Customer charter

    Our customers

    You, our customers come from many walks of life.

    This includes individual members of the public, elected representatives, the agencies associated with the Department, other Government departments and offices, international organisations and many voluntary and representative groups who do business with the Department.

    Our aim

    We aim at all times to provide you with a professional, efficient and courteous service and to do our best to improve the standards of the service which we provide. The purpose of this Customer Charter is to set out the standard of service you can expect to receive from the Department.

    (Note: The publication of a Customer Charter is not intended to create new legal rights for customers.)

    Our commitment to you

    Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we aim to achieve this by:

    • Giving you the best possible service and advice
    • Treating you in a proper, fair, impartial and courteous manner
    • Aiming to ensure that rights to equal treatment set out by equality legislation are upheld in the delivery of our services
    • Aiming, where possible, to meet any special needs you may have

    Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we aim to achieve this by following the targets/objectives of the Quality Customer Service Guiding Principles as set out in our Customer Action Plan.

    Telephone Enquiries

    Main number

    • From inside Ireland: 1890 221 227 (LoCall from landlines) or 01 602 8202
    • From outside Ireland: +353 1 602 8202
    • (Note: Rates for LoCall 1890 may increase from a mobile phone.)

    Reception and Integration Agency

    • From inside Ireland: 01 418 3200
    • From outside Ireland: +353 1 418 3200

    Office hours

    • 9:15am to 5:30pm, Monday to Thursday
    • 9:15am to 5:15pm, Friday

    Our aim is to answer all calls quickly. We will identify ourselves and our area of work. We will be polite and helpful, and do our best to provide our customers with clear and correct information.

    If we cannot give an answer straight away, we will take your details and call you back at a suitable time.

    We will only connect you to voicemail when the person you wish to speak to is unavailable.

    We will do our best to respond to voicemail messages within one working day.

    Written Communication

    We will acknowledge the majority of written communications within 5 working days of receiving them and provide a final reply within 20 working days.

    In cases where there is going to be a delay, we will explain this to our customers by an interim reply before the 20-day period is up.

    Our staff will provide you with full contact details and a reference number (where applicable).

    If the correspondence is for another Government department or body, we will pass it on directly to that department, and we will tell the customer what we have done with it.

    In the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, where the processing of large volumes of applications is involved, a balance has to be struck between the work involved in the processing of the applications on the one hand and answering queries in relation to when the applications will be processed on the other.

    While every effort is made to facilitate customer queries, we believe that, when deciding on the allocation of resources, the balance should be in favour of processing applications.

    Personal Callers

    We will be available to meet by appointment with you during normal office hours.

    We will greet visitors politely, be fair and helpful and deal with your enquiries as quickly as possible.

    We will provide suitable facilities for meetings and will make sure that our offices are clean and safe. We will also make sure that our offices are accessible if you have disability.

    Accessibility

    Main Department's Access Officer: Ms. Aisling Brennan
    Email: foi@justice.ie

    INIS Access Officer: TBA
    Email: inisaccessofficer@justice.ie

    Equal Status Policy

    We are fully committed to providing a service that all our customers can avail of and that treats all customers equally. We will do our best to make sure that the service we provide takes account of the needs that particular groups of customers may have.

    We will consult with our customers to make sure that their accessibility needs are looked after. We will provide suitable staff training to support these commitments.

    Equality/Diversity

    We will increase the levels of knowledge in the Department about equality and diversity through training, information and communication. In our dealings with you, we will make sure that your rights to equal treatment set out by equality legislation are upheld.

    Seirbhís i nGaeilge

    Déanfaidh an Roinn gach iarracht chun freastal ar dhaoine ar mian leo a ngnó a dhéanamh trí mheán na Gaeilge.

    The Department will make every effort to accommodate persons who wish to conduct their business through the medium of Irish.

    Training

    We will invest in customer service training for staff, in particular for staff who are in contact with the general public.

    Feedback/Making a Complaint

    We are committed to consulting with our customers and to asking your how we are doing. You can help us by:

    • Providing comments, make a complaint or make a suggestion about the service we give
    • Filling out and returning any customer survey forms we may send to them.

    Department of Justice and Equality

    If you want to make a suggestion on how we could improve our service or for general queries you can contact our Quality Customer Service Office.

    Quality Customer Service Officer
    Department of Justice and Equality
    94 St. Stephen's Green
    Dublin 2

    Email: customerservices@justice.ie.

    Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service

    For complaints about the quality of customer service provided by INIS:

    INIS Quality Customer Service Officer,
    Department of Justice and Equality,
    13/14 Burgh Quay,
    Dublin 2.

    Email: INIScustomercomplaints@justice.ie

    Office of the Ombudsman

    If you make a complaint and are not satisfied with the response, you can write to the Office of the Ombudsman:

    Office of the Ombudsman
    18 Lower Leeson Street
    Dublin 2

    Telephone: 01 678 5222
    Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.irlgov.ie
    Website www.ombudsman.ie

    The Ombudsman's Office does not have the power to investigate immigration and naturalisation matters. However, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) does receive correspondence from that office on such cases and responds to such correspondence giving the factual position on the matter raised.

    Help us to help you

    We can help you best if you:

    • Provide any information you have which is relevant to your inquiry
    • Provide any relevant documents and reference numbers you have
    • Follow any checklists or guidelines which you have been given
    • Treat our Staff and Other customers with courtesy and respect

    We will find this out by:

    • Feedback and suggestions received from our customers.
    • Consulting our customers through surveys, indepth interviews, focus groups and comparing our performance against previous results.
    • Using internal management information systems e.g. correspondence tracking systems and our email system.
    • Disability audits, compliance with National Health and Safety Standards, external evaluation of websites etc.

    Download our Customer Action Plan (PDF 304KB)