472. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice if she has plans to increase staff levels at the Burgh Quay Registration Office to help speed up appointments for persons that have been trying for months to get an appointment for a stamp 4 visa; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57168/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): My Department consistently works in partnership with the Public Appointments Service to ensure optimum staffing levels across the Immigration Service Delivery function and continuously reviews staffing levels to ensure that each area is adequately and efficiently resourced. Regarding the Registration Office in particular, a number of additional measures have been put in place to help clear the backlog, and to process appointments efficiently.
Staff in the Registration Office have been working extra hours, including at weekends, to meet the demand for first-time registrations, renewal of permissions, and re-entry visas for minors. The public office in Burgh Quay is now open from 08:00 to 20:30 to provide assistance to customers who wish to register.
Public health guidance currently determines the number of appointments that can be facilitated each day, while maintaining safe levels in the public office. Currently, almost 1,000 customers are being registered every week. Our staff continue to engage with stakeholders to understand how their needs can best be met. Since the introduction of a new online system for the renewal of permissions for Dublin-based customers in July 2020, over 98,000 applications have been processed. a
My officials and I continue to explore new ways of processing applications in a timely and efficient manner, improving service to our customers, and reducing waiting times.