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Application requirements for a Study Visa

Study visa applications submitted in China should contain the following documents. Please note the following list is not exhaustive and applications should be supported by all information considered relevant. You should submit any additional documents that you feel will assist the Visa Officer in making a decision on your application.

PERSONAL DOCUMENTS AND FEE

  • Passport, valid for 12 months after your intended date of departure from the State. Please include 2 photocopies of the passport bio page. If you have held a previous passport, you must submit your previous passport with your application.
  • Signed summary of your on-line application form. Please refer to our How to Apply Page for details.
  • 2 passport sized colour photos taken in the past six months that meet our specifications.
  • A signed letter of application outlining the nature and duration of your visit to Ireland and including contact details.
  • Photocopy and official English translation of applicant's hukou

Please follow these links for information on Visa Fees & VFS service charge and payment methods.

Please follow the link to find the application centre most convenient to you – information on Visa Application Centers

FINANCES

A detailed statement of your and/or your sponsors' bank account(s) covering a six-month period immediately prior to your visa application, and showing sufficient funds to cover your costs. Evidence of savings or deposits held by you or your sponsor for a six-month period can also be submitted as evidence of finances.

Please supply letters from your sponsor’s employer. The letter’s should be on company headed paper with the company's address and contact details. The letters should include the following:

  • Place of employment
  • Address of work unit / company
  • Type of business
  • Position held
  • Length of employment in this company
  • Annual salary including bonus
  • Contact phone number for employer

Note: The estimated cost of living in Ireland for a student for one academic year is €7,000. You must demonstrate that you or your sponsor has ready access to an amount of at least €7,000 for each year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years. Where NON-EEA Students are studying for a period of less than 6 months the non-EEA Student must have access to €500 per month of the stay or €3000 whichever is the lesser.

You must list each person sponsoring you, and give clear details of their relationship to you. Notarised certificate confirming kinship should be provided. All evidence provided must be clearly identifiable as to whom it relates. Give clear details of the financial support they will be giving you for the duration of your stay in Ireland. Their bank account must show a good credit record for a minimum of six months immediately prior to making your application.

Your sponsor (s) will need to show that the amount of financial support they will be giving you is available AND that they have enough funds to maintain themselves and other family members.

Savings records should be consistent with the income of the applicant and his/ her sponsor. Any inconsistencies must be explained.

Any lump sum lodgements made during the immediate three months prior to your application must be fully explained, with supporting evidence provided. For example, if such a lump sum lodgement has come from the proceeds of a sale of property or encashment of Savings Certificates, Fixed Rate Deposit accounts, or any similar type sources, then clear evidence of this must be provided. 

If your sponsor is involved in business, evidence of this must be provided, such as a Business License/ Certificate of Registration from the authorities in your country.

All bank statements should include the name of the account holder, and the account number. Handwritten entries or details on bank statements will not be accepted. Any documents not in English must accompanied by an official translation. Bank statements and letters must show and include full contact details of the bank – name, full address of branch where account is held, telephone number (landline, not mobile), e-mail and website addresses (where available). Where this information is not normally available on a bank statement, it should be accompanied by a letter from the bank, on official bank stationery, giving these details. Where a bank statement or a letter from the bank is submitted giving only a mobile phone number, post box number as address, or an email address of Yahoo, Hotmail etc., this will not be considered as evidence of finances, and may in fact raise an issue of credibility over the whole application.

Alternative Evidence of Finance – Degree Programme Students

A pilot programme has now been introduced that would allow degree programme students to provide an alternative to bank statements as a method of proof of finances.  The alternative method is an "education bond" with a minimum value of €7,000.  The bond must be lodged to an approved student fees payment service (e.g. the electronic fee payment service offered by EduStep [formerly International Student Payments Service, ISPS])*

The bond must be held continuously from the initial visa application through to the time the student registers in Ireland with the immigration authorities.  This is to ensure that the necessary funds exist and are reserved for the personal use of the student.  The bond will be cashable when the student arrives in Ireland or if for any reason the visa is refused or the student decides not to take up their place in the college.

