According to a report published by the Irish Times, more than 100 foreign nationals queued outside the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (Inis) in Dublin on Thursday, 11 August, hoping to secure an Irish work permit or study visa. The queue for the Inis office on Burgh Quay stretched around the block as people waited for doors to open at 8am.
Irish Times reporter, Sorcha Pollak, was on site and conducted a series of video interviews with those waiting in line. Many had camped overnight to secure a prime spot in the queue, while others turned up in the early hours of Thursday morning. Ukrainian couple, Iryna Chukin and her husband Vyacheslav said that they left home at 5am.
Mrs Chukin said: “We have small kids so we had to find a nanny and the money to pay her. We couldn’t take them with us, you can imagine how difficult it is. I don’t know how people do this in the winter. It’s cold enough today and it’s August.”
Demand for Irish Visas high as students start studies in September
The lengthy queues outside the Inis office have become a regular feature, particularly in August as a flurry of students arriving in Ireland are set to begin their studies in September. Many arrive early to receive one of the limited number of visa application tickets available.
Students Bruna Fernanges and Jessica Rodrigues from Brazil said: “We joined the queue at 3.30am. This is our third year doing this. We’re renewing our student visas, we have to do it every year. We’re here four hours already and we’re very cold.”
In a bid to tackle lengthy queues, the Inis announced a new electronic appointment system on its website back in July. The system was expected to launch in August ready to provide appointments for early September.
A statement on the Inis website said: “When the new system launches, the existing early morning ticketing system at the Burgh Quay office, which also houses the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), will end. Future appointments will have to be scheduled via the website. It will no longer be possible to make an appointment by queuing at the office.”
The Inis announcement of its new online appointment system comes after the implementation of its digital system for re-entry visa appointments in November 2015. According to Ireland’s Department of Justice, the number of people seeking to register for a visa tends to double between September and November.
It’s estimated that 100,000 applicants attend appointments at the Burgh Quay office in Dublin every year, making it one of the busiest offices in Ireland. A statement from the Department of Justice said: “The new online registration system will eliminate the need for queuing as appointments will offered in one hour time slots.”
The Department went on to advise that foreign nationals seeking to renew their registration need to do so within two weeks of the expiry date of their GNIB card – an immigration certificate of registration issued to non-EEA nationals.
Foreign nationals frustrated by queuing system for employment permit
Several foreign nationals queuing for an Irish empoloyment permit or student visa expressed their frustration at the current system. South African national, Kim Childs, who was also attending the Burgh Quay office for the third year in a row, said: “It’s about time the office introduced an online appointment system.”
She added: “We live in 2016 so surely there should be a way you can apply online. This queue is only the half of it because when you get inside you have to wait longer. You could easily be waiting four to five hours in there.”
Mrs Childs’ husband, Richard, who is an Irish national and joined his wife for the wait, said: “We both had to take a day off work to renew my wife’s visa. It is typical old school Irish not getting with the times and not putting a system in place. It’s so simple. We’re all freezing our asses off queuing for this visa.”
Interest in Irish immigration increasing
Workpermit.com 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.