Lapse of protection status


Country Report: Lapse of protection status Last updated: 21/09/23

Act XL of 2020 amended Article 13 of the Procedural Regulations and added the possibility for the Agency to decide that international protection lapsed where the beneficiary of international protection has unequivocally renounced his protection or has become a Maltese  national. Unequivocal renunciation of protection includes a written statement by the beneficiary confirming that they are renouncing their protection status; or failure to renew international protection within a period of twelve (12) months from the lapse of the validity of said protection or its renewal.

This provision is now included in Regulation 13A of the law since the December amendments. While the first ground is transposed from the Asylum Procedures Directive (Article 45(5)), the second ground was never foreseen by the Directive.

NGOs have expressed their concerns regarding the alleged unequivocal nature of such act and the consequences it might have on people.

Article 13A further provide that beneficiaries who have unequivocally renounced their protection must subsequently makes a request in person to the Agency to have their international protection status reinstated, the IPA will review the request to determine whether  international  protection  should  once  again  be  granted, provided that the person concerned still meets the eligibility criteria and is not excluded from international protection. In practice, the IPA treats this application as a new application to International Protection which then forces these individuals back into the lengthy asylum procedure.

In an appeal filed by aditus foundation in August 2022 before the IPAT, the applicant requested the Tribunal to refer a preliminary question to the CJEU regarding the legality of provision 13A of the Act. The case is still pending and a decision on the request for preliminary ruling has yet to be issued.

In the meantime, Act XIX of December 2022 amended the International Protection to provide that no appeal shall lie against decisions of the Agency taken in pursuance to Article 13A.[1]

NGOs reported that the IPA started to use this provision whenever possible in 2021. The Agency reported having issued 96 of such these decisions, among which 19 lapse of refugee status and 77 lapse of subsidiary protection status.

This provision also applies to beneficiaries of Temporary Humanitarian Protection.




[1] Article 7(1A)(c) of the International Protection Act, Chapter 420 of the Laws of Malta.

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