28 September, 2015
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of the Department of Justice and Equality are working with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) on measures to address queue management at the Immigration Public Office in Burgh Quay.
Immediate measures include:
- From immediate effect, persons who are students of the colleges listed below and who are registering for the first time or seeking to renew their registrations should not attend at the Public Office. Separate arrangements are being put in place to register students of these colleges later in the autumn and these arrangements will be communicated directly to the colleges and students involved. There is no need for students of these colleges to queue at Burgh Quay and there will be no immigration disadvantage to these students;
- Commencing this Wednesday, new registrations will be dealt with on Monday and Tuesday each week. Wednesday to Friday is reserved for renewal of registrations i.e. for those who have an existing GNIB card;
- Additional staff resources are being deployed to increase the capacity of the Garda National Immigration Bureau to deal with persons seeking to register their immigration status;
- Opening hours are extended to include weekends to deal with the increased volume of persons attending the offices;
- INIS and GNIB staff will be on duty at the Burgh Office from the very early morning to advise persons seeking to register of the new arrangements in place;
- In keeping with the civilianisation of immigration functions programme, work is underway to transfer to INIS the customer service functions, including the registration of immigration permission, currently undertaken by the GNIB;
- An on-line booking system for re-entry visas is being finalised and will be introduced as quickly as possible
It must be emphasised that the nature of the Immigration Registration process is such that a personal presence is required by applicants to provide their personal details, including biometrics to prevent fraud and misrepresentation. This is a standard requirement with Immigration services throughout the world.
Approx 30,000 non EEA students who arrive in the State to take up educational opportunities are required under law to register within 90 days of coming here. The vast majority of these arrive in the autumn and are in addition to the normal workload which is dealt with throughout the year without any difficulties.
The physical nature of the building in Burgh Quay imposes serious limitations on the number of cases that can be registered, fingerprinted and checked in any given day. Use of other buildings for this purpose is not an option because the biometric equipment and elaborate smart card production systems are not mobile and in any event has to be linked up in real-time to the Garda IT systems.
Notwithstanding these limitations, over 100,000 callers to the building are dealt with each year. In order to help deal with the current workload, the building will be open for Registration and related business at weekends when specific groups of persons will be dealt with. The new arrangements will be kept under review and further updates will be published on the Garda website as they arise.
It should be noted however that the GNIB Public Office is open from 8am to 9pm each Monday to Thursday and 8am to 6pm each Friday. The office also remains open through lunchtime. Priority is given in the early morning period for particular categories including those coming here to work or conduct business. This is to minimise the amount of time persons at work are required to be away from their jobs.
Students of the following colleges need not attend the Public Office at Burgh Quay in person as the new arrangements outlined above will apply:
Dublin City University (DCU),
Dublin Institute of Technology and constituent colleges (DIT)
Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI),
Dublin University (Trinity College),
University College Dublin (UCD)