International Office

Pre-Arrival Information

Immigration Regulations


You do not require an entry visa for Ireland if you are an EU citizen. However, you should bring with you your letter of confirmation of a place at DCU and some proof that you have sufficient financial resources for your stay.

If you are not an EU citizen, the situation varies, so please contact your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate to find out whether or not you require an entry visa or you may inquire from the Department of Foreign Affairs at the address provided below. The Department also provides a list of countries whose citizens require visas for Ireland. Please see below for a list of non-EU countries whose citizens do not require visas.

The following addresses will provide you with detailed information on immigration:

Department of Foreign Affairs
80 St Stephen's Green,
Dublin 2
Tel: 353 1 4780822
Fax: +353-1-6331052/1053

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform website
Visa Section
Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
13/14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
Telephone (within Ireland): Lo-call 1890 551 500
(Helpline available 10:00am to 12:30pm Monday to Friday excluding Public Holidays)
Telephone (from outside Ireland): + 353 1 6167700
(Helpline available 10:00am to 12:30pm Monday to Friday excluding Public Holidays)

Applicants are asked to supply the following information when applying for a visa to their local Irish Embassies:

  • Valid passport number
  • Date of issue and expiry of passport
  • Date, place and mode of arrival in Ireland
  • Letter from the University indicating that you have been offered a place in DCU
  • Letter from University indicating that the fees have been paid in full
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover living and other expenses for the proposed stay
  • Recent passport photographs
  • Visa application fee (non-refundable)
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • In some cases proof of English, such as an IELTS or TOEFL certificate is required

These documents should be sent to your local Irish Embassy. Visa applications can take between 2 and 8 months to process, so it is advisable to secure a place early at the University, in order to avoid disappointment. Unfortunately the University has no control or influence over visa issues but will advise where possible.  After you have been granted a Visa to enter Ireland, please view this page on the Departments website regarding entering Ireland

Frequent asked questions regarding Visas, (click here)

Please take into consideration that processing may take longer at certain times of the year or depending on the complexity of the application.

It is the responsibility of the applicant, to ensure that the full, complete application is submitted in sufficient time for a decision to be made before date of arrival.

Registration with the Immigration Authorities in Ireland: (GNIB Registration, student residence permit)

Students from outside the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA)

After arriving in Ireland, all students from outside the EU or the EEA must register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB click here). The date by which you must do so will be indicated by the Immigration Authorities at your point of arrival into Ireland (this date will be indicated on your passport stamp). Please bear in mind that a visa only permits you to enter Ireland and does not guarantee you a right to remain in the country so you must register within the time frame indicated. It is important to note that on entering Ireland you will be given a status by the immigration officers that cannot be changed within the State, e.g. if you enter as a tourist you may not change this status to a student without leaving Ireland and re-entering.

When registering with GNIB you will need to take along:

  1. A valid passport
  2. An entry visa (where applicable)
  3. Student Card from DCU, valid for the current Academic year
  4. Evidence of financial support; to include one of the following
    • Copy of your Irish Bank Account with a minimum amount of €3000.
    • If you are in receipt of Federal Aid, a letter from the International office indicating this.
    • Students on a Scholarship should provide a copy of their Financial Guarantee or a letter from the International office confirming your scholarship.
  5. Proof of your residential address in Dublin, e.g. a utility bill showing your name and address or a letter from your landlord/student residence confirming your address (your statement from your bank will be acceptable provided it state your current address in Ireland. 
  6. A letter from International Office in DCU indicating that you are a registered student at DCU and that full fees have been paid to the University.
  7. Evidence of Private Health Insurance is required for Non-EU Students
  8. There is a Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform charge of €300 each time you register. This can be paid by credit card or Debit card.  Otherwise the Immigration Officer will issue you with a bank giro form and request you to complete this and return again with confirmation that it has been paid. No cash is accepted at GNIB. 


Re-entry Visas

Your first visa for Ireland will be a single entry visa. If you have a valid reason for leaving Ireland for a short period of time, you must apply for a Re-entry visa in advance of making any arrangements. The International Office will provide you with a letter for this purpose provided that you have registered with GNIB and are attending your course. Supporting evidence of the above will be requested before a letter can be issued. If you are traveling from Ireland to a country other than your own country, it is your responsibility to find out if you require a visa for the third country. NOTE: a visa must be obtained from the UK authorities prior to traveling to Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland consists of Counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone. You will also require a visa to re-enter the Republic of Ireland. A multi-entry visa will allow you to leave and re-enter the State any number of times within the dates shown on your visa.

Study Visa Renewal

You are responsible for renewing your GNIB registration card each time it expires. If you are doing a degree over a number of years, you must renew your card for the coming academic year. The International Office will issue you a letter to support this provided you have been attending your course and fulfilling all the necessary requirements. Any breach of your visa conditions will lead to a review of your case and possible removal from the State and/or bar on re-entry. Garda National Immigration Bureau Address Garda National Immigration Bureau 13-14 Burgh Quay Dublin 2 Tel: +353-1-6669100

E-mail at

Usual Opening Hours: to Monday - Thursday & 9.30 am to 4pm Friday.

Students from the EU/EEA:

It is not necessary for students from the EU or EEA to register with the immigration authorities.

Checklist of Documents Needed on Arrival

Please ensure that you have the following documents upon arrival in Ireland:

EU/EEA Citizens:

  • Passport
  • European Health Insurance Card
  • Acceptance letter from the Registry in DCU or CAO confirmation slip

Non-EU Citizens:

  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Entry Visa (if applicable)
  • Private Health Insurance
  • Acceptance letter from the Registry in DCU
  • Letter from DCU, stating that you have paid your fees in full

 Please consult the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland regularly for changes to the above:

Other useful websites