In a prescient moment in July, I wrote to the Immigration Division of the Department of Justice, Equality, and Law Reform asking for extended permission to remain without requiring a work permit, as I am entitled to do since I have worked in Ireland for over 60 months. After I was told I was RIFed, I contacted the department by phone (itself a long story) and was told that they would be â€œin communicationâ€ with me within two weeks.
That was four weeks ago. My expectation of receiving a politely worded letter from the department having faded, I phoned the department again last week, another long story in itself.
Iâ€™ve called the departmentâ€™s number so many times that I have it on speed-dial so it takes less time to be hung up on because their queue is full. I also have it registered with our â€œFriends and Familyâ€ calling plan so thereâ€™s a discounted tariff. We should save more through the misnamed plan this period than we have for the whole rest of the time weâ€™ve been on the scheme.
The bad news, once I did get through after two days of trying, was that the person on the other end had no idea why I would have been told two weeks for an application sent in July since the department was still processing applications from April. When I mentioned that I was being made redundant, the person said she would look into my case for me after the phone call, since she couldnâ€™t find my details on computer in front of her.
The worse news, when I was called back later, was that while the department did have a record of my sending a letter, they no longer had either the letter or its supporting documentation, and could I send it all again?
The good news from the same phone call was that my application could be fast-tracked since I was being made redundant. I donâ€™t much like jumping the queue ahead of someone who has been waiting since April (and Iâ€™m sure that the person waiting since April wouldnâ€™t much like me either), but waiting a little bit longer when you are in stable employment makes less of a difference than the difference that freedom from work permits will make to my reemployment prospects.