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Question

697. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice when the INIS system will reopen for appointments given the website does not indicate the length of time it will be until new applications will be processed only that previously booked applications will be treated first; the other options open to persons currently waiting to obtain their visas given that some have been waiting since October 2020 and are experiencing distress as a result; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9412/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Due to the public health restrictions currently in place under Level 5 of the Government's Framework for Restrictive Measures in Response to Covid-19, the Registration Office in Burgh Quay has been closed since 23 December 2020, until further notice.
To ensure that people do not fall out of permission during the Covid-19 pandemic, six automatic extensions of immigration permissions have been provided, the most recent to 20 April 2021. The renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions attach. This automatic extension applies in the case of the person referred to by the Deputy.
The requirement to register an immigration permission in person, for those living in Dublin, will not arise until the Registration Office reopens in line with the Government’s Roadmap. First time registrations require the taking of biometric information (fingerprints) so it is not possible to do these registrations online.
Customers residing in Dublin, who had appointments cancelled for a first-time registration and who provided a valid email address when making their appointment, will be contacted by the Immigration Service of my Department and given a new appointment date.
Registrations outside of the Dublin area are processed by the Garda National Immigration Bureau through the Garda Station network. Information on the contact details for all the registration offices outside Dublin is available at: https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-communications/news-media/reopening-of-registration-offices.html.
Further updates will be provided on the Immigration Service website when available at: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/COVID-19-updates-and-announcements.