Accelerated procedure

Republic of Ireland

Country Report: Accelerated procedure Last updated: 25/05/23


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General (scope, grounds for accelerated procedures, time limits)

Certain cases may be prioritised under Section 73 IPA under 10 grounds, as mentioned in the section on Prioritised Examination.

Whereas that prioritisation of cases does not generally entail different guarantees, Section 43 IPA foresees different rules for appeals in cases where the applicant:[1]

  • In submitting his or her application and in presenting the grounds for his or her application in his or her preliminary interview or personal interview or any time before the conclusion of the examination, has raised only issues that are not relevant or are of minimal relevance to his or her eligibility for international protection;
  • Has made inconsistent, contradictory, improbable or insufficient representations which make his or her claim to be eligible for international protection clearly unconvincing;
  • For a reason related to the availability of internal protection,[2] is not in need of international protection;
  • Failed to make an application as soon as reasonably practicable, without reasonable cause;
  • Comes from a Safe Country of Origin.

The existence of an internal protection alternative as a potential ground for accelerating appeals under Section 43 IPA raises serious concerns as if such a finding is made, it may significantly increase the number of persons who are subject to accelerated appeals.

There were 237 applications for international protection prioritised during 2020.[3] Data for 2021 and 2022 was not available at the time of updating.

On the 8th of November 2022, the International Protection Office introduced a revised international protection application procedure.[4] In accordance with the European Communities (International Protection Procedures) Regulations 2022, an applicant attending at the International Protection Office in order to make an application for international protection is now required to complete their International Protection Questionnaire onsite at the IPO, in addition to completing their preliminary interview.[5] The international protection questionnaire has been reduced significantly to 24 questions in order to enable applicants to complete the questionnaire at the time of making their application.[6]

Under the revised procedure applicants from so-called ‘safe countries of origin’ will now receive a date for their substantive interview within four to six weeks of making their initial application. It should also be noted that, pursuant to the relevant regulation, this accelerated procedure may also be applied to any application subject to the need for fairness and efficiency and whereby the International Protection Office considered same necessary and expedient.

According to the International Protection Office, all applications will continue to be examined individually and applicants whose applications are examined under the new procedure will retain the right to appeal a negative recommendation by the IPO to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal.[7] However, pursuant to the International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 2022, whereby the IPO recommends that an applicant’s application for refugee or subsidiary protection should be refused on the basis of one of the reasons established pursuant to s.39(4) of the International Protection Act 2015, the timeframe in which to submit an appeal is shortened to 10 working days from the date of the decision.[8] Such reasons include whereby a finding is made by the International Protection Office that the issues raised in the application were not relevant to the applicant’s eligibility for international protection, whereby the applicant’s representations have been inconsistent or contradictory, whereby the applicant failed to make the application as soon as they could without good reason, whereby a finding is made that the applicant did not require international protection due to the possibility of safe internal relocation within their country of origin, or whereby the application is refused and the applicant comes from a safe country of origin.[9]  An applicant’s appeal will be decided without an oral hearing, unless IPAT believes that it is in the interests of justice to hold an oral hearing.[10]

According to the IPO, the rationale for the new procedure is to ensure that international protection applications, particularly those from safe countries of origin, are dealt with in a timelier manner so as to increase processing capacity and reduce delays.[11] However, the Irish Refugee Council has written to the Minister for Justice, addressing numerous significant concerns in relation to the appropriateness of the revised procedure. Such concerns relate particularly to applicants who may have had traumatic experiