The International Protection Office (IPO) is an office within the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) responsible for processing applications for international protection under the International Protection Act 2015. It also considers, as part of a single procedure process, whether applicants should be given permission to remain. The IPO comprises, inter alia, a chief international protection officer and international protection officers who are independent in the performance of their international protection functions.
What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2014 was enacted on 14 October, 2014. It establishes a legal right for each person to:
- access information held by public bodies,
- have official information relating to himself/herself amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading,
- obtain an explanation for the reasons for decisions affecting them.
The 2014 Act asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals.
What records can I ask for under FOI?
In the main, the IPO holds a lot of personal information in relation to applicants who use the services of this Office, access to which is already provided to the applicants concerned in the context of the determination process. Much of the documentation we hold will have already been provided to us by applicants and/or their legal representatives. Access by third parties to such information is strictly protected by both the FOI Act 2014 and by data protection legislation. We also have an obligation to respect the confidentiality of the process under section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015.
Note: In respect of requests for information that predates the establishment of the IPO, you may wish to note that under the 2014 Act, FOI was extended to a range of public bodies including the former Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC). While the former ORAC came under the 2014 Act with effect from 14 April 2015, only records created by ORAC, on or after 14 October 2014, are subject to FOI. However, all records relating to personal information held by ORAC, irrespective of when they were created, come within the scope of the Act subject to certain exemptions therein.
Making a Request for Information
If you wish to make a request for information under FOI, you should apply in writing by sending an e-mail to:
or you can post a request to:
Freedom of Information Unit,
International Protection Office,
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service,
79-83 Lower Mount St.,
Dublin 2, D02ND99
Telephone: +353 1 602 8000
Applications for information must be made in writing indicating that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act, 2014. If information is desired in a particular form (such as a photocopy, computer disk, etc.) this should also be specified. Requests should be as specific as possible to assist with identification of the records being sought.
Requests will be acknowledged within 10 working days of receipt giving, inter alia, contact details of the person handling the request. A final decision on your request will be sent to you within 20 working days of receipt. If difficulty is experienced in identifying the records required, the staff of the FOI Unit will assist in the formulation of the request.
The FOI Unit may be contacted at email@example.com or (01) 602 8000 or 6028008
Fees and Charges
Requests for personal information under FOI are free. Requests for personal information include information relating to yourself, your children or to deceased persons. Information concerning children requires the permission of both parents in order for the information to be released. We will need to verify your information in advance.
There may be a charge for requests for non-personal information. Information on fees and charges for requests for information under FOI can be found here
Information we hold
The function of the IPO is to investigate applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and related permission to remain matters as part of a single application procedure. We also deal with applications to make a subsequent application for international protection.
IPO holds personal records relating to our customers applications.
What if I am not satisfied with the decision on my FOI request?
You may appeal any decision issued by this Office by writing to the FOI Unit, International Protection Office, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 79-83 Lower Mount St., Dublin 2, D02ND99 seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to you.
You should normally make your appeal within 4 weeks from the date of the decision.The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the Office and a decision will be notified to you within 3 weeks.
What if I am not satisfied with the decision on internal review?
You may appeal a decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you make an appeal, the Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision. All appeals should be addressed to:
The Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street
Tel: +353 (1) 639 5689
Locall: 1890 25 32 38
Fax: + 353 (1) 639 5674