The Migrants’ Rights Centre has called for the Government to reduce the fee immigrants pay when applying for an Irish Residence Permit.
Anyone not from the EEA, Britain or Switzerland and who wishes to stay in Ireland for longer than 90 days must apply for one annually.
The cost is usually €300 but is free if you are a refugee, are under 18, married to an Irish citizen or the family member of an EU national.
“The fee is totally unfair and does not stack up compared to the cost of producing it,” Senthil Ramasamy of the Migrants’ Rights Centre said.
“Normally it costs nearly some €20 to produce and yet they’re charging nearly €300 extra for the card.
“You compare that to a driving licence or passport and that is also less [than the price of a Residence Card].”
The fee is significantly higher than in other European countries - where a residency card can cost as little as €16 - and the Migrants’ Rights Centre said it is much more expensive than other official State documents.
“In the research from different countries, in Switzerland and Norway, [the price of a residency permit] is much less actually,” Mr Ramasamy said.
“[But in Ireland] every year we have to pay €300.”
A petition calling on the Department of Justice to reduce the fee has been signed by 14,000 people and will be handed over to officials today.
Main image: Passport control in Dublin Airport.