Relocation Information

This information is suitable for students from outside of the EU who need to formalize their stay in Cork for Immigration purposes ( applying for a stamp 2).

On first arrival to the airport in Ireland you will present the following documents to the airport Immigration Officer:

1. Official School Letter
2. Medical Insurance Policy

On seeing these documents the Immigration Officer you meet at the airport will give you a specific landing stamp (a stamp showing your intention is to study in Ireland as apposed to being a tourist). 

Having this specific landing stamp in your passport will allow you do the following from the day you arrive in Ireland: 

1. Request an Immigration meeting where you will later during your stay get your physical IRP / Immigration card (stamp 2 student visa)
2. Apply for a PPS number (official number for work purposes). You can do this before you get your physical IRP card. You can do this once you have your specific landing stamp.
3. Apply for an Irish bank account (if for example an employer requests it or you need an official proof of address in addition to your school letter and insurance).

You do not need to wait until you have a physical IRP / Immigration card to apply for a PPS or Irish Bank Account. Having the specific landing stamp in you passport is enough. The stamp showing your intention is to study in Ireland as apposed to being a tourist. 

All students registered on a Work and Study Stamp 2/Visa related course need to apply for an IRP card while here in Ireland.

Here you will find some information about relocating to Ireland including details about:

  • Applying for your IRP card – First time registrations
  • How to show proof of having €4500
  • How to open an Irish bank account
  • Applying for your IRP card – Renewal Registrations
  • Attendance guidelines
  • Final exam requirements
  • How to make a holiday request
  • School closure dates
  • Applying for a Student Leap Card (bus ticket)

Applying for your IRP cardFirst time registrations

  • First time registrations for applicants residing in Cork will be required to register their immigration permission at the Registration Office located at 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
  • Appointments for first time registration can be booked using the Freephone number (1800 800 630).
  • Phone this number to get your appointment date and time for the Registration Office in Dublin.
Phone Call Preparation
When you phone the free phone number, you will first hear a pre-recoded automated message. The pre-recorded automated message includes:

– A thank you for phoning
– A notice about data protection
– A notice saying calls may be recorded for training purposes
– A notice stating the immigration website address  

After this you will be transferred to a person who will ask a series of questions*:
1Where are you currently Living?Cork City
2.Is this your first-time registration?

(Here the person on the phone will explain that the call is only intended for first time registrations, and you should not be calling if this is a renewal or second time registration – those registrations are fully online and not by phone call appointment)
3.What is your nationality?State your nationality
4.Is the last place you were living the same as your stated nationality country?Yes (unless otherwise)
5.I will now ask for your personal details. Please state as per your passport if you are Mr. or Ms. ?   (Here the person is asking your gender as per your passport)State Mr., Ms. (your gender) accordingly
6.What is your passport number?State your passport number
7.What is your full name? Give me your first name and family names?State your name
8.What is your date of birth?State your date of birth
9.Are you applying for yourself or for yourself and a family member?   (Here the person wants you to confirm you will go to the IRP appointment by yourself and have no family members with you)State Yes, that you are registering only yourself.  
10.Are you registering as a student?Yes
11.What is your course start date?State course start date
12.What is your email address?State your email address
*Questions asked may vary
  • Operators are available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday to arrange appointments.
  • Applicants will be required to provide the phone operators with their passport details and a valid email address to arrange an appointment.
  • Applications for first time immigration residence permission registration must be made within 90 days following arrival of the person in the State.

You will receive your appointment date and time by email.

You must bring the following to your appointment in Dublin:

  • Passport
  • Immigration Appointment confirmation email
  • Fully completed IRP Form (You will receive this in your Immigraiton appointment confirmation email)
  • School letter: the school will give you a hardcopy of your school letter at the school reception desk – This letter will be signed, stamped and printed for you). Do not print the electronic version yourself. You will need to get the school letter from reception – signed, stamped and printed)
  • Medical Insurance document (either the school or your agency will give you this)
  • Proof of having €4500
  • Make sure your address in Cork is the same on all documents
  • Immigration will charge you €300 for your IRP card (this must be paid by card and cannot be paid by cash)

Your IRP Card will be posted to your address in Cork.

How to Show Proof of Having €4500

You need to show Immigration that you have access to €4,5000 at first registration (Only applies to some students)

Applies to Non-Embassy application students only: (examples Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Uruguay). You must show you have direct access to €4,500.

