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English Language & Non Degree Programme


This section sets out some of the visa conditions and immigration rules for English language and non-degree programme non-EEA students in Ireland, as defined by the New Immigration Regime for Full Time Non-EEA Students introduced in July 2011.    

If you are applying for a student visa to do an English language course in Ireland, it is very important to ensure that the course is on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP)

The main conditions of being a Full-Time Language and Non-Degree Programme Non-EEA student are:-

  • The maximum time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending courses at language/non-degree level is limited to three years;
  • The conditions below must be compiled with
    • You must have a Letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time day-time education involving a minimum of 15 hours organised daytime tuition each week between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm
    • You must have proof that fees have been paid to the college. Where your fees are below €6,000, the full amount of the fees must be paid in advance.
    • You must have access to €3,000 at first registration. This is in addition to your course fees.
    • You must comply with Medical Insurance requirements.

New Immigration Arrangements for English Language Students

As set out in the Government Policy Statement in May 2015, the standard immigration permission available for the purposes of pursuing an English language programme on the ILEP will be 8 months (this is a reduction from the 12-month permissions previously issued).  This change will take immediate effect (i.e. from 21 January 2016) in respect of all future English Language related immigration registrations (first time and renewals). Existing permissions will not be affected.  

The operation of the work concession will not be affected by the new policy.  Since 1st January 2016 students holding a valid immigration stamp 2 are permitted to work 40 hours per week during the months of May, June, July and August and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive.   At all other times, they will be limited to working 20 hours per week.