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Immigrants and foreign students face 50% fee hike

Resource type: News

Irish Examiner |

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). A notice has appeared on the GNIB website, announcing that the new registration fee is now EUR150, up from the EUR100 fee introduced in 2006. The new fee coincides with the introduction of fingerprinting of international students registered with the GNIB. Non-EU immigrants pay for work permits (EUR5OO annually), for annual re-entry visas (EUR100) and for the GNIB card (EUR100). Non-EU students also pay millions each year to third level institutions in tuition fees. The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) estimates that the increase could generate an additional EUR5 million-EURlom. Amongst immigrant support services, there has been widespread criticism of the 50% hike. The English Language Schools Association chief executive, Adrian Cummins, said the increased fee will “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 Imrnigrant 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 EUR1,000 for the two-year work permit, but also EUR450 year to register with the college.