Visa and Immigration
Visas and immigration compliance is compulsory. Please read this section carefully and in full. UCC invites students to study in Ireland, however it is the Irish government who has the power to decide if a student will be given permission to live in Ireland. Firstly, establish if you require a visa. Know what documents you need to travel to enter Ireland. Permission to reside long term (+90 days) in Ireland, for your studies, is awarded by the Irish government only after completing the Immigration registration process. Finally, check out the further visa information section which may help if you intend to travel outside of Ireland and if you wish to work in Ireland after your studies.
Do I need a Visa?
What is a visa?
A visa is a certificate in your passport or travel document that shows you’re authorised to land in a country. Not everyone requires a visa but all non-EU nationals must comply with Immigration regulations.
What is immigration?
Immigration is permission to reside in a country.
Do I need a visa to enter Ireland?
- EU citizens do not require a visa to travel to Ireland.
- Visiting Students from the US do not require a student visa. They are however, required to register with Immigration in Cork.
- Check if you need a visa at www.inis.gov.ie. Please note 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.
- 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 (please see the registering with Immigration to stay in Ireland section below for more information).
- We recommend that you have the following documents ready to show the Immigration Officer.
|Your valid international passport|
|Entry visa (if applicable)|
|Your UCC acceptance letter offering you a place on a full-time course|
|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
Why do I need to register with Immigration?
- All non-EU students must register with Immigration to obtain long term permission to reside in Ireland.
- An Irish Residence Permit card* is issued to students granted long term permission to live in Ireland.
- Please remember that you are a guest in Ireland and the issuing of your Immigration/Residency/card is at the discretion of the Irish government.
- *Irish Residence Permit (IRP) is in effect since December 2017. It was formally known as the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). It is the same process, the name has just changed.
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.
- Registration with Immigration Services must be renewed annually on or before date of expiry - failure to comply will incur severe penalties including possible deportation. Each student is responsible for maintaining their own valid immigration registration and valid GNIB card. http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/irish-residence-permit
What do I need to register with Immigration for the first time?
What do I need to do to renew my registration with Immigration each year?
Where do I register with Immigration?
Immigration Office Address
An Garda Síochána
Anglesea Street, Cork
Immigration Office Opening Hours
Monday to Friday
09.30 - 12.00 and
14.00 - 16.00 (GMT)
Other Visa Information
Multiple Entry/Re-Entry Visa
Visas to enter Ireland are issued on a single entry basis initially, usually valid to travel to Ireland during a three month period of time. Once registered with Immigration students will be able to apply for a multiple entry/re-entry visa. Details are available at http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Single%20Multi%20Entry%20Visas.
If you are travelling through other countries before arriving in Ireland please check if a transit visa is required.
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. Details are available at http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/.
Unlike Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK and separate visa and immigration requirements apply. Details are available at https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa and www.inis.gov.ie.
Third Level Graduate Scheme
Since 2007 students graduating from third level institutions in Ireland may apply for theThird Level Scheme. The student may be issued with permission to remain in Ireland for 15 months working or searching for work. No work permit is required when availing of the Third Level Graduate Scheme often referred to as the Graduate visa. Details are available at http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Student%20Pathway.