FAQs about Ireland


Q: Will I get a dedicated counselor for the entire application and visa process?
A: Yes. Once you sign up with Focus Education, you will be assigned a dedicated counselor who will guide you through the entire process.

Q: Does Focus Education have any special relationship with Irish institutions?
A: Yes. Focus Education has relationships with a number of Irish institutions, giving you the benefit of improved turnaround times for application processing and assessment.

Q: How will Focus Education help me?
A: Focus Education has been sending students to Ireland and other countries for the last 5 years. Focus Education has trained counselors who have got experience and expertise to assist students. We provide you with:

  • Professional counseling and information on various courses and institutions
  • Application Forms – Brochures – Guides etc.
  • Admission Assistance
  • Visa Counseling
  • Travel and accommodation arrangement
  • Procuring Residential Facilities 
  • Student Loan


Q: How much is accommodation?
A: That will depend hugely on where you live, in a city or village, in shared housing or on your own.

Q: What are the housing options available?
A: Following types:

  • Self catering accommodation
  • On-campus accommodation
  • Family based accommodation


Q: How many Higher Education Institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland should a candidate list as choices? If an applicant wants to study at only one university, is there a handicap in limiting preferences to that one institution?
A: Applicants should list at least three institutions and can list up to five. Institutional balance is a factor in the placement of Scholars at universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland, so an applicant’s prospects are enhanced by indicating multiple university preferences. An applicant who lists just one or two institutional preferences, seriously weakens his or her chances of selection as a Mitchell Scholar.

Q: How does an applicant decide on preferences for universities and proposed graduate programs?
A: Each applicant is responsible for doing the research necessary to identify university preferences. Applicants should examine university websites and may want to consult with department chairs, faculty, or registrars at the universities in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Faculty and fellowship offices at an applicant’s own college or university can also be helpful in deciding where to apply. An applicant must have the requisite undergraduate background for the proposed program. Applicants should carefully research prospective programs to determine the required period of residence; some master’s programs require two years of study, and the Mitchell Scholarship Program provides support for only one year.

Q: Can a candidate pursue a graduate program in Ireland unrelated to his/her undergraduate major?
A: An applicant must demonstrate sufficient undergraduate or non-academic preparation to study for the designated graduate degree. Although this may be in a field different from the applicant’s undergraduate major, the applicant still should have the necessary academic or professional training necessary for the proposed graduate study.

Q: What are the Application procedures for admissions?
A: The Application Form should be submitted along with ALL supporting documentation. Original documents are required and must be in ENGLISH or accompanied by a notarized translation of same. All documents must be clearly legible. The Visa Officer will need to easily identify what they are and to whom they refer.

  • Application form duly filled
  • For Undergraduate Programs:
  • Photocopies of the Mark Sheets and Certificates
  • 10th (Matric) onwards (Attested by Notary)
  • For Postgraduate Programs:
  • Photocopies of Degree as well as Mark sheet of the entire duration of the course.
  • Experience Certificate required
  • 4-passport size photographs.(45mm X 35mm) white background
  • TOEFL 220(computer based test) 550 (paper based test) or IELTS Composite score of 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in any one component

Q: What are the advantages of studying in Ireland?

  • Irish education is of the highest international quality.
  • The quality of the Irish education system is a major contributing factor to the rapid rate of economic growth Ireland has experienced over the last few decades.
  • Irish higher education institutions are widely recognized for excellence in many disciplines.
  • Ireland is a safe country to study in.
  • Ireland is an English speaking country. Some of the great writers in English literature have come from Ireland. These include Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett.
  • Irish people are among the most enriching reasons to study in Ireland. Irish people are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality which greatly contributes to the ease with which overseas students adapt to student life in Ireland.


Q: What will the weather be like?
A:Ireland’s climate can be summed up as being mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. Because the island is hugged all year round by the warm influence of the Gulf Stream, Ireland is much warmer than other countries that share its latitude. The Gulf Stream also ensures that the Irish coastline remains ice-free throughout winter. Extreme winters are rare but they do happen on the odd occasion when Ireland’s temperatures plummet.


Q: What is the currency in Ireland?
A:The Currency in the Republic of Ireland is called the euro, the symbol is a €. This currency came into use 1 January 2002 and is the common currency shared by many EU countries. If you are traveling between Ireland and mainland Europe check to see if you can use your Irish euro in that country. Currently in euro denominations consist of: €500, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5 notes, and €1 and €2 coins. Coins come in denominations of 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c and 1c. The “c” refers to cent.

