How to apply for asylum in Ireland?

ireland map

The legislation of the Republic of Ireland is very strict with all the asylum and refugee procedures it processes, as is the case of international protection. Therefore, if you wish to be considered as a refugee in the country, it is essential that you gather the documents that support the request and that they are reliable, so that you do not violate any of its laws and avoid heavy penalties.

The largest groups of foreign nationals in Ireland in refugee status are from Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia. It is estimated that the government receives 1,500 applications annually, with 22% of them being approved; this is attributed to the fact that a large number of them do not meet the established requirements.

If you decide to carry out migration procedures in the Irish territory, it is essential that you declare with honesty and precision; presenting solid evidences. In addition, you must provide the truthful information required by the International Protection Office (IPO) officers. If you fail to comply, you will suffer the legal consequences and you will see it in the resolution of the process.

In this sense, carefully read the steps to follow in order to be admitted as a refugee:

Refugee status

If you are a person who has been subjected to persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group and have been forced to flee the country, then you are eligible to apply for international or subsidiary protection. To do so, you must go to the IPO, which works with the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS) to assess asylum claims.

While the status is being defined, you will have the right to remain in the territory, thanks to the international protection law published in 2015. You will also be able to enjoy health services, education and permission to work freely as a native citizen.

What is subsidiary protection?

If the authorities consider that you are in danger in your country of origin, but you do not meet the profile of a refugee, then you may be eligible for subsidiary protection. This is a humanitarian aid granted by the Irish State to those who, in some way, have been victims of violence and cannot find support in their own country and therefore decide to emigrate.

The criteria to qualify for such protection are as follows:

  • Not be a national of a country belonging to the European Union.
  • Have applied for protection as a refugee and have been denied.
  • Be a victim of violent acts that make the applicant fear to return to his/her country. Some examples are: domestic abuse, death penalty sentences, severe inhuman torture or threats from internal armed conflicts.

First considerations for seeking asylum in Ireland

asylum in ireland

For Ireland, anyone over 18 years of age has the right to apply for asylum in the country independently. Minors are eligible for assistance as long as they have a parent or legal guardian.

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Upon arrival in Ireland, notify immigration or the border police as soon as possible that you wish to apply for international protection. At that time, the officer will assign a social worker to you. That person will provide you with the necessary support to decide whether it is in your best interest to make an asylum claim.

The address to contact is: International Protection Office, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. D02 ND99. However, if you were detained upon entry for using illegal means or lacking the proper documentation, it will be the officer who will initiate the process.

Exclusion from international protection

Ireland will deny you international or subsidiary protection if you already you receive assistance by international institutions such as:

  • United Nations (UN)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Also, they will not accept your application if you have committed, participated in or incited, a war crime or a transgression against humanity. Or simply a serious non-political crime outside of Ireland. And these are warnings that you could be a danger to the Irish nation and, therefore, you would be excluded.

Procedure for making an asylum request in Ireland

In order to make a claim for international protection in Ireland, you will have to attend a first interview where the admissibility or not of the application will be analyzed; the IPO will then know if it is necessary to evaluate the case further. Therefore, you will need to be confident during your statement.

Step 1. First interview

woman asylum

Here the idea of the assigned officer will be to confirm that you are requesting asylum from the State, so he/she will ask you a series of personal questions and take your identification data. Then you will go to the capture of biometric information, photographs from various angles and validation of identity documents.

Express all the reasons that induced you to flee your home country and apply for asylum in Ireland. Do not limit yourself for any reason, as the information is confidential and in case you do not speak English you will be entitled to the assistance of a qualified interpreter.

The conversation will be recorded in writing and once the interview is completed, the officer will read the statement and, if necessary, you will have the opportunity to make corrections. When in your opinion there are no errors, you will sign the official statement to be attached to the file. We recommend that you request a photocopy.

On the same day of the interview, the officer in charge of the interview will determine whether you are admissible or not. If you are admissible, you will be asked to complete an asylum application form to formalize your request for international protection, which you must submit on the date and time indicated by the IPO when you are scheduled for a second meeting.

