Introduced by the Irish minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan to coincide with the start of the academic year, it is expected the move will make a difference in the waiting period of visas and free up in-person appointments at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for other people.
“It should lead to an improved experience for international students”
There will be no additional fee for applying online, but students using the new system must have previously registered with INIS and be progressing to the second or later year of a degree course in order to use it.
Students will be able to submit their application and all supporting documentation online, pay the registration fee online and then post their passport to INIS.
According to INIS figures, students made up 55,000 (40%) of registrations of immigration permission to reside in the State in 2018.
“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 immigration services more accessible and user-friendly,” Flanagan said in a statement.
The minister added that for any students outside of the greater Dublin area, registrations will continue to be made in person at their nearest Garda District Office.
Speaking with The PIE News, International Student adviser at University College Dublin Colum Cronin said the new online renewal system is a significant and welcome development.
“It should lead to an improved experience for international students seeking to book a registration appointment at the Burgh Quay registration office,” he said.
“INIS’ ongoing Customer Service Improvements plan is having a notable impact and this is the third positive change we’ve seen in the past few months following the change to spouses/partners of Critical Skills Permit holders and the abolition of re-entry visas.”