How to get asylum in Ireland? Refugees in Ireland

You can get asylum in Ireland if you are in Ireland. You can start claiming asylum in Ireland in two ways. You can visit passport control as soon as you arrive in Ireland. Or you can go in person to the International Protection Office (IPO). You will have two interviews and one questionnaire to fill out. You get housing and financial help while you are seeking asylum in Ireland.

If you are Ukrainian, contact passport control when you are entering Ireland. You might have the right to legal residence in Ireland for one year or more. You don’t need to decide now if you want to apply for asylum. You also might get housing if you need it. And you will be able to work in Ireland. Please read more on this information in Ukrainian by the Irish government.

Most links below go to websites in English. Therefore use Google Translate, or any other translation service, if you need it.

How to get asylum in Ireland?

To get asylum in Ireland, you need to be in Ireland. When you travel to Ireland, you can seek asylum. You can apply for asylum at passport control, or immigration service, in any airport, or ferry port. You can also visit, in person, the closest international protection office. At any place, you will get proper help.
When you claim asylum you receive an initial questionnaire to complete. And then authorities take your fingerprints and photographs. And then you can stay at a reception center at the end of a long bureaucratic day.
 
You want to give any documentation that can prove your case.
 
The asylum application process is the following.
 
  • You have a preliminary interview at the first place where you apply for asylum.
  • You get a temporary residence certificate.
  • You will have then to fill up a questionnaire.
  • You will have a personal interview.
  • After you get a decision on the validity of your asylum claim. That can take some time.
  • If the decision is positive, you get protection in Ireland.
  • If the decision is negative, you can appeal at a tribunal in Ireland.
No one will ask you to leave the country until this asylum application process is over.
 
Read more at the International Protection Office in Ireland. It’s mostly in English, so read it through Google Translate if you need.

Asylum in Ireland for Ukrainian citizens

There is no need to provide any visa to travel to Ireland from Ukraine in this challenging situation.

You can stay in Ireland for at least a year and you don’t need to apply for asylum immediately. You can get help and shelter if you need it.

Ireland provides full support for Ukrainians. Please read this information in Ukrainian published by the Irish Government.

How do you qualify for asylum in Ireland?

You are not safe in your country and you cannot be protected in your own country. These are the only two requirements to apply for asylum in Ireland. You also need to be in person in Ireland. If you have anyone dependent upon you in your family, you can mention them as well.

What is the asylum process in Ireland?

Once you have said that you are seeking asylum, you will have a preliminary interview. And, after some time, you will a longer personal interview.

When you have your preliminary interview. You can submit any original documents or identification proof that you have. Irish authorities will take your fingerprints as well.

After, you fill up a questionnaire with all the information that you have.

After some time, you will have a personal interview. You need to appear for this interview alone without any of your family members. In this interview round, you need to explain why you need asylum. Some other questions can be, who is prosecuting you and why you are afraid to go back to your country.

The IPO and the Minister of Justice will then review your application. Your application may take six months for getting approval for refugee status. There may be some circumstances where the period may be more than six months.
 
If your application got refused you can also appeal the decision. You can lodge your complaint to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT). You can get more information here.

What will be the end of the asylum procedure in Ireland?

The International protection office might give you refugee status or subsidiary protection. Or they can reject your application for protection. You can appeal a rejection.

What to do if the application is not approved?

You have 5 days to appeal when you get a negative decision on your application. You can appeal to the IPAT, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal in Ireland. You need to do it within 5 days with new evidence. You can get legal help. So you can provide more evidence on why you should get asylum.

The review of the application may take time after you submit the request.

Do refugees get free housing in Ireland?

You can get a temporary shelter, while the Irish authorities process your application. Direct Provision accommodation centres around Ireland provide lodging to asylum seekers.

Primary Provision is a scheme of ‘living centers’. For-profit lodging and catering companies run them on contract with the Irish Government. Direct Provision is a way to give direct support to individuals, in the form of room and board.

You will have a place to stay while your case is under process. You move from your initial accommodation after you have done all your interviews.

Asylum seekers live in housing centers with other asylum seekers. A center can be a former convent in Waterford. Or it can be a complex of tiny coastal row houses outside Dublin. Or it can be a former student dormitory in central Dublin. Some centers only hold men, some only women, some whole families, and some a combination of two groups or more. The largest center holds almost 600 people, the smallest less than 100.

A new asylum seeker goes usually to Balseskin. That is a purpose-built dormitory in Dublin’s outer suburb. People spend here several days or a few weeks. Sometimes, people stay several months, before heading to more permanent shelters.

Do people seeking asylum get financial support in Ireland?

Yes, In Ireland, you can get financial support while your application is under process.

This is part of the Irish direct provision system.


Sources: UNHCR Help Ireland, Gov.ie

The cover image above is somewhere in Galway, Ireland. Photo by Kelan Chad on Unsplash