Dear Mentor:

How do I get a visa for an academic visit to Ireland?

I am a prospective student aiming to study in Ireland in September 2001. I have just got a letter of invitation from the college for interview. How do I start applying for a visa? The interview is due May 25 but I am asking the college to change the date due to visa and my exams. I will really like to hear from you please. Thank you for your collaboration.

Going Green, Cameroon

Dear Going Green:

First of all, congratulations and best wishes for your new adventure!

While the visa process varies somewhat in detail across countries, the overall approach is roughly the same. Your school should offer you guidance on obtaining the requisite visa. Typically, with documentation from your school, detailing the need for your travel, should be sufficient to get started. You should contact the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate to obtain the appropriate visa. They would outline the specific process, which typically involves filling out some forms and providing the required documentation. The process would also typically involve an in-person interview with Irish officials. Although the process is outlined, the Irish officials on the ground in Cameroon have the final authority on how to proceed for each specific case. If the nearest Irish embassy is too far away from you, the next best approach would be to go to the website for Irish embassies, Department of Foreign Affairs, and send them an email with your questions.

We are not sure if this interview is a part of the selection process for the school in Ireland. If so, you may wish to request the school official for a telephone interview instead. If they agree, this may save you a lot of money and time.

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