Assessment and examination of applications for international protection in Ireland
Under the International Protection Act 2015, if you have submitted an application for international protection in Ireland to the International Protection Office, your application will first be assessed to establish the relevant facts and circumstances. Following the assessment, an international protection officer will examine your application in order to recommend whether or not you should be given a refugee declaration or a subsidiary protection declaration. The international protection officer will then make a recommendation based on the examination and send it to the Minister for Justice and Equality, who will notify you about the recommendation.
When your application is being assessed and examined, you have a duty to:
- Provide all the information and details relevant to your particular circumstances
- Co-operate in the assessment and examination of your application
The International Protection Office has published a detailed information booklet for applicants for international protection (pdf).
Assessment of your application
Under section 28 of the Act, an international protection officer will assess your statements and all other documents providing information such as your age, identity, country or countries of previous residence, previous asylum applications, travel routes and your reasons for applying for international protection.
When carrying out the assessment, the international protection officer will take the following into account:
- All relevant facts relating to your country of origin
- Relevant statements and documentation presented by you, including information as to whether you have been or may be subject to persecution or serious harm
- Your position and personal circumstances
- Whether your activities since leaving your country of origin were engaged in to create conditions allowing you to apply for international protection
- Whether you could obtain the protection of another country where you could claim citizenship
- Your general credibility
If you have already been subject to persecution or serious harm you may not have documentary or other evidence to support this. In this situation, the international protection officer will not need confirmation of this if convinced that:
- You made a genuine effort to prove what you said in your application
- You provided all the evidence you had available and gave a reasonable explanation for not having other relevant evidence
- Your statements were coherent and plausible
- If you did not apply for international protection at the earliest possible time, you gave a reasonable explanation for not doing so •Your general credibility has been established
Examination of your application
The international protection officer will examine your application, to decide what to recommend in your case. The 3 options for the recommendation are:
- That you should be given a refugee declaration or
- That you should be given a subsidiary protection declaration or
- That you should be given neither of these declarations
You will be interviewed as part of the examination of your application. You will be notified in writing of a time, a date and a place to attend for a personal interview.
If you do not attend for a personal interview on a date and at a time fixed and you do not provide the Minister for Justice and Equality with an explanation (not later than 3 working days from that date) that is reasonable in the opinion of the Minister, your application will be considered based only on information you have already provided.
If you require an interpreter, every reasonable effort will be made to provide one in a language that you can use.
The Minister will ensure that, as far as possible, the interviewer is competent to take account of the personal and general circumstances of your application. If you wish, your legal representative may be present at the interview.
There may not be a personal interview if the international protection officer considers that:
- Based on the available evidence, the applicant should be given a refugee declaration
- An applicant aged under 18 is not mature enough for an interview to be useful
- The applicant is unfit or unable to be interviewed due to enduring circumstances beyond their control
Following the interview, the international protection officer will prepare a written report.
Recommendation of the international protection officer
At the end of the examination, the international protection officer will prepare a written report, which will include a recommendation on your application. The report will be based on the matters that you have raised, both in writing and at your interview. The report will also take into account other matters that the officer considers appropriate, for example, information in relation to the situation in your country of origin or representations made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in connection with your application.
The international protection officer’s recommendation, under section 39 (3) of the Act, will be one of the following:
(a) You should be given a refugee declaration
(b) You should not be given a refugee declaration and should be given a subsidiary protection declaration
(c) You should be given neither a refugee declaration nor a subsidiary protection declaration.
The report will be sent to the Minister for Justice and Equality, who will send you written notification of the recommendation. If the recommendation is not made within 6 months of the date of your application, the Minister will provide, on your request, information on the estimated time it will take to make a recommendation.
If the international protection officer recommends that you should be given a refugee declaration, the Minister for Justice and Equality will give you this declaration. You can read more in our document on decisions on international protection made by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
If the international protection officer recommends that you should be given either a subsidiary protection declaration or no declaration, a copy of the report will be sent to you. You may appeal to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal against the recommendation. You can read more about this in our document, If your application for international protection in Ireland is refused.