If you’re looking to study abroad in Ireland, you’ll need to successfully apply for an Irish study visa. And one of the most important features of the Irish visa application process is the face to face interview, which normally takes place at an official Irish Visa Facilitation Service centre (VFS).
It’s worth noting that not every study visa applicant is required to do an interview, but those who do need to will be notified by your visa officer.
So, how can you prepare for your Irish student visa interview if you need to do one?
Thankfully, it’s not a difficult process -- it’s simply a way for the Visa Facilitation Service to ensure that your intentions for studying in Ireland are honest and above board!
But let’s be honest, nobody enjoys interviews, so let’s give you some tips and pointers for passing your Irish student visa interview, as well as some general information on Ireland student visa requirements.
The easy way to prepare for and pass your Irish student visa interview
- Ireland student visa requirements
- Ireland student visa processing time
- Ireland student visa success rates & rejection rates
- How to prepare for and pass your Ireland student visa interview
As is the case when applying for any visa, there’s a pretty meaty list of required documents you need to submit along with your online visa application (which comes before your interview of course).
Ahead of you visa interview, make sure you have access to all the following things to guarantee a smoother interview process:
- Letter of acceptance from your university.
- A recognised certificate confirming your English language ability (check out our full article on English language assessment tests here!).
- Evidence that your course fees have been paid.
- Proof that you have enough financial support (€7,000) to maintain yourself for the initial part of your stay.
- Proof that you or a sponsor have access to at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years.
- Evidence that you have private medical insurance.
- An explanation of any gaps in your educational history (if applicable)
- Confirmation that you intend to return to your country of permanent residence when you leave Ireland.
You should apply for your Ireland student visa three months ahead of moving there.
The visa processing time is variable, depending on your nationality and other factors, though it usually takes 4 to 8 weeks to receive a verdict.
Ireland’s Department of Justice does not publish any official statistics on student visa success and rejection rates, however it’s been unofficially estimated that around 95% of Ireland study visa applications are successful.
This estimate is based on the overall Irish visa acceptance rate of around 90%, couples with student feedback surveys and industry insiders knowledge.
So all in all, the rejection rate for Ireland visa applications is extremely low. Just apply correctly and make a good impression in your interview and you should be in!
Okay now that we’ve got the nitty gritty admin out of the way, let’s look at a few handy tips to prepare for and make a good impression at your visa interview!
i) Know what kind of questions you’ll be asked
Naturally, it’s difficult to know exactly what questions you’ll be asked at your interview, but it’s pretty well known which general things the interviewer will ask about.
All of the questions will be about your future aspirations, your reasons for wanting to study at the university you’ve been accepted by, and your educational background. In the interview, you may also be asked to reaffirm or clear up any details from your application form.
So, expect questions about your education, your experience, your ambitions, your personal background, and your finances.
ii) Do your research
When it comes to justifying why you want to study in Ireland, and at your particular university, try to give substantial answers. This will involve doing a little research about the department you’ll be studying in, their research and impact, or perhaps some of the faculty members.
If you can showcase that you’ve actually made a considered choice to study at that university, you’ll make a really strong case for being granted a study visa.
iii) Practice your English speaking
It seems simple, but this could make all the difference. It’s important that both you and the visa officer can communicate smoothly and openly -- it’ll help set you both at ease!
You don’t have to put on an accent or appear to be the most fluent English speaker on earth, but if you can make your point effectively, you’re sure to succeed in your visa interview.
But don’t go learning your answers off by heart! You want to sound natural, so spend a few minutes each day trying to speak English aloud, even to yourself if you have to!
iv) Dress appropriately
Little things like this can help make a nice impression. Try to follow a smart casual dress code -- not as formal as a three piece suit or formal dress, yet not as casual as a t-shirt and shorts.
Slacks, chinos or jeans, and a tidy button down or polo neck shirt should have you looking just the part!
v) Tell the truth
There’s really no point in lying in your visa interview, since pretty much everything is checked and double checked.
Just be yourself and answer your questions honestly -- having done the research and preparation of course!
vi) Show up early!
There are few things worse than being late or in a rush for an interview! Try to arrive 15 or 20 minutes before your visa interview so that you can catch your breath, get orientated, settle down and go over the potential answers you’ll give in your mind again.
vii) Don’t forget your documents
Need we go into detail here? It’s like not forgetting your passport when you go to the airport! All those documents we listed above, as well as any others that might be made known to you when you book your visa appointment, should be brought along on the day of the interview. It would be a terrible waste of the journey to forget anything.
A little tip: collect all your documents and put them in a folder in order the night before. That way you can just grab them and go!
So you’re thinking of studying abroad in Ireland?Here at Edvoy, we’re in the best position to help you do just that. Check out how we can help you by clicking the button below or simply clicking right here.