For more information on the euro, visit the website for the ECBI, Euro Changeover Board of Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, the currency is the same as that of the UK, which is not part of the euro system of currency at this time. This includes Northern Ireland. If you are traveling between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland you will be required to obtain sterling currency. You can exchange your euro for Northern Ireland sterling once you reach Northern Ireland very easily.
In Northern Ireland, the currency is the same as that of the UK. Currently denominations consist of: £100, £50, £20, £10 and £5 notes, and a £1 coin as well as 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p coins. The “p” refers to pence, or pennies.
Note: Ireland has two countries residing on its shores and as such there are two forms of currency and are not interchangeable. If you cross borders in your adventure remember to exchange your money at one of the appropriate places.


Q: What types of courses are approved for a student grant? What courses are not approved?
A:To be eligible to apply for financial assistance under the Student Grant Scheme, you must be attending a full-time course in a publicly funded institution, such as:

  • PLC course (minimum 1 year duration) within the State.
  • Undergraduate course (minimum 2 years duration) in the State or an EU member state.
  • Postgraduate course (minimum 1 year duration) in the State or Northern Ireland.

Examples of courses which are not approved for grant purposes are as follows:

  • Distance learning or online courses.
  • Part-time or evening courses.
  • Foundation courses.
  • Courses of a shorter duration than the minimum duration outlined above.

Q: What types of grants are available in Ireland?
A:In spite of continued uncertainty surrounding state support for this year’s crop of fourth-level students, there is still a variety of funding available for both taught and research-based postgraduate education in the Republic.

The Government of Ireland Awards from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology are extremely important for students seeking funding for research in the Republic of Ireland. Annual awards of just over €30,000 after tax for IRCHSS postdoctoral fellowships, and around €24,000 after tax for IRCSET’s ‘Embark’ initiative postgraduate scholarships, are available. IRCHSS also offers postgraduate scholarships, and IRCSET offers postdoctoral fellowships, plus an Enterprise Partnership Scheme for postgraduate and postdoctoral candidates. The Scheme links with industry and eligible public bodies to award co-funded scholarships and fellowships to Irish research students. Awards are announced early in the academic year.

On 29 March 2012 the new Irish Research Council, a merger of the IRCHSS and IRCSET, was officially launched. The merger won’t affect existing postgraduate scholarships or research fellowships, but will, the government hopes, ultimately result in a strengthening of focus on early stage research careers. Bringing the science and humanities disciplines together should also facilitate an increase in interdisciplinary research opportunities. The Irish Research Council will remain the principal body of postgraduate study and research in Ireland.

The newly formed Research Council has just announced its inaugural industry-based Postgraduate Programme, under which students will undertake their research in collaboration with an enterprise partner. Exact details of the programme, and how the merger will impact on other existing funding application procedures for next year’s research students, have yet to be announced.

Both the Higher Education Grants Scheme (HEGS) and the Vocational Education Committees’ Scholarship Scheme (VEC Scheme) have been absorbed by the new Student Grant Scheme. This single, unified scheme replaces the previous four grant schemes (which also included the Third Level Maintenance Grants Scheme for Trainees and the Maintenance Grants Scheme for Students Attending Post-Leaving Cert Courses). The idea is that this conflation will make the grant application process a simpler one for students across the board for the academic year 2012–13.
Grants awarded under the Student Grant Scheme are reviewed annually. Be aware that the value of grants in the wake of the December 2011 budget is subject to change. No maintenance grants will be paid for new postgraduate students in the 2012–13 academic year, although fee grants will continue to be paid for those postgraduate students who would previously have been eligible for the special rate of grant. Based on means testing, 4,000 postgraduate students will have access to a €2,000 fee contribution grant.

Several of the higher education institutions in Ireland offer postgraduate funding – studentships or scholarships – on a competitive basis. They do so mainly for research degrees, in order to attract the best possible funding. You will find details of individual institution funding policies on the fees/funding sections of the institution websites.

The Fund for Students with Disabilities covers most full-time postgraduate courses in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. You don’t have to be in the first year of your course to be eligible for supports from the Fund; a claim is made by the institution on behalf of the student after an assessment of need. Students themselves cannot apply directly to the Fund.


Q: How can I become a legal/permanent resident of Ireland 
A: To become a legal resident you just need a work permit or any others visas needed to enter the country that makes you a legal resident. If your permit runs out you apply for a new one and you keep doing that (most permits last for 1 year and you usually are granted a new one unless you were fired from your job or are otherwise unemployed). After 5 years of living on permits you can apply for citizenship. 

