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.
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.
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
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.
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.
You can get legal assistance from Legal Aid Board (LAB) to help with your asylum application or appeal.
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.
- Download 'Your guide to living independently' (PDF 1.1MB)
- This guide is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Pashtu and Urdu
You may be given other services based on your needs. For example
- Exceptional needs payments
- English language classes for adults