What is the change? A long-awaited law that streamlines applications for international protection into a single procedure is now in effect.

What does the change mean? The new procedure eases processing for asylum seekers and refugees, which it is hoped will allow immigration authorities to focus on reforms in other areas that affect business immigration.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate. The International Protection Act 2015 took effect Dec. 31.
  • Visas/permits affected: Applications for international protection.
  • Who is affected: Asylum seekers and refugees seeking international protection in Ireland.
  • Impact on processing times: The change to a single application procedure will speed up processing times and allow applicants to have their applications for international protection finally determined, which will reduce the length of time applicants spend in the protection process.
  • Next steps: All applications filed on and after Dec. 31 will be processed according to the new procedures.

Background: The International Protection Act 2015 brings Ireland’s application procedures for international protection in line with other EU member states. Under the new procedures, a single application is filed with the new chief international protection officer (replacing the refugee applications commissioner). Appeals will be heard by the new International Protection Appeals Tribunal (replacing the Refugee Appeals Tribunal).

BAL Analysis: The law is a major development and a welcome reform that will ease processing and divert asylum applications to a more streamlined process, which in turn is expected to free up resources for authorities to focus on immigration issues other than international protection.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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