The Dublin III Regulation provides a mechanism for determining which country is responsible for examining an application for international protection that has been lodged in one of the member states by a third country national or a stateless person. The Dublin III Regulation applies to the 28 EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. In this document, they are referred to as the Dublin countries.
When you make your application for international protection, you will have an initial interview with an international protection officer to establish basic information and advise you of your rights. Your case may also be examined under the Dublin III Regulation to see whether it should be transferred to another Dublin country. It is open to you to make written representations, in this regard, to the International Protection Office – see 'Where to apply' below.
The international protection officer shall take into consideration all relevant matters known to them, including any representations made by you or on your behalf, when deciding whether your application will be transferred. You will then be issued with a written determination of the outcome.
In some cases, applicants may be required to participate in a separate interview relating to an application under the Dublin III Regulation. However, more usually, such information will be gathered during the course of the initial interview or as a result of fingerprint evidence.
If, at any stage during the investigation of your application, it appears that your application should be dealt with in another Dublin country, it may be dealt with in accordance with the Regulation.
Your case may be one where Ireland requests another Dublin country to take charge of your application. Examples of this are where another country has issued you with a visa or work permit, or if you irregularly crossed the frontier of another Dublin country before applying for international protection in Ireland.
Alternatively, Ireland may request that another Dublin country take back your application because, for example, you have made an international protection claim in another Dublin country and that claim has not yet been finalised; or you withdrew your international protection claim in that country; or your application for international protection was rejected and you are in Ireland without permission.
A summary of the different time limits to take charge and take back cases is set out as follows:
A request to another Dublin country to take charge of your application (to accept responsibility for it) must be made within 3 months from the date of your application. The requested country must give a decision no later than 2 months from the date on which it received the request.
If Ireland does not make the request within the period of 3 months, responsibility for your application lies with Ireland.
Ireland may ask for an urgent reply from the requested country if you were refused leave to enter or to remain in Ireland. Also, Ireland can make an urgent request if you have been arrested for unlawful stay; or after the service or execution of a removal order; and/or where you are held in detention. The request shall state the reasons warranting the urgent reply and the period within which a reply is expected. This period shall be at least one week and no longer than one month.
If the requested country fails to act within the 2-month period or the one-month period referred to above, this is tantamount to the requested country's acceptance of Ireland's request to take charge of your application.
A take back request to another Dublin country to take responsibility for your application must be made within 2 months of receipt of a hit on the Eurodac system – which records the fingerprints of applicants and can identify whether you have already applied for international protection in another Dublin country. If the take back request is based on other evidence, it shall be sent to the other Dublin country within 3 months of the date on which Ireland becomes aware that another Dublin country may be responsible for your application.
Where Ireland calls on another Dublin country to take back your application for international protection, the other Dublin country shall be obliged to make the necessary checks. It is also required to reply to Ireland’s request as quickly as possible and no later than one month from the date of the request.
Where Ireland's request is based on data obtained from the Eurodac system, the one-month time limit referred to above is reduced to 2 weeks.
Where the requested country does not respond to Ireland's request to take back within the one-month period or the 2-week period referred to above, the requested country shall be considered to have agreed to take back your application for international protection.
If another Dublin country is found to be responsible for examining your application and it agrees to accept responsibility for the transfer of your application, you will be informed immediately (in writing) that it is proposed to transfer you to that country for consideration of your application.
Note that Ireland may also call on and agree with another Dublin country to take charge of your spouse and or your minor dependent children, in addition to your application, even if your spouse or minor dependent children did not make an international protection application in the Dublin country that is responsible for your international protection application.
The transfer of your international protection claim will be arranged by the Department of Justice and Equality. It will take place as soon as is practicably possible and, at the latest, within 6 months of acceptance by the other Dublin country. The Minister for Justice and Equality will be notified of the determination with a view to making arrangements for your transfer to the Dublin country concerned.
Following the date of the determination, you will have 15 working days to appeal to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal. You will be provided with an information leaflet and a notice of appeal for that purpose. Any appeal that you submit will suspend the transfer of your application, pending the outcome of your appeal.
If the International Protection Appeals Tribunal overturns the determination of the international protection officer, your application will be returned by the International Protection Appeals Tribunal to the International Protection Office for examination. You will receive a written notification advising you of this.
A series of leaflets about the Dublin III Regulation include an information leaflet for all asylum applicants (pdf), a leaflet for applicants who are in the Dublin procedure (pdf) and a leaflet for children seeking international protection (pdf).
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.