Legal aid for asylum seekers

What legal services are available to asylum seekers?

The Legal Aid Board provides confidential and independent legal services to people applying for asylum in Ireland. It can help you with your application for international protection (covering both refugee status and subsidiary protection) to the International Protection Office and appeals to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.

It can not assist you with a judicial review of how the decision on your application was made, but you might be able to get civil legal aid for that separately.

The Irish Refugee Council Independent Law Centre also provides early legal advice and representation to people in the early stages of the asylum process.

Services provided

The Legal Aid Board can help you in the following ways:

  • It can give you advice before you submit your questionnaire to the International Protection Office or before you attend your interview in the International Protection Office
  • It can represent you before the International Protection Appeals Tribunal
  • It can also help if the International Protection Office decides to remove you from Ireland and send you to another EEA country under the Dublin III Regulation

Your obligations as a client

If you become a client of the Legal Aid Board you must:

  • Tell the Legal Aid Board your current address.
  • Attend all appointments made for you with your caseworker or solicitor in the Legal Aid Board. Strict limits apply at all stages of the asylum process and you could lost your legal aid services if you fail to attend appointments.

How much do I pay towards my legal costs?

To qualify for legal services, your income (less certain allowances) must be below a set amount. You can read more about the general means assessment for civil legal aid and advice.

If your only income is the Daily Expenses Allowance and you have less than €4000 in savings and assets, you will be asked to pay a contribution of €10 for legal aid to help with your claim for asylum or subsidiary protection. If you can’t pay this, you can request that the fee is waived on hardship grounds.

How to apply

To get help with your asylum application, fill in the application form for legal aid and advice. Send it to any of the 3 law centres listed below that provide services for international protection applicants.

Where to apply

Smithfield Law Centre

48-49 North Brunswick Street
Georges Lane

Tel: 01 646 9600
Fax: 01 671 0200

Cork North Law Centre

North Quay House
Popes Quay
T23 HV26

Tel: 1800 202420
Fax: 021 455 7622

Galway Law Centre

Seville House
New Dock Road

Tel: 1800 502400
Fax: 091 562599

Irish Refugee Council

37 Killarney Street
Dublin 1

Tel: (01) 764 5854
Fax: (01) 672 5927
Page edited: 2 November 2023