Asylum Applications

Asylum is the protection granted by a state to someone who has left their home country as a political refugee.

New Rules That Allow Asylum Seekers The Right to Work Explained Here

From 2nd July, asylum seekers are allowed permission to access the labour market, this permission will allow you to access employment and self-employment. It will be valid for 6 months. You can renew the permission if you have not received a final decision on your international protection application within the 6 months. A final decision means when you have completed all appeals procedures, including judicial review proceedings.


You are eligible to apply if:

  1. You are an international protection applicant; and
  2. You have not received a first instance recommendation within 8 months; and
  3. You are cooperating with the international protection process – delays in receiving a recommendation must not be due to any actions taken by you.

You can apply if you have not received a permission after 8 months. Your permission will become valid after 9 months.

How to apply

You can access the application form here

Here is the information leaflet that is available on the Departments website

Information booklet – Labour Market Access for International Protection Applicants (PDF 317KB)

If your application is successful

If your application is successful, INIS will issue you a permission letter. Once you begin working, your employer (or you, if self-employed) must complete the declaration form LMA5 below.

You must also get your employer to complete the declaration form LMA6 below. These forms must be returned to the following address:

Reception and Integration Agency
PO Box 11487
Dublin 2

Related documents

Form LMA5 – Labour market access declaration form (PDF 221KB)

Form LMA6 – Employment income declaration form (PDF 326KB)

Asylum Application

Temporary Self-employment Scheme

Since 9 February 2018, international protection applicants have had temporary access to the employment permits system operated by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Applicants could also apply for a self-employment permission from the Department of Justice and Equality.

These measures were temporary, while we awaited confirmation by the European Commission of our opt-in to the EU Reception Conditions Directive, which has now been confirmed. This scheme is closed for new applications from 28 June 2018.

If you have a self-employment permission under the temporary scheme, and you have not received a first instance recommendation on your protection application, INIS will automatically issue you with a letter of permission to access the labour market (covering both employment and self-employment) for a period of six months. You do not need to make a new application.

If you have a self-employment permission, and you have received a first instance recommendation, but not a final decision on your protection application, you can renew your self-employment permission until you receive a final decision.

The Department website states that more information will be available shortly.

If you have questions, please contact us.

Asylum Applications

  1. Asylum Applications
  2. How to Apply for Asylum in Ireland
  3. Where to Apply for Asylum in Ireland
  4. Who Can Apply for Asylum
  5. The Application Process
  6. Types of Status
  7. Change of Name from False Name used in Asylum Application
  8. Undocumented Migrants

Under the new International Protection procedures, if the case is refused at first instance we always check with our Counsel to see if a judicial review of the decision is possible.  If no judicial review is possible then an appeal to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal for an appeal hearing will be made.

All Questionnaires should be completed in the Applicant’s own language.

If the Asylum seeker gets married to an Irish National during the application they can withdraw the application and make an application for residence.

How to apply for Asylum in Ireland

To claim asylum, you must be in Ireland and submit an application.

The International Protection Office (IPO) will then review your case. If your application is successful, the Minister for Justice and Equality will make a declaration that you are entitled to protection.

It may take weeks or months for your application to be processed. During that time you’ll be given a safe place to stay and other basic services. However according to a recent Irish Times Article, some people are for up to Two years for a decision.

Where to apply for Asylum in Ireland

You should apply for asylum at the Irish border as soon as you arrive at an airport or ferry port. You should tell an immigration officer at Passport Control that you want to apply for asylum.

Some of your details will then be recorded.

You will be told that you must go to the offices of IPO to register an official application. If you do not go to IPO within 5 working days your application may be refused.

If you do not apply for asylum at the Irish border, you should go to IPO’s offices as soon as possible.

Note: If you are detained by An Garda Síochána (Irish police) and wish to apply for asylum, you should inform a police officer. They will arrange for an application to be made for you.

If you are unsure about how to apply of if you have not applied for Asylum immediately, the Sinnott Solicitors can advise you of the process

Who can apply for Asylum

You can apply for asylum in Ireland if you arrive here and cannot return to your home country because of various reasons to include your fear of persecution if you were to return.

When you apply for asylum, you can also apply for a status called Subsidiary Protection. If your asylum application is refused, your application for Subsidiary Protection will then be considered.

Your family and their applications for asylum

If you have family members or dependants with you, you can include them in your application. These include:

  • Husband, wife or partner
  • Children under 18

If you are under 18

If you are under 18 and you are with an adult relative who is claiming asylum, you will normally be included in your relative’s application.

If you are under 18 and alone, you should tell an immigration officer or police officer at the Irish border when you arrive. If you do not do this, you should go to IPO’s offices as soon as possible.

You will be allocated a social worker who will help decide whether an asylum application is in your best interest. You will also be given access to legal assistance for your application.

The Application Process

First interview

To register your application for asylum officially, you must go the offices of IPO.

You will then be interviewed and asked to complete a short application form. An interpreter will be provided if necessary. This first interview is to confirm that you want to apply for asylum and to gather basic information about you.

During your interview you will be asked to explain why you are claiming asylum


When you visit IPO, you should bring important documents with you (if you have them). They will help with your application. These include:

  • Passports and travel documents such as air tickets.
  • Identification documents for you (and your children, if any), such as identity cards, birth and marriage certificates or school records.
  • Anything else you think will help your application.

Next Steps

At the end of your interview, you will be given a longer application form and told about next steps. These are:

  • To complete the application form and return it to IPO.
  • To visit IPO again for a second detailed interview (called the ‘substantive’ interview) to review your application.

You will be given a date when you must return your application form and a date for your second interview.

