If you’re studying in Ireland for more than 90 days, you’ll need to register with Irish Immigration Authorities, known as INIS. While this can seem intimidating, it’s not difficult if you know what to do. Here are the tips that helped my appointment go smoothly.
Make an appointment well in advance
I made my appointment about two and a half months before the appointment actually happened, and I still got one of the only spots left on the INIS website. Appointments are limited and can only be made on the INIS website, so make sure you get your appointment early.
Read the INIS website thoroughly so you know exactly what to bring
INIS has very specific requirements about what you need to bring to your appointment. Read the list carefully at least a couple weeks in advance of your appointment so you have time to get all the required documents.
Bring all the required materials with you to your appointment, ESPECIALLY YOUR PASSPORT
This may seem obvious, but you need all the materials with you at your appointment, especially your passport. There’s a chance they won’t look at some of the smaller pieces of material, but without your passport you cannot proceed with the appointment.
Don’t show up early or late
It seems like being early to your appointment would be a good thing, but there are so many people who all have very specific appointment times, that all being early does is clog the system and create a longer wait time for everyone. Also, it should go without saying, but don’t be late. It has the same effects as being early, but they also might not let you in. There is a Starbucks right next door. I would suggest being early, waiting there, and going into the office at the time of your appointment.
At my appointment, I got through both steps (first they take your passport and documents, then you wait to be fingerprinted, and then you wait to get your passport back and are done) within an hour and a half. I thought I’d get lucky and be done within two hours instead of the six hours that it took for some of my friends, but instead I waited almost another three hours just to get my passport back. It’s incredibly difficult to wait for that long, but it takes so much pressure off when the appointment is over.
Bring something to do while you wait
The INIS office has horrible service and no wifi, so I’d suggest bringing a book or downloading shows on your phone. It can be an excruciating few hours if you’re stuck with nothing to do.