Learners from the United States do not need an entry visa before travelling to Ireland. However, if you are coming to Ireland for a period longer than 90 days, and plan to study in Ireland, you will need to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). All study abroad learners intending to study at Carlow College should have the following documents upon their arrival to Dublin International Airport:

Valid passport

Carlow College letter of acceptance

Return airline ticket (helpful but not strictly necessary)


At Dublin Airport you will present the above documents to the border control agent and you will receive a provisional passport stamped for no longer than thirty days. After your Carlow College orientation, the Coordinator will arrange with the Carlow branch of the GNIB for you to receive a student visa granting you permission to remain in Ireland for the duration of your study abroad semester.

Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB)

The GNIB is a 5 minute walk from Carlow College located on Athy Road, Carlow. All non-nationals who are not citizens of an EU state, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, must register with the GNIB to receive a registration certificate.

To register, a learner should present the following documents to the Carlow Immigration Registration Officer:


A valid, up-to-date passport

Letter of Acceptance from Carlow College confirming that the learners has been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time education

Application fee of €300 payable by credit /debit card or bank giro (not cash)

Evidence that you have private medical insurance


An immigration officer interviews all visa applicants and if all your documents are in order the process is usually straightforward; however, the officer is entitled to seek further documentation.

What our past study abroad students had to say...

It was my first taste of independence, and it was exciting. I learned so much about my own life, about culture, about friendship, about necessities, about family.

MikeHarper College Spring 2014

Traveling around Ireland and Europe and getting to visit places that I had only ever dreamed of was absolutely amazing! I gained a deeper appreciation for other cultures and I have a more worldly view of things.

Caitlin Fall 2014, St. Ambrose University