696. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Justice the reason her Department has not succeeded in closing down an online operation (details supplied) that automatically books interview slots with immigration services and then sells on these slots at a €40 charge to migrants with a genuine need for a face-to-face appointment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50738/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): My Department is aware that external third party operations are offering to book appointments for customers in return for payment. This requires customers to give their valuable and sensitive personal details to unregulated bodies and pay unnecessary fees.
I can assure the Deputy that my Department is continually working to establish methods to mitigate against this unregulated practice.
Customers should continue to apply directly for appointments as they become available without charge, through the online appointments system: https://burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie.
A tender has been awarded for a new Immigration Service appointment and scheduling system, which will streamline and further improve the registration process. The new system is expected to be available to customers in November 2021.