Getting a visa to work in a European country may seem like an almost impossible thing but the truth is that Ireland is one of the few places that make this dream a real possibility. That is why it is chosen as the primary destination for many students looking to study abroad. If you just decided to do an exchange in Dublin, and you are now figuring all the paperwork necessary to get the visa, don’t worry, we have some practical tips that will make the whole process much easier.

What is the Irish Visa for and do I need to have it to go to Ireland?

If you are a citizen of a country outside of EU you will be required to have a Study Visa to enter Ireland. You are required to enroll on and pay for your course of study before you travel to Ireland.

The first steps to study and work in Ireland

The Stamp 2 is the type of visa that gives non-European people the chance to study and work in Ireland for a certain period. To get this visa you have to attend regular English classes for 25 weeks, and in addition, you will be able to work for up to 20 hours per week during school time, and up to 40 hours per week during your vacation time. An important tip is that the chosen school must be on the list of institutions approved by the Irish government (GNIB) as is Erin School of English.

Another advantage is having a letter from the school in your hands when you arrive in Ireland, proving the reason for your travel.

After you choose the right school and arrive in Dublin, you will receive a temporary visa at the airport and should, then, schedule an appointment for an interview, where you have to show all the documents required for the immigration.

Arranging the appointment for my visa at Irish immigration

One of the first obstacles that students face before arriving in Dublin is the immigration website where you should do the appointment for the visa interview. Sadly the website doesn’t work very well, which could make the process of scheduling your visa interview a bit annoying and slow. Here are some tips to speed up the process and make it a little easier:

  1. Download one of the apps of the immigration official website 

    (unfortunately only available for Android), that will notify you when new appointment dates are available:
    •  App 1 (Google Play Store)
    •  App 2 (Google Play Store)

  2. Book your appointment

    Start the attempts to get your appointment as soon as possible, even if you are still in your country;

  3. Access the official website at specific times

    You have highest chance when the system has just finished updating and new dates usually appear around 10 a.m. Irish time.

  4. Try to schedule your visa appointment for at least 20 days after your arrival in Ireland

    That will give you some time to get all the documents requested by immigration, such as residence proof.

How long does it take to obtain a visa?

The ideal time to apply for your visa is 6 to 8 weeks before you arrive in Ireland. After your appointment at the immigration post, the GNIB card will be sent to your address by postal mail in 8 weeks.

How much does an Irish visa cost?

The question that interests you the most. For the Stamp 2 Irish visa, the student needs to pay a fee of 300 euros during the appointment at the immigration post.

What documents must you bring to the visa interview?

The last step before getting the Irish visa is making sure that you have all the documents required by immigration. Here are all you need:

  • A letter from school proving your attendance at a 15-hour week course;
  • The government or medical insurance;
  • A balance of 3000 euros verified in an Irish bank account statement or Visa Travel Money card;
  • Address proof;
  • The written confirmation that the school has Learner Protection Insurance;
  • 300,00 euro to pay for the Irish Residence Permit;

If you have all those documents, do not worry and go get your visa at the immigration post.

Read more on this topic on our Visa information page >>

Good luck!

Author: Juliana Hansen

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