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Ireland Pre-Departure Information:

Everything you need to know for a hassle-free journey, all in one place. 

Do I need to apply for a student Visa before my trip? 

      For the Ireland cohort, there is no need to apply for a student visa or permit before leaving for your trip. When initially going through customs, there are a few documents the customs officer will ask to see, so you should print out hard copies of these documents and put them in a safe place before departing:

1. Proof of enrollment- this letter will be emailed to you by your program advisor, and will contain proof that you are enrolled as a study abroad student for the semester through API

2. Proof of Financial support- this can be done through a copy of a recent bank statement, proving you have at least 500$ in an account for each month of your stay

3. Valid Passport


My experience going through customs :

         When I first arrived in Ireland I was nervous, for good reason, and was afraid that I would have trouble going through immigration for the first time. However, the process was rather smooth and came with very little trouble. When we arrived, the immigration official told us to stand aside while the rest of the flight passengers moved through and got their passport stamped. Then, the other incoming students and I each went through and showed the officials our paperwork. The officials were very kind and helpful, and gave us each a warm welcome. Though it varies by official, my passport was stamped with approval to stay until the beginning of December, about 3 months after my arrival. This is the only immigration step, up until you must apply for an Irish Residence Permit. 

Irish Residence Permit - Overview and Instructions 
  • Students in the Limerick cohort needed to apply for an Irish Residence Permit upon arrival. However, the host company made the process very easy, so there is no need to stress over the process. Our host company arranged appointments with the local immigration office in Limerick. We had our appointments on a staggered schedule through the last week of September, about a month after we arrived in Ireland. The process went as follows: 

    • 1. Receive an appointment time- We were sent an email from our program advisor with our appointment times, and it is important to go to this specific time slot so you do not miss your appointment, as it can take months to reschedule an immigration appointment. 

    • 2. Print out important documents- Your program advisor will give you a detailed list of all the documents needed for your IRP appointment, but we needed a valid passport, immigration letter from the University, offer letter from the University, proof of address letter (which can be obtained from accommodation reception), evidence of financial support in the form of bank statements, proof of medical insurance (which the host company will provide for you), your student ID card, and a non-refundable 300 euro fee that must be paid with a credit or debit card in the students name. The student library has printers so I printed all of my documents after I arrived in Ireland with no problem. 

    • 3. Go to your appointment—The local bus system has a 304 bus that leaves from campus. It took us about a 5-minute walk from the Garda Immigration station. I arrived about 30 minutes early, and the office took me early as well! The appointments are quick and easy. The official will simply view your documents, take a photo, and send in your permit application to be mailed. The physical IRP card was mailed to me in about a week. 

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