Petition calls for re-entry visa system to be scrapped
2019-01-01 12:09:43 -
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By Juliette Chantitch

 

Changes to the process of applying for re-entry visas in Ireland have prompted an online petition that has gained more than 2,700 signatures as of the beginning of the year.

The petition was launched by Yuva Ireland, an initiative to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among young Indians in Ireland, after it emerged that a number of immigrants were rendered unable to visit their families over Christmas because of the new system.

Since 3 September the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service only receives applications for re-entry visas via registered post, and applicants must allow some six weeks prior to travel to receive their documents.

Those planning to travel out of Ireland for the Christmas and New Year period were expected to have submitted their paperwork by Friday 9 November, as per a notice on the INIS website at the time.

Re-entry visas are required for short visits outside of Ireland for those with leave to remain in Ireland beyond 90 days and who are not also visa-required nationals.

The short notice, as well as claims of unexpected delays in processing, left many Indians in Ireland in the lurch over the holidays, says local peace commissioner and Yuva Ireland representative Shashank Chakerwarti.

“This change shows utter disregard and demonstrates an autocratic attitude towards immigrants in Ireland with little or no rights to even challenge such changes. It fails miserably to take into consideration an emergency situation faced by someone. This system needs to be abolished,” he said.

Yuva Ireland’s online petition to Minister of State for Equality David Stanton is fast approaching its goal of 3,000 signatures, and it will shortly host a public consultation in Dublin on 22 January.

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