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Attending DCU 2021/22 - Visitors

Attending DCU 2021/22

International Students and Visitors

This is DCU

DCU Return to On-Campus Learning from September

All Irish higher education institutions (HEIs) - including Dublin City University - will return to on-campus learning in September. 

You can find out about DCU’s specific ‘Return to Campus’ plans in September here.

Irish HEIs have come together to develop Covid-19 guidelines for all international students arriving to Ireland for the academic year 2021/22.

HEIs will manage the safe arrival of all international students into Ireland for this academic year, prioritising the health and safety of all students, staff and the wider community. 

All the latest information, updates and FAQs for international students travelling to Ireland for the purposes of study in any of this country’s HEIs can be found here.

Travelling to Ireland

All international students travelling to Ireland should understand the country’s testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements. It is each student’s responsibility to fully comply with international travel requirements.

To support your arrival in Ireland, you must complete the online Student Arrival Form as soon as your travel details are confirmed and no later than 7 days before your departure in order to confirm your arrival date and time, airline, flight number accommodation and airport transport requirements.

Click here for guidelines for all international students travelling to Ireland. Please study these guidelines carefully as they contain information on the following:

  • Digital Covid Certificate (DCC)
  • Travel from the EU/EEA countries
  • Travel from non EU/EEA countries
  • Vaccinations
  • Self Quarantine
  • Mandatory Hotel Quarantine (MHQ)


International Greet & Transfer Service

A national Greet & Transfer Service is in operation at Dublin Airport for all International Students arriving in Ireland, regardless of what HEI you are travelling to. 

These dedicated ‘Greet & Transfer’ desks are located in the Arrivals hall (Terminal 1 & 2) in Dublin Airport. The team will greet you and co-ordinate your onward travel from the airport.

This is a free service but you must complete the Student Arrival Form before you travel.

If you are travelling to DCU and have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:

Covid-19 guidelines aside, there are other conditions international students travelling to DCU must consider. Please take a look at the additional information below 

FAQs for International Students travelling to DCU

Ideally, you should allow yourself enough time to complete any quarantine period prior to the start of the academic term.  

  • Continuing undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes: 20 September, 2021
  • 1st year undergraduate students: 27 September, 2021

Please refer to the DCU Academic Calendar for additional key dates.

Students that require self-quarantine and are living in DCU Residences should aim to arrive between 28 August - 4 September.

If you are a passenger arriving in Ireland, you must:

  • Understand and review the guidelines regarding arrival from the Irish government. You can review the Guidelines for International Arrivals
  • Complete and submit the Student Arrival Form at least seven days before your departure.
  • Complete a COVID 19 Passenger Locator Form. This form provides details of where you will be staying when you arrive in Ireland. The form must be completed online before travelling to Ireland and is available here.  
  • If required, provide evidence that you have a negative or 'not detected' result from a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, carried out no more than 72 hours before you arrive in Ireland.
  • If you are travelling to Ireland from a specific designated state that is now subject to mandatory hotel quarantine (MHQ). You must check if you are required to complete MHQ. The list of countries that require MHQ is available here. If you are travelling from or via a designated state you are required to undergo MHQ. You may, however, be exempt from the MHQ if you are fully vaccinated (with an EMA approved vaccine) against COVID-19. MHQ must be pre-booked in advance of travel. Please note that the list of countries on the designated list is updated regularly with countries being added and removed as the COVID-19 infection rates change. We therefore do not recommend booking MHQ until close to the time of your departure date.

Please note that, if required, you must show evidence of a negative PCR or 'not detected' result before boarding your flight or you may be denied boarding if you cannot produce such evidence.

On arrival to Ireland, you will again be required to present this evidence to Irish immigration officers. You should retain written confirmation of your test result for at least 14 days from your date of arrival to Ireland.

Arriving without evidence of a negative or 'not detected' PCR test or an approved vaccination is an offence. You must enter and pay for a MHQ until either you receive a negative or 'not detected' PCR test result or until you have completed MHQ for 14 days.

Here’s the full list of documents you should bring with you to the airport (do not pack in your checked baggage!):

  • Passport (with your valid entry visa if you require one)
  • DCU Offer Letter or Certificate of Attendance
  • Evidence of Guardianship Letter (if under 18)
  • Accommodation details (confirmation of booking or address you will be staying at when you arrive)
  • Written confirmation of your COVID-19 test results (if required)
  • Written or digital confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination (please check that your vaccination is recognised in Ireland).
  • Completed Irish Government COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form.