To get a green card or work permit for Ireland you do have to have an offer of a job first then the employer applies on your behalf or you can apply yourself with proof that you have the job offer. They don’t have to proof that no one else can do the job, the job must have been advertised on Fas.ie and in a national newspaper and they must have held interviews and the fact that they picked you over all other applicants is proof enough.

Q: What are the Eligibility Requirements I must meet in order to submit a valid Long Term Residency application?
A: Persons who have been legally resident in the State may apply for Long Term Residency subject to the conditions below: 

  • You must have a minimum of 60 months (5 years) reckonable residence on the date you submit your application.
  • Only legal residence in the State on work permit, work authorization or working visa conditions will be counted as reckonable residence for the purposes of your Long Term Residency application. This reckonable residence must be reflected by either a Stamp 1 or Stamp 4 endorsement on your passport – and not by the dates on your work permits, working authorization or working visa. (Note: If you are applying for Long Term Residency as a spouse/dependant, your passport is usually endorsed with Stamp 3 or, in some cases, a combination of Stamps 1 and 3).
  • Your permission to remain in the State must be up to date when you apply.
  • You must be in gainful employment when you apply and during and after the application process.
  • You must be of good character.
  • Any period of time for which you do not have permission to remain is not counted when we calculate your reckonable residence.
  • If you are applying for Long Term Residency as a Spouse/Dependant, please note that, should your application be successful, you will be granted Long Term Residency on Stamp 3 (Dependant stamp) conditions for 5 years. However you are not released from work permit conditions.


Q: Will Focus Education help me with pre-departure formalities?
A:Yes. Focus Education will organize a pre-departure orientation program which will help you in your transition to life as a student in the Ireland. The program will address topics ranging from cross-cultural issues to ticketing, medical insurance, foreign exchange rates, documents you should take with your while traveling to the Ireland, arriving to college or university, orientation at college or university, insurance policy, airport pick-up and accommodation booking, etc.


Q: How much should the student take along with him/her?
A: We recommend that you take a minimum of $1500 to cover your arrival costs, deposit on housing and living until your first pay check. It is always recommend to bring more! The bigger the financial cushion you have, the better! For the 12 month program, you are required to provide proof of funds for 1500 with return ticket or 3000 without. Please check with your consulate before booking your flight as some consulates require proof of a return ticket before issuing the WHA.

Q: What are the tuition fees?
A: Tuition fees vary depending on the institution and the study program. An example of tuition fees for undergraduate & postgraduate, non-E.U. students at a third level institution are as follows:
Course Average Fees (Euro)*
Medicine and related €29,000 – €45,000
Engineering €9,100 – €20,300
Science & Technology €9,100 – €20,300
Business and related €9,100 – €16,500
Arts & Humanities €9,100 – €15,500

Q: What are the living expenses?
A: Living expenses will differ depending upon the location of the institution, the type of accommodation preferred and on the personal expenditure of the student. On an average we estimate that a student will spend between €7500 and €12,000 per year depending on location and lifestyle.
Expenses Euros
Textbooks €650
Accommodation €3000- €5150
Food and Household €2500-€3500
Other Living Expenses:
Travel, Health, Insurance, Social life, Communications Miscellaneous expenses €1500- €2500 (depending on location and lifestyle)


Q: Can we bring dependents to the Ireland?
A: Yes.

Q: Will my dependents be able to work in the Ireland?
A: Yes.

Q: How long will it take for me to get my student visa?
A: The length of time needed to process a visa varies from country to country, but as a general rule you should leave at least 10 weeks for a decision from date of visa submission.

Q: What happens if my visa is refused?
A: If your study visa application is refused, you have the right to a visa appeal. If you wish to proceed with a visa appeal, and if the college considers it feasible, Dublin Business School will write this appeal for you and submit it directly to the Department of Justice. A visa appeal generally takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

Q: Will I get a refund of fees if my visa is refused?
A: If your visa is refused you will receive a full refund of fees. No part of your fee will be retained. To apply for your refund you should post a copy of your visa refusal letter to Dublin Business School. Upon receipt of this your refund will be raised, and this will take approximately 10 working days to process.


Q: Can I work during or after my studies?
A: Since April 2001, non-EU students who are approved to study in Ireland with higher education institutions listed on the Internationalization Register, can avail of casual work to help support themselves while in Ireland. Students are allowed to work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) or full-time (up to 40 hours a week) during holiday periods.

Ireland Student Visa

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