After about a month staying in Dublin it’s time to get your GNIB, the permanent visa. It takes about a month because you need to open an account at a local bank, wait for the card and password to arrive at the address you provided after five days. After that you need to deposit the 3 thousand Euros and ask for a bank statement that will also arrive in five days. Once that is over you can ask for the insurance and GNIB letters at your school. That is why is advised to travel carrying at least one thousand Euros extra so you can pay for your expenses during this month without using all your money.
Once you are set, go to the immigration station by Liffey river, near O’Connell Bridge. When you get there it might be a little confusing, but what you have to do first is to get a line to counter 15 where a password will be given to you. In my case, it took 15 minutes. At the counter you have to explain that you are there for the first time getting your GNIB and the person will ask for your passport and if you have all the necessary documents at hand. Then they will give you a password. In my case, the guy told me “Today there’s a 3 hours waiting, you can stay or you can go do whatever you need to do”. If the person doesn’t say anything then the time of the waiting can be found on the password paper.
I took the time to go around the park, have lunch and go to a Starbucks enjoy the free wifi… Anyway, after 3 hours I returned and, obviously, it took a little longer for my password to be called in. At the counter I showed my documents (letters from the school and insurance, bank statement and passport) and waited for the employee to check everything and fill out the forms. I had my picture taken right there and my digital prints too. And I had to pay 300 Euros. Oh yes, to get your GNIB you have to pay that and you can only do it using the card from the bank. The employee kept my passport and told me I was going to have my digital prints taken and they were going to call me by my name, which took about 25 minutes.
You need to pay attention because if you are called and you don’t show up, they will place you at the end of the waiting line. They digitally take the prints from all your fingers from both hands. When this procedure is over, you need to wait for your GNIB which is basically a card with your picture and personal information. You also have your passport stamped with the permanent visa for the duration of one year.
After about an hour they called me to get my GNIB. In total, since the time I arrived in line for the password until the moment I got my GNIB, it took me 5h40min. Some cases can take longer or less, it depends on the day. Like every public institution, there are few employees. For example, out of the 14 counters, only four were working when I was there. Besides them there was only one person stamping the passports and checking the GNIB to hand in. So be ready to spend a whole morning or afternoon at immigration. The good thing is that you leave there with everything set!
Any further questions you can reach me at my email ([email protected])