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What is the total period of time a non EEA national student can be permitted to remain to pursue courses of study?

The aggregate period of time a non EEA national student can be permitted to remain to pursue courses of study is 7 years. Periods of time previously spent in Ireland studying courses count toward the 7 year time limit a non EEA national can be permitted to remain on student conditions.

What is the total amount of time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending a full-time language course listed on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)?

A student may be granted immigration permission for a maximum of 3 language courses. The total duration of immigration permission for a new student attending language courses is 2 years (i.e. 3 x 8 months).

What is the cost of living?

On average, you need to spend between €6,000 and €11,000 per year depending on location and lifestyle.

What are the qualifying conditions to avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme?

In order to avail of the Third Level Graduate Scheme the following conditions apply

Six Month Permission under the Third Level Graduate Scheme - for  students who have graduated a course at Level 7 of the NFQ.

One Year Permission under the Third Level Graduate Scheme Permission - To be eligible for one year permission under the third level graduate scheme a student is required to have:

  • studied in Ireland and completed a qualification at Level NFQ 8-10,
  • an award granted by a recognised Irish awarding body (overseas accreditation will not be accepted), i.e.
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Higher Education Training and Awards Council
  • Institutes of Technology with delegated authority
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Universities
  • Other bodies that have statutory award-making powers in Irish law

Is there flexibility to change course or college if things don't work out?

One of the reasons to take care in choosing your course is because there are immigration restrictions on changing course/college. A change is not normally permitted during the first year of study and a student would need to show exceptional circumstances to receive permission to do so. Also, students are not permitted to move to a course which is a lower level on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

What are the attendance requirements for Non EEA students attending full-time Language Course?

All tuition must be delivered during the hours 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and involve tuition on at least 3 of those days. The minimum level of attendance on the course is 85%

How do I get a visa?

Please see visa and requirements section .

Do students have to show evidence that they are covered by learner protection arrangements?

All colleges must provide enrolled learner protection. A student acceptance letter must clearly demonstrate that student is covered by learner protection arrangements.

Do I need to register with the police?

All non-Irish nationals, who are not citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, must register in person with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) after arrival and after completion of registration at your third level (HE) institution. The GNIB will issue you with a residence permit/GNIB card.

Do I have to undertake an exam when enrolled on a full-time Language Course?

Students must take a recognised examination at the end of the course (students who do not comply with this requirement will not be permitted to obtain further immigration permission).

Do I have to pay for medical insurance?

International students will be required to have medical insurance in place in order to be granted a visa.

Can I work during or after my studies?

Non-EU students who are approved to study in Ireland with higher education institutions listed on the ILEP, can avail of casual work to help support themselves while in Ireland. Students are allowed to work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) or full-time (up to 40 hours a week) during holiday periods.

Are there any scholarships?

Yes. A small number of scholarships for overseas students are available from the universities and colleges. Please check them with AOCG counsellor .

What process should i follow if i need a visa to study in Ireland ?

You must apply online for your student visa before you come to Ireland. More information you can find on our visa page.

Can I change from one degree course (without finishing the course) to another or if I fail my exams seek an extension to my immigration permission ?

Please see the full notice from INIS website: Supplementary Guidelines for Degree Programme Students who wish to change from one degree course to another or have failed their exams and are seeking extensions to their immigration permission.

How long a student can do full time language courses ?
Maximum 8 months

Can I study part time?


Can I bring my dependent while I am studying in Ireland ?

No , they can come only on visitor or tourist visa.