Online system for immigration registration announced

19 Jul 16

IRELAND

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Ireland has announced that it will move to an online booking system for immigration registration this fall.

What does the change mean? Non-EEA nationals required to register with immigration within three months of arriving in Ireland will be able to book an appointment online for a time that is convenient for them without having to queue for appointment tickets. 

  • Implementation time frame: The system is due to be launched this fall.  
  • Who is affected: Non-EEA nationals required to register with immigration authorities in Ireland.
  • Impact on processing times: The change should save affected non-EEA nationals time because they will not have to wait in queues for appointment tickets.
  • Business impact: Businesses will also see a benefit, as their employees will require less time out of the office to register. Although authorities currently have extended opening hours outside of business hours, many non-EEA nationals still miss time at work in order to complete the procedure due to lengthy queues and waiting times. The online appointment system will alleviate this inconvenience.
  • Next steps: BAL will monitor the rollout of the new system and will update clients with important information, including any announcement of a date when the system will be launched. 

Background: Non-EEA nationals who arrive in Ireland with the intention of staying more than three months must register with an immigration officer and obtain a certificate of registration (registration card). For those in Dublin, this process involves registering at the  Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) offices in Burgh Quay, and for those outside Dublin, it involves contacting local GNIB station. Wait times for appointments can be long and applicants often have to queue for significant periods of time.

The introduction of the online appointment system is anticipated in conjunction with the transition of responsibility for the registration process from the GNIB to the Irish Immigration and Naturalisation Service. INIS already has responsibility for the entry visa and re-entry visa elements of the immigration process, and introduced an online appointment system for re-entry visa applications in Ireland last year after similar queueing issues. The new online system for immigration registration will allow non-EEA nationals in need of a registration card to select an appointment time that works with their schedule without waiting in queues or having to spent significant periods of time out of the office during business hours.

BAL Analysis: BAL has been lobbying for this change for some time and the announcement is welcome news. The online system will make registering with immigration authorities less burdensome. The system is not yet available, however, and BAL will provide an update to clients when a firm implementation date is announced.  

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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