The recently established online immigration registration site is causing international students distress when applying to register for their immigration certificates.
The new system allows visa applicants to book an hour time slot up to 6 weeks in advance, diminishing the queues outside the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) office and processing applications more efficiently.
This includes a service for international students who require an immigration certificate of registration to study in Ireland for a year.
However, the site has not been without its flaws as it was taken offline multiple times in its first week in operation in early September for essential maintenance.
International third level students are disheartened by the new system and are fearful that without an appointment they will not be allowed back into the country when they return home for Christmas.
Australian chemistry student Georgina Ross talks about her experience of the online system.
“My 90 day stay expires in early December but at the moment there are only appointments available for mid to late December which means I can’t leave the country in this period,” Ross said.
“I think that not having to queue for hours is great but I did want to explore more of Europe during my time here which would have been ideal in December when we get Christmas holidays but now I won’t get the opportunity.”
Ross continues to explain how the whole system could be seen as discouraging for students who want to study for a semester or year abroad.
“It costs me €300 to register which is a lot of money. If I had known about this before I came I would’ve studied in the UK for a year where I know I wouldn’t have to pay anything for up to 6 months of studying there.”
She also highlights how difficult it can be to get in touch with the INIS if she has a problem or wants to cancel or reschedule her appointment.
“If I have a problem I know it’s best to go straight to the office on Burgh Quay to sort it out,” she said.
Image Credit: Laura Horan