Last week the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service held an information session on the transfer of the Dublin-based registration function from GNIB to INIS. ASAPI attended along with other Dublin 3rd level institutions. Of special note to ASAPI members:
- At present, this only applies to Dublin. Registration will - for the time being - continue to be carried out by Gardaí in other areas of the country. Immigration control at Dublin Airport will soon be wholly managed by INIS which will hopefully reduce the number of students staying less than 90 days being referred to Burgh Quay.
- The new appointment system - burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie - will be going on line by the end of August, and possibly earlier. There will no longer be a ticketing system or any need to queue. Appointments are “released” six weeks in advance, so there will be rolling availability.
- Prices will remain the same - €300
- The office can be contacted at email@example.com
- The registration team advised marking messages URGENT for exceptional cases - e.g. student leaves the State for a bereavement and won’t be returning to the course until after stamp expiration; assistance with VIPs or visiting faculty, etc. They want to ensure that they respond appropriately to one-off cases but not necessarily create policies for them.
- If you previously arranged a group appointment with GNIB for incoming fall students, it is very likely that INIS are not aware of it. If you are expecting to bring a group of students to register, you should contact them ASAP.
- The INIS team at the meeting sounded amenable to making group appointments as long as they had sufficient (i.e. 4-6 weeks) notice. There was a philosophical discussion about the merits of keeping the new system completely focused on the individual student rather than groups, but INIS expressed a willingness to be flexible, particularly during the transitional period. They are very eager to reduce queuing and delays. At a minimum, they will be willing to give colleges/providers a “heads up” when appointments are about to be released so they can pass this information to students.
- INIS appear eager to work cooperatively with educational providers to ensure that students use the new appointment system and are well prepared for their appointments. Note that there is currently no “NCT retest” option for students who do not come prepared with all their documents - they will have to go back in to the system for a new appointment.
- The INIS are eager to expand a system trialed last year with some private colleges: replacing the college letter with a continuously updated spreadsheet from the college. This will ensure that information is up to date and reduce their considerable paperwork burden. INIS will hold a meeting later in the autumn to begin this process; ASAPI are eager to be involved with this from the earliest stages to ensure the particular needs of study abroad are built in to the system.