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Visa and Immigration

Full details on visa requirements for entry to Ireland is available from the Department of Justice and Equality website here

Carry your UL offer letter in your hand luggage when travelling. You may be asked to present this to immigration when you arrive in Ireland.

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.

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

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 or via www.odon/ie/ul.
Other companies providing private medical insurance include AVIVA, Quinn-healthcare and VHI Healthcare.

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.

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

The Immigration Bureau 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 debit/credit card. Further details on the payment procedure are available here.

You will need to bring the following items to the Immigration Office to register for your Irish Residence Permit (IRP):

  • 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 Immigration Bureau at Henry Street Garda Station is open from Monday to Friday, 09h00 to 17h00. Tel: 061 212400

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.

Your Irish Residence Permit (IRP) 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 Immigration Bureau in Henry Street Garda Station to do this.

Students have to be studying in Ireland on a full time undergraduate or postgraduate programme before they are permitted to work in the country.

Study Abroad students are not permitted to work in Ireland.

Please note that the information below is for guideline purposes only. Students should familiarise themselves with the Immigration Guidelines for Degree Students

Working while Studying

International students that hold an immigration stamp 2 are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during the university term. During the holiday period students can work on a full time basis – up to 40 hours per week. This means you can work for 20 hours per week during term time or full-time (up to 40 hours) during June, July, August and September and between 15th December and 15th January. 

Undertaking an internship (Cooperative Education)

Students enrolled on a degree programme are allowed to undertake an internship where this forms part of their course.

Working after your degree - Third Level Graduate Scheme

What is the Graduate Scheme ?
The Graduate scheme enables non-EEA third level graduates to remain in Ireland for period of time after they have graduated from their respective course. During this period of time they can seek employment and work in Ireland without an employment permit.  Entry to the scheme is facilitated by application and the start of the scheme is based on the official receipt of exam results. For a full explanation of the scheme and requirements, please visit the INIS website - http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Student%20Pathway 

Twelve Month Graduate Scheme
This scheme is open to a non-EEA student who has acquired an Honours Degree i.e. level 8 on the National Framework of Qualification from an Irish third level educational institution.

Twenty Four Month Graduate Scheme
This scheme is open to a non-EEA student who has acquired a Masters Degree, a Post-Graduate Diploma or a Doctorate Degree, i.e. a qualification from level 9 – 10 on the National Framework of Qualification from an Irish third level educational institution.

Applying for the Graduate Scheme
It is important to note that third level graduates are not automatically included on this scheme, i.e. individuals must apply for entry on to the scheme. Applications may be made at the applicant’s local Garda Síochána registration office.

Application Documents Required

  • An original letter signed by the College Registrar (on the headed paper of the College) stating that the applicant has completed the course of study satisfactorily and the date results were made available. This can be requested from the UL international Office here.
  • Current passport.
  • Existing IPR ( formerly GNIB) Card
  • Medical Insurance for the 12 months.
  • Official UL transcripts.
  • A payment of €300 by credit/debit card (cash not accepted).

Application Fees
The normal fees for the issuing of Certificates of Registration will apply to this Scheme.

Permission to remain
Persons who qualify under this scheme will be granted Stamp 1G for a 12 month period starting on the date upon which the person receives their exam results. The purpose of the permission to remain under this Scheme is to seek employment and gain a Hosting Agreement, Green Card or Work Permit. After 12 months, you may be eligible for the Green Card or Work Permit Scheme. This permission is granted by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation. Check their website at http://www.deti.ie and see http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/WP11000076.

Conditions
A person granted an extension to their permission to remain in the State under the Graduate Scheme shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:
• Will be allowed to work for up to 40 hours per week without an employment permit
• Will not engage in self employment or operate a business in the State 

It is important to note the following:
A student can only avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme once. 
Once a student has availed of the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme they are not permitted to re-enter full time education and to be registered as a student at the end of this period.

Expiry
This scheme shall automatically expire after a period of 12 months for those with an undergraduate qualification, 24 months for those with a postgraduate qualification. 

© University of Limerick 2017