New information reveals registration cards cost €20 but government charges €300.
Today (Wednesday 28th June), the Fair Fees Campaign Group are launching a national campaign to reduce the extortionate immigration fees related to the Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card. An IRP card costs €300. Most people living in Ireland from outside the EU are forced to pay this fee every year, some even more often.
New information acquired from a recent response to a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Justice reveals that it only costs the state €20.44 to produce and deliver each card1. The current charge for an IRP card is €300 or 15 times more than what it costs to issue. Last year alone (2022) the government collected €58 million from people from outside the EU paying IRP card fees.2
Non-EU workers such as nurses, chefs, engineers, IT specialists, agri-food workers, truck drivers, international students as well as each of their family members often have to pay the IRP card fee every year. The IRP card fee doubled to €300 in 2012 as an austerity measure3 and has not been reviewed since. The fee is much higher than similar fees in other European countries*.
The Fair Fees Campaign Group is also launching a national petition** today calling on the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, to reduce the IRP fee to a level more in line with similar fees charged for other state registrations such as a passport (€75) or driver’s licence (€55).
Lijie Shao, spokesperson for the Fair Fees Campaign Group says, “Can you believe that a 10-year passport costs €75 and a driver’s license costs just €55, but the price of an IRP card is €300? It only costs €20 to issue. It’s extortionate and unwarranted and we have no other choice but to pay.”
Vanee Renghen, a Fair Fees Campaign member says, “I work in retail and I’m a proud mum of two gorgeous boys. My husband and I have already spent almost €5,000 on the IRP card fees. This year we had to postpone my son getting new eyeglasses because we had to pay to renew our IRP cards.”
She continued, “As a mother it is the hardest thing when you have to make sacrifices that impact on your kids’ wellbeing.”
Ms Shao concluded, “The government generates additional income off our backs because of where we come from. In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, we are being forced to make big sacrifices to make ends meet and this fee makes it much worse. Reducing this fee would make us feel equal and valued in the country we call home.”
Neil Bruton, Campaigns Co-ordinator, 083 426 00 81
Mairéad McDevitt, Community Work Lead, 089 216 2298
Photos available here
*Comparison with other countries:
|Spain||€16.08 – €21.87|
** National Petition: http://www.mrci.ie/fairfees
In total in the past 10 years the state has generated over €300 million (€312,417,602) from IRP cards fees alone yet it has cost just €21 million (€21,282,465) to produce and deliver these cards.