Registration of the asylum application


Country Report: Registration of the asylum application Last updated: 21/09/23

The authority responsible for registering asylum applications in Malta is the International Protection Agency (IPA). The IPA is also the authority responsible for taking decisions at first instance on asylum applications as well as for granting Temporary Humanitarian Protection (see: Number of staff and nature of the determining authority).[1]

The law no longer establishes time limits for an asylum seeker to apply for international protection, and it specifies that the Agency shall ensure that applications are neither rejected nor excluded from examination on the sole ground that they have not been made as soon as possible.[2] However, an application may be determined to be manifestly unfounded where “the applicant entered Malta unlawfully or prolonged his  stay  unlawfully  and,  without  good  reason,  has either not presented himself to the authorities or has not made an application for international protection as soon as possible.[3]

EUAA has been providing support to the IPA since 2019.[4] In 2021, EUAA registered 1,190 of 1,281 applicants for international protection, mainly from Syria, Sudan and Eritrea.[5]

In 2022, the EUAA carried out a total of 888 registrations, of which 77% related to the top 10 citizenships, mainly of nationals from Syria (242), Eritrea (91) and Bangladesh (73).[6]

In 2022, the EUAA carried out 1,264 registrations for temporary protection in Malta.[7]

With respect to potential asylum seekers who arrive regularly or who become refugees sur place, problems may arise as a result of the fact that they could not readily know how or where to apply for asylum.

Applications must be made at the IPA premises in Ħamrun.[8] Any person approaching any other public entity, particularly the Malta Police Force, expressing his or her wish to seek asylum, will be referred to the IPA.

Unaccompanied children need a legal guardian to submit an asylum application. The 2020 Minor Protection (Alternative Care) Act[9] replaced earlier legislation on the protection of children in need of care and support, including unaccompanied and/or separated children. It introduced a judicial procedure where the Juvenile Court is now in charge of appointing a legal guardian from AWAS. The act was not fully implemented until the end of 2021 and the vast majority of minors were not appointed legal guardians in 2020 and 2021 resulting in asylum applications being put on hold. While delays are still reported to happen, temporary care orders are now issued during the age assessment procedure and unaccompanied minors have reportedly been able to lodge their asylum application throughout 2021 and 2022. Recent amendments to the International Protection Act and the Procedural Regulations[10] added specific provisions on the right of unaccompanied minors to apply for asylum and NGOs observed that towards the end of 2022, unaccompanied minors were called for their asylum interview in the presence of their legal guardian.




[1] Article 4(3) International Protection Act.

[2] Regulation 8(1) Procedural Regulations.

[3] Article 2, International Protection Act.

[4] EUAA, 2021 Operating plan agreed by EUAA and Malta, 11 December 2020, available at:

[5] Information provided by EUAA, 28 February 2022.

[6] Information provided by the EUAA, 28 February 2023.

[7]  Information provided by the EUAA, 28 February 2023.

[8] See the International Protection Agency’s website,

[9] Article 21 of the Minor Protection (Alternative Care) Act, Chapter 602 of the Laws of Malta

[10] See Article 13(3) of International Protection Act, Chapter 420 of the Laws of Malta as amended by Act XIX of 2022, International Protection (Amendment Act), 20 December 2022 and Regulation 18 of Subsidiary Legislation 420.07 of the Laws of Malta as amended by Legal Notice 488 of 2021.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation