Register as a degree student

To stay in Ireland to study an undergraduate degree for longer than 90 days, you must apply in person at a registration office.

If successful, you'll be given permission to stay (subject to conditions) and registered with immigration.

1. About registration

IMPORTANT: From 11 December 2017 the previous registration certificate (GNIB card) has been replaced by the new Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

Registration is how we record that you have been given permission to stay in Ireland for longer than 90 days. Read more about registration.

To register, you must apply in person at a registration office. If your visit is successful, you will be given a registration certificate called an Irish Residence Permit (IRP).

2. Before you travel to Ireland

Enrol in a course & pay for your study

You must enrol in and pay for your course of study before you come to Ireland.

You can only study a course from the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP).

Check if you need a visa

After you have paid for your course, check if you need a visa. If you need a visa, apply for a Long Stay (D) Visa.

If you come to Ireland using a Short Stay (C) Visa, you will not be allowed to register. You will have to leave the country and reapply.

Plan your journey carefully. It is your responsibility to make sure you have everything you need to enter the country, eg visa, documents for border control.

3. When you arrive in Ireland

If you are allowed into the country at border control, an immigration officer will place a landing stamp in your passport.

The landing stamp gives you permission to stay here up to the date indicated (typically 90 days).

You must visit a registration office before the date on the landing stamp expires to:

  • Extend your permission to stay (ie longer than 90 days), and
  • Be registered by immigration

If you don't get permission/register in time, you may have to leave the country.

4. Where to register

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.

5. When you register

Prepare the documents you need

You must bring the following when you go to register:

  • Your passport
  • An original Letter of Acceptance from a college/university confirming you have been accepted & enrolled (see note 1 below)
  • Proof that you have paid any college/university fees (see note 2 below)
  • Proof of scholarship funding (if appropriate) (see note 3 below)
  • Proof that you have private medical insurance (see note 4 below)

If you did not need a visa to come to Ireland, you must also prove that you can support yourself financially after you arrive here. You do this by showing you have direct access to:

  • €3,000, if you are staying for more than 6 months
  • €500 per month or €3,000 (in total) if you are staying 6 months or less
  • (See note 5 below)

If any of these are missing, you cannot be given permission to stay and won't be registered.

Click to view notes about documents

Note 1

Your letter must show you are enrolled on a privately funded course at Degree Programme Level 7 (or above) of the National Framework of Qualifications.

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

An original letter from your sponsor describing your scholarship, ie financial and other support.

Note 4

You cannot use travel insurance as an alternative.

Note 5

Use any 1 of the following 4 options to show you have direct access to €3,000 (or €500 per month if you are staying less than 6 months).

Read a longer description about financial requirements for students.

(If you need a visa to come to Ireland, you do not need proof of finance after you arrive here. Your ability to support yourself is checked during the visa application process.)

Option 1 - Proof from an Irish bank

If you choose this option, you must bring an original statement from an Irish bank that shows a balance of €3,000 (or €500 per month if you are staying less than 6 months).

The statement must be for an account in your own name, ie the same name as in your passport.

Option 2 - Proof from a foreign bank

If you choose this option, you must bring 2 original bank statements from a foreign bank.

  • The first statement must show a balance of €3,000 (or €500 per month if you are staying less than 6 months). The statement must less than 1 month old.
  • The second statement must be from the same bank. It must be less than 6 months old.

Both statements must be for the same account and in your own name, ie the same name as in your passport.

You must also show that you have a debit card (for cash withdrawals in Ireland).

The debit card must be for the same bank account that has the €3,000 (or €500 per month if you are staying less than 6 months).

Option 3 - Proof from a financial services company

If you choose this option, you must bring an original letter from a financial services company in Ireland that shows it holds €3,000 'in trust' for you (or €500 per month if you are staying less than 6 months).

The financial services company must be regulated in Ireland by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Option 4 - Proof via a pre-paid credit card or debit card

If you choose this option, you must bring an original statement that you have a pre-paid credit card(s) or debit card(s) with €3,000 (or €500 per month if you are staying less than 6 months).

Cost & payment

You must pay a fee of €300 per person to register. 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 register you. Read more about what happens at a registration office.

If approved, the immigration officer will:

The process for issuing stamps and IRPs is different if you register 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 permission stamp 2 or 2A as a student.

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 (police), 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.

Registration in Dublin

If your visit is successful, the immigration officer will stamp your passport and register you before your appointment ends. Your IRP will then be sent 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.

Registration 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 registration.

Your registration 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, register you and give you your IRP.

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

6. 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.

7. Manage permission & registration

Renew permission & registration

Permission to study an undergraduate degree is usually valid for 12 months.

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

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.

The total time you can study an undergraduate degree in Ireland is 7 years.

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: "For best choice, book your appointment 6 weeks in advance."

5 September 2016

Page published.