You are moving to Dublin!

All of the hard work, applications and interviews have paid off and led to this exciting chance to study at RCSI, Ireland's only specialist Medicine and Health Sciences University! Very soon, you could be joining us in RCSI and settling into your new home in Dublin.

Dublin is an amazing place to study and live and in no time at all, you will feel right at home in this cosmopolitan yet friendly capital city.

We understand that moving to a different country, away from family and friends, is no small feat!


On this basis, we have dedicated this page to some of the key concerns facing our incoming Non EU students including accommodation, visa enquiries, health insurance, banking, our meet and greet airport arrival service and much more.


One of the most important tasks facing RCSI offerholders is the search for suitable accommodation.

Luckily, RCSI's Student Services Office offers a range of services to assist students with finding the perfect home away from home, whether it be on or off campus.

This year, we are recommending on campus accommodation options for our Non EU students, in particular Mercer Court and Millin House, New Mill and Scape accommodation.


Rooms are allocated on a first come first served basis and 15% discounts have been agreed with the above mentioned accommodation providers.

There are still a number of rooms available at Scape accommodation which is located just 6 minutes away from the RCSI campus. Book now to avoid disappointment!

More detailed information on our on-campus and off-campus accommodation options can be found by clicking on the links to the right. 

For further information on booking accommodation, please contact;

Mr Ivan Carty, RCSI Accommodation Manager.

Visa & Irish residency permits

Visa requirements

Q1. Do all international students require a visa to study in Ireland?

Not all international students require an entry visa to study in Ireland, however, all non-EEA* students need an Irish Residency Permit (IRP). We will explain the difference between an entry visa and an IRP below. You can check if you will require a visa to study in Ireland by visiting the INIS website

*EEA - European Economic Area comprising of European Union (EU) member states, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway

Q2. I think I may require a visa. What should I do? 

You can check if you are a visa required student here. Students who require a visa to study in Ireland are being advised to obtain a "Multi Entry Long Stay" visa this year (as opposed to a single entry long stay visa).

You can check what information and documentation you need to apply for a long stay visa, by visiting this section of the INIS website.

Q3. How long will it take to get a Long Stay Visa?

Long stay visas can take up to 12 weeks to be issued.

Q4. What happens next?

After you register with RCSI, all Non EEA students, including those who do not require an entry visa, must register with the Immigration Registration office to secure an IRP.

Your IRP is a very important card. You must carry it with you at all times and present it to an immigration officer or member of the Irish police, if requested.

The IRP indicates:

  1. That your permission to stay in Ireland has been registered; and

  2. The type of permission you have (i.e. study visa and stamp number)

For more information, or to make a visa/registration appointment, click here.

Irish Residency Permit (IRP) requirements

As outlined above, Non EEA students, even those who do not require a visa to enter the country, must secure an Irish Residency Permit within 90 days (of arriving in Ireland).

The IRP application process is straightforward and takes place via an on-line booking system.

Q1. What is the IRP?

This credit-card sized document is issued by the Immigration Registration Office known as INIS and includes the person's photo, residency details and date of expiry. 

An IRP costs €300 per person and has to be renewed annually.

Q2. How do I make an IRP appointment?

Online appointments were closed over the summer months due to Covid 19 and have just reopened.

You will need your passport and email address to complete your online appointment. You must also be able to print your confirmation email.

IRP appointments can be booked online using this link.

New appointments are made available daily between 10.30am and 11am, then again at 2.30pm in the afternoon. Cancelled appointment slots are also released for booking at 2.30pm. Cancelled appointment slots are generally available on shorter notice, so please ensure you double check the appointment date and time to ensure you are able to attend. If you can’t book one straightaway, keep trying. It may take 2 or 3 days to find one.

Please do not attend an IRP appointment during your 14 day restricted movement period.

Also, please do not worry if you are experiencing any issues or delays booking your online appointment – you have 3 months to secure your IRP after your arrival in Dublin and multi entry visa holders have until January 2021 to secure an IRP, so there is still plenty of time!

Q3. What documents will I need to bring with me for my IRP appointment?

