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You need a visa for Ireland

To come to Ireland for short term study (eg to learn the English or Irish language, or for cultural studies) apply using a Visit (Tourist) Visa.

Your exact preparations depend on your plans and personal circumstances. Some of the most important are described below. Read this information carefully to make sure you have everything you need.

You are from a visa required country and you wish to visit Ireland for study for less than 3 months. Change your answers


Before you travel

Enroll on a course & pay for your study

You must enroll on and pay for your course of study (in full) before you apply for a visa.

Read a longer description of the rules for short term study in Ireland (PDF 45KB).

Apply for a Visit (Tourist) Visa

Apply for a short stay Visit (Tourist) Visa to study in Ireland. All short stay visas are also called 'C' visas.

You will not be allowed to come to Ireland without a visa.

When you travel

Prepare for border control

You will need to prove that you have a valid reason for entering Ireland to an immigration officer at border control.

To do so you will need your passport, visa and several other documents. There are extra rules if you are travelling with children under 18.

If you cannot satisfy the immigration officer, you will not be allowed into Ireland.

Special programmes

Travel to Ireland using a UK visa

You may be able to visit Ireland without applying for a separate Irish visa, if you have an eligible UK (short stay) visitor visa and you are a citizen of an approved country.

Read how this works under the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme.

Travel to Ireland on a school group trip

You may not need a visa for Ireland if you are a school student who is legally resident in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland and you want to come here as part of a school group trip.

Read how this works under the School Student Visa Waiver Decision.

During your stay in Ireland

Examples of activities you are permitted to do during your visit

You can attend a course of study for up to 90 days (eg English language, Irish language, cultural studies) and do other tourist activities.

If you want to study for longer than 90 days, you will need a long stay Visit (Study) Visa and other permissions.

Travel to Northern Ireland & United Kingdom

You cannot travel to Northern Ireland using an Irish visa. You need a visa issued by the United Kingdom.

If you travel from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland and then wish to return to the Republic, you must have a Multiple Entry visa (explained below).

Leaving & returning to Ireland

If you plan to leave and return to Ireland during your stay, you can request a Multiple Entry visa when you apply.

Multiple Entry visas are approved in limited circumstances only, if justified by your application.

How to apply

When to apply

You should apply for a visa 3 months before you travel.

You may need extra time to prepare documents to support your application, eg proof you have paid for your course of study.

How to apply

You must apply from your home country or a country where you are a legal resident:

  1. Read detailed instructions for the Visit (Tourist) Visa
  2. Submit your visa application online
  3. Send your passport and other documents for processing

You will be given instructions where to send your documents when you apply online.

Visa costs

Extra charges may apply for some applications, eg consular fees.



If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 22 October 2019

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