8 April 2022 

Press Release: Irish Refugee Council calls for clarity and action on the registration of asylum applications

  • Delays in registration of asylum application causing hardship and poverty
  • Registration certificate crucial document need for PPS and Medical Card
  • Delays in paperwork and issuing of PPS numbers is in stark contrast to Irish State’s welcome response to refugees from Ukraine
  • At least 1,200 people have yet to complete the initial application process

The Irish Refugee Council is highlighting the situation of many people in the international protection process who are waiting both for their application to be registered and a temporary residence certificate (TRC) issued. The TRC is a crucial document that permits a person to apply for a PPS number, a medical card and the daily expenses allowance given to people seeking protection. According to numbers released this week, least 1,200 people have yet to complete the initial application process. The organisation states that this situation is resulting in people experiencing poverty. Similar days and issues were flagged by the Irish Refugee Council in July 2019.

Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said:

“We commend the Irish State for providing refugees from Ukraine PPS numbers and other paperwork within hours of arrival. However, this is in stark contrast to the experience of many people in the mainstream international protection process are experiencing delays in the registration of their protection application and the issuing of the temporary residence certificate (TRC) (the TRC is evidence that a person has submitted an international protection application in Ireland.).”

 “This delay causes multiple problems: it means people cannot obtain a PPS number, the daily expenses allowance (the social welfare payment given to people), slows or prevents access to school and delays access to the right to work (as the six month waiting period does not commence). As a result of these delays, in the experience of the Irish Refugee Council, people, including children, live in poverty for several weeks and up to four months, unable to meet their basic needs such as public transport, appropriate clothing, phone credit or hygiene products.”

 “Figures obtained by Catherine Connolly TD state that 1,200 people have yet to complete the initial application process. The Irish Refugee Council’s interpretation of the International Protection Act is that the TRC shall be issued when or as soon as possible after the person applies for international protection, not at a later stage in the process. I.e. when they first attend the International Protection Office.”

"We understand that there are pressures on the protection process, but prompt, if not immediate, registration of the protection application and issuing of the temporary residence certificate is essential. This is also, in our opinion, a legal obligation under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 and the International Protection Act 2015.”

“We need to learn from how key paperwork and documents have been quickly delivered to people who have fled Ukraine and apply that to all people seeking protection.”



Notes for editor:

  • For comment: Nick Henderson, CEO, 085 858 5559
  • Catherine Connolly Parliamentary Question of 5 April 2022 available here
  • There are approximately 1,300 people in ‘pre reception’ accommodation, as of 23 March 2022; see here
  • The Irish Refugee Council drew attention to these issues in its report ‘The Reception Conditions Directive: One Year On Briefing Paper, July 2019’ available here
  • The Irish Refugee Council Report, ‘Hanging on A Thread’, focussed on delays in the international protection process, available here