How to get a visa to study in CEC
We have another blog post for you this week where we are going to explain to you how to apply for a student visa to study in CEC! We’ll answer all the questions you might have on whether you need a visa, how to apply and explain the steps you need to take to register for a course with us.
Do I need a visa?
It depends on where you’re coming from, and what you want to do in Ireland. The quickest way to find out would be to follow the study path on the Irish immigraiton website with your specific sutuation which you can do by clicking here.
If you’d like a more in depth explanation however, we are happy to oblige. Let’s look at a few different scenarios:
You’re from the EEA (the EU, plus Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein), Switzerland and the UK:
You can live and work in Ireland without an employment permit, so you don’t need a visa!
Your’e from a non visa required country, you can find a list of those by clicking here.
You can arrive to Ireland without applying for a visa beforehand. Does that mean you can come to Ireland and work and study with no permission You might be asking? Nope! there’s more to it than that. You’ve got two options as below.
You want to study or be a tourist for less than 90 days:
If you want to study or be a tourist for less than 90 days, you can just come to Ireland and have a holiday for a few weeks or study if you like without having to show any paperwork to anyone. Maybe Irish immigration will ask you to show your flight leaving the country to prove you will not stay past 90 days, but that’s about it. You are not allowed to work legally in Ireland in this situation.
You want to work and study in Ireland for more than 90 days:
You need to book and pay for a course, and then we give you what’s called a letter of invitation that you show at the airport when you arrive. Once you’re here you’ll need to ask Irish immigration for an appointment in their office in Cork City by email to get a GNIB card. We help you get the documents you need for that appointment; you can talk to us at the desk about that at any time.
You can stay for up to 8 months, and you can renew those permissions in theory up to 2 times. You need to study for at least 6 months out of the 8, so you’ll have 2 months of holidays. You’ll need private medical insurance to cover you for the duration of your stay. You can work up to 20 hours per week during term time. During June, July, August and September, and between 15 December and 15 January, you can work up to 40 hours per week.
You’re from any other non-EU country:
Almost the same as the above, the only difference here is that you need to apply online for a visa on the Irish immigration website before you come to Ireland and have a visa acceptance letter from them to show with your other papers at the airport.
They could take a month or so to give you the acceptance, so you should take that into account and make sure you leave yourself enough time between applying for your visa, and the start of your course. You can find the Irish immigration website to apply for your visa by clicking here.
You can apply for either a tourist visa for less than 90 days, or an 8-month visa where you’ll study for 6 months and have holidays for 2.
If you’re coming to Ireland for less than 90 days, you are not allowed to work legally in Ireland. If you’re here for longer you can work but only a certain number of hours a week, just like scenario 2, you can work up to 20 hours per week during term time. During June, July, August and September, and between 15 December and 15 January, you can work up to 40 hours per week. Again. You’ll need private medical insurance to cover you for the duration of your stay.
Note about medical insurance: You will always need to purchase medical insurance as part of your permission to stay in the country for longer than 3 months, and you need to buy it before you arrive to Ireland. You can buy it from your school, or your agent if you’re working with one. It doesnt need to be Irish medical insurance for immigration, but it does if you want to use it to open an Irish bank account like AIB or Bank of Ireland.
I have an appointment for my GNIB in Cork, what should I bring?
We give our students a list of all the documents they need for their first time immigration appointment in Cork for a 6 month course and you can see a pdf of that document by clicking here.
Lastly, if you have any questions about your future visa you can check the FAQ section of the Irish immigrations website by clicking here.
Those are all the scenarios we imagine you could be in if you do need permission to study or work in Ireland. Here’s a step-by-step of what you need to do:
- Pick a course and accommodation and send us a completed booking form.
- We send you a booking confirmation and a bill.
- You pay the bill.
- We send you a letter of invitation, and you may or may not need to apply for the visa online as above.
- You arrive to Ireland and start your course!
- Make an appointment to register with immigration if this applies to you.
- We will help you prepare your documents for your appointment.
That’s our visa deep dive, if you have any questions about the above feel free to send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org