A receipt showing that a bond has been paid by the applicant will generally be accepted by INIS as evidence of finances.  However, the applicant should be aware that they may also be asked to provide additional evidence of finances if that is considered necessary.  Upon their arrival in the State the funds will be released to the student.

NOTE : Students who participate in a bond payment scheme should note that this is a contractual arrangement between them and the bond service provider.  INIS is not a party to any contract entered into between a student and a bond service provider.  Students who are enrolled on the type of courses listed below are not obliged to participate in a bond payment system, and may prefer to provide the normal evidence of finances as set out above.

Types of Courses and Colleges eligible for participation in the Student Bond System

Degree programme courses are defined as courses which lead to an award of

  • Ordinary Bachelor Degree
  • Honours Bachelor Degree
  • Higher Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (after completion of an Honours Bachelor Degree)
  • Masters Degree
  • Doctoral degree

The ‘award’ as set out above must be made by one of the following types of awarding body:

A recognised Irish awarding body i.e.

  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Higher Education and Training Awards Council
  • Institutes of Technology with delegated authority to make awards
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Universities
  • Other bodies that have statutory powers under Irish law to make awards

Certain ‘awards’ offered by international universities which satisfy the above definition will also be regarded as Degree Programme courses. 

* The Department of Justice and Equality is at all times willing to consider proposals from other providers of student fee payment services to have their services accepted for visa purposes

OTHER DOCUMENTS

A Letter of Acceptance from the Irish university, college or school, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time education, involving a minimum of 15 hours organised daytime tuition each week:

1. This letter must name you (the applicant) and verify the title/ duration of the course.

2. It should also confirm the amount of fees payable for your course, and that this amount has been paid. (If availing of the “education bond” facility please refer to further details below.)

3. If the college has taken out medical insurance on your behalf, details of this must be contained in this letter of acceptance. If it is not arranged by the college, you must organise this yourself and provide evidence with your application.

Evidence that you have the academic ability to follow your chosen course - You must provide evidence that you have attained the necessary level of academic achievement required to follow your chosen course. Such evidence will include – exam results, qualifications obtained and certificates proving your Level of English.

You must submit all exam results obtained, along with your qualification certificates - If you have graduated from senior middle school, you must supply your original graduation certificate. If you have graduated from a 3rd level course then you need only supply your most recent graduation certificate.

If you are currently studying, an original letter from your current place of study. This letter should include a contact name, address and phone number for the school, details of your course and its duration.

Gaps in your educational history - You must provide information to account for any gaps between your last period of full time education and your application to study in Ireland. If any such gap in education has been filled by periods of employment, you must give full details of your employment history.

Evidence that all fees have been paid prior to the visa application being submitted to the Visa Office must be provided. These applications should contain either:

1. a copy of an Electronic Transfer of Funds from the applicant to the Irish Bank of the college, showing details of beneficiary's name, address, bank details and the same details for sender and a copy of a letter/receipt from the Irish College confirming that the fees has been received, or

2. a valid receipt showing that the course fees have been lodged to an approved student fees payment service.  (e.g. the electronic fee payment service offered by EduStep [formerly International Student Payments Service, ISPS] )

Where the course fees are less than €6,000, fees must be paid in full to the college. Where the course fees are in excess of €6,000, you must pay at least this amount. This minimum amount is an Immigration requirement. However, the college you wish to attend may require full payment of fees.

Fees paid to the college are a matter between the student and the college.  However, in the event of the visa application being refused the college should refund the fee (less any small administration charge) within a reasonable period.

STANDARD OF ENGLISH

Except in the case of an application which is solely for an English language course, you must show that you have the capacity to fully partake in your chosen course through the medium of English and satisfy the Visa Officer in this regard.