The current list of approved EMA vaccines (subject to change):

A full course of any one of the following vaccines Regarded as fully vaccinated after
2 doses of Pfizer-BioNtech Vaccine: BNT162b2 (Comirnaty®) 7 days
2 doses of Moderna Vaccine: CX-024414 (Moderna®) 14 days
2 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine: ChAdOx1-SARS-COV-2 (Vaxzevria® or Covishield) 15 days
1 dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Vaccine: Ad26.COV2-S [recombinant] (Janssen®) 14 days


You can see the full list of countries here. Please make sure to check it regularly, as the list can change.

You can book the post-arrival PCR test here

Please remember that the test should be booked in advance of arrival in Ireland and must be booked for a date at least five days after arrival.

The following flowchart, put together by Education in Ireland, should help you figure out whether or not you have to undergo a mandatory hotel quarantine or a self-quarantine period.

While self-quarantining you will have to stay indoors and completely avoid contact with other people. This includes the people you live with.

During this time, if you are in accommodation that is shared with other people, you should not leave your room and you should not use communal spaces.

During your self-quarantine period, you can only leave your home for limited reasons including:

  • For a health or welfare emergency
  • To get a COVID-19 or PCR test after your arrival
  • To leave Ireland

As you will not be able to do any in-person shopping during this period, there are a number of food delivery and online grocery options locally.

If you will be living in DCU Accommodation, we would suggest that you plan to arrive in Dublin sometime between the 28th August - 4 September. This will allow you to complete any necessary isolation on campus.

You are not permitted to leave the on-campus building until you have completed your post-arrival quarantine period. You can, however, order groceries or meals which will be delivered to the accommodation complex

Yes, you can have takeaway meals delivered from lots of restaurants and cafes.

If you have booked into on-campus accommodation and will be fully vaccinated on arrival into Ireland, you will be sharing with other students who are also fully vaccinated. You may cook and share the communal spaces. Preferably you should only cook your own meals, clean up afterwards and avoid sharing utensils, cups and plates. During self-quarantine, we recommend that you keep utensils in your room and bring them to the kitchen when preparing your meals.

If you have booked into on-campus accommodation and are not yet fully vaccinated, you will be required to remain in your room for the initial five days of quarantine and until you have a negative PCR test result. If the test result is negative on day five, then your quarantine period ends. During your quarantine period you will not have access to the kitchen and will need to order in food and eat in your room.

During your quarantine period, you are required to restrict your movements and should not be visiting the gym. It is currently recommended that during the post-arrival quarantine period you exercise in your room.

On completion of your quarantine, you are welcome to join and use all of the DCU Gym facilities. The gym will operate a booking system to ensure that COVID-19 safety measures are maintained throughout the year.

Arrivals from non-designated states will need to self-quarantine for a minimum of five days provided they present a negative PCR test result on day five of their self-quarantine period. You will have to self-quarantine for longer, ie up to 14 days, if you do not present a negative PCR result on or after day five of self-quarantine.

Arrivals from designated states must complete a period of 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine. However, if you receive a negative (not detected) result from an RT-PCR test taken on day 10, your quarantine will come to an end on receipt of those results. Quarantine will be extended if you test positive for COVID-19.

Students who are in self-quarantine must stay in their accommodation until they have completed the mandatory period of quarantine. We hope that most students will have a PCR test on day five, which will be provide a negative test result. This will then end the self-quarantine period.

SIM cards will be made available to students at the Greet and Transfer desk when you arrive in Dublin Airport.  

If you are living on campus, you will also have access to free Wi-Fi in your room, so you will be able to use apps like WhatsApp and Facebook to contact family and friends.

You must complete the Student Arrivals Form and let us know when you are planning to arrive. The DCU Arrivals Team will be in touch to confirm details concerning self-quarantine off campus. There is no additional charge for this accommodation, but you will still be responsible for your own living expenses, meals, PCR test etc.

The Greet & Transfer service is only intended for DCU students. Any other arrivals will have to make their own travel arrangements.

The Greet & Transfer service is intended to provide you transportation from the airport to your final destination in Ireland and can only be used once.

While we do recommend that students try to get vaccinated prior to the start of term, it is not currently required for students to be vaccinated in order to attend classes.


Contact the International Office or the DCU Arrivals Team as soon as you are aware of the issue and we can help support you and provide more information. 

Before you Arrive 

Covid-19 restrictions aside, here are a number of key things to consider

Make sure you organise accommodation before you arrive. Visit DCU Accommodation to learn more about your options.  As an on-campus room is not guaranteed, we advise students to use the websites below to explore other options.

For details of Off-campus student apartments see the list under accommodation here.

You must have health insurance for your entire stay in Ireland. Immigration officers may ask you for proof of this when you arrive. 

If you are from the EU, make sure you get a European Health Insurance Card before you leave your country.

Students from outside the EU
If you already have private health insurance, check your policy to see if you will be covered while living in Ireland.

If you don’t have health insurance or your policy won’t cover you in Ireland, you must buy a health insurance policy. DCU has negotiated a good value policy for its students, which you can buy online for €160 from DCU is not responsible for this policy and you can buy from another provider if you prefer. Visit the Education in Ireland site for more information about international student health insurance.

Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to live and study in Ireland. Most students from outside the EU or the European Economic Area (the EU, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) need a visa before they can enter Ireland. To see if you need a visa, please visit the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service(INIS).

Find out more about visas and permission to remain from the Irish Citizens Information Service. Your local Irish embassy or consulate can also advise you about study visas.

Applying for a visa
If you need a visa, you can apply online here. (INIS has published a guide to completing the visa application form, which you may find useful.)

Remember the visa application process can take between six weeks and three months, depending on the time of year, so apply as early as you can.

Go through our full checklist here to ensure you have everything in order before you travel to Ireland to study at DCU.  

When you Arrive

Students who travel to Ireland from other jurisdictions are being told to follow Government advice on restricted movement on arrival in Ireland and should seek support from the International Office.

We recommend that international students check out our Orientation programme, which is a week of welcome activities and information sessions before the official start of the semester.

Make sure you check your DCU email address regularly,  as that is where you’ll receive important information, reminders and event invitations.

Key things you should do after you arrive are:

After you arrive in Ireland if you are from outside the EEA (whether or not you need a visa), you must:

  • At Dublin Airport - report to Immigration when you arrive
  • Register with the INIS in Dublin city centre after you arrive, even if you don’t need a visa.If you are from outside the EEA (whether or not you need a visa), you must

Students staying for two semesters or more must open an Irish bank account. It’s best to do this during your first two weeks in Ireland as you may need it for some immigration processes. You may also have to pay your rent from an Irish bank account. Once you have an Irish bank account, you can bank online. 

You can go to any bank branch to open your account, which you must do in person. There is a branch of AIB in Santry, and branches of Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB in Drumcondra. You’ll need to bring your passport, your DCU ID card and an International Student Confirmation letter from DCU.

If you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you must make an appointment to register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

Once you have a confirmed INIS appointment, you must request a registration letter from DCU. Please don’t request your letter more than a week before your INIS appointment

The DCU Student Health Service provides comprehensive health care to all DCU students. There are two Student Health Centres -- one on DCU Glasnevin Campus and one on DCU St Patrick's Campus.

As this service operates during working hours only, it does not provide 24-hour cover. We also recommend you register with a family doctor (known as a general practitioner or GP) when you arrive. You will have to pay if you visit the GP unless you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

For more information and some useful apps to download please go to our International section here.

International Student Letter Request

The International Office provides various letters of support that you may need throughout your academic year as an international (non-EU) undergraduate, postgraduate, study abroad or exchange/Erasmus+ student.

Please allow at least two working days for us to produce your letter. We can email it or post it to your home address. When we email scanned letters containing significant personal data such as your date of birth, we ensure they are encrypted. 

For information on requesting a letter please see here.

For more information on supports please check our our International Office here

This is DCU


Our priority is ensuring we have a safe campus environment for all our staff, students and visitors.

If you are feeling unwell, or if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been advised to self isolate - you must not enter any of the University campuses.

The University and all its campuses are open.

All visitors are required to comply with COVID-19 health and safety requirements which include:

  • follow 2m social distancing requirements
  • regular hand washing / disinfection
  • respiratory etiquette by covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • wearing of face covering in all indoor public spaces on campus
  • avoid crowded areas and keep your contacts to a minimum when out and about
  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19: