Support for International Students, Mature Students, & Minority Groups

International student or international learner is defined as “a person who is not an Irish citizen but is lawfully in the State primarily to receive education and training” (Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, Revised 2014 p. 8).

A mature student is a student who commences study on a course aged 23 years or above.

Whether you are an international student or a mature student, the good news is that ICD is the most culturally diverse higher educational institution in Ireland. What this means specifically is that our students come from over 45 countries around the world (and growing) and a large proportion of our student body are mature students.

ICD’s culture is focused on mutual respect between students and staff. ICD’s staff and student culture does not include or tolerate discrimination on the basis of age, race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability or disability status. Equality in educational access is a foundation stone of ICD’s philosophy to education delivery with, for example, fully accessible facilities for learners who have diverse access requirements (e.g. fully wheelchair accessible facilities [e.g. classrooms, elevator and restrooms]).

Non-Discriminatory Fees Policy

Unfortunately, most colleges in Ireland operate a system of charging considerably higher fees for international students compared to Irish students. ICD completely disagrees with this practice and views it as a form of discrimination against international students.

ICD prides itself on minimising the difference between tuition/registration fees for Irish citizens, EU, and non-EU international students. ICD business school does not participate in price/fees-based discrimination; academic fees are the same for all students irrespective of nationality. The only exception to this are extra fees incurred if a student requires extra assistance in visa applications, from abroad, before arriving in Ireland. Even in those cases, any additional fees will only apply to the student’s first year of study. From their second year of study onwards, they will pay exactly the same fees as all other students at ICD (whether they are Irish, EU, or non-EU students).

Visa Application and Renewal Support

ICD acts as an advocate for international students regarding visa requirements to maximise the potential for all potential students to access a high-quality education. If you require any assistance with visas, please get in touch with Fei or Lusilene in the Student Support Admin Office.

International Students

Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Education in Ireland’ and the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) are key partners where the recruitment, protection, and pastoral care of international students are concerned.

We are very proud of our ICD students who participate in the Education in Ireland International Student Ambassador Programme.

Promoting and Protecting Student Equality

ICD’s approach to equality and respect is of paramount concern from a student protection perspective. In the interest of student protection and welfare, ICD has a policy on student complaints (about staff, other students, or any other issues), a policy on non-academic general student misconduct, and sanctions and procedures relating to same detailed elsewhere in the Student Handbook and in the ICD Quality Assurance Policy. ICD also encourages students to report any instances of bullying or harassment, which will be dealt with by the disciplinary committee where necessary.

The day-to-day running of courses also emphasises equality through a focus on students meeting deadlines for assigned coursework. ICD does not offer informal flexible deadlines for individual students because such practice is counter to treating all learners equally (extenuating circumstances are allowed of course [as are reasonable accommodations for special learner needs], but, also, all students have equal access to extenuating circumstances extensions
[and/or reasonable accommodations for special learner needs] where required).

Information about Visas and Immigration Services

The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and the Irish National Immigration Service (INIS) manage visa applications and queries in Ireland. If you are an International Student, an asylum seeker, have a question or application regarding citizenship, immigration or visas, you should contact INIS or the GNIB

Contact information for INIS/GNIB are as follows:

Email: Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS):
Postal address:
Garda National Immigration Bureau (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service) 13-14 Burgh Quay,
Dublin 2,

Telephone: +353 1 666 9130

Student permission section of INIS
Residence Division (Unit 1)
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
Department of Justice and Equality
13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
D02 XK70



Include documentary evidence for any statements you make when contacting INIS.

ICD’s Knowledgeable Staff are here to Help!

Given ICD’s large population of International Students, we have extensive experience in helping and supporting students in their applications for visas or citizenship and we are delighted to help you in any way we can. All you need to do is drop into the student services and admin office and ask for Lusilene or Fei. Lusilene (from Brazil) and Fei (from China) were both international students in recent years and will give you all the support you need. Our Registrar (Joyce) is also from China and has also studied in Ireland as an international student. Our combined personal experience and knowledge of the immigration and visas system is at your disposal. We are here to help!

Below is some information to help you.

Registering with INIS / GNIB: Citizens from EU/EEA
countries (and Switzerland)

It is not necessary for students from these countries to register with the immigration authorities in Ireland.

Registering with INIS / GNIB: Citizens from outside the EU

If you are a non-Irish national, not a citizen of an EU/EEA country, not a citizen of Switzerland, you must register in person with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and INIS. After successful registration and visa approval, the GNIB/INIS will issue you with a residence permit
(GNIB/INIS card). There are fees relating to visa applications.

Online Renewing Visas or Residency Permit

For ICD students who have previously registered with INIS and who are looking to renew their visa or residency permit, this can now be done through an online renewals system, launched by INIS during the summer of 2019. It is located here:

Currently the online system for renewals is only open to residents of Dublin (students who live in Dublin).

What information INIS will look for you to provide them with

    • A valid passport
    • Valid student card
    • Evidence of financial support. Here are some examples:
      • Bank statement
      • Letter of guarantee from a parent or guardian indicating availability of financial support
      • Letter from a sponsor
    • A letter from ICD specifying your status and course registration details (e.g. fees)
    • Documentary evidence of your course results/grades
    • Evidence of private health insurance

The need to register early

INIS notified ICD during the summer of 2019 that the waiting list at that time for appointments was about six weeks. Please make sure you plan ahead and do not contact INIS at the last minute. Applications will also take a number of weeks to be fully processed by INIS in many cases.

For more information, please take a look at our student handbook: See Student Handbook