The following information is relevant for EU citizens or non-EU citizens who are already resident in the EU. Another briefing page is provided for international students seeking scholarship funding.
Do I qualify for free fees in Ireland?
Ireland currently operates a system of free undergraduate fees for EU nationals who meet certain criteria. Those with official refugee status and EEA/Swiss nationals with long-term residency in the EU may also qualify. The free fees scheme does not apply to any postgraduate courses. Courses in Northern Ireland and in private colleges in the Republic of Ireland are also excluded. » More information
Where free fees do not apply, students must pay either the EU or non-EU rate. Since this can be determined by residence as well as nationality, non-EU nationals may qualify for the EU fee rate in some circumstances.
Must I pay EU or non-EU tuition fees for Higher Education?
According to the Irish Department of Education, you will be considered an EU student for fee purposes if you are an EU national (i.e. if you hold an EU Passport or Birth Certificate) who is not eligible for free fees (see above) and if you have been living in the EU as a tax resident for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding your entry to the course.
Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals who have been tax resident in the EU are also eligible for EU fees if they have been living in the EU for at least 3 of the 5 years preceding the course. Residency for the purpose of education is excluded. If you enter a course as a non-EU student this will be your status for the duration of the course.
As third level institutions have different policies regarding fee rates, you should contact the colleges you are interested in studying at for further details.
More information: Third Level Student Fees - briefing from the Citzens' Information website
Do the same rules apply for Further Education?
No. Qualification through residency is not applied. Persons falling into the following categories must be treated in the same way as Irish nationals for fee purposes when undertaking Post Leaving Certificate courses in Colleges of Further Education:
All other categories of student must pay the full economic fee.
Can I get a grant to study in Ireland?
Ireland operates a centralised student grants scheme for higher education. You should visit studentfinance.ie where you can check if you meet eligibility criteria and make an online application.
More information: Higher Education Grants Scheme - briefing from the Citizens' Information website
Last updated: January 2016