Our Indian ambassador and Computer Science student at UCC, Kapil Patil, shares all the information prospective students need to know before moving from India to Ireland — from visa applications to PPS numbers and scholarships.
You have made the decision that you want to study in Ireland, so what’s next? Allow me to share some information that I found really helpful before I made the move from India to Ireland.
First things first! Don’t miss out on an opportunity to apply for and bag a scholarship! If you think you’re capable enough or you could be eligible why not give it a try? The Government of Ireland has a scholarship scheme for international students undertaking postgraduate study.
You’ve got the admission. Congrats! Be sure to now look for suitable accommodation. There is something of an accommodation crisis at the moment as the number of students coming to Ireland is increasing every year. Rents are skyrocketing and you may not be able to secure the kind of accommodation you have set your heart on. But fear not, there are options. You can try to secure your accommodation before coming to Ireland. Or you can book a hostel for as long as necessary and then look for accommodation after you arrive. You can look for on-campus or private student accommodation, apartments or flatshares in the city you are visiting. Some useful websites for accommodation searches include daft.ie and rent.ie. Also, be sure to check your university website as they are sure to have a section on accommodation and they should be able to help you if you get in touch with them.
Student visa requirements differ depending on your country of origin so be sure to get in touch with your embassy and your college’s international office for guidance on how to begin the process.
The other important document that is a necessity is health insurance. Do not forget to take out medical insurance when coming to and residing in Ireland for the purpose of study. It should provide cover for accident and/or disease and should cover the student for any period of hospitalisation. It is often a visa requirement to submit proof of health insurance when applying, and also during immigration checks.
After you land in Ireland and once everything is organised — housing, college registration etc. One other important and mandatory process all non-EU students have to go through is the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) registration. There is a GNIB registration charge which has to be renewed every year, so make sure to check the GNIB website for up-to-date information. Also, as I mentioned due to the number of increasing students, last year there were long queues outside the Garda offices, so be sure to get your GNIB procedure done before the expiry date mentioned on your passport visa. The expiry date is also mentioned by the Immigration officers at the airport after you land in Ireland.
Remember to check whether your student visa is a single-entry visa. This is important if you’re planning to visit India anytime during your course for holidays as you will need a multi-entry visa. I recommend applying for a multi-entry visa as soon as you get your GNIB card. It may cost an additional fee but is worth organising in advance.
Planning to work part-time in Ireland? You need to apply for a PPS card and get the PPS number before you start working. Many employers here will demand the PPS number before hiring you as a part-time employee. It is like having the Pan card in India.
I hope that you found this information helpful. I think I have covered all of the relevant points but should you have any doubts or queries please send them to me in the comment section below. I will try to answer them as quickly as I can. All the best for your journey to Ireland. Hope to see you soon!