September to November are traditionally extremely busy months at the Garda National Immigration Bureau with third level students returning to renew their immigration permission (Stamp 2) for the new academic year.

Prior to the introduction of the GNIB online appointment booking system for immigration registration, it was common to see rows of students queuing from the early hours of the morning, and sometimes overnight outside the GNIB offices in Burgh Quay to secure a ticket to have their immigration permission renewed. 

These scenes have dissipated in recent times following the introduction of the GNIB online appointment booking system. Unfortunately, this system has not worked out as planned with appointment times sometimes being booked up months in advance in addition to unscrupulous individuals using internet bot programmes to block book appointments and then selling them on through the internet and social media channels at a fee.

We are aware of many clients who have in the past spent weeks logging onto the GNIB booking system each morning desperately trying to secure an appointment in order to register and renew immigration permissions, with the traditional back to college months being one of the most difficult times to obtain an appointment.

Yesterday the 29th of July, the Minister for Justice and Equality announced a new system for third level student’s immigration renewals. This scheme is applicable to Dublin based students only who will be attending the GNIB in Burgh Quay for registration. 

From the 26th of August 2019, students will no longer have to present in person at the GNIB in order to renew their permission to remain in the State. An online system will be launched whereby third level students can submit their application to renew their permission to remain together with all required supporting documentation online. 

They will pay the registration fee charge of €300 online and will then send their original passport to the INIS by registered post. The passport will be stamped by the INIS with the relevant immigration permission and returned to the Applicant by post, with their IRP card also being sent to them by post shortly after.

We understand that this scheme may be extended to other categories of immigration permissions in due course.

The scheme is available to third level students who are resident in Dublin only. Students living outside of Dublin will still attend their local immigration office for renewals. 

English language students will continue to present at the GNIB in person for renewals.
Students must register with their college for the 2019/2020 academic year and submit evidence of same, otherwise their application will not be accepted. 

Sinnott Solicitors welcome the introduction of the new online renewal scheme for third level students given that it will potentially free up a large amount of appointment spaces for other categories of non-EEA nationals looking to attend the GNIB for renewals and registrations. We have seen significant problems arising from the online booking system, mainly due the non-availability of appointments which has had a negative impact on some of our client’s immigration status from the point of view of reckonable residency for citizenship applications, renewing permission to work in the State, being unable to travel due and many other issues. 


The Immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors are specialists in all aspects of immigration law. If you have any queries on the new Pre-Clearance Scheme or any matters raised in this article, do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Department today on +353 1 406 2862 or