Home Travel & Adventure Ireland’s Foreigners Resort to Brokers for Schengen Visa Appointments: Concerns Rise Over...

Ireland’s Foreigners Resort to Brokers for Schengen Visa Appointments: Concerns Rise Over Accessibility and Legitimacy


Foreigners residing in Ireland who need a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen member states have complained that it is impossible to find available appointment slots, pushing them to resort to visa brokers.

They have complained that no matter how early they search for appointments, they are never able to find available slots.

On the other hand, applicants have emphasised that brokers always have appointments ready to sell, pressuring them to choose this application procedure, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

In addition to foreigners in Ireland, EU authorities have also complained about irregularities.

According to RTE, one of its programmes, Prime Time, has learned that the French Embassy in Dublin has informed local law enforcement that they have been seeing an increase in unauthorised individuals exploiting its visa appointment booking system.

Following concerns raised by the French Embassy in Dublin, Prime Time decided to start an investigation on the matter.

After weeks of monitoring, the latter found out that only a minimal number of appointments were accessible to applicants.

This is because brokers obtain appointments by using automated systems as soon as they are made available and then resell them, with prices ranging from €40 to over €100 per slot in some cases.

Commenting on the matter, the French Embassy said that the measures taken so far have not been effective in sufficiently stopping this phenomenon.

The same highlighted that they are working together with the Irish authorities to step up the security of the software and online services to counter these activities.

Security Concerns Raise Over Personal Data of Applicants Being Shared With Brokers

While the appointment slots secured by brokers have proven to be genuine, security experts have said that applicants should be careful with their personal data.

Cyber security expert Paul C Dwyer said for Prime Time that when giving your personal information to brokers, there is no regard for the security or privacy of the personal details.

On the other hand, despite such concerns, some foreigners in Ireland have said that since it is impossible for them to reach other EU countries without a visa, they decided to believe strangers on the internet with their information.

They have also said that they are okay with paying a high amount of money just to secure an appointment as they are unable to find available slots themselves.

In addition to the above-mentioned, the issues extend beyond the French Embassy as similar vulnerabilities have been detected in the booking systems that are managed by private companies, such as VFS Global.

Long Waiting Times Are Also Pushing Applicants to “Visa Shop”

Due to the long waiting times to secure visa appointments for certain Schengen countries, some applicants are also practicing visa shopping.

Last year, several Schengen visa applicants revealed for SchengenVisaInfo that they had practiced visa shopping in the past.

A third-country national who was aware of the risks associated with visa shopping said that they could only find appointments for a Schengen country they did not plan on visiting.

Some others were not aware of the consequences associated with visa shopping. They said that they would not engage in visa shopping again as they would not want to risk their right to travel in the Schengen Area.

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