Migrant rights group hands over public petition, with more than 14,500 signatures, to the Minister for Justice calling on her to reduce extortionate Irish Residence Permit card fees
Today (Wednesday 27th September), the Fair Fees Campaign Group of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) gathered on the steps of the Department of Justice to demonstrate the groundswell of support for a reduction in the Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card fee to the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee.
The group is calling on Minister McEntee to reduce the current fee of €300 to a level more in line with similar fees charged for other state registrations such as a passport (€75) or driver’s licence (€55).
A Department of Justice representative today accepted the petition on behalf of the Minister at her office on St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin.
With many anticipating measures in Budget 2024 to ease the burden of the cost-of-living crisis, migrants are calling on the Minister to look at IRP fees which are wildly disproportionate and are forcing them to make difficult choices and go without essentials.
Two representatives from the Fair Fees group addressed the supporters gathered at the Department of Justice today.
Lijie Shao said “I came to Ireland over ten years ago to study. I’m working as a tutor and I’m a mother. Just like many others, I’ve got bills to pay, rent, childcare, utilities – and then on top of all that we must pay this fee just for living here? It’s so unfair.”
Senthil Ramasamy added “This petition we’re handing over today shows a huge amount of support for a reduction in these fees. They are placing an additional and unfair financial burden on migrants. We believe that everybody deserves to be treated equally and fairly in the country they call home.”
The Fair Fees group cannot see any justification for the fee to be so high. It costs the state just €20.44  to issue each card and other countries charge much less for similar services.
Most people living in Ireland from outside the EU are forced to pay this fee every year, some even more often. Last year alone (2022) the government collected €58 million from people paying IRP card fees .