All non-EU people living in Ireland know how infamous the registration in GNIB is. Basically, one need to queue outside the buidling at 6~7 A.M. (and there's some people get there at 3 A.M.), then get a ticket when its door finally opens. In a peak season like recently, tickets run out at as early as 8:40 A.M.. Once you get the ticket, you'll need to wait for hours to be called to sumbit your documents, then wait for another hours to get your passport back along with a new GNIB card. The whole process generally takes one day, literally one day.
It's not over, you can't re-enter this country with just your GNIB card. You have to apply for a re-entry visa, which may be single-journey or multiple. Again, wait outside the buildling to get a ticket for re-entry visa application and spend half a day there (the visa office closes at 2 P.M. so you can't spend a whole day).
I don't know why on earth we need a GNIB card, even after living here for a year. A GNIB card is not a valid identity card, as stated on the card. But this non-ID card costs you 300 euro per year and is mandatory for any person staying in Ireland for long term (more than 90 days). Besides, you can't re-enter this country just by this card like UK's BRP. Maybe I'm not smart enough like Irish government staffs to understand the wisdom and find the hidden usages behind this card.
Anyway, it's inevitable to deal with this thing. I'm going to sum up some experiences I have, which should be useful for non-EU students staying in Republic of Ireland.Read on →