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.
In 2018, the Office of the Refugee Commissioner, now the International Protection Agency ceased its visits to the IRC to provide information on the right to apply for international protection. 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 EASO’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.
Information is also given by AWAS to residents regarding the rules of the centres. 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. This MAU Advisory Unit has an office in each centre and someone from AWAS is present on site on a daily basis.
These arrangements were put in place at the end of 2020 and their effectiveness remains to be observed at this point. 2021 was a pilot year for this team and while some improvements have been registered, residents in some centres still find it difficult to access information.
 Regulation 4 Reception Regulations.
 Information provided by JRS Malta 2021.