International Protection and Permission to Remain

What is international protection?

The International Protection Act 2015 outlines the two forms of international protection:


What is refugee status?

To be recognised as a refugee, you must be a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of:

is outside his or her country of nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail of the protection of that country, or a stateless person, who, being outside of his or her country of former habitual residence for the same reasons as mentioned above, is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to return to it.


What is subsidiary protection? 

If it is decided that you are not a refugee, you may qualify for subsidiary protection if there are substantial grounds for believing that you would face a real risk of suffering serious harm if returned to your country of origin/country of former habitual residence.

This is a status which is similar to that of refugee. It is granted where the person does not qualify as a refugee but where the IPO considers that the person faces a real risk of suffering serious harm in his or her country of origin.

The precise definition is that a person eligible for subsidiary protection is a person


Further information on international protection can be found in Section 1 & 2 of the Information Booklet for Applicants for International Protection (IPO 1)


What is permission to remain?

If the International Protection Office 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).

The permission to remain function will also be carried out in the International Protection Office.

Further information on permission to remain can be found in Section 13 of the Information Booklet for Applicants for International Protection (IPO 1) and Section 49 of the International Protection Act 2015



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.