Reception, Dispersal & Accommodation



After asylum seekers make their application for asylum in the International Protection Office (IPO) they are offered accommodation in a reception centre in Dublin  for a period of approximately ten to fourteen days. During this period asylum seekers are given access to health (including health screening)legal  and welfare services. Asylum seekers are then relocated to an accommodation centre outside the Dublin area.


Asylum seekers from certain countries may be required under section 16(3)(D)(i) of the International Protection Act 2015 to report at specified intervals to an immigration officer or person or persons authorised by the Minister for Justice  or a member of An Garda Síochána. Failure of an asylum seeker to comply with this requirement will have serious consequences for their application for refugee status and

1. Shall be an offence with a penalty as specified in section 16(5) of The International Protection Act 2015 and

2. May result in their application for asylum being deemed to be withdrawn and refused.

In certain cases, report and reside requirements may be placed on individual asylum seekers by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.


Accommodation in reception and accommodation centres is provided on a full board basis which includes the provision of a bed and three meals per day. Residents are not allowed to cook their own food while living in an accommodation centre. They may be required to share their bedroom and bathroom facilities with other residents. There is a set of 'House Rules & Procedures' which all residents and centres must comply with. A formal complaints procedure is available for residents and centre management in the event of a dispute or grievance.

A key determinant in providing accommodation for asylum seekers is maintaining in as much as possible a sensitive, balanced and proportional approach nationwide. The distribution of asylum seekers in direct provision across Health Services Executive (HSE) areas indicate that in no case do the numbers exceed one third of 1% of the population of a HSE area.

The Agency has a total of 32 centres, located throughout 16 counties, consisting of the following:

1 Reception Centre (located in Dublin),

29 Direct Provision Accommodation Centres (7 of which are State-owned)

2 Self-catering Accommodation Centres (located in Dublin and Louth)

The 32 centres consist of a mixture of State-owned and commercial, comprising hotels, guesthouses, hostels, former Convents/Nursing Homes, mobile home site, system-built facilities and apartments.

All accommodation for asylum seekers is required to comply and operate in accordance with the statutory requirements of local authorities and State agencies in relation to bedroom capacity, food hygiene, water supply, etc.


RIA has no responsibility for unaccompanied minors. The Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) is statutorily responsible for Separated Children Seeking Asylum/ Unaccompanied Minors.

Those who reach 18 years of age – referred to as ‘aged out’ minors – are transferred at the request of TUSLA, from TUSLA care accommodation to RIA accommodation.  Aged out minors deemed by TUSLA as continuing to be vulnerable can, at its discretion, remain within its care.  Generally, a transfer from TUSLA  care to RIA accommodation will not take place in the middle of an academic school year. The policy agreed between RIA and the TUSLA  in relation to the accommodation of 'aged out' minors is below.

Accommodation of Aged Out Minors in RIA Accommodation Centres (July 2010) (PDF - 14KB) 


In certain exceptional circumstances an asylum seeker may be allowed to transfer from one accommodation centre to another accommodation centre.


Direct Provision means accommodation is provided on a full-board basis. Asylum seekers in direct provision receive a weekly direct provision allowance of €21.60 per adult and €21.60 per child. This is paid by Community Welfare Officers (CWO).  This allowance is a cash supplement for incidentals and it is not index-linked. This payment has to be seen in the overall context of the supports provided to asylum seekers under the policy of direct provision which ensures that the needs of all asylum seekers are met comprehensively and to a high standard. These supports include:

  • Accommodation at designated accommodation/reception centres while their application for asylum is being processed;
  • All meals;
  • No utility charges (gas, electricity, TV etc) or rent;
  • Free Laundry facilities;
  • Regional pre-schools/crèche facilities at larger centres;
  • Free primary and post-primary education;
  • Additional resources for schools with special needs in the area of English Language;
  • Full access to public health service;
  • Medical cards;
  • Designated psychological service;
  • Exceptional Needs Payments (made at discretion of the Community Welfare Service);
  • Back to school clothing and footwear allowance;
  • Other Community Welfare Payments.


International protection applicants can apply for a permission to access the labour market. You can apply for this permission from 2 July, 2018, if you have not yet received a first instance recommendation on your protection application.

This permission will allow you to access employment and self-employment. It will be valid for 6 months. You can renew the permission if you have not received a final decision on your international protection application within the 6 months. A final decision means when you have completed all appeals procedures, including judicial review proceedings. For more information: