International protection and the powers of the Minister for Justice

Introduction

After your application for international protection has been examined, the International Protection Office sends its recommendation to the Minister for Justice. This is also called the ‘first instance decision’. The IPO makes one of the following recommendations:

  • That you should be declared a refugee
  • That you should be declared a person with subsidiary protection
  • That you should not be declared either a refugee or a person with subsidiary protection

You can appeal the recommendation of the IPO if it has not granted you a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal. If you do not appeal, or your appeal is not successful, the Minister will decide if you should be granted permission to remain in Ireland or not.

The Minister will usually follow the recommendation of the IPO or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) to grant or refuse you a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration. The Minister can refuse you a refugee protection declaration at this stage if:

  • There are reasonable grounds for regarding you as a danger to the security of Ireland
  • You have been convicted (either in Ireland or another country) of a serious crime and you constitute a danger to the community
  • Your application for international protection was withdrawn

Recommendations of the International Protection Office (IPO)

The IPO makes a recommendation on your application. They send the recommendation to you (or your legal representative) and to the Minister for Justice. You can appeal this recommendation to the International Protection Appeals Board (IPAT).

If the IPO or IPAT recommends you should be granted international protection

If the IPO (or IPAT) recommend that you be declared a refugee or that you should be granted subsidiary protection, the Minister usually issues a decision based on this recommendation. The Minister can still refuse to grant you a refugee declaration if:

  • There are reasonable grounds for regarding you as a danger to the security of Ireland
  • You have been convicted (either in Ireland or another country) of a serious crime and you constitute a danger to the community
  • Your application for international protection was withdrawn

If the Minister refuses your application for these reasons, you cannot appeal this decision to IPAT. You may be able to apply to the High Court for a judicial review of the decision. You should get legal advice about this.

When you get a decision from the Minister that declares you are a refugee or have subsidiary protection, you must register and get an Irish Residence Permit. You can read about the rights you have as a person with refugee or subsidiary protection status.

If the IPO or IPAT recommends you should not be granted international protection

If you do not appeal the decision, the Minister will then examine your application to see if you should be granted permission to remain. The Minister also advises you of your right to voluntarily return to the country you came from. If you decide to voluntarily return, you will be helped to do this.

If you are not granted refugee status and you are granted subsidiary protection instead, you can appeal if you want to. If you declared a refugee following the appeal, your subsidiary protection status will be removed.

If you did not appeal, or your appeal was not granted, and the Minister decides to not grant you permission to remain, the Minister may then make a deportation order.

The Minister’s power to revoke a declaration

The minster can cancel (revoke) your refugee declaration if you:

  • Voluntarily return to live in the country of your nationality, or the country your left to become a refugee if you have no nationality
  • Voluntarily reacquire your lost nationality
  • Become the citizen of another country (not Ireland) which now protects you
  • Can no longer continue to refuse the protection of the country of your nationality because the circumstances that led to you being recognised as a refugee have ceased to exist
  • Have no nationality and are able to return to the country of your former habitual residence because the circumstances that led to you 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 of Ireland prior to your arrival
  • Are guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations
  • Pose a threat to national security or, having been convicted of a serious crime, a threat to the community in the State
  • Were given a refugee declaration on the basis of information furnished which was false or misleading

Revoking a subsidiary protection declaration

The Minister for Justice can also revoke a subsidiary protection declaration given to a person where:

  • The circumstances that led to you being eligible for subsidiary protection have ceased to exist or have changed so that international protection is no longer required
  • Were given a refugee declaration on the basis of information furnished which was false or misleading

Some acts disqualify you from subsidiary protection and can be used by the Minister to revoke a declaration:

  • You have committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity
  • You have committed a serious crime
  • You are guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations
  • You pose a danger to the community or the security of the State

Appeal against revocation

The Minister must notify you of their intention to revoke your declaration. You then have 15 working days from the issue of the notification to make representations to the Minister.

Where the Minister decides to revoke a declaration, you have 10 working days from the sending of the notice containing the decision and the reasons for it to appeal to the Circuit Court.

Deportation orders

If the Minister for Justice has refused to give you a refugee or subsidiary protection declaration or permission to remain, the Minister may make a deportation order against you.

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.

Detentions under the International Protection Act

You can be arrested and detained pending deportation where an immigration officer or a member of An Garda Síochána, with reasonable cause, suspects that you have a deportation order and you:

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

For the purposes of making an arrest, 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 place where people live, the officer cannot enter without consent unless you are ordinarily resident there or the officer has reasonable grounds for believing you are there.

Page edited: 19 July 2022