Cork's long immigration queues continue for months

Cork's long immigration queues continue for months
The immigration queue outside Anglesea Street Garda Station in September.

Long immigration queues outside Anglesea Street Garda station have persisted for three months.

In September, The Echo reported that people were queuing outside from 5am in order to secure an appointment for a few weeks time.

Up to one hundred people were queuing outside the station on some mornings.

Katie Guzzetta, who is a UCC PhD student from upstate New York, says the queues are still very long.

"There are 40 people in front of me. I was here all day yesterday and I wasn't seen."

"They've stopped handing out the appointments slips, they only do that during 'busy' times. It looks like I will be here for the day."

Katie says there are usually three desks open from 9.30am to noon and from 2-4pm. 

"Once the desks close and the curtains are down they give no more information, you are on your own," says Katie.

"There are students in the queue, but there's also families and people who are here to work and live."

Katie says she wishes it was possible to book an appointment online or to open the desks during the evening. "People have to miss a day of work or class for this."

She also says that having someone checking queuer's documents to ensure they are sufficient could save time. "Many people get to the front of the queue to be told that one of their documents isn't valid. For example, my proof of address was my lease signed by myself and my landlord, but it was considered invalid because it didn't look like a primary document, so I had to get a bank statement."

Katie has been in Ireland for two years now and she says this is the worst immigration queues in Cork have ever been. "We just expect it to be horrible... even if they could put in more benches or open up more lanes."

In a statement, the Garda press office said: "An Garda Síochána are aware of a backlog with registrations at the Immigration Office in Anglesea Street."

"There is a significant increase in activity in September, October due to increased numbers of new people attending to register at this time of year."

"In an effort to address this problem, additional Gardaí have been allocated to augment Garda Staff on Immigration Duties at Anglesea Street Garda Station, with additional Garda Staff being assigned when trained in this very specific function."

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