Rights and duties of asylum seekers in Ireland

Rights of international protection applicants

While your application for international protection is being processed in Ireland, you have certain rights and duties under the International Protection Act 2015.

You must be given the opportunity to present your case fully, unless your application is inadmissible or is dealt with under the EU Dublin Regulation.

Your application must be assessed fairly and you should be treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.

Staying in Ireland and accommodation

You can stay in Ireland while your application is being processed.

The International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) is responsible for providing you with accommodation while you are waiting for your application to be finalised.

Since January 2023, applicants for international protection who do not have children are not prioritised for accommodation. You can read more about how international protection applicants are prioritised for accommodation. When you apply for international protection, you will give your contact details. When accommodation is available, IPAS will contact you.

The Irish Refugee Council has useful information on supports for homeless international protection applicants.


The International Protection Office (IPO) will arrange for an interpreter if you need one during your interviews. You can also request an interpreter if you are detained for an offence under the International Protection Act (see ‘Offences under the International Protection Act’ below).

Legal advice

You can get legal advice and representation though the Legal Aid Board. The Board can assist with applications for international protection to the International Protection Office and appeals to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT). You must inform the IPO of the details of your legal representative.

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

You are entitled to consult with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who has an office in Dublin.

Notification of interviews and decisions

You must be informed in writing of any appointments you must keep and any decisions taken in connection with your application.


All details provided in connection with your application will be treated in confidence. Information may be shared with other organisations that may be dealing with you, including government departments and agencies. You have the right to view and correct any data concerning you which is held on the Eurodac system

Your duties during the application process

Your duty to cooperate

You must cooperate with the assessment of your application for international protection. If you do not cooperate, your application will be assessed based on the information you provided before the IPO decided you were no longer co-operating. At the appeal stage, failure to co-operate could lead to your application being withdrawn.

You must submit any information that you are asked to submit as soon as you can, and you must be honest in your application. You must attend interviews with the IPO. If you have a reason why you cannot attend, you should tell the IPO or IPAT as soon as possible.

You must comply with Irish laws, and you must follow any instructions that you are given by the IPO or the Minister for Justice. This may include a requirement to stay in a particular area or to report to an immigration officer or Garda station.

Keep your address up to date

You must tell the IPO if you change your address. You should do this even if you are moved to another accommodation centre provided by IPAS. Failure to do so is an offence under the International Protection Act 2015.

State your application details

In all correspondence with the International Protection Office or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, you should clearly indicate your name, address, nationality, and the reference number shown on your temporary residence certificate.

Leaving Ireland

You must not leave or attempt to leave Ireland without the consent of the Minister for Justice while your application is under consideration.

Seeking work

You can apply for permission to work if you have not received a decision on your application in 5 months. You are not allowed to work without permission.

Keep records

You or your solicitor must keep all copies of documentation given to you by the IPO and the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.

Offences under the International Protection Act 2015

During your international protection application, you are committing an offence if you do any of the following:

  • Leave or attempt to leave Ireland without the permission of the Minister for Justice
  • Fail to inform the IPO of your address or any change of address
  • Fail to comply with a requirement to reside or remain in particular districts or places or to report at specified intervals to an immigration officer or member of the Garda Síochána
  • Forge or fraudulently alter a Temporary Residence Certificate
  • Give false or misleading information in relation to your application

If you are found guilty of an offence under the International Protection Act 2015 you may be liable to a fine and/or imprisonment on summary conviction.

A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest without a warrant a person who may be reasonably suspected of committing, or of having committed, an offence.

Can I be detained during my application?

The International Protection Act 2015 sets out the circumstances where you could be detained by an immigration officer or a Garda. You could be detained if you:

  • Pose a threat to national security or public policy
  • Have committed a serious non-political crime outside of Ireland
  • Have not made reasonable efforts to establish your identity, or you refuse to allow your fingerprints to be taken
  • Intend to avoid removal from the state, in the event of your application being transferred to a Dublin III Regulation country
  • Intend to avoid removal from the State, in the event of your application being unsuccessful
  • Intend to leave the State and enter another without lawful authority
  • Without reasonable cause, have destroyed identity or travel documents or are in possession of forged identity documents
  • Have acted or intend to act in a manner to undermine the international protection system in the State or the Common Travel Area arrangement


International Protection Office

Immigration Service Delivery

78-83 Lower Mount Street
D02 ND99

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 9.00 - 14.30
Tel: +353 1 602 8000
Fax: +353 1 602 8122

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

102 Pembroke Road
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 (0)1 631 4510
Page edited: 29 February 2024