Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Immigration Support Services
332. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the matter of Garda National Immigration Bureau, GNIB, and-or Irish residence permit, IRP, and visa appointments being sold online by a non-authorised entity; if he or his officials have investigated the matter; if so, the outcome of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2817/20]
MyDepartment is aware of the issues around the securing of appointments for Registration and having identified the problem, introduced a set of software fixes in mid-September 2018 designed to prevent such abuses of the system.
I can advise that the new measures have been successful to date in preventing the block booking of appointments by third party agents. However, I am aware that there are a number of third party agents providing appointment-booking services in return for payment on the basis that the person provides them with their personal details in advance. My Department has consistently advised people against providing their personal and sensitive data to unregulated and unknown third parties.
My Department is aware that some customers are currently experiencing difficulties in making registration appointments and is working intensively to resolve this by maximising opening times including Saturdays and Sundays. It has also introduced measures to enable re-registrations of online applications and by post for third level students and intends to expand this service to other groups.
A tendering process is also underway to develop and introduce a new appointment system for the Registration Office which is being designed to prevent the block-booking of appointments.