Visa and Immigration
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What is Immigration?
Immigration is permission to reside in a country. All non-EU student must register with Immigration to obtain long term permission from the Irish government to live in Ireland to pursue their studies. Visas and immigration compliance is compulsory. Please read this section carefully and in full.
Garda Vetting Vs Immigration Process
Anyone who works or volunteers with children and vulnerable adults must go through Garda vetting. This is a process to check whether you have a criminal record, or if there is any specified reason why you might pose a threat to vulnerable people. Garda vetting is conducted by the Garda Siochána National Vetting Bureau, who will send a vetting disclosure to the organisation.
Immigration is handled also by the Gardai, and this is your permission to reside as a student. More information about this process can be found below.
How Do I Register?
How to make an appointment?
- Email Corkcity.firstname.lastname@example.org with all of these details (Appointment System For Immigration Registration July 2022) included. An appointment will not be issued without providing these details.
- One person per appointment.
- Each Student must request their own appointment using their own email address.
- Block Booking of appointments is strictly forbidden.
- Only Arrive 5 minutes prior to appointment time.
- Strictly No queuing is permitted.
*Currently there is a 11 week wait for an appointment*. (Accurate as of 31.8.23).
You must bring:
- Appointment Confirmation email;
- Completed IRP form;
- All original supporting documentation detailed on IRP form.
- If permission is based on a family member, family member must be present at registration.
- Students should use their Debit/Credit Card instead of a Bank Giro, where possible, as this will minimise the number of visits to the Immigration Office.
- If a student is using another person’s debit/credit card, the cardholder must be present with Photo I.D., they should remain outside the Garda Station until they are called by the student and asked to present at the registration desk.
- Please refer to www.irishimmigration.ie for further details of documents required in relation to your registration.
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?
Important Notice for all Indian Passport holders -Update 28 May 2019
- 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 here. 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.
Health Insurance update.
*******IMPORTANT NOTICE- 29th September 2020*******
As a result of a high court ruling brought by the Health Insurance Authority all non-EU students intending to study for more than 12 months in Ireland will be considered 'ordinarily resident'.
What does this mean?
Unfortunately, the previously available discounted student plans (€160) are no longer available to those students. You also must have a health insurance plan purchased in Ireland to satisfy immigration requirements and HIA (Health Insurance Authority) legislation. More infomration is available here.
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 at least 6 weeks before the 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.
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?
You must renew your registration at least 2 week period before the expiry date.
When do I get my Immigration IRP card?
After submitting documentation, if everything is in order, your IRP card will be posted to you approximately 2-3 weeks later. It will go to the address that you registered with immigration.
*Do not travel outside of Ireland without this card in hand.
Where do I register with Immigration?
If you have a Cork city address you can register at the garda station below:
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)
If you do not have a Cork city address you can register at your local garda station. Please find garda directory here.
UK citizens do not need to register with immigration due to the CTA-Common Travel Agreement.
This link will help you with your query.
*Updated 16 September 2021.*
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;
- Birth Certificate- to be submitted with the application.
- 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.
- Copies of the biometric page of the parents/legal guardians passports or national identity cards showing their signature.
- 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; https://godsil.ie/universityguardianship/.
Please also feel free to contact us with any queries you may have.
Third Level Graduate Visa- 1G Visa
What is it?
Since 2007 students graduating from third level institutions in Ireland may apply for the Third Level Scheme. The student may be issued with permission to remain in Ireland for up to 24 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.
When can I apply?
You are only eligible to apply for the 1G visa once you have received final and official results for your course. A statement of final results can be obtained from the Office of Exams and Records. There is no need for a transcript.
The exception to this rule is if you are a Phd student, have submitted your thesis and are working on final corrections. In this instance you are eligible to apply for the 1G visa.
How do I apply?
You must email immigration and request an appoinment. Be aware that current wait times for appointments are up to 9 weeks. We can not expedite the appointment for you.
While you await your appointment you can not work full time unless it is outside of term time and your IRP card is still valid. We also advise against travelling outside the country and attempting to re enter unless you have a valid IRP card or a valid multiple entry visa.
These are the documents that you need to have with you.
Where can I find more information?
Full details are available on the Irish immigration website.
See workshop here.
Multiple Entry/Re-Entry Visa
No longer required, as of 13th May 2019. http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Re-Entry%20Visas
Important Notice for all Indian Passport holders -Update 28 May 2019
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 if you wish to travel to the UK and NI. Details are available at https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa and www.inis.gov.ie.
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.