Can I Travel to Ireland With UK Student Visa?

Can I Travel to Ireland With UK Student Visa?

Ireland is a beautiful country, with a lush green landscape, a long history of the arts and music, and plenty of great food and drink. So if you’re staying in the UK, you should definitely try to visit Ireland while you’re so close.

But when you travel, wherever it is in the world, your passport is the most important document, and any visas you have are usually irrelevant. However, the island of Ireland is divided into two: the Republic in the South and the State of Northern Ireland in the North. So can you visit any of Ireland with a UK student visa, and if so, which part?

Let’s take a look now.

Who Can Enter Ireland without a Visa

Who Can Enter Ireland without a Visa

Ireland is a part of the EU and is part of the Common Travel Area with the UK, so some citizens can enter Ireland without needing a visa for up to 90 days, including:

  • EU
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

Citizens of the UK can go to Ireland indefinitely, living, working and studying without the need for a visa or residence permit. Since 25 February 2022, Ukrainian citizens can also travel to Ireland without needing a visa.

Citizens from other nations will have to apply for some kind of visa to visit Ireland. To visit for less than 90 days, you can apply for a Short Stay Type C visa online. Once you have applied, pay the 60€ or 100€ application fee (depending on if you are applying for a single or multi-entry visa) and submit your travel documents to the address given to you at the end of your application. It usually takes up to 8 weeks to receive your visa or a rejection letter.

If successful, your passport will be sent back to you with a certificate indicating the type of visa you have to visit Ireland, which you will need to present at passport control.

Travelling to Ireland with a UK Visa

Travelling to Ireland with a UK Visa

You need to have a British passport, i.e. be a British citizen to be able to move freely to and from Ireland or move there to work or study. If you have a foreign passport and British residency, it’s your passport that counts when you apply for an Irish visa. However, if you have a Standard Visitor visa for the UK, if your visa is marked with BIVS, you can enter Ireland for up to 90 days without needing a separate visa.

The British-Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) allows citizens from certain countries to get a short-stay visit visa for either Ireland or the UK and visit both countries without needing to get a visit visa for the other. So if you apply for a Standard Visitor visa for the UK and indicate in your travel plans you wish to visit Ireland, you may receive a visa with BIVS, allowing you to also visit Ireland, and vice versa.

A UK Student visa is a long-term visa, usually given from 2 years to 5 years depending on the course, so it is not applicable in this scenario, and foreign students in the UK would need to apply for an Ireland visit visa to be able to travel to the country, unless they are from the EU or EEA.

However, as the island is split between two countries, foreign nationals with a visa in the UK can visit Northern Ireland without needing an extra visa.

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

In the 1500s, Great Britain ruled over the whole island of Ireland, but due to the religious divide between the large population of Catholics and the Protestant King Henry VIII, there were several centuries of power struggles on the island. Great Britain divided the country in two in 1920, with a predominantly Protestant North and a predominantly Catholic South and finally became a republic in 1949.

Although there were many years of violence following the division of Ireland, the country is now rather peaceful and a popular place to visit for tourists from all over the world.

There is a border between the countries, although it’s known as a ‘soft border’. If you’re from the UK or EU, you can pass the border easily by showing your ID. However, if you’re from another country, you should have your passport and Irish visa ready to show at the border. You cannot cross the border without the appropriate visa.

Travelling with a UK Student Visa

Travelling with a UK Student Visa

If you are staying in the UK with a Student visa, you cannot enter the Republic of Ireland without a visa, unless you are from one of the exempted countries. You can travel to Northern Ireland with a UK Student visa, as it is part of the UK, however, you may not cross the border into Ireland.

If you wish to travel while staying in the UK as a student and have the appropriate visas for the countries you wish to travel to, you can leave and reenter the UK with a Student visa. However, you are only permitted to travel with a UK Student visa during vacation periods. Any absence from your course should be approved by your educational institution before you travel so you have a document to show to avoid problems at UK border control.

Different UK institutes have different term times and vacation periods, so it’s advisable to keep an official copy of your term dates on you as well as your student ID and a letter from your institution’s principal or your personal tutor to prove you have permission to travel even outside of term time.

You can also travel when your course has finished if you still have time left on your UK visa, but you may also need to provide evidence that you have finished your course when passing border control.

If you need to travel to Ireland as part of your course, for example as a school trip, your principal needs to apply for permission to bring a school group, and you can apply for a visa waiver so you may travel to Ireland with your school group.

Applying for a UK Student Visa

Applying for a UK Student Visa

When you apply for a Student visa, you need to gather the right documents to prove you meet the eligibility requirements, submit your application online, pay the application fee and IHS fee and wait for 3 to 8 weeks for the Home Office to process your documents.

It may seem easy to get a Student visa when the steps are listed as such, but securing a place at a UK institute can be a difficult first hurdle. Before submitting your application, you need an offer from an eligible educational institute to sponsor you to the UK. For this, you’ll need excellent grades, attendance and potential.

Another key factor affecting your ability to get a Student visa is your finances. You need to show:

  • £1,334 per month for courses in London
  • £1,023 per month for courses outside London

This must be in your account for at least 28 consecutive days before you start your application, as well as enough money to cover your course fees, or a letter from a loan company or sponsor, indicating your course fees will be paid.

As of January 2024, you may also only bring close family members if you are studying an eligible course.

Your Rights as a UK Student Visa Holder

Student visas can be refused, but if your application is successful, you’ll receive your permit to enter the UK with the length of your permission to stay. You may extend the visa if necessary to complete your studies.

While studying in the UK, you may also work, however, the number of hours is determined by your age, qualification level, and term dates. No student can work more than 20 hours a week during term time, and you may work full-time during the holidays. Full-time is no more than 48 hours a week for over 18-year-olds and 40 hours a week for under 18-year-olds.

Need Visa Help? Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions

Navigating the UK visa process can be hard. Luckily, Synergy Immigration Solutions is here to help everyone get their UK visas. Contact us for more information!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *