1. If you wish to make an application for international protection, you must indicate this in person to the Minister. You should do this as soon as possible, either at the airport or seaport where you arrived in Ireland or (after entry to the State), at the
International Protection Office Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service 79-83 Lower Mount Street Dublin 2 D02ND99 Ireland
2. Before you can make an application for international protection, you must first complete a preliminary interview, which will include consideration of whether or not your application is admissible or can be accepted by the International Protection Office (IPO). During your preliminary interview, you will be asked, amongst other things, some short questions regarding:
- whether you wish to make an application for international protection,
- the general grounds on which the application is based,
- your identity,
- your country of origin/country of former habitual residence,
- the route you travelled to the State (Ireland), the means of transport and the name and details of any person who assisted you in travelling to Ireland,
- the reasons why you came to Ireland,
- the legal basis for your entry to or presence in the State (Ireland),
- whether there is any information that highlights the possibility that your application may be inadmissible for admission to the international protection process.
3. Please note that your preliminary interview will, where necessary and possible, be conducted with the assistance of an interpreter.
4. The IPO will take your biometric information. This involves taking your fingerprints and your photograph. This information is taken for the purpose of establishing your identity and whether the EU Dublin Regulation is applicable in your case.
5. Further information on the preliminary interview can be found in Section 3 of the Information Booklet for Applicants for International Protection and in Section 13 of the International Protection Act 2015.
6. Under section 21 of the International Protection Act 2015, your application for international protection will be inadmissible and you will not be entitled to apply for protection if one or more of the following circumstances apply:
i. another EU member state has granted you refugee status or subsidiary protection;
ii. a country, other than an EU member state, has recognised you as a refugee and you can still avail yourself of that protection or you otherwise enjoy sufficient protection in that country, including benefiting from the principle of non-refoulement and you will be readmitted to that country.
7. The principle of non-refoulement means that the Minister shall not expel or return a person from the State to the frontier of a territory where:
i. the life or freedom of the person would be threatened for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or
ii. there is a serious risk that the person would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
8. Following the preliminary interview, an international protection officer will make a recommendation about the admissibility of your application. If an international protection officer is of the opinion that your application is inadmissible, he or she shall recommend to the Minister that your application be determined to be inadmissible.
9. If you receive a recommendation from an international protection officer that your application is inadmissible, you will receive a written report with reasons. You are entitled to appeal that recommendation to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) within ten working days. The decision of the IPAT will be made without an oral hearing.
10. If your application is found to be admissible, either by the IPO or by the IPAT, you will be allowed to make an application for international protection by filling out an application form.
Subsequent application for international protection
11. A person cannot make a second or further application (subsequent application) for international protection without the consent of the Minister. These applications are also processed by the International Protection Office.
Application for International Protection Questionnaire
12. Following your preliminary interview, if your application is found to be admissible, you will be given the Application for International Protection Questionnaire (IPO 2) which must be completed and returned to the IPO. You must return the questionnaire by the date and time specified by the IPO.
13. Please note, it is recommended that you obtain legal advice before completing your questionnaire.
14. You should supply any supporting documents, which you think are relevant (for example, birth or marriage certificates, character references, testimonials or qualifications, etc.) to the IPO as soon as possible. Should you not have these documents at your initial interview, they may be submitted any time up to when the IPO prepares the report for the Minister on your application for international protection.
15. If the IPO recommends that you are not entitled to either refugee status or subsidiary protection, the Minister will then consider whether or not to give you permission to remain in the State (Ireland) for another reason (for example, because of your family or personal circumstances). This function will be carried out in the IPO. You must set out information relevant to permission to remain in the appropriate part of the questionnaire. Please note, you must inform the IPO of any change in your circumstances that could be relevant to the decision to grant or refuse you permission to remain.
16. It would be helpful if all documentation relevant to your application for international protection (or relevant to permission to remain) could be provided to the IPO in advance of your interview so that all issues could be considered as early as possible by the IPO.
17. The personal interview is a substantive interview and is your opportunity to speak to an international protection officer from the IPO face to face to present the grounds of your application in a comprehensive manner including giving a full account of why you left your country of origin/habitual residence and why you are unable or unwilling to return there. You should note that the interview only covers international protection matters.
18. Please note, you will be interviewed in a language that you may reasonably be expected to understand and in which you are able to communicate.
19. Further information on the interview and examination of applications can be found in section 4 of the Information Booklet for Applicants for International Protection (IPO 1).
20. Under section 39 of the International Protection Act 2015, an international protection officer will produce a written report containing a recommendation on your application for international protection. The recommendation will be one of the following:
- that you should be given a refugee declaration,
- that you should not be given a refugee declaration but should be given a subsidiary protection declaration, or
- that you should be given neither a refugee declaration nor a subsidiary protection declaration.
21. You will receive a copy of this report at the end of the process.
22. As part of the single procedure process, if you are found not to be eligible for refugee status or subsidiary protection, the Minister will then consider under section 49 of the International Protection Act 2015 whether there are any reasons why you should be given permission to remain in the State.
23. You may appeal a recommendation not to grant you international protection (either refugee status or both refugee status and subsidiary protection) to the IPAT. An IPAT decision on your appeal, and the reasons for it, will be notified to you and your legal representative (if known).
24. Further information on the appeals process can be found in Section 5 of the Information Booklet for Applicants for International Protection (IPO 1) and on the website of the IPAT.
25. You cannot appeal a decision of the Minister not to give you permission to remain.
26. If you appeal a recommendation not to grant you international protection and the IPAT upholds that recommendation, the Minister will then review the decision not to give you permission to remain if you have submitted any new information relating to a change of circumstances (of relevance to that decision) since the original decision was made.
This information is not legal advice and does not give a legal interpretation of the International Protection Act 2015. If you require more information about the 2015 Act and its effect on your case, you should obtain legal advice.