The Reception Regulations require that within 15 days from lodging the asylum application, the Principal Immigration Officer ensures that all applicants are informed of reception benefits and obligations, and of groups and individuals providing legal and other forms of assistance.
UNHCR Malta visits applicants at the IRC in both the closed and open sections in order to provide information, whilst JRS Malta provides such information to asylum-seekers in the open section of the IRC. AWAS also provides information about the reception conditions, such as rules of the centre, per diem, etc.
According to AWAS, information is provided regarding asylum procedures (based on material prepared with EUAA’s support) but also education, employment, health, and housing. Some leaflets are distributed, and some info sessions were organised early in the year. However, these activities were discontinued due to COVID-19 and resumed in 2022.
Information is given to residents entering the centres about their rights and rules of the centres. AWAS also established an information point at the end of 2020, a space for information, either by appointment or drop in. The Migrant’s Advice Unit (MAU) has an office in each centre and someone from AWAS is present on site on a daily basis.
The MAU is staffed with welfare officers who provide information on employment, housing, education and health. The Unit reportedly gives group sessions on services and activities to assist with integration into the community. Each open centre has a member of the team operating as a focal point for referrals to other stakeholders. AWAS reported that a total of 2947 information sessions were delivered by Migrants Advice Unit in 2021.
NGOs welcomed this improvement and aditus foundation’s lawyers met with the team in June 2022 to exchange on the needs of residents and answer questions from the MAU members. An informal referral system was put in place, where the MAU can call or send an email to aditus’ lawyers to inquire about a more complex issue and refer the person appropriately.
 Regulation 4 of the Reception Regulations, Subsidiary Legislation 420.06 of the Laws of Malta.
 Information provided by JRS Malta 2021.