New Irish Work Visa System was Taken Offline after ‘High Volume’ Traffic Levels

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A new online appointment system introduced by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service had been pulled offline after experiencing high volume traffic levels. The new system, which went live on Thursday, 8 September, 2016, aims to end the long queues, which occur at the immigration registration office on Burgh Quay, Dublin.  We understand that it is now operational.

In August reported that hundreds of people were seen queuing on Burgh Quay, hoping to secure an Irish work visa or study visa. The report contained details of the new system, which operates on a ‘just in time’ basis and removes the need for visa applicants to queue or arrive at the immigration registration office before an appointment.

However, the online system lasted just 24 hours, unable to ‘cope with demand’ according to Ireland’s Department of Justice. The government department said: “To ensure it remains responsive at such high levels of demand, it’s now being reinforced to maintain performance. To make this change, it must be taken offline temporarily and we apologise for this.”

Registration of non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizens

The Burgh Quay office handles the registration of non-European Economic Area (EEA) migrants living in Dublin and the county area.  Responsibilities for this were moved from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) during the summer.

According to recent figures released by INIS, 115,000 non-EEA nationals had been granted permission to live in Ireland by the end of 2015. It’s understood that the Burgh Quay office processed more than 75,000 of these applications, including Irish work visa filings.

The new system allows applicants to log on and make an appointment for a one hour time slot, from September 15th. The previous queuing system at the Burgh Quay office is no longer operational.

New Immigration online booking system welcomed

Brian Killoran, the chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, welcomed the new online system. He said: “We are delighted the online appointment booking system is now operational, as we have been making calls for such a system for years. For far too long, people in need of work, study or re-entry visas have had to queue for hours on end to get an appointment at Burgh Quay.”

“The system will alleviate the inconvenience caused by the previous queuing methods. We welcome the new system and we would like to see a similar system being rolled out to all GNIB offices nationwide,” Killoran added.

Moving the registration function to INIS, combined with the introduction of the new online appointment booking system, form part of wider strategic plans to improve immigration services in Ireland.

The Department of Justice stated: “The wider agenda includes the major programme of civilianisation of front-line port of entry immigration functions which commenced with Terminal 1, Dublin Airport last year.”

“This will be extended to Terminal 2 later this year by which time over 120 civilian staff will be deployed at the airport giving rise to the release of an equivalent number of Garda resources for operational duties,” the department added.

Interest in Irish immigration increasing is receiving increasing interest in Ireland as an immigration option. If you have a contract or employment in Ireland, this may be worth considering. For many it is difficult to gain entry or leave to remain in the UK.

In the UK fewer people now qualify for indefinite leave to remain. The UK Government is likely to take even more steps in future to restrict Tier 2 visas. The Tier 2 work visa is one of the few options left for work-based entry to the UK.

If you are a highly skilled worker with good qualifications and experience then we may be able to come up with an immigration route for Ireland.

For more information on immigration to Ireland, call the London office on 0344 991 9222.