If you do not get a declaration as a refugee
Under the International Protection Act 2015, several types of negative outcome may apply, depending on the nature of your case.
If your application is withdrawn or is deemed to be withdrawn, the Minister for Justice and Equality will be notified of this. The Minister will then refuse to give you a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration. When an application is deemed to be withdrawn, there is no appeal. Read more in our document on withdrawing from the international protection process.
Where an international protection officer makes a recommendation to the Minister that, under the Dublin III Regulation, your application for international protection is inadmissible, you may appeal to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal against this recommendation within 10 working days from the date of the notification.
Where an international protection officer makes a recommendation either:
- That you should be given a subsidiary protection declaration, but not a refugee declaration or
That you should be given neither a refugee nor a subsidiary protection declaration,
the Minister will notify you and your solicitor (if known) of the recommendation. You will also be furnished with the reasons for the recommendation and a copy of the international protection officer’s report.
You may appeal to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal against the recommendation within 15 working days from the date of sending the notification. You are entitled to request an oral hearing for this appeal – see ‘Appeal with an oral hearing’ below. The Tribunal may also decide to hold an oral hearing when it believes it is in the interests of justice to do so.
Where the international protection officer’s report includes among its findings any one of the following additional findings under section 39 (4) of the Act, the appeal timeline is shorter – see ‘Accelerated appeal procedures’ below.
Section 39 (4) findings:
- That the only issues raised by the applicant had no relevance or minimal relevance to their eligibility for international protection
- That the applicant has made inconsistent, contradictory, improbable or insufficient representations which make their claim to be eligible for international protection clearly unconvincing
That the applicant, without reasonable cause, failed to make an application as soon as reasonably practicable, having had opportunity to do so
- That the applicant’s country of origin is a safe country of origin
- That the applicant is not in need of international protection as they could safely return to some part of their country of origin (section 32 of the Act)
Accelerated appeal procedures
Under section 43 of the Act, if the report includes any of the above Section 39 (4) findings, your appeal against the negative recommendation should be made within 10 working days instead of 15 working days. Also, the appeal will be decided without an oral hearing unless the Tribunal believes it is in the interests of justice to hold one.
Transitional arrangements apply to applications for refugee status which were on appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT) but had not been decided on before the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015
If you decide to appeal
If you decide to appeal, the following procedure should be followed:
- The appeal must be made in writing on an official Notice of Appeal form, which will be included with the notification from the Minister. The Notice of Appeal form must be completed and submitted to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal – see ‘Where to apply’ below – within the specified time limits.
- If you wish to obtain legal advice and you have not done so previously, you should do so immediately on receipt of your letter of refusal. You may contact the Refugee Legal Service or you may engage private legal representation in relation to your appeal. However, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal will not refund any legal costs incurred in engaging private legal representation. If you wish to engage a solicitor, you should do so before completing the Notice of Appeal, because consideration of your appeal will be based on this Notice.
- All documents sent to you by the Minister will also be sent to your solicitor, if known.
- You must submit all supporting evidence and documentation with the Notice of Appeal, because these are the documents on which the appeal will be considered.
- You must also set out clearly the grounds of appeal.
- It is your responsibility to prove that your appeal was lodged within the permitted time limit. If posted, the Notice of Appeal must be sent by registered post and you must keep the certificate of registration you receive at the Post Office when you post the letter. If you wish to deliver the Notice by hand, you should hand it to a member of staff at the office of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal. You will be given a dated receipt and you should keep this receipt carefully.
- If you lodge your appeal after the time limit has expired, you must request an extension and explain why you could not make an appeal earlier.
- You must also inform the Tribunal of any change of address to the address provided in your Notice of Appeal.
