The Queue Of Shame


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Burgh Quay, Dublin

Applicants waiting to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

James writes:

“According to GNIB staff this has been going on for a few weeks now (peak student registration time) and they say that people are queuing from 3am (!)  in order to get in line for a ticket (of which there are only 200 per day). Then they usually have to wait the entire day again in order to be seen. Apparently (and this bit is just second hand) the GNIB are refusing to introduce any kind of appointment system this year…”


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39 thoughts on “The Queue Of Shame

  1. Small Wonder

    300 euro?!! What a con!

    Why do we insist on treating our visitors like they are steaming piles of sh1t?

    1. Ernie Ball

      More like 20 years. I immigrated here 20 years ago and had to endure this humiliation annually until I finally was able to apply for naturalisation. The attitude among the immigrants cueing up was always one of solidarity and shoulder shrugging at the inability of the Irish state to get it together. Obviously as non-voters we were always a low priority. Plus ca change.

      1. jeremy kyle

        “shoulder shrugging at the inability of the Irish state to get it together”

        Solid preparation for life as an Irish citizen.

  2. narkiek

    ‘non-nationals’ is an awful, awful term . People queuing to register with the GNIB. PEOPLE.

    Unless Michael McDowell is writing Broadsheet posts?

    1. wearnicehats

      Non-EEA Nationals who wish to stay for more than 3 months is really the correct term. I don’t see the problem. I’ve worked in several non-EEA countries and they all required work permits that cost money and which had to be applied for.

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        Its not the applying that the problem – its the making people queue from 3am in the hopes of getting a ticket rather than being able to make an appointment at a given time and date like a competent adult

  3. torturedgardener

    The charge in the Netherlands is over €700

    The issue isn’t so much the charge (though the fact that it doubled from €150 to €300 with no consultation and only 4 days notification was unethical) but the nonexistent service, if applications and renewals were dealt with in a timely manner I think most of those registering would be ok with paying.

    And as Sparky points out it’s been this way for years; non EU previously had to register at the Garda Office on Harcourt Street and had to queue overnight and deal with the drunk people going into and out of the clubs up there. Things improved for a couple of years when the office on Burgh Quay would open on Saturdays so students could register but that service is no longer offered.

    1. Ernie Ball

      Yes. The worsening situation is collateral damage from the ongoing war on the Public Sector and the insistence that Ireland’s (very low, by European standards) tax rates must not be increased and all adjustment is to take the form of spending cuts.

      You get what you pay for and Ireland would rather not impede the ability of its wealthy to buy a new German luxury car every year for the sake a few immigrants (or schoolkids or sick people, etc.).

  4. pmc

    This doesn’t justify the situation at all, but Ireland is by no means alone with this. Here in Brussels, there is long-running amusement at pretty much the same situation and the inability of the Belgians to get it together. Also, rude unfriendly staff are par for the course for anyone who is (un?)lucky enough to get one of the 200 tickets after queuing for hours every morning.

  5. Dee

    Enterprising Chinese students used to queue up overnight for a fee and then the actual student needing the visa would arrive to take their place.

    torturedgardener – spot on!

  6. Odis

    Its down to the Guards who are running it, the interviews take some time, and you can end up queueing all day and still not seeing someone, when the officer knocks off to go home. So everyone turns up, hoping to be seen.

    Its much better where you get an organised guard who issues you with an appointment over the phone.

  7. Ernie Ball

    Another issue is this business of issuing one-year visas. I was hired here to a permanent job and clearly had the intention to stay long-term. But I dutifully had to traipse down to the GNIB every year to renew my visa. You’d think the Irish, of all people, might’ve heard of this thing called a “Green Card”? You’d cut the cues way down if most people weren’t forced to go through this nonsense annually.

    1. Delacaravanio

      And your point is? Is it OK to not have a competent public service because the French don’t have one either?

    1. Totoro

      Actually it’s horrible, I accompanied my ex-boyfriend once. You’re there from the middle of the night to get a ticket, you wait in the office all day and then at closing time you can be sent home to do the same thing again the next day – and the staff are appallingly rude.

      I have students here in my college who have had to take 3 and 4 consecutive days off because they’ve queued all night and haven’t been able to see anyone.

  8. Kav

    The big problem is that the GNIB used to not process students visa’s but they do now. So they get person over over studying in those mickey mouse language schools.

  9. Sinabhfuil

    The fact that it happens in other countries makes it right, does it? I hadn’t known that was a thing.

    1. pmc

      Jesus wept. Get off your high horse. Of course that’s not what anyone here is saying. God forbid anyone should try to bring some context or personal experience into a comment forum on a random website.

  10. Totoro

    The queue was actually even longer than it appears in those picture, when I passed this morning at 8:20 it was past the entrance to Jaffa Deli, meaning the end of the queue was …..almost outside the front door of the GNIB… I took a picture, but I didn’t send it in…meh.

  11. Selfie Sensation

    Some years agao I worked for a study abroad programme that brought students from the US to Ireland for a semester. they had to register with the GNIB We would be given group appointments which would allow us to have all our students seen in a couple of hours. The place was a mess, there was no indication where to queue or what queue for or what even was a queue. If you stood still for more than a few seconds a queue would form behind you.

    Its worth noting that the appointment system wasn’t really a system at all, we would tell the GNIB we were coming in advance and when we got there I would speak to someone and either be given a load of tickets or told one window was for our use only. I was always told not to let any of the other poor punters know what was going on as there would be a riot. Seems now its just a total free for all, I can’t even imagine what this year’s Americans think of it all.

  12. Mick

    I had to queue like this in a foreign country while trying to get my papers, on about 7 occassions before I even got into the office. Don´t like it? Simple, don´t queue and go home. This happens in tons of countries, nothing new here.

  13. Starina

    crikey. thank god i got my citizenship. i don’t remember the queues being outside the building 5 years ago.

Comments are closed.

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