Note: If you fail to return your application by the right date or if you fail to come to your interview, your application may be refused.

Make sure you answer all the questions in the application form as fully as you can. IPO will consider this information when making a recommendation about your application.

Temporary Residence Certificate and accommodation

At the end of your initial interview, you will be given a Temporary Residence Certificate. This shows that you have applied for asylum in Ireland and that you have permission to stay here temporarily.

If you need help with accommodation while your application is being processed, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) will arrange for you to go to a reception centre for asylum seekers.

At the reception centre, RIA will review your needs and arrange a place for you to stay. Read more about accommodation and services for asylum seekers

Second (substantive) interview

At the second (substantive) interview, you will usually be interviewed alone without family members unless you are a child. An interpreter will be provided, if you need one.

At this interview you will be asked to explain:

  • How you were persecuted in your home country.
  • Why you are afraid to go back to your home country.

You should bring any evidence you have of persecution. This can then be used to support your case.

Note: If you do not attend the substantive interview and do not provide a satisfactory explanation within 3 working days, your application may be refused.

You have the right to legal assistance from the Legal Aid Board (LAB). LAB can help with your application and also attend your interview, if required.

Asylum decision and next steps

After your second (substantive) interview, IPO will prepare a recommendation about whether your application should be approved. Your application should be decided within 6 months. It may take longer in some circumstances.

If your application is successful, the Minister for Justice and Equality will make a declaration that you are entitled to protection.

If your application is refused, you may appeal the decision. Read more about what happens after you apply and about appeals.

Types of Status

Refugee Status

If you match the legal definition of a Convention Refugee, you will be given refugee status in Ireland.

As a refugee you can stay in Ireland and will have many of the same rights as an Irish citizen.

Note: A Convention Refugee is someone who matches the definition of a refugee in the Geneva Convention on Refugees.

Programme Refugee is someone who is invited to Ireland by the government, usually in response to a request for protection from the UNHCR. You cannot apply directly to become a Programme Refugee.

Subsidiary Protection

If you do not qualify to be a refugee but you are at risk of serious harm if sent home, you may be given a status called Subsidiary Protection.

As someone with Subsidiary Protection you’ll be allowed to stay in Ireland and be given many of the same rights as an Irish citizen.

You can apply for Subsidiary Protection at the same time as you apply for asylum. The application for subsidiary protection will be reviewed if you are refused refugee status. A negative determination in regard to your application for Subsidiary Protection can be appealed to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.

Permission to Remain / Humanitarian Leave Application

If you do not qualify for refugee status or for Subsidiary Protection, you may be given permission to stay in Ireland for humanitarian or other reasons.

This is called Permission to Remain.

As someone with Permission to Remain you will be given many of the same rights as an Irish citizen. After a successful Leave to Remain / humanitarian leave application, a person would be entitled to a stamp 4.  If a negative decision issues that person will receive a deportation order.

Change of name from false name used in asylum application

For a person who uses a false name to claim asylum and who wishes to revert to their original name after their residence has been granted it is advisable to write to the Department to explain that that person is not a national of the country that they refer to in the original application.  They should also submit the passport and ID card from the actual country that they are from or obtain a copy of it from the various country.  It is important that this is done before an applicant makes an application for Citizenship because it would go against the applicant at that point.

It is also much easier to do if the applicant has kept their name and date of birth as opposed to having changed those details as well for the purpose of the original application.  The main reason why an applicant would wish to come clean with the Department about their real nationality is because when the applicant travels home the false name could cause some difficulty.  For example, it is sometimes the case that a person from Pakistan would have claimed to be from Afghanistan.  The main reason why that person would now wish to come clean about their real nationality is because when that person travels home to Pakistan, they must firstly go to Afghanistan and then apply for a visa to travel back to Pakistan.  That can take a lot of time and it is a lot of hassle for the applicant.

Undocumented Migrants

There are thousands of people living in Ireland undocumented.  Many are from the Philippines and from other countries also.  Many of those are involved in childminding and housekeeping duties.  It is important to establish what the qualifications and finances of the undocumented migrant are.

Many undocumented migrants are supporting parents in their home country.  At present there is no amnesty available to regularise the position of undocumented migrants in Ireland.

The only option available is to make an application for leave to remain in the state.  The disadvantages of making such an application are that that person is putting themselves on the radar of the Irish authorities.  The advantages to making a leave to remain application if successful are that the person could regularise their position in the state.  Ultimately if the application is unsuccessful a deportation order could be made.  If the undocumented migrant knowingly overstayed their initial visa and if the application is refused it would be necessary to examine carefully the refusal in order to see if the refusal could be challenged before the Courts.  An applicant is likely to receive a letter from the Department of Justice outlining three options.  One of those options would be an option to leave the state voluntarily.  Another option is for the applicant to consent to the making of a deportation order.  The third option would be an option to make representations for leave to remain on humanitarian grounds.

If a person is supporting a parent in their home country then it is necessary to establish if there are any health problems with the parents.  It is necessary to establish whether there is any family in the home country, the age of the parents, their mental status, their other siblings in their home state and their communication with the family.

If the applicant does not have any Irish citizen children and if the applicant is not married to an Irish citizen then there is a high chance that a deportation order would issue.  A deportation order in Ireland affects the applicant for not just Ireland but for their entry into other countries as well.  If the applicant went to another country afterwards and applied for a visa, there would be a question to state whether the applicant had ever been deported from another country.

In order to support a leave to remain application for an undocumented migrant it is important for the migrant to obtain letters of reference from Irish people that they know and details of their circumstances in as much detail as possible.  It is also necessary to establish whether the migrant has completed any courses and obtained any qualifications or certificates since their arrival into the state.

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