Minister Flanagan announces new immigration registration renewal system for 3rd level students



29 July 2019

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today announced a new online system for 3rd level non-EEA students.  This will replace the existing system which currently requires Dublin-based students to present in person at the Burgh Quay Registration Office of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).  The new arrangements will come into effect from 26 August 2019 to coincide with the start of the new academic year.


Minister Flanagan said: “I am delighted to announce the introduction of an online application process which will enable third level students from outside Europe who live in the greater Dublin area to renew their immigration registration with INIS without the need to present in person.  This will benefit over 8,000 students this year and will free up in-person appointments for other customers.”


Up to 8,000 students are expected to use the online renewal system between September and November, saving them time and freeing up in-person appointment slots for other customers.  There will be no additional fee for applying online.  The online renewal system will initially be available to students who live in Dublin.  For anyone outside of the greater Dublin area, registrations will continue to be made in person at your nearest Garda District Office.


The Minister added: “Ireland is home to third level universities and colleges of global standing.  Increasing numbers of international students choose to come to study in Ireland every year.  I am pleased to be able to make their interactions with the immigration services more accessible and user-friendly.”


Third level students who have previously registered with INIS, and who are progressing to the second or later year of a degree course, will be able to renew their immigration permission through a new online application system.  They will be able to submit their application and all supporting documentation online, pay the registration fee online and then post their passport to INIS.  The passport is needed to complete registration as their permission has to be placed in their passport in the form of the relevant immigration stamp.  The updated passport will be stamped and returned by registered post and their Permit card will follow separately also by registered post.


The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will consider extending the system to other categories of customers in line with other reform developments underway under its Customer Service Improvements Plan.  





Note for Editors:


Overall in 2018 a total of 138,400 non-EEA nationals registered their immigration permission to be in the State.  This figure is up 20% on 2017 and covers a wide variety of permissions including persons coming for the purposes of work, business, family reunifications and as students.  Students made up 55,000 (40%) of registrations in 2018.


Registrations for the wider Dublin area are carried out at a single location operated by INIS at its Burgh Quay Offices and last year a total of 83,400 were registered here with the remainder registered at over 75 Garda District Offices through the rest of the country. 


The new arrangements are part of a wider series of reforms under the INIS Customer Service Improvement Plan and the wider Department Transformation programme.  These reforms, for example, will see the much greater use of online applications and payments, a move towards pre-clearance schemes to provide greater certainty to customers before they arrive in the State as well as a series of processing reforms aimed at improving the service to its customers.   


This online application process will be available to students who meet the following criteria:





1. Can I choose not to apply under the new arrangements and still present in person?

No, the new system is specifically put in place to facilitate renewals of permissions for qualifying students so that they do not have to present in person.  This is a major concession to these customers.  It would be unfair on other categories of customers who continue to have to present in person to have their appointments taken by persons for whom specific and more favourable arrangements have been put in place.         


2. I am studying at an English language school – can I apply online for renewal?

No, this scheme is only available for third level students taking a multi-annual degree course.


3. I am finishing a language course and going to third level college in the 2019/2020 academic year.  Can I apply online to renew my Stamp 2?

No, you must register in person in your first year of a course in a third level college or university.  You will be able to renew online from your second and subsequent years of your course.


4. I live in Dublin but at studying in Maynooth – can I apply?

Yes, you can – as long as you live in Dublin you are a customer of INIS.


5. Can I apply before I have registered with my college?

No, you must complete college registration first.  You cannot apply for renewal of your Stamp 2 without proof that you have registered with your college for the 2019/20 academic year. 


6. I have previously held a Stamp 2, but have graduated and am applying for a Stamp 1G – can I apply online?

No, the scheme is for continuing students only, not for students who are changing to a different immigration permission e.g. work permit, graduate employment, etc.


7. I live in Cork, can I apply online for renewal?

No, the scheme is currently available only to customers of INIS, i.e. students who live in Dublin.


8. Do I have to pay an application fee to apply online?

No, there is no additional cost to register using this online scheme.  The standard registration fee will apply and will be payable online.


9. Can I deliver my passport by hand to the INIS offices once I make my on-line application ? 

No.  It will not be possible deliver your passport by hand as it is important that it is tracked.  Accordingly, you are advised to submit the passport by registered post when its receipt in INIS will be recorded and INIS commits to return it by registered post so that again its return can be tracked and you will sign for its return.  In this way, the risk of any error arising is reduced to the absolute minimum.