you to enter and leave the country once. If you wish to leave for a short period (including travel to Northern Ireland), you must apply for a re-entry visa before you make your travel plans. You can apply for your re-entry visa by post. Details on the application procedure, fees and application form are available on the INIS website.

How do I renew my GNIB card?

Your GNIB card is only issued for one year, and you are responsible for renewing it for each year of your programme. You will need to call every year to the GNIB office in Henry Street to do this.