Visa Requirements For Non-EEA Students

If you are coming to study at English Language Ireland from a country that is outside the European Economic Area (EEA), please note that you will need a visa to enter Ireland as a student.

The EEA countries are all countries within the European Union (EU), along with Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway. If you do not come from one of those countries, you may find information on visa requirements and applications at the following websites:

The Irish Council for International Students

Garda Naturalisation & Immigration Bureau

Please also note that if travelling from outside the EEA to learn English, you must enrol for a course that leads to an examination.

English Language Ireland also has the following policy to ensure that non-EEA students comply with visa requirements:

Absenteeism & Expulsion Policy – For non-EEA Students

This policy sets out the procedure surrounding the notification of absenteeism and expulsion as practiced by English Language Ireland with regards to our non-EEA students.

As of October 1st 2015, all non-EEA students who are enrolled on an English Language course must meet the minimum mandatory requirement of 85% attendance over the length of the course, as specified by the Irish Department of Justice.

The class in which the student is enrolled may not have more than 15 students and the student may not change classes or attend any classes other than the one for which they are registered for the duration of the programme.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the requirements of their immigration status with regards to the course on which they are enrolled and to attend their classes regularly and punctually.

Records of Attendance

Attendance is recorded daily in class by the class teacher and this record is put into the attendance file.  Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late for class or who leave more than 15 minutes early, will be marked absent for that class period.

Classes for non-EEA students take place Monday to Friday between 9:30am and 12:30 pm.  The first class period each day is from 9:30am to 11am and the second class period each day is from 11:00 to 12:30 pm.

Illness and Absence

If a student cannot attend class due to illness, they must inform English Language Ireland administration BY EMAIL OR BY TELEPHONE on the first and subsequent day of their absence.

Where absence is uncertified by a doctor for more than 2 consecutive days, the student will be contacted immediately to inform him/her of their responsibility regarding their attendance.

Disciplinary steps in the case of attendance dropping below 85%

  1. Administration at English Language Ireland will contact the student by email to indicate that their attendance must be improved within a set period of time (related to the total length of their programme). Where possible, the student will also receive a hard copy of the email.  Where a student has 25% or more uncertified absence in the first six weeks of their programme, the Immigration Authorities will be informed as per our obligations.
  2. If the attendance has not improved satisfactorily, the student will be contacted again to state that English Language Ireland must now notify the Immigration Authorities (GNIB and INIS) and that their visa may be jeopardised by further absence.
  3. If attendance has fallen below 85% and there is not enough time before the course ends to meet the required attendance stipulated for the visa, English Language Ireland will notify the Immigration Authorities, the student may be expelled from the course and their immigration status may be revoked. In the case of expulsion from the programme, course fees will not be refunded to the student.

All such communications will be added to the student’s file.

This disciplinary process will be explained to the student before they enrol on the course and at each point in the process, the student reserves the right to appeal or review their situation with regards to absences from the course for which they are enrolled.

Holidays/Course Breaks

All personal holidays/course breaks must be agreed with English Language Ireland in advance.  ELI English Language Ireland will give the student a written confirmation of the course break and this will be added to their file.

All public holidays and school holidays are available to the student via our online calendar and at English Language Ireland reception.

Holidays cannot be “front-loaded” (this means that holidays cannot be taken at the start of a course), and may not exceed 33% of maximum attendance.  Students therefore cannot take holiday leave until they have been agreed with English Language Ireland.

It is an offence to request a change of attendance record by any member of the staff at English Language Ireland in order to maintain a minimum level of attendance and immigration will be informed immediately if this occurs.

In the case of non-EEA students, when a student’s attendance has fallen below 85% and it is not possible (even with full attendance) for the student to make up the uncertified absence, English Language Ireland is obligated to inform the Irish Immigration Authorities.

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