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 International Protection Office (IPO) 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.


All applicants can apply to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation for an employment permit. This is an existing scheme and the same conditions for eligibility will be applied to international protection applicants as for all other non-EEA nationals. Full details can be found on the Department’s website by following the link to ‘Employment Permits’.

The Minister for Justice and Equality is setting up an administrative scheme to provide eligible international protection applicants with permission to be self-employed. To be eligible for this scheme applicants must, on the date they apply for a permission under the scheme, be waiting on a first instance recommendation on their protection application for 9 months or more. More information is available here.

Transition to independent living

If you are granted Refugee or Subsidiary Protection status, or Permission 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



If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 30 June 2017

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Page history

30 June 2017

All references to Leave to Remain replaced with Permission to Remain.

5 January 2017

All references to Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) changed to International Protection Office (IPO).

24 May 2016

Page published.