Bad news, worse news, good news

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 “in communication” 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.

I’ve called the department’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 “Friends and Family” calling plan so there’s a discounted tariff. We should save more through the misnamed plan this period than we have for the whole rest of the time we’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 couldn’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 don’t much like jumping the queue ahead of someone who has been waiting since April (and I’m sure that the person waiting since April wouldn’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.