All students will require the following documents in order to register: 

1.    A copy of your appointment email confirmation 

2.    Valid Passport (and entry visa, if required)

3.    2020/21 RCSI Student Card

4.    Evidence of Financial Support​ 

       a) current bank statement showing your name and balance of at least €3,000 OR 

       b) a letter of guarantee from parent or guardian indicating availability of sufficient funds to support you during your stay in Ireland OR

       c) a letter from your sponsoring body confirming financial status. 

   5. A Registration Letter from the college’s Student Academic & Regulatory Affairs (SARA) Office. 

   6. A receipt of fees paid from the Student Fees Office (RCSI main college campus)

   7. Evidence of private medical insurance (must be purchased in Ireland)

   8. Credit/Debit Card (fee is €300).

Please ensure that your IRP appointment date is after Registration Day (31st of August for GEM students, 14th of September/5th of October for everyone else) as you will need to complete your registration with RCSI first, in order to obtain many compulsory documents.

​​Once you have secured an online appointment date, you will receive a confirmation email, please bring this with you when you present to the Immigration Registration for your appointment.

The confirmation email contains a link to a list of documents you will need for your appointment.

Remember: Always cancel your appointment if you cannot attend for any reason.

​Should you have any difficulty obtaining an appointment, please contact 

Important information for students who are under 18 years of age

If you are under 18 years of age at the time of your IRP appointment, you are required to be accompanied either by a parent/legal guardian.

If this is not possible you can request for a member of the RCSI Student Supports team, known as CoMPPAS, to attend in their place.

If this is the case, please contact the CoMPPAS office, via email: ( as soon as you secure an IRP appointment date, to notify them of your:

  • Under 18 status

  • IRP appointment date; and

  • Requirement to have a representative from the CoMPPAS office accompany you.

Meet and Greet (pre-book)

We are pleased to offer a Meet and Greet Service to all new students and their families.

This welcome service will meet you on arrival in Dublin airport and arrange complimentary transport to your accommodation.

 If you wish to avail of this service, you must complete the online registration form a minimum of 10 days before arriving into Dublin airport.


A link to book this service is available below:


Note: You do not need to worry about opening a bank account in Ireland until you have completed your 14 day restricted movement period in Dublin. See below for more details.

Banks in Ireland have strict rules and regulations in place for opening new accounts.

To open a new account, you must:

  • Fill in the required documentation from the bank

  • Present a valid passport 

  • Present proof of residence in Ireland (either a lease agreement, a current utility bill or the official registration letter from RCSI)

Banks will NOT open bank accounts if you cannot provide proof of residence in Ireland.


Banking costs vary and many banks offer special student rates or even "free banking" so it is well worth shopping around before opening an account. 

Prior to COVID-19, Bank of Ireland (BOI), one of the main Irish banks, were on campus during Fresher’s week (the first week on-campus) to assist students with opening their Irish bank accounts. Students could also go directly to designated bank of Ireland branches, located close to the university campus, to open new student accounts.


In light of COVID-19, however, new international students cannot open a bank account until after completion of their 14 day restricted movement period. Students will also need an appointment to open a new bank account, i.e. no walk-in service is available. A student officer is usually available on location to assist with your student-related banking enquiries.


If your new landlord is looking for your Irish bank account details, please email the Student Services Office (Email: to provide you with a letter confirming that you are a newly arrived RCSI student, required to complete 14 days of restricted movements on arrival into the country before opening a new Irish bank account. Please do not visit the Student Services office or the bank whilst completing your 14 day restricted movement period.


Please be reminded that your local ATM/ Credit and Debit cards will operate in Ireland without the need to have an Irish Bank Account during the first 14 days.


Finally, students who have difficulty obtaining euro currency in their country of origin should buy sterling or dollars, which can be changed into € at a bank or bureau de change on arrival in Dublin.

Health insurance

All non-EEA* students are required to have private medical insurance when coming to and residing in Ireland for the purpose of study. The private medical insurance should provide cover for accident and/or disease and should cover the student for any period of hospitalisation. Please note that although private health insurance is not organised by or through RCSI, we are happy to provide advice where we can.

For newly arrived first year students in Ireland travel insurance may suffice where;

  • The insurance covers the student for one full year or where the student is staying in Ireland for less than one year for the entirety of their stay;

  • The insurance coverage covers the student at a minimum of €25,000 for Accident and €25,000 for Disease;

  • The insurance coverage covers the student for any period of hospitalisation.

