Visa and immigration

Not all international students require an entry visa for Ireland.

You can check if you require a visa to study in RCSI and stay in Ireland on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services (INIS) website.

Students who require a visa to enter Ireland should apply for a ‘long stay’ visa, which will allow you to remain in the country for more than three months. Students must satisfy all requirements to apply for the visa, as laid out on the INIS website.

Please be aware that visas can take up to 12 weeks to be issued. If you require a visa to enter Ireland, make sure that you apply as early as possible pre-travel.

How to register for an Irish Residence Permit

All non-EEA* students – even those who do not require an entry visa – must register with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services (INIS) to obtain an Irish Residence Permit (IRP), formally known as a GNIB card.

An IRP is a credit-card sized document and includes your photograph, your residency details and the date of expiry.

To register for your card, you must book an appointment online with the INIS in advance. If you do not have a pre-booked appointment you will not be seen by the INIS.

Appointments are released daily up to 10 weeks in advance. i.e. September appointments will be released in July. You can make your appointment before your first day in RCSI, however please ensure that the appointment date is after you are registered with the College as you will need to have completed your registration with the College in order to obtain the compulsory documents required for registration for your IRP.

  • On the day of your appointment it is important that you have the following:
  • A printed copy of the booking confirmation email you received from INIS
  • A valid passport (and entry visa if required)
  • A valid RCSI student card
  • A registration letter from the RCSI Student Academic & Regulatory Affairs (SARA) Office. You will be issued with this letter after registration
  • A receipt of fees paid from the RCSI Student Fees Office
  • Evidence of private medical insurance (must be purchased in Ireland)
  • Your GNIB card if you are renewing a permit
  • The permit fee (€300), which you can pay by credit card or bank giro.

If you are registering with INIS for the first time you may also be required to present evidence of financial support, e.g. current bank statement showing your name and balance of at least €3,000, a letter of guarantee from parent or guardian indicating availability of sufficient funds to support you during your stay in Ireland, or a letter from your sponsoring body confirming financial status.

Please note:
If you already have a registration certificate (GNIB card), you do not need to apply for the new IRP until it expires. Students registering for the first time will be fingerprinted during their appointment.

*EEA - European Economic Area comprising of European Union (EU) member states, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway