Visa Hopefuls Receive Frosty Welcome - Why is this necessary in 2014?

Date:

We think its a disgrace that people are being to forced to queue in freezing temperatures overnight at the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin.



We met up with a North American student to ask her why this was happening and how we could help.

Q. Why are people queuing over night on Burgh Quay in the middle of winter?
A. There are 39,000 international students at present in Ireland, whereas there are only about 7,000 here on work visas (including new applications and renewals). All non-EU students, with a few special programme exceptions must register annually. The queues are huge, so now people are now *queuing overnight*, from 8 pm, until 8 am the next morning. 

It’s appalling to realise that those of us queuing in the freezing cold are amongst the most privileged immigrants in Ireland. This shows the depths of indignity people bear against fortress Europe.
 

Q. How much does this all cost cost?
A.The registration fee differs depending on what country you come from, all start at 300, but some countries require students pay 150e for a multi-entry visa (450e in total). We are also required to purchase insurance that costs at a minimum 120e, and prove we have at least 3000e funds in our bank account in order to meet the minimum requirements for the visa

If your GNIB card is lost or stolen, you must go through the process again and pay 300e again

Q. What can people do to help?
A. Anyone passing Burgh Quay could always drop off a few cups of tea or biscuits--staying warm takes lots of energy and not all of us are young, able bodied people. A friend went with her mother who is a pensioner--they weren't there overnight but still there are loads of people for whom this process is a serious risk to their health.

People can literally ‘walk in our shoes’, that is volunteer an hour or whatever to stand in the place of someone in line so they can get something to eat, wRm up or go to the bathroom!

People can sign and share this petition asking for an online appointment system. We have online appointments for driving licences, for NCTs, why not for visas?

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/GNIB_Overnight_Queues_We_call_on_the_Irish_government_to_bring_an_online_appointment_system/?sIrnMib.

But more than this, we will need a broad range of groups and individuals to put pressure on the government to reform this process (in terms of a temporary measure) and a much larger campaign to abolish it,. This which will require the assistance of Irish/EU citizens taking action in solidarity with us.

An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

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