Renew Stamp 2 or 2A as a Master's student

To stay in Ireland to study a postgraduate Master's degree, you must renew your immigration permission and registration at a registration office before they expire.

1. Check your expiry date

IMPORTANT: From 11 December 2017 the previous registration certificate (GNIB card) has been replaced by the new Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

The expiry date for your current permission and registration is shown on the stamp in your passport and on your current registration certificate, ie Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card.

You must visit a registration office during the 2 week period before expiry to extend your permission and renew your registration.

Future applications could be affected by gaps in your immigration record, if you do not renew in time.

2. Where to renew

If you live in Dublin City or county

You must go to Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin City centre.

Before you visit, you must book an appointment online. Do not go to Burgh Quay without an appointment. You will not be allowed to register.

Book a registration appointment online

Book your appointment up to 10 weeks in advance. You may also book before you travel to Ireland, if you know for certain when you will arrive here.

If you live outside Dublin City or county

You must go to the registration office nearest to where you live. Registration offices are located at Garda Síochána (police) stations around the country.

See a list of regional registration offices

You may need an appointment to visit a regional registration office. Contact your local office before you visit to check opening days and times.

3. When you renew

Prepare the documents you need

You must bring the following when you go to register:

  • Your passport
  • Your current Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or 'GNIB card'
  • Proof that you are enrolled on a course of full time day time education for a minimum of 25 weeks (see note 1 below)
  • Proof that you have paid college/university fees (see note 2 below)
  • Proof of scholarship funding (if applicable)
  • Proof that you have private medical insurance (see note 3 below)

If any of these are missing, you cannot be given continued permission to stay in Ireland and your registration won't be renewed.

Click to view notes about documents

Note 1

You may use an original letter of registration (on headed notepaper from your college/university) for your most recent semester as proof.

Note 2

You may use an original receipt from your college/university (showing the amount paid) as proof.

  • If your course fees are below €6,000, you must be able to show you have paid the full amount.
  • If your course fees are higher than €6,000, you must be able to show you have paid at least €6,000.

Note 3

You cannot use travel insurance as an alternative.

Cost & payment

You must pay a fee of €300 per person to renew. You can pay by:

  • Bank giro: A giro is a pre-printed form and can be collected from any registration office
  • Credit/debit card: These can be used at Burgh Quay Registration Office and some others

Contact your local office to confirm payment options before you arrive.

Visit your registration office

At the registration office an immigration officer will examine your documents and decide whether to extend your immigration permission and renew your registration. Read about what happens at a registration office.

If approved, the immigration officer will:

The process for issuing stamps and IRPs is different if you renew in Dublin or outside Dublin.

About your permission stamp and Irish Residence Permit (IRP)

Permission stamp

A permission stamp gives you permission to stay in Ireland. It also indicates the:

  • Activities you can and cannot do here, eg work
  • Time period you are allowed to stay

Your passport will (typically) be stamped with stamp 2 or 2A for permission to study in Ireland.

You cannot be granted permission past the expiry date of your passport.

Irish Residence Permit (IRP)

The Irish Residence Permit (IRP) is your registration certificate. It indicates:

  • That your permission to stay in Ireland has been registered
  • The type of permission you have, ie stamp number

You must carry your IRP with you at all times and present it to an immigration officer or a member of An Garda Síochána, if requested.

IMPORTANT: An Irish Residence Permit (IRP) does not allow you to travel to or live freely in other EU countries. All existing travel and immigration rules still apply.

Renewal in Dublin

If your visit is successful, the immigration officer will stamp your passport and renew your registration before your appointment ends. They will then arrange to send your new IRP to you by post.

Make sure to confirm your exact address (including Eircode) before you leave the registration office.

Your IRP should arrive a few days later. If it does not arrive within 10 working days, contact us.

Note: The IRP - which has replaced the old registration certificate (GNIB card) - is no longer issued during appointments. Read about this change.

Renewal outside Dublin

If your visit is successful, the immigration officer will record your details and arrange a new date/time for you to return to the office to finish your renewal.

Your renewal cannot be completed at the first visit because parts of the process are managed centrally.

At your second visit, the immigration officer will stamp your passport, renew your registration and give you a new Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

You must return to the registration office to get your stamp and IRP. If not, you may become illegally present in this country.

4. After you register

If your Irish Residence Permit (IRP) does not arrive (Dublin only)

Your IRP should arrive by post within 5 to 10 working days.

You must contact us if it does not arrive within 10 working days.

We will then investigate and (if necessary) prepare a replacement for you.

Lost or stolen Irish Residence Permit (IRP)

You must contact us if your IRP is lost or stolen.

We will then investigate and (if necessary) prepare a replacement for you.

Working while you study

In some circumstances you may be allowed to work while you study, eg to help support yourself financially.

However, there are limits on what you can do and the total hours you can work.

Working after you finish your studies

In some circumstances, you may be allowed to work in Ireland after you finish your studies via the Third Level Graduate Programme. This scheme applies to some types of graduate only.

5. Manage permission & registration

Renew permission & registration

Permission to study a postgraduate Master's degree is usually valid for 12 months.

If you wish to stay in Ireland longer, you must renew your permission & registration before they expire.

The total time you can be given permission to study a postgraduate Master's degree is 7 years.

If you do not renew in time, future applications could be affected by gaps in your record. In some circumstances, you may have to leave the country.

Update or modify your registration details

Contact us to update your registration if your personal details or circumstances change, for example:

  • You change your home/postal address
  • Your activity in Ireland changes
  • We made an error, eg we misspelled your name
  • Other details change, eg you change your name/gender

In some cases, we may issue you with a new Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

 

Contact & help

If you have questions, check the support centre for help.

Updated: 8 December 2017

Page history

8 December 2017

Descriptions updated to reflect change from 'GNIB card' to Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

2 November 2016

Text change from: "Make your booking 6 weeks before your registration expires to get an appointment during the 2 week renewal period. (You cannot book more than 6 weeks in advance.)"

5 September 2016

Page published.