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Rights and obligations of asylum seekers in Ireland

Information

During the period that you are an asylum seeker in Ireland and your application for a declaration as a refugee is being processed in Ireland, you have certain rights and obligations.

Your rights

  • Unless your case is to be dealt with in accordance with the Dublin III Regulation, you will not be removed from the State until you have been given the opportunity to present your case fully to the Refugee Applications Commissioner or the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, as appropriate.
  • Every effort will be made to provide you with an interpreter, where necessary and possible.
  • You are entitled to consult a solicitor. The Refugee Legal Service is an independent body that provides legal assistance to individuals applying for a declaration as a refugee. An information leaflet about the Refugee Legal Service will be given to you when you make your initial application.
  • You are entitled to consult with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who has an office in Dublin.
  • The Reception and Integration Agency will provide you with accommodation (on a full board basis) in one of their accommodation centres while your application for asylum is being processed. You are entitled to welfare support and health care while your application is being processed.
  • All details provided in connection with your application will be treated in confidence. Information may, however, be disclosed to other bodies that may be dealing with you, such as government departments and agencies including the immigration authorities, An Garda Síochána (the Irish Police), local authorities, as well as the UNHCR, to enable these organisations carry out their functions, including the administration of the law relating to the entry and removal from the State of foreign nationals. Some information may also be provided to other countries operating the Dublin III Regulation for the purpose of operating these arrangements.
  • You will be notified in writing at the most recent address given by you of any appointments you must keep and any recommendations made or decisions taken in connection with your application for a declaration as a refugee by the Refugee Applications Commissioner, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the Minister for Justice and Equality (as appropriate).
  • You have the right to view and correct any data concerning you which is held on the Eurodac system. You will be given the opportunity to do this while you are in the Office of the Refugee Applications Commission (ORAC) or you can write to ORAC to rectify any incorrect data – see ‘Where to apply’ below.

Your obligations

  • You must comply with the laws of the State.
  • You must notify, in writing, the Refugee Applications Commissioner of your address (within 5 working days of making your application) and any change of address. Failure to do so could result in you being found guilty of an offence under the Refugee Act 1996, as amended. Failure to do so could also result in you not receiving important notifications in relation to your applications and consequently failing to meet time limits for lodging documentation, appeals, and so on. You can find out more about offences under the Refugee Act 1996 - see 'Further information' below.
  • In all correspondence with the Refugee Applications Commissioner or the Refugee Appeals Tribunal you should clearly indicate your name, address, nationality, and the reference number shown on your Temporary Residence Certificate.
  • You must not leave or attempt to leave the State without the consent of the Minister for Justice while your application is under consideration.
  • You are not entitled to seek or enter employment or carry on any business, trade or profession.
  • You may be required to report at specified intervals to an Immigration Officer, to person authorised by the Minister or to a member of the Garda Siochana (Irish Police).
  • You are required to reside or remain at the accommodation centre allocated to you by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA)
  • You can only move from this accommodation with the permission of the RIA and only in circumstances where the RIA is in a position to offer you alternative accommodation.
  • You must be truthful at all times in the information you provide in connection with your application. If you are not, it may lead to a finding that your application is manifestly unfounded. In such circumstances, you would have a shorter period within which to appeal and any appeal you might make would be dealt with without an oral hearing.
  • You must co-operate fully with the investigation of your application. Failure to do so could affect the credibility of your application or result in your application being deemed withdrawn.
  • You should make all information relevant to your application available to the Refugee Applications Commissioner. If you do not do so and seek to bring forward additional information at appeal stage, you will be required to explain why this information was not made available to the Refugee Applications Commissioner. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal will be required to take this into account in assessing the credibility of your application
  • You must provide the Refugee Applications Commissioner or the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (as appropriate), with details of your solicitor and any change of solicitor (name, address, phone number, and so on).
  • You or your solicitor must retain all copies of documentation given to you by the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. Only in exceptional circumstances will additional copies of the documents be made available.

Applications which may be deemed to be withdrawn.

There are a number of circumstances in which failure on your part to comply with your statutory obligations may result in your application for refugee status being deemed withdrawn. In this case, the Minister for Justice shall refuse to give you a declaration.

Where to apply

Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner

79-83 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Opening Hours:Mon-Fri 8.45am - 4pm
Tel:+353 1 602 8000
Fax:+353 1 602 8122
Homepage: http://www.orac.ie/
Email: oracmail@orac.ie

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

1-3 Lower Fitzwilliam Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel:+353 (0)1 631 4510
Fax:+353 (0)1 632 8676
Email: iredu@unhcr.org

Reception and Integration Agency

P.O. Box 11487
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: +353 1 418 3200
Fax:+353 1 418 3271
Homepage: http://www.ria.gov.ie/
Email: RIA_Inbox@justice.ie

Further information

Offences contrary to the Refugee Act 1996

An applicant for a declaration as a refugee who:

  • Leaves or attempts to leave the State without the permission of the Minister for Justice and Equality
  • Seeks or enters employment or carries on any business, trade or profession during the period before the final determination of his or her application for a declaration
  • Fails to inform the Refugee Applications Commissioner of his or her address or any change of address
  • Fails to comply with a requirement to reside or remain in particular districts or places in the State or to report at specified intervals to an immigration officer or member of the Garda Siochana
    will be guilty of an offence under the Refugee Act, 1996, as amended, and may be liable to a fine and/or imprisonment on summary conviction

Any person who:

  • Forges or fraudulently alters, or assists in forging or fraudulently altering or procures the forging or fraudulent alteration of a Temporary Residence Certificate
  • Gives or makes false or misleading information or statements for the purposes of, or in relation, to an application for a declaration as a refugee
  • Destroys or conceals identity documents with intent to deceive for the purposes of, or in relation to, an application for a declaration as a refugee

will be guilty of an offence and may be liable to a fine and/or imprisonment on summary conviction.

Any person who:

  • Forges or fraudulently alters, or assists in forging or fraudulently altering or procures to be forged or fraudulently altered any identity documents for reward, with intent to use such documents for the purposes of, or in relation to, an application for a declaration as a refugee
  • Sells or supplies, or is in possession for the purposes of sale or supply, forged identity documents with intent to use such documents for the purposes of, or in relation to, an application for a declaration as a refugee;
    will be guilty of an offence and may be liable to a fine and/or imprisonment on summary conviction or on conviction on indictment

A member of the Garda Siochana may arrest without a warrant a person who may be reasonably suspected of committing, or of having committed, an offence.

Circumstances in which an applicant for refugee status can be detained

Subject to the provisions of the Refugee Act 1996, as amended, you could be detained by an immigration officer or member of the Garda Siochana if, with reasonable cause, it is suspected that you:

  • Pose a threat to national security or public policy
  • Have committed a serious non-political crime outside the State
  • Have not made reasonable efforts to establish your identity, including non-compliance with the requirement to provide fingerprints
  • Intend to avoid removal from the state, in the event of your application being transferred to a Dublin III Regulation country
  • Intend to avoid removal from the State, in the event of your application being unsuccessful;
    intend to leave the State and enter another without lawful authority
  • without reasonable cause, have destroyed identity or travel documents or are in possession of forged identity documents.
Page updated: 9 December 2014

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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.