Does not apply to Embassy application students: (examples Colombia, China, Peru, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela). This is because the appropriate checks on finance have already been undertaken as part of the visa application process in your home country by the Irish Embassy. This means you DO NOT need to show €4500 in a bank account on registration with Immigration in Cork.

Show that you have access to €4,500 by one of the following:

  1. Show your €4,500 in a foreign bank account (your account at home for example):

    – If you choose this option, you must bring 2 original bank statements from a foreign bank.
    – The first statement must show a balance of €4,500. The statement must less than 1 month old.
    – The second statement must be from the same bank for the past 6 months. It must be no less than 6 months old.
    – Both statements must be for the same account and in your own name, ie the same name as in your passport.
    – You must also show that you have a debit card (for cash withdrawals in Ireland). The debit card must be for the same bank account that has the €4,500.
    – If the student chooses this option and the currency is not in Euro than a printout from a currency converter is required to show the amount in Euro’s on the day of registration.
  2. Show your €4,500 using an Online/Digital Irish Bank Account – ”Money Jar”
    This is a good option if you can electronically transfer funds from one account to another.
  3. Show your €4,500 using a regular Irish Bank Account
    • This is a good option if you have your €4,500 in cash and you cannot electronically transfer €4,500 from one account to another.
    • The AIB Bank on Western Road, Cork is currently opening bank accounts
    • Print regular statement & a mini-bank statement

See full details and steps on how to open an Irish Bank Account further down the page.

Show your €4,500 on pre-paid credit card or debit card
– If you choose this option, you must bring evidence to demonstrate to the registration office that you have a pre-paid credit card(s) or debit card(s) with €4500.

How to Open an Irish Bank Account

A. Open an Online/Digital bank account using” Money Jar”.

  • Download the Money Jar app and create an account.
  • Use this special code 61809 and get free transaction fees for up to 6 months. Type MEI Language Schools in to ‘’employer ‘’ field and input code 61809
  • Type your address in Cork into the address field.
  • You can use the Money Jar account to show proof of having €4,500 if you like. You can make an electronic transfer from one account to a Money Jar account.
  • You cannot lodge cash to a Money Jar account. You can only make online transfers.

B. Open a Regular Irish Bank Account using AIB Bank, Western Road.

Please note AIB are not treating English language students as full-time students but if you apply for a bank account as unemployed on arrival the process is quite fast.

You can start the process online and then finish up by bringing documents to AIB, Western Road.

  • This is a good option if you have your €4500 in cash.
  • The AIB Bank on Western Road, Cork is currently opening bank accounts.
  • The school can issue you a letter for the bank on request. This is slightly different to your official school letter used for Immigration purposes. It must list your address in Cork and your address in your home country.
  • If you follow these steps, you can open an account at AIB, Western Road within 5 business days.


  • Visit AIB website: and follow these instructions:
  • Customer Type: Choose ‘Personal’
  • Is the applicant or at least one of the applicants aged 16 years or over? Choose ‘Yes’
  • Are you looking to open sole or joint account? Choose ‘Sole’
  • Do you reside in ROI? Choose ‘Yes’

The next steps are very important:

  • You must ignore this line:” From the information you gave us, you can open a current account through our app. When you download the app, it’ll take just a few minutes to get you set up. Continue” Opening the current account through the app, is not currently an option for English language students.
  • You must choose:” If you don’t wish to use our app, please ‘click here’ and we will contact you.
  • Do you reside in ROI? Choose ‘Yes’
  • Are you aged 66 or over? Choose ‘No’
  • What is your employment type? Choose ‘Unemployed’
  • Do you hold a current account with AIB or another institution in Republic of Ireland? Choose ‘No’
  • Click continue and then fill in your personal details.
  • Click submit.

Once this is submitted you will receive an email to let you know the bank have received your request to open an account.

The Account Opening Team will then email you the account opening form. You should complete and submit this.

(Make sure when giving your address that it matches the format on the school letter and medical insurance (that it is in the format we normally use in Ireland (house number, street, city, post code etc.).

When the Account Opening Team have opened the new account, they will advise you to call into any AIB branch with your Identification and Proof of Address (School letter, photo id and medical insurance). You should not go to any branch. You should go to AIB, Western Road, only.

The bank will use your documents to activate your account along with Registering you for Online Banking.

