Visa and Immigration

Do I need a Visa to enter Ireland?

A visa is a certificate in your passport or travel document that shows you are authorised to land in a country. Not everyone requires a visa to come to Ireland.

Check to see if you are from a visa required country

All non-EU nationals must comply with Immigration regulations in Ireland and register with Immigration to obtain long term permisson from the Irish government to live and study in Ireland. Visas and immigration compliance is compulsory.

Further information on visas, immigration and what you need in order to study in Ireland is available at this link.

Please note:

  • EU citizens do not require a visa to travel to Ireland and do not need to register with Immigration. This is also the case for UK nationals. 
  • Visiting Students from the United States do not require a student visa. They are however, required to register with Immigration in Cork.
  • First time visa applicants are issued with single entry visas only.  Multiple entry visas are only issued after registration with the University and after registration for long term residency in Ireland is granted.
  • If you require a visa please apply as soon as possible as processing times can be lengthy, typically 6-8 weeks, however may be longer depending on country of origin, peak season or other circumstances.  
  • All non-EU citizens must register with Immigration for long term residency, even if you do not require a visa to travel to Ireland.

Entering Ireland - What to expect

  • Everyone must clear through Immigration controls, at the port of entry/airport, to enter Ireland.
  • The Immigration Officer decides who is permitted to enter the country.
  • S/he will stamp your passport with short term permission to stay, normally for one month but up to 90 days.  Please ensure your student status is recorded on entry as it is not possible to change status, for example from visitor to student, without exiting and re-entering the country. 
  • Long term permission to reside in Ireland is obtained by registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) within the time limit stamped on the passport.
  • We recommend that you have the following documents ready to show the Immigration Officer.
Essential Documents
Your valid international passport
Entry visa (if applicable)
Your UCC acceptance letter offering you a place on a full-time course
Recommended Documents
Evidence of tuition fees paid, scholarship details or US Financial Aid
Private medical health insurance, with a minimum coverage of €25,000 for in-hospital treatment in an Irish hospital

Registering with Immigration to Stay in Ireland

Do I need to register with Immigration?

All non-EU students who are planning on staying in Ireland to study for more than 3 months must register with the GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau). This is done at Anglesea street if in Cork city, or at one of the local stations if you are living outside of the city.

EU/EEA and UK nationals do not need to register with Immigration.

When do I register with Immigration?

Students should register with Immigration before the Immigration date stamped in their passport, at port of entry/airport, expires. This is usually within 90 days.

You cannot make an appointment with Immigration before you have arrived in Ireland.

What documents do I need to register with Immigration for the first time?

The UCC Irish Registration Permit form below details the full list of requirements for first time registration with Immigration in Cork.

You will need to print, and bring this with you, for your first time registration with Immigration.

Follow the checklist to ensure you have all documents in order for your appointment.

UCC IRP Registration form for First Time Registration with Immigration


More detailed Immigration information is available in the Immigration Information Section of our website.

Other Visa Information

Additional Requirements for Unaccompanied Students under 18 years of age

All applicants must normally have reached 17 years of age by the 15th of January of the year following entry to UCC. 

According to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, INIS, unaccompanied students who are under 18 years of age must supply the following additional documentation;

  1. Birth Certificate- to be submitted with the application.
  2. Consent of parent/legal guardian- both parents/legal guardians must consent (in a notarised document) to the child coming to Ireland for study purposes and to the appointed legal guardian of the unaccompanied child student during the child's stay in Ireland.
  3. Copies of the biometric page of the parents/legal guardians passports or national identity cards showing their signature.
  4. Accommodation and vetting certificate of where the unaccompanied student will stay. Where the student is under 18 years, clearance from the Garda Síochána must be obtained in respect of where the student is living.

It should be noted that these immigration requirements may be subject to change, and incoming students should consult the INIS website for up-to-date information. 

In the absence of an adult who is willing to act as an appointed legal guardian for the duration of their stay, unaccompanied students under 18 years of age may wish to avail of the services of accredited guardianship agencies such as Godsil


Transit Visa

If you are travelling through other countries before arriving in Ireland please check if a transit visa is required. You can do so here.


Schengen/Euro Visa

The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country. Ireland is not a member. Schengen Visa is the document issued by the appropriate authorities to the interested party for visiting/travelling to and within the Schengen Area.


UK Visa

Unlike Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK and separate visa and immigration requirements apply if you wish to travel to the UK and NI. Consult Gov.UK to see if a visa is required for your travels. 


Exam Visa

A short stay exam visa allows you to travel to Ireland for up to 90 days to sit an exam that is necessary for your current employment or course of study, subject to conditions below. All short stay visas are also called ‘C’ visas.  More info available here.


International Office

Oifig Idirnáisiúnta

Roseleigh, Western Road, Cork, T12 R229

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