Decisions made by the Minister for Justice and Equality in relation to international protection

Introduction

If the International Protection Office or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal makes a recommendation to the Minister for Justice and Equality that you should be given a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration, the Minister will give you a declaration in writing stating that you are a refugee or are eligible for subsidiary protection, subject to considerations of national security or public order.

If you are given a declaration

If the Minister decides to give you a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration, in accordance with the International Protection Act 2015, you are then entitled to:

  • Seek and enter employment in the State
  • Carry on any business, trade or profession in the State
  • Have access to education and training in the same manner and to the same extent in all respects as an Irish citizen
  • Receive the same medical care and services and the same social welfare benefits as an Irish citizen
  • Reside in the State
  • Have the same rights of travel in, to or from the State as Irish citizens. Note: this is on the basis that the Minister for Justice and Equality issues a travel document)
  • Apply to the Minister for Justice and Equality for permission for a member of your family to enter and reside in the State, in accordance with Section 56 of the International Protection Act 2015.

Under the terms of the 1951 Geneva Convention, as a refugee you are entitled to:

  • Have the same freedom to practise your religion and the same freedom as regards religious education of your child as an Irish citizen
  • Have the same access to the courts as an Irish citizen
  • Have the same right to form and be a member of associations and trade unions as an Irish citizen
  • Acquire, hold, dispose or otherwise deal with real or personal property or an interest in such property in the same way and subject to the same obligations and limitations as an Irish citizen

If you are refused a declaration

If the International Protection Office or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal recommends to the Minister for Justice and Equality that you should be refused a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration, the Minister may refuse to give you a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration. You will be sent a notice in writing stating that your application for a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration has been refused.

Voluntary return

If your application for a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration has been refused, the Minister may inform you in writing that you may withdraw your application and return voluntarily to your country of origin. If you confirm to the Minister that you will comply with this, the Minister will not make a deportation order requiring you to leave the State.

Permission to remain

If the International Protection Office has made a recommendation that you should be refused a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration, and this recommendation has not been overturned by the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, the Minister may consider whether you should be given permission to remain in the State. When deciding this, under section 49 of the Act, the Minister must have regard to your family and personal circumstances including your connection with the State (if any), humanitarian considerations and considerations of national security and public order.

If the Minister makes a deportation order to remove you from the State

If the Minister for Justice and Equality has refused to give you a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration or permission to remain, the Minister may make a deportation order against you in accordance with the Immigration Act 1999, as amended. The notice of the deportation order may require you to leave the State within a specified period and to present yourself to a member of the Garda Síochána or immigration officer at a date, time and place as specified in the order.

Where an immigration officer or a member of An Garda Síochána, with reasonable cause, suspects that a person against whom a deportation order is in force:

  • Has failed to comply with any provision of the order or with a requirement
  • Intends to leave the State and enter another state illegally
  • Has destroyed identity documents or is in possession of forged identity documents or
  • Intends to avoid deportation

The officer concerned may arrest that person without warrant and detain that person in a prescribed place or may transport them to a ship, aircraft, road vehicle or train that is due to leave the State. Under section 78 of the International Protection Act 2015, for the purposes of arresting that person, the officer may enter (using reasonable force if necessary) and search any premises where the person is or where the officer suspects the person is. If it is a dwelling, the officer will not enter without consent unless the person is ordinarily resident there or the officer has reasonable grounds for believing the person is there.

Revocation of a declaration

Revocation of a refugee declaration

The Minister for Justice and Equality may decide to revoke a refugee declaration given to a person where they:

  • Voluntarily re-avail of the protection of the country of their nationality
  • Voluntarily reacquire their lost nationality
  • Acquire a new nationality (other than as an Irish citizen) and enjoy the protection of the country of their own nationality
  • Voluntarily re-establish themselves in the country, which they left or outside which they remained owing to fear of persecution
  • Can no longer continue to refuse to avail of the protection of the country of their nationality because the circumstances that led to them being recognised as a refugee have ceased to exist
  • Have no nationality and are able to return to the country of their former habitual residence because the circumstances that led to them being recognised as a refugee have ceased to exist
  • Have committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity
  • Have committed a serious non-political crime outside the State prior to your arrival in it
  • Are guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations
  • Are a person whose presence in the State poses a threat to national security or, having been convicted of a serious crime, a threat to the community in the State or
  • Were given a refugee declaration on the basis of information furnished which was false or misleading

Revocation of a subsidiary protection declaration

The Minister for Justice and Equality may decide to revoke a subsidiary protection declaration given to a person where:

  • The circumstances that led to them being eligible for subsidiary protection have ceased to exist or have changed so that international protection is no longer required •They have committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity
  • They have committed a serious crime
  • They are guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations or
  • Their presence in the State poses a danger to the community or the security of the State

Appeal against revocation

Where the Minister proposes to revoke a declaration, the person concerned will be notified and will have 15 working days from the issue of the notification to make representations to the Minister. In cases where the Minister decides to revoke a declaration, the person concerned will have 10 working days from the sending of the notice containing the decision and the reasons for it to appeal to the Circuit Court.

National security and public policy considerations

Under the International Protection Act 2015, if the Minister for Justice and Equality considers that, in the interest of national security or public policy (ordre public), it is necessary to do so, the Minister may provide that the right to travel, renewal of leave to remain in the State and/or family reunification shall not apply to a person who has been given a refugee declaration or a subsidiary protection declaration.

Page edited: 3 January 2017