Once the account opening process is fully complete you will then receive your Pin and Debit card – this will be sent to your postal address in Cork.

Documents AIB might request:

  • Original School Letter (signed and stamped)
  • Original Bank Letter (signed and stamped)
  • This letter is different to your school letter. It must include your address in Cork, your address abroad and the school AIB bank account number)
  • Medical insurance document with address in Cork
  • Passport
  • Irish mobile number

Applicants residing in Cork will be able to renew their immigration permissions online and will not need to attend the Burgh Quay Registration Office or their local Garda station in person.

Renewal applications can be made at:

The Immigration Service website provides a live processing update for online renewal applications being processed. To ensure an equitable immigration system, applications are processed in the order in which they are received.

Important Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the student to make sure that they are entitled to avail of the option they select taking into account the requirements imposed by the bank or financial institution on opening and operating bank accounts in the State.

If the Garda/GNIB official is happy with all documents supplied they will grant permission to remain, stamp your passport with a stamp and give you details of how to get your Irish Residence Permit (IRP). The registration will be for 8 months and will be renewable 2 times, up to a maximum of 3 periods. The cost of this per registration is €300.

Your IRP card will be posted to your address in Cork.

Attendance Guidelines

An attendance rate of 85% is required.

  • A register is taken before and after the break each day and attendance is calculated on the basis of both registers. Students who arrive more than 10 minutes late for class or leave more than 10 minutes early from class in either period will be marked absent for that period.
  • You will receive a verbal warning from the Director of Studies if your projected attendance reaches 95%. 
  • A First Letter of Warning is issued if your projected attendance percentage reaches 92%.
  • A Second Letter of Warning will be issued if your projected attendance reaches 88%.
  • In cases of illness, please provide the school with a medical certificate. This will not affect your attendance

Final Exam Requirements

You are obliged by Immigration to take the end  of course exam (TIE or IELTS) which you selected when booking your course. 

How to Make a Holiday Request

  • Students studying on courses of 25 weeks or longer may , by prior agreement with the school, take holidays of up to a maximum of 2 weeks (10 working days plus two weekends).
  • You are entitled to take:
    – 1 week holiday after the first 4 weeks of study
    – 2 weeks holiday after 6 weeks of study
  • All holidays must be taken over the duration of a full week, that is, starting on a Monday and finishing on a Friday.
  • Please note that your course end date will be extended by 2 weeks when you take 2 weeks’ holiday as your visa requirement is that you must complete 25 weeks of study in total.
  • Holiday request forms are available at the school reception.
  • Please do not make travel arrangements until you receive confirmation that your holiday is approved.

School Closure Dates

As well as weekends the school will be closed on the following public holiday dates:

Public Holidays 2024:

5th February, March 18, 01 April, 06 May, 03 June, 05 August, 28 October.

Christmas period closure dates: 21 December 2024 to 05 January 2025.

Public Holidays 2025:

3rd February, March 17, 21 April, 05 May, 02 June, 04 August, 27 October.

Christmas period closure dates: 22 December 2025 to 04 January 2026.

TFI Leap Card

TFI Leap Card is up to 30% cheaper than cash single fares. You can travel on Cok City Bus Éireann services and selected others like the Cobh Connect, for as little as:

  • €1.35 a journey with a TFI Adult Leap Card
  • €0.65 a journey with a TFI Young Adult (23 years or younger) or Student Leap Card (must be studying for at least 6 months).

Adult Leap Card (for as little as €1.35 per journey)

Available to all adults at most Centra shops and the bus station at a cost of €5.00. The card can be topped up with credit like a mobile phone. When you are finished with the card you can return it and get a refund.

Young Adult ( 23 years or younger) or Student Leap Card (for as little as €0.65 per journey)

Apply Online

  • Anyone aged 25 and younger can get a discount bus card – and the card will be posted to their address in Cork.
  • If you are 26 or older and registered on a course of 6 months or more you can apply for a student discount bus card but must visit UCC to collect your card.
  • Complete the online application before you go to the office. Apply Online Here.

Student Leap Card Collection Point:

  • UCC SU Office reception, beside the Common Room in UCC (54 College Road, Cork City)
  • Open: Mon-Fri 10-1 and 2-4
  • No appointment necessary
  • Bring your Cork English Academy student card, school letter and a photo ID (passport).

Useful Contact Information

Cork English Academy

Point of contact:

Information Sources