Immigrants and students seeking to study in Ireland have been hit with a 50% increase in the cost of registration with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). The cost according to the GNIB website will rise from €100 to €150. The new fee coincides with the introduction of fingerprinting of international students registered with the GNIB.
Non-EU immigrants pay for work permits (€500 annually), for annual re-entry visas(€100) and for the GNIB card (€100). The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) estimates that the increase could generate an additional €5 million-€10m.
The English Language Schools Association chief executive, Adrian Cummins, said the increased fee will be “put Ireland at a disadvantage when competing internationally”.
Deputy director of the MRCI, Jacqueline Healy said the fee increase is “unacceptable and unjust” on workers and students “many of whom are struggling to support themselves and their families”.
“The existing fee is high, and places an additional burden on migrant workers, who already pay their taxes and numerous other fees. Just a few weeks after the immigration system was shown to have major flaws, Minister Ahern is responding with an increase in fees on immigrants,” she said.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland said a work permit holder in Ireland with a dependent spouse and a child over the age of 16 will now “not only be paying €1,000 for the two-year work permit, but also €450 a year to register with the GNIB”.