Admissibility procedure



JRS Malta

General (scope, criteria, time limits)

Article 24 of the Refugees Act provides for “inadmissible applications” under Part V of the Act, in the provisions related to the accelerated procedures. As amended in March 2015, the following grounds allow for deeming an asylum application inadmissible:1

(a)   Another Member State has already granted the applicant international protection under the Dublin III Regulation;

(b)   The applicant comes from a first country of asylum;

(c)   The applicant comes from a safe third country;

(d)   The applicant has lodged a subsequent application presenting no new elements;

(e)   A dependant of the applicant has lodged a separate application after consenting to have his or her case made part of an application made on his or her behalf; and

(f)    The applicant has been recognised in a third country and can avail him or herself of that protection or otherwise enjoys sufficient protection from refoulement, and can be readmitted to that country.

(g)   The applicant comes from a safe country of origin.

As the law mentions the inadmissibility of an application for recognition of refugee status, only the Refugee Commissioner can decide upon the admissibility of the application.2 According to the Office of the Refugee Commissioner, all asylum applications are processed under the regular asylum procedure with no applications actually processed through the accelerated procedure. Data on inadmissible applications is not available for 2016. 


Personal interview

According to Regulation 5(5) of the Procedural Regulations, the interview may be omitted if the application is unfounded. However, the RefCom systematically interviews all asylum seekers. The same regular procedures therefore apply for inadmissible applications.

All recommendations under the accelerated procedure shall immediately be referred to the Chairman of the Board who shall examine and review the recommendation of the Commissioner within 3 working days.3 In practice, the 3 day time limit hinders any legal assistance, particularly in a detention context.

Although, the law foresees a possibility to appeal against a decision considering an application to be inadmissible, this provision does not apply for accelerated procedures. 

In practice, when a decision of inadmissibility is taken by RefCom under the accelerated procedure, no appeal is allowed as the recommendation is referred to the RAB. The RAB is  effectively a review of the recommendation, and not an appeal procedure. The applicant is usually not notified of this review and is not given the opportunity to submit an appeal submission.


Legal assistance

Article 23(6) of the Refugees Act provides the right to be assisted by a legal adviser but it does not provide for free legal aid service. It does not differ in any way to the regular procedure.


  • 1. Article 24 Refugees Act.
  • 2. Court of Appeal, Paul Washimba v Bord tal-Appelli dwar ir-Rifugjati, 28 September 2012.
  • 3. Article 23(3) Refugees Act. This applies to inadmissibility decisions as well: Article 24(2) Refugees Act.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti