Support & services for asylum seekers

While your application is being reviewed, you will be offered a safe place to stay and access to basic services. This includes food and healthcare, as well as legal services if required for your application.

Accommodation

After you make an application at the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) will arrange for you to go to a reception centre, if you have nowhere else to stay.

RIA will then review your needs and arrange more permanent accommodation for you (and your family, if appropriate). This system is known as direct provision.

Accommodation centres are located around Ireland, including former hotels, guesthouses, hostels, and apartments.

Each centre is safe and secure. Regular meals and other services (eg washing, laundry) are also provided.

Note: You cannot choose which accommodation centre you will live in. However, in exceptional circumstances you may be allowed to transfer from one centre to another.

Health

You will have access to the same basic health services as an Irish citizen. This includes:

  • Prescriptions for medicine
  • Dental care for your teeth
  • Eyesight tests
  • Pregnancy services
  • Children's health

Education

If you have children between the ages of 6 and 16, they must attend school.

School is free although some payments may be needed from time-to-time. Where possible, children will be given language support.

In general, you are not entitled to university education.

Cash

If you are living in Direct Provision accommodation, you will be given a small payment each week to help you buy things like toiletries and clothes.

  • Each adult receives €19.10 per week.
  • Each child receives €15.60 per week.

Legal

You can get legal assistance from Legal Aid Board (LAB) to help with your asylum application or appeal.

Work

You are not allowed to work for payment while your asylum application is under consideration. However, you can get involved in unpaid community or voluntary work.

Transition to independent living

If you are granted refugee or subsidiary protection status, or leave to remain, RIA can help you to make the transition to independent living.

Other supports

You may be given other services based on your needs. For example

  • Translation
  • Exceptional needs payments
  • English language classes for adults

Contact

If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 21 July 2016

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