Immigration Guidelines for full time non-EEA language Students

Student Information


Please refer to the following link for full conditions and requirements:

Coming to study in Ireland – Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)


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

• The course must be listed on the approved Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP):
all Emerald Academic Year Programmes are included on this list.
• A student on a full-time language course may obtain an immigration permission of up
to 8 months (35 weeks) for that course.
• A student may be granted immigration permission for a maximum of 3 language courses. The total duration of immigration permission for a new student attending language courses is 2 years (i.e. 3 x 8 months).
• A full-time Language Course consists of a minimum of 25 weeks tuition.
• The minimum level of attendance on the course is 85%.
• The student must take a recognised examination at the end of the course.

Attendance is compulsory for students. For non-EU students, the Irish Immigration Office (Department of Justice) requires a minimum attendance level of 85%. The Institute sends weekly attendance records to the Immigration Office.

The only acceptable absences are for the following reasons:

  • Scheduled holidays taken with the permission of the institute
  • Absence due to illness and certified by a medical professional
  • Time-off agreed with the school for INIS office appointments
  • Time-off agreed with the school for family emergencies or bereavements

All other absences will affect a student’s attendance record. If you will be absent for any reason please contact the administration office by email (studentwelfare@eci.ie) or phone (+35314973361).


To register at the Immigration Office and obtain immigration permission and a registration card (process to be completed within 90 days of arrival):

• Students must have a Letter of acceptance from the school, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time day-time education.
• You must have proof that fees have been paid to the school.
• You must have access to €4,500 at first registration (except for students who have applied for and obtained a valid entry visa for Ireland before travelling). This is in addition to your course fees (see below for information on evidence of finance arrangements).
• All students are required to have private medical insurance, either personally or through a group scheme operated by the school (see below for further information on medical insurance).
• The registration fee of €300 (valid as of December 2022 but subject to change).
• Learner Protection Insurance Policy – only Academic Year Programme students (25 weeks course or more).


To book an appointment at the Immigration Office:

In order to register with the Immigration Office (INIS), you must first book an appointment. For more information please see here:

Burgh Quay appointments – Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)


Students are permitted to take holidays depending on the duration of their course. The following regulations apply:

  • To request a holiday, students should submit a request on the Emerald website (https://www.eci.ie/student-information/request-holidays/) or contact the admissions department at least 2 weeks in advance. Non-EU students must schedule all holidays before they register with the Immigration Office. Unscheduled breaks in study are not permitted except in exceptional circumstances.
  • The minimum holiday period permitted is 2 weeks
  • Holidays cannot be taken in the middle of a week (must be booked from Monday to Friday)
  • Upon returning from a holiday, students may have to take a level test before being placed in a class
  • In the interest of the student’s academic progress, only one holiday is permitted during any 12 week period. Students are advised to take holidays only on completion of their current level.
  • Holidays cannot be taken during the first 8 weeks of a student’s course and cannot exceed 1/3 of the total weeks study elapsed


course-weeks booked holidays permitted
12 weeks

25 weeks

1 holiday period

2 holiday periods

Sick Leave

If you will be absent due to illness please contact the administration office (studentwelfare@eci.ie) or phone (+35314973361). Absence due to illness certified by a medical professional will not affect your official attendance record but missed lessons cannot be recovered.

Emergency Leave

In case of a family or personal emergency, the school can arrange to freeze your course for an agreed period. If such a situation arises, please contact the administration office in person or by any of the following methods:

  • Email studentwelfare@eci.ie
  • Phone +353149733361 during school hours Monday to Friday
  • Phone +353868112047 out of school hours

Unauthorised Absence

Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late for class or who leave more than 15 minutes before the class finish time will be marked absent. Where a student has 25% or more unauthorised absence in the first 6 weeks of their programme, the school is obliged to inform the Immigration Office. For students who are absent for an extended period, the following procedure applies:

  • If a student’s attendance level falls below 85% they will be notified by the academic office. Students must reply to the academic office or can contact the school by phone (+35314973361) or email (studentwelfare@eci.ie).
  • If a student fails to respond to a notification regarding low attendance within 14 days, a second written warning will be sent.
  • In the event of a non-reply, the student will be sent a third warning with notification that they will be removed from the institute register in 14 days. If the student is removed from the register the Immigration Office and the student will be informed.

Medical Insurance

The main requirements for the medical insurance are:

• The medical insurance policy must be in English (or be accompanied by an English
• Medical insurance policy must be valid for the entire period of the student’s stay (or
one year).
• Medical Insurance policy must cover the student for a minimum of €25000
Accident Expense and €25000 for Disease/Sickness Expense.
• There is no time period limit for hospitalisation coverage.

Private medical insurance is acceptable, or the school can arrange medical
insurance for a fee of €140 (valid for any period up to one year maximum).

More information is available here:

Private Medical Insurance – Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)

Second and Subsequent Registration

A renewal of immigration registration may be granted if the following conditions are

• A student has been engaging in a full-time course.

• A student can demonstrate a level of 85% attendance at class via a letter from their education provider.

• A student can provide proof that fees have been paid to the school.

• A student can provide proof of maintained private medical insurance that covers the extended period.

  • A student can provide proof of having sat a recognised English exam.


Examination Requirements

Students booking an Academic Year Programme (25 weeks or more) must register for a
recognised English exam to be taken before the end of the enrolment period. Exams that
the school can assist in arranging are as follows (exam fees subject to change):

Cambridge FCE (exam fee €195)
Cambridge CAE (exam fee €205)
IELTS (exam fee from €205-225)
TIE – Test of Interactive English (exam fee from €120)

The school can issue a sponsorship letter for immigration registration once this fee
(or a deposit of €120) has been paid.

Working while studying

Non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in the State and registered for an Academic
Year Programme (minimum course duration 25 weeks) are allowed to take up casual
employment to supplement their income while studying in Ireland.

‘Casual Employment’ is defined as up to 20 hours per week during term time and during
scheduled holiday periods. Students can work up to 40 hours per week only during
specific holiday periods scheduled from December 15 to January 15 and from June to

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to work legally in Ireland you require a PPS (Personal Public Service) number. To obtain this PPS number you must contact your local Department of Social Protection. For further information on this process and requirements contact the
Department of Social Protection on Tel: 01 8748444 or www.welfare.ie.

Our Student Welfare Officer will also provide you with the necessary documentation
to request this number, as well as maps and directions to the Department of Social

Evidence of Finance Arrangements

Students have the following options to show proof of funds (access to €4500):

A. A statement in respect of an Irish bank account showing sufficient funds, where the
student can open an Irish bank account (Emerald can assist Academic Year
Programme students with this process).
B. A current foreign bank statement not less than one month old, together with a past
statement, for an account in the student’s name (as in his or her passport)
accompanied by a debit card in the same name and for same bank account.
C. Documentary evidence that money is held in trust for a student by a financial services
body regulated in Ireland by the Central Bank of Ireland.
D. A pre-paid credit or debit card(s) with a verification of the amount(s) in credit.

Visa required students who obtained a study visa to come to Ireland will no longer be
obliged to present evidence of finance, on first registration, on the basis that the
appropriate checks on finance have already been undertaken as part of the visa
application process.

On arrival to the school all students will receive a full orientation on the immigration
procedures and will be assisted by school staff with the immigration process.