Once the application is admissible and as part of the pre-registration process, you will receive a Temporary Residence Certificate (TRC). This proves that you have filed an application for international protection in Ireland and therefore have the right to reside in Ireland until the process is resolved.

Step 2. Submit form and documents

Provide the International Protection Office (IPO) with the form received in the previous interview. Additionally, you will submit the documents required by law. Which are:

  • Passport or identity card.
  • Travel documents such as airline tickets.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • School records.
  • Evidence of the case, such as videos, news, photographs and testimonies.
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Step 3. Second interview

After submitting the above documents, again, you will have to explain how you were persecuted in your home country and why you are afraid to return. During the narrative, relate the evidence provided in the correct chronological order. You can ask the Legal Assistance Board (LAB) for help to help you to get your story straight.

It is your duty to attend the interview on the day and at the time scheduled. The only valid justification for missing the interview is if your health condition prevents you from getting around. But, in that case, you should bring a medical report that justifies it, so that IPO officials can reschedule the asylum appointment.

Again, you are entitled to a qualified interpreter if your native language is not English. However, keep in mind that even if you are fluent in English, you will still have to answer the questionnaire in the language of your home country.

documents ireland

Step 4. Responses to the application

The Office of International Protection will consider the most relevant information regarding the asylum application and prepare a recommendation based on it. The maximum time frame for such a response is six months, counting from the day you submitted the form. However, there are difficult cases that take years to resolve.

However, the recommendation may be one of the following:

  • Be recognized as a refugee in Ireland.
  • Not being recognized as a refugee, but being granted subsidiary protection.
  • Denial of refugee and subsidiary protection status.

If you are accepted as a refugee or for subsidiary protection, you will be notified via email. For this reason, it is important that you keep the address you provided at the beginning of the process active.

What are my rights if I receive international protection?

If the answer is yes and you are granted refugee status or subsidiary protection, you will enjoy the following rights:

  • To work or to take part in any business, trade or profession.
  • To have access to education and training in the Republic of Ireland.
  • To enjoy the privileges of an Irish citizen.
  • To receive medical assistance and social benefits.
  • To be resident in Ireland for a period of at least three years, which can be renewed according to the laws in force.

What happens when I am not admitted for international protection?

in case of a negative response to your application, will be sent the following:

• Statement with the reasons why you were refused protection.
• Photocopy of the report containing the recommendation issued by the International Protection Office (IPO).
• Information on how to appeal the recommendation to the International Protection Appeal Tribunal (IPAT), with the time limit for doing so.

How can I appeal?

To use an appeal, you have to send a letter to Court of Appeal for International Protection. Upon receipt, they will issue a photocopy of the form and in due course they will indicate the day of the hearing to give a definitive answer to the case. For more information visit the IPAT website:

Rights and duties as an asylum seeker

While the IPO issues the verdict of your request, you will have some rights and duties to fulfill within the territory, according to the International Protection Law 2022. Among them are:

Temporarily residing in Ireland.Respect and faithfully abide by the laws of the Republic.
Request an interpreter to facilitate the development of the interviews.Comply with any requirement that is imposed on you.
Request legal advice.Cooperate fully in the evaluation of the various aspects of the application.
Have accommodation offered by the Reception and Integration Agency, while the asylum application is being processed.Notify the IPO immediately, in writing, if you change your address. Failure to do so will be considered a crime.
Know the status of the procedure, if more than six months have elapsed.Do not leave the national territory under any circumstances. Doing so without prior notification will be considered a crime.

Church irlandCertainly, Ireland is one of the countries of the European Union that offers greater opportunities to foreigners who have been victims of violence, discrimination and threat. The fact of power work, study and access health services free of charge, makes the nation an excellent choice for seeking asylum.

Maya Martinez

Legal advisor for immigration processes. In addition to providing support in the legal procedures, I offer integral and informative support in relation to the obligations that are acquired when arriving to a new country.

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