New Students

Arriving via the Republic of Ireland

Important information for international students planning to enter the UK via the Republic of Ireland.


Short-term students who are non-visa nationals who choose to travel to the UK without applying for a visa/entry clearance before they travel should not enter the UK via the Republic of Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland has a 'Common Travel Area' with the UK. This means there is no immigration presence on arrival in Edinburgh from the Republic of Ireland. As such you cannot apply for the visiting student visa through this route.

If you travel to Edinburgh through the Republic of Ireland, you will receive a ‘tourist’ stamp in your passport upon arrival.

Tourists are not permitted to study and as such the University would not be able to enrol you on your course of study. In this case, you would need to leave the UK to a location outside of the Common Travel Area (Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt for example) to return to the UK and legally apply as a Student Visitor at the airport.

If you have a Tier 4 (General) student visa before travelling, you can travel through the Republic of Ireland.

However please keep copies of your boarding pass and flight tickets for your journey from the Republic of Ireland to Edinburgh.

This can later be used as evidence of your arrival date in the UK.