By UL International Student Ambassador Xiaoyu Lin
Some of you may be planning your winter holiday trip, and part of this for international students may mean having to apply for a traveling visa (usually is the short-stay visa) if they want to visit other countries outside Ireland.
When you leave Ireland, you will need a re-entry visa (€60) to get back into the country. If you think you might plan a second trip away, it is better value to get the multiple re-entry visa (€100). The multiple entry visa only requires the details of your first trip out of Ireland, so this can be a handy visa to have for last minute trips. With flights around Europe on Ryanair from €10 each way, this is often a good option. The Irish Immigration form for re-entry/Multiple-Entry can be downloaded here. Read more on the Irish Immigration Website. You will also need a letter from the University stating where you are going and your dates of travel, you can request this letter from the University here. Students who did not require a visa to enter the country to begin with, do not need a re-entry visa. So if you did not need a visa to come to Ireland, you can skip this step!
Here are some more tips for you:
Now that you have your visa sorted for coming back into Ireland, it is always important to find out for sure whether or not you need a visa for your destination. You can find the details on the embassy website of the country you are travelling to. If you are required to apply for a visa, there are some significant documents required.
Almost all the applications require a completed application form, which you can download from the countries website, and one maybe two passport-size photos. Different countries have different size requirement for the photo, there is a photo studio in the Limerick city center, just near Boots, also, it is accessible to get the passport photo in the pharmacy. If you are on campus, you can also get passport photos from the Students Union. Apart from these, some certificates are also essential. One is the financial proof, which is usually a full bank statement. Although embassies will not provide you the exact amount of money you should have in your bank account, 2000-3000 euros may guarantee your application, additionally, some of the embassies have strict requirements to the validity period of the bank statement. So it will be better if you make an appointment for your bank statement a week before you plan to visit the embassy. The second certificate you need is the letter from UL International Office, you can visit the UL letter request website and collect the letter the next working day after 4pm in the International Office.
Moreover, flight tickets especially the return ticket should be showed to the embassies to prove you will be back after your trip.
Some of the countries will require a very detailed travel itinerary and you should submit it in their required format, like the Japanese Embassy. In the itinerary, you should list the dates, places your are going to visit, hotels or hostels you are going to stay in (confirmation letter should be printed and submitted), and what kind of transportation you plan to use.
For Schengen countries applications, if you plan to visit more than one country for your trip, which embassy you should submit your documents depends on two factors:
- If you plan to stay in each country for the same days, you should go to the embassy of the first country you are going to enter the Schengen zone.
- If the duration in each country is not the same, you should visit the embassy of the country in which you will stay for longer time.
If you have any questions,don’t forget to contact the embassy by phone or e-mail, it will always better to visit the official website! Best luck to all the application!
For cheap flights around Europe your best bets are http://www.skyscanner.ie & http://www.ryanair.ie. On skyscanner you can search for cheap flights to anywhere within a particular month. You can often get a €15 flight to Barcelona or a €9.99 to London. Happy travels!