ICOS urges Minister to reconsider 100% rise in immigration registration fee due Monday
ICOS Director Sheila Power has today delivered an urgent letter to Minister Shatter urging him to reconsider the doubling of the GNIB Registration Fee to €300 due to take effect from Monday 19th November 2012.
The only publicity for the change was the low-key addition of a sentence at the INIS and GNIB homepages during the week, which ICOS became aware of on Thursday. Our members at college international offices had been similarly left in the dark until that point.
"Who checks the INIS website every day?" asked one frustrated Brazilian student who heard of the change through friends on Facebook and rushed to try and obtain her card this morning. Yet she still missed out on today's quota of tickets to be seen by staff at the office. They were long gone by 8.30am.
Language student Silvia Helena, also from Brazil, told ICOS: "I'm upset because I know that in my country the foreigners are very welcome, and everything is very organised compared to this increase. There are many problems in Brazil, but in relation to foreign students, all is well informed and disclosed. I feel like I have been ripped off 150 euros. I would have done this in advance if I knew the rate increase."
Update December 2012
The official reply from the Minister’s office, while detailed in its justification for the fee increase, does not offer any reassurance that this could not happen again. ICOS members can access copies of the correspondence in the members' area of our website.
ICOS also raised this issue at the December meeting of the High Level Group on International Education and will pursue further with the relevant authorities early in the new year as this fee increase, if it is to be justified at all, must bring some tangible improvement to services.