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Asylum/ Refugee Status


Seeking asylum, often referred to as seeking international protection, is the act of asking for protection in another country. Those who seek asylum have a fear for their lives and are forced to flee.



  • Refugees are people who are outside their home country and whose life and/or human rights are seriously at risk because of who they are or what they believe.​
  • Their governments will not or cannot protect them. The 1951 Convention on Refugees (Geneva Convention) states that a refugee is a person who has:​

“a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail of himself of the protection of that country.”


Subsidiary Protection

  • Subsidiary Protection is an EU level protection status which is recognised within the EU.
  • Those who are granted subsidiary protection have a fear of serious harm from the death penalty or execution, ​torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
  • They fear punishment of a person in his or her country of origin or ​serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in a situation of international or internal armed conflict.


Permission to Remain

  • If you are refused Refugee status or Subsidiary protection the Minister will look at your application for Permission to Remain in the state.
  • This will consider and be based upon Family & personal circumstances as well as your right to respect for your private life & family life.
  • The Minister will consider:  The nature of your connection with Ireland; Humanitarian considerations (illness, special needs etc) Your character & conduct within & outside Ireland; Considerations of national security & public order and any other considerations of the common good.

How to Apply?


  • All Asylum seekers in Ireland regardless of point of entry must present themselves physically to the International Protection Office to apply for Asylum. The office is located at:


79-83 Lower Mount St.
Dublin 2


  • The applicant will be asked for their reasons for seeking asylum in a short interview.
  • Here they will also have their fingerprints taken and cross-checked against the Eurodac system.
  • The applicant will also be offered the help of a free state solicitor through the Refugee Legal Service and accommodation in Direct Provision if they wish to avail of each.
  • They will also have their photo taken to be issued with a TRC (Temporary Residence Certificate) which is a blue card that says they are an asylum seeker.



  • Once the applicant is accepted into the asylum system, they will be sent their International Protection Application questionnaire. This is where they will write their reasons for seeking asylum, including supporting documentation.
  • The questionnaire can be sent either in English or in the applicant’s own language. As this questionnaire will form the basis for the applicant’s claim for asylum it is very important they receive legal assistance to fill it in.



  • After the applicant completes the questionnaire and submits it to the IPO, they will be called for at least one interview. Their solicitor should help them to prepare for the interview and they will be offered translators.
  • If an applicant cannot attend their interview for any reason (i.e. illness or injury) they should contact the IPO immediately to reschedule. Not attending without notice will be deemed as “non-cooperation” and will negatively impact their asylum case. Rescheduling an interview will not negatively impact on a case.


Decision or appeal

  • After the interview that applicant will receive formal notice in writing of the recommendation of the IPO. If refused they have the right to appeal the decision.


Any individual can apply for asylum in Ireland, regardless of how they entered the state or the length of time they have resided in the state.


  • Asylum seekers who avail of Direct Provision are given a medical card, PPS number, and daily expenses allowance of €38.80 per week for adults and €29.80 per week for children.
  • Asylum seekers can access the labour market after 9 months if they have not received a decision on their refugee or subsidiary protection applications.