A new Information Technology system is being introduced in the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) including the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC), the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT) and the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA).

What will be the benefits of the new system?

The Department of Justice has advised that under this new system, when applicants or their representatives seek up-to-date information on individual cases from the Department of Justice, by providing a single reference point, the new system will allow the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service to be more efficient in associating queries with individual applications and in directing queries to the relevant processing areas. This will simplify the process of checking the status of cases and lead to improvements in the way the  Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service handles such queries. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service hopes that it will enable the most up to date information to be available to case workers and decision makers in a more structured way thus improving efficiency and effectiveness.

What will this mean for applicants?

One of the changes that the system will bring for customers is the replacement of the existing file numbering system (i.e. 69/ number for asylum and immigration cases and 68/ number for citizenship cases) with a new single Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service approach to case numbering.  The new numbers will be issued to both existing and new applicants.

The new system includes two types of identity or reference number:

A Person Identity Number

Application Reference Number(s).

The Person Identity Number will be in the format of a number followed by the year – the “year” being based on the first application lodged to INIS (e.g.: 643756-07).

The Application Reference Number(s) will include a number, information regarding each application type, and the year the application was made (e.g.: 1002579-CITZ-11 – for a Citizenship application).

Existing applicants and their cases will be assigned both a new Person Identity Number and a new Application Reference Number.

Letters issuing from INIS will continue to include existing file reference numbers in addition to the new reference numbers to ensure a smooth transition. While the existing file reference numbers (i.e. 69/ and 68/numbers) will be included as a cross reference for older cases, these will gradually cease to be used over a period of time.

New applicants will be allocated a Person Identity Number and/or an Application Reference Number. They will not be allocated an old “69/” or “68/” number.

The existing reference numbering system for visa applications is not being changed

Sinnott Solicitors Immigration division