Safe country of origin


Country Report: Safe country of origin Last updated: 30/11/20


JRS Malta Visit Website

According to Article 2 of the Refugees Act, a safe country of origin means a country of which the applicant is a national or, being a stateless person, was formerly habitually resident in that country and the applicant has not submitted any serious grounds for considering the country not to be a safe country of origin in his particular circumstances.

The Refugees Act also provides, by way of a Schedule, the list of countries of origin considered as safe. The Minister responsible for Home Affairs is competent to amend the list of countries and may review the list whenever necessary by means of an administrative act. The last amendment to the list is dated 2017 and it removed references to individual Member States from the European Economic Area (EEA) and replaced them with a generic reference to EEA countries. Currently the list of safe country of origin includes: Australia, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Gabon, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Senegal, United States of America, Uruguay, Member States of the European Union and EEA countries. The criteria as to which countries are listed/removed is unclear.

The concept of safe country of origin can be used to consider an application manifestly unfounded. This would, in turn, render the accelerated procedure applicable.[1] It can also be used to deem an application inadmissible.[2]

According to RefCom, this concept is applied provided that the applicant does not submit serious grounds for considering his or her country of origin not to be a safe country of origin due to his or her particular circumstances. No more information is available but according to NGOs assisting applicants, the concept of safe country of origin was used to deem applications inadmissible and such applications have been processed under the Accelerated Procedure.


[1]               Articles 8(1)(h) and 23 Refugees Act.

[2]               Article 24(1)(g) Refugees Act.


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