It is recommended that all applicants, regardless of nationality or educational background, undertake the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) English language test, and provide original certificate with your visa with application. Other acceptable certificates will be those from an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL, PTE Academic or Cambridge English Language Assessment. Any certificate must have been issued within 2 years of the expected commencement date of your course.

Short-term Preparatory English Language Courses

If you have been accepted on a specific course of studies, but you need, or are required, to complete a preparatory course of English prior to commencing your main course, the following requirements apply:

  • English language course must be short term, and not exceed a maximum duration of 6 months
  • You must submit a detailed study plan, including the duration and dates of your preliminary English course, and details and dates of your main course of study
  • Fees for both the English preparatory course AND the first year of your main course must be paid in full to the college 

Students Under 18 Years of Age

Applicants who have not completed formal 2nd Level Education - if you are applying for a course of 2nd level educational studies, the requirements outlined above for the preparatory English also apply.

Any person who wishes to pursue a 2nd Level Education in Ireland must be enrolled at a private fee-paying school or college.

In addition to the requirements outlined above, which apply to all students, applicants aged under 18 years must submit:

  • English Language Requirement: IELTS – minimum overall band score of 5.0
  • Birth Certificate

Parental consent from both parents (where applicable) is required. Signed parental consents must be accompanied by copies of the consenting parents' showing the bearer signature. If the parents do not currently hold a passport, the signed consent must be notarised.

Where only one parent has total custody, a Court Order bestowing sole custody of this child must be shown.

Details of the person in whose care the minor shall be must be provided with the application.

The provisions of Part IVB of the Children Act 2001 will apply when examining such applications – full details

The granting of a visa to a person under the age of 18 years for the purpose of study does not give any entitlement to any other family member to accompany or join the student in the State.

NOTES

If you have been refused a visa for any other country, details of this must be given. Submit the original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused - You must provide full details of all visa applications you have made for any country, including Ireland. If you have ever been in Ireland before, whether legally or illegally, you must give details of your time there. Failure to disclose any of these details will result in your current application being refused.

You must provide details of any members of your family who are currently in Ireland or any other EU State.

Students who intend staying in Ireland for more than 90 days are required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).  In addition to course fees, the student must have access to €3,000 at first registration with GNIB or where Non-EEA Students are studying for a period of less than 6 months they must have access to €500 per month of stay or €3,000, whichever is the lesser.

Please keep copies of all documents submitted with your application. Original documents such as saving deposit certificates, marriage/birth certificates will be returned to you. However, bank statements, letters of invitation etc. will not be returned.

Please note that any document submitted in Chinese, must be accompanied by an official English translation.

You are required to provide a copy of all original documents.

The provision of all the documentation listed in no way guarantees that a visa will be granted. Please do not purchase travel tickets prior to a decision being made on the visa application.  Doing so may lead to unnecessary additional costs in circumstances where a visa is not granted.

Before you complete your visa application please thoroughly read the information contained in General Information for all Visa types.

USEFUL LINKS

www.educationireland.ie A government website which has useful information relating to the Irish education system, third level institutions, courses, learning English and further links.

www.acels.ie The Advisory Council for English Language Schools established under the auspices of the Irish Department of Education & Science to control standards in EFL schools. Contains the official list of schools and organisations recognised by the Department of Education & Science.

www.irlgov.ie This site will help you to find government organisations or information by providing links, indices of recent publications and a search engine that searches all government sites. There is also general information about Ireland.

For information in English on the Irish education system and third-level education in Ireland (undergraduate and postgraduate), as well as information on studying English in Ireland and a list of language schools visit the Education Ireland website.

Remember:

Students/Agents - please note that all fees for courses must be paid in full before study applications are lodged at the Irish Visa Office.  Students must also provide evidence of medical insurance.  Failure to provide evidence of fee payment and medical insurance could result in your visa application being unnecessarily delayed.