Consideration of appeals
Appeal without an oral hearing
The International Protection Appeals Tribunal will consider your appeal without an oral hearing (on the papers only) based on:
- Notice of Appeal submitted by you or your solicitor
- Documents and reports furnished by the Minister
- Any observations by the Minister or the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
- Such other matters as the Tribunal considers relevant to the appeal
Appeal with an oral hearing
- If you request an oral hearing the Tribunal will send a notification to you at least 20 working days before the date of the hearing to attend the hearing unless you and the Tribunal have agreed to a shorter period.
- Your oral hearing will be conducted by a member of the Tribunal.
- The hearing must be attended by you and your solicitor (if any) and any witnesses directed to attend by the Tribunal. The international protection officer will also attend. The UNHCR may attend as an observer.
- Where you are entitled to an oral hearing, you must indicate this on your Notice of Appeal form. You may also request in your Notice of Appeal that a witness or witnesses attend to give evidence in support of your appeal. The notification of the date of your oral hearing will indicate whether your request for the attendance of a witness has been granted.
- In some cases, other observers may attend oral hearings at the discretion of the Tribunal.
- If you need an interpreter at your appeal hearing, you will be provided with one. In your Notice of Appeal, you should specify the precise language or dialect for which you require interpretation. The sole function of the interpreter is to interpret the questions and your responses accurately and literally.
- The oral hearing will be conducted as informally as is practicable and in such a manner as to ensure that the proceedings are fair and transparent. The Tribunal may hear 2 or more hearings together where it appears cases have a common matter, relates to members of the same family or it is otherwise reasonable to hear cases together.
- In general, you must have all your documents lodged with the Tribunal at least 10 working days prior to your oral hearing. However, the Tribunal may accept later lodgment of additional documents in certain circumstances, as specified in the International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) Regulations 2017 (pdf).
- You may withdraw a request for an oral hearing by giving written notice to the Tribunal not later than 3 working days before the hearing. The written notice must set out the reason for the withdrawal.
Failure to attend an oral hearing
Where you fail, without reasonable cause, to attend an oral hearing, then unless you furnish to the Tribunal, not later than 3 working days from the date fixed for the oral hearing, an explanation for not attending which the Tribunal considers reasonable in the circumstances, your appeal shall be deemed to be withdrawn. You and your solicitor (if known) will be notified of the withdrawal. The Minister for Justice and Equality will also be notified of the withdrawal. Read more in our document Withdrawing from the international protection process.
If you do not appeal
If the International Protection Office has recommended that you be given a subsidiary protection declaration and you do not appeal to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal within the time allowed, the recommendation will stand and the Minister will give you a subsidiary protection declaration.
If the recommendation of the International Protection Office is that you should not be given either a refugee declaration or a subsidiary protection declaration, the Minister will then consider whether you should be given permission to remain in the State, even if you do not appeal. 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 you are not given permission to remain as a result, the Minister will refuse to give you a declaration and may make arrangements for your removal from the State. You can read more in our document about decisions on international protection made by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Outcome of your appeal
You and your solicitor (if known) will be notified in writing of the decision of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal. A copy of the decision will be forwarded to the Minister for Justice and Equality.
If the decision of the Tribunal allows your appeal, the Minister will give you a refugee or a subsidiary protection declaration, subject to considerations of national security or public order.
Review: If the decision of the Tribunal does not allow your appeal, you may submit to the Minister information about change of circumstances or other information that would have been relevant when permission to remain in the State was being considered. Based on this information, the Minister will review the previous decision to refuse you permission to remain.
If you have received a decision on your application for international protection but you wish to apply again, you may be able to make a subsequent application. You must first apply for the Minister’s consent to the making of a subsequent application under section 22 of the Act.
You must satisfy the following condition:
- New elements or findings have emerged since your previous application, which make it significantly more likely that you will qualify for international protection, and you were incapable of presenting those elements or findings for the purposes of your previous application, or
If the Minister consents to the making of a subsequent application, you should make the application within 10 working days.
If the Minister does not consent to the making of a subsequent application, you can appeal this refusal within 10 working days from the date of the notification. The decision in this appeal will be made without an oral hearing.
You can read more in our document about decisions on international protection made by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Where to apply