  • Note: Where a non-EEA student intends staying in Ireland for more than one year, and where they were covered by travel insurance for the first year, that student is required to source private medical insurance in Ireland for their second and any subsequent years.

If your travel insurance policy does not meet the above criteria, students must subscribe to a private health insurance company. 

  • A reduced annual premium may be obtained by joining a student scheme.

  • O' Driscoll O' Neill Insurance operates Medicover for overseas students and offers the most competitive rates. 

Three major providers of private healthcare in Ireland are:

Cover provided by O Driscoll O’ Neill’s basic package is sufficient for immigration requirement purposes but it does not cover pre-existing illnesses nor does it cover newly diagnosed illnesses. If you decide to use this policy, it is recommended that you also take out a more comprehensive package with another provider, either the VHI, Laya or Irish Life.

The Irish Government has put additional measures in place to ensure the availability of health care services for international students this year. All international students studying in Ireland can receive public health services for the testing and treatment of the Covid-19 virus. These services are being provided free of charge.


In addition, all RCSI students are registered with the Mercer GP practice and the cost of GP care (if registered with Mercer) is covered by RCSI for students. Finally, due to COVID, RCSI will have our own Testing and Contact Tracing Service to manage our students, staff and campus as safely as possible.

*EEA - European Economic Area comprising of European Union (EU) member states, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway

Cost of living (and can I work part-time)?

You will need to have sufficient funds to cover both tuition and living costs while studying in Dublin. Non EU students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while studying full time in Ireland but it is not advisable to depend on your part time work to support your living costs as there will be times, particularly leading up to final exams and assignment deadlines, where it will be challenging to hold down a part time job. Recent Dublin cost of living figures suggest that students need between €12,000 - €17,000 per annum. The differential largely depends on the type of accommodation chosen.

These living costs tend to include rent, electricity and other utility bills, food, books, laundry, medicine, travel passes and social expenses (but exclude tuition).

This is how much university students can typically expect to spend per month in Dublin:

  • Utility bills (electricity, gas, refuse) €50

  • Transport €120

  • Books and course materials €70

  • Clothes €50

  • Mobile phone (plans start at) €20

  • Social life €130

The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) offers comprehensive information on cost of living and budgeting for new students. Click here for more information.

What to pack

Due to an ongoing requirement for international visitors to restrict their movements for 14 days on arrival into the country, we are committed to providing you with a comprehensive range of supports to facilitate an easier transition to life in Dublin as an RCSI student during these first two weeks.

To allow you, our new students, to take advantage of the full suite of supports available during these first two weeks, we are recommending that first year Non EU students live on-campus this year (either in Mercer, Millin, New Mill or Scape), if at all possible.

First year Non EU students will be picked up at Dublin airport using our pre-booked meet and greet service and in order to make the first few days of restricted movement as easy as possible, we recommend that you make your room "your own" as you settle into your on-campus accommodation.

Some items you will be supplied with (and will therefore not need to pack) include:

  • New packaged bed linen (duvet, bed linen, pillows, mattress and pillow protectors)

  • Bathroom items (towels, toilet rolls)

  • Individual kitchen utensils (plate, bowl, side plate, mug, cutlery)

  • Hand sanitizer and soap

Info Pack 3 contains plenty of information to help you settle into life in Dublin during the first 14 days, including:

  1. A list of items that will be supplied in your on-campus student bedroom, bathroom and kitchen/ living room.

  2. A suggested packing list of what to bring to Dublin.

As part of your arrival to RCSI student accommodation, you will also receive your RCSI registration pack. This pack will include all items students will require to get started for their first two weeks of teaching including an RCSI Apple laptop with all of your RCSI network access passwords, RCSI email address and the necessary information to allow you connect to the online learning community.


Further information on what to pack is outlined in the “Supporting your Health, Safety and Wellbeing” and “Info Pack 3” booklets below.

"Joining a university with a rich history and worldwide reputation right in the centre of Dublin, where you can have a vibrant social life through amazing clubs and societies on and off campus, makes settling into Dublin life easier!"

Ishan Antony, Third Year Medicine Student Ambassador, Dubai, UAE

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