533. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice if her attention has been drawn to reports that appointments with the Garda National Immigration Bureau are being booked and sold online by a non-authorised entity; the steps her Department has taken to investigate this matter since it was raised in a parliamentary question (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48177/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): My Department is aware that there have been issues in the past around the securing of registration appointments and has continually introduce software fixes designed to prevent such abuses of the system. These new measures have been partly successful in preventing the block booking of appointments by third party agents.
However, some third party agents continue to provide appointment booking services in return for payment on the basis that the person provides them with their personal details in advance. My Department strongly advises against this practice of providing sensitive and personal data to unregulated and unknown third parties.
Customers should continue to apply directly for appointments as they become available without charge, through the online appointments system: www.burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie
A new Immigration Service appointment and scheduling system, which will streamline and further improve the registration process, is currently being developed and is expected to be available to customers in November 2021.