Study Visa FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about your Stamp 2 visa
The Study Visa allows you to study a language course for 6 months in Ireland and stay in the country for a total of 8 months. This is a great opportunity to both improve your English and also get to know Ireland and the amazing Irish culture.
You can study English with us in Everest for 25 weeks (Academic course) and then use the rest of your time to discover Ireland!
Due to new immigration regulations, you will also need to take an official exam at the end of your course. In Everest we recommend to book IELTS exam as it’s an internationally recognised certificate and it is currently the one that most Universities are asking for. We’ll make sure you get the best mark!
During your time in Ireland you will also be able to go on holidays and work in the country. The Irish Immigration Department has very clear rules about this so please make sure you understand the rules about working in Ireland and requesting holidays during your course. You can read more about this in the links we’ve included below
Different rules apply to different countries in order to apply for the Study Visa in Ireland. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to receive more information about this process. We understand it can be a difficult process and we are here to help you along the way.
Useful links for you to check while preparing your next adventure in Ireland:
Irish Council for International Students – They have plenty of information and advice for international students and they’ll be happy to help with any doubt you might have.
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service – All the rules about the different types of visa and the requirements that apply to all of them.
Students attending a full time course and in possession of a GNIB card are entitled to take up casual employment provided that the course of study is included on the government’s list of visa eligible courses. Casual employment is defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week, except for two standardised periods when it is permissible to work full-time (i.e. up to 40 hours per week). The periods are 15th December to 15th January and 1st May to 31st August only, corresponding to the traditional summer and winter college holidays. These dates are fixed for all non-EEA students, regardless of the actual college teaching calendar for their course. Colleges are no longer able to issue holiday letters documenting a student as available to work full-time outside of these dates.
The right to work lapses automatically on expiry of a student’s immigration permission, except for an extension of up to 12 months which may be available to third level graduates.
The Irish immigration service requires that all non-EEA students have at least a basic policy covering emergency medical expenses, e.g. cover in the event of an accident requiring hospitalisation. Proof of insurance is required at the time of registration with immigration authorities. For short-term students, travel insurance may suffice in some circumstances
All 25 week English language courses provided to non-EEA students must be delivered between 9am and 5pm on at least 4 days per week between Monday and Friday. Classes must be for at least 15 hours excluding breaks – i.e. there should be at least 15 x 60 minutes of teaching time.
Non-EEA students must receive a timetable setting out teaching hours, days and holiday periods at the start of the course. All 25 weeks of classes must be completed within a 7 month period. A student must present their timetable when registering for a GNIB card. The school cannot change a student’s timetable and a student cannot switch class or class times.
Schools must provide a student library / resource centre adequate for the maximum number of students.
Immigration rules say that no holidays or breaks will be permitted which are not part of a student’s timetable, except for documented illness or family bereavement. No period of holiday can be given before classes begin. There are defined periods in which non-EEA students can work full-time in Winter and Summer. Schools are not required to align holidays with these dates.
Under regulations that took effect from 20th January 2016, all courses for non-EEA nationals holding student visas must conclude with an exam that meets immigration requirements. Non-EEA students will need to commit to the exam when they start the course. All enrolled students must be registered with the awarding body when they start the course.
The rules list several different exam providers that are acceptable – including TIE, ETAPP, Cambridge, IELTS, Pearson, Integrated Skills in English. A specific list of exams and minimum scores is set out on pages 6-7 of the new regulations.
The immigration service (INIS) expects students to be able to show a minimum of 85% attendance if they are applying to renew their immigration permission. Only the immigration service can make a decision on whether a student will be permitted to renew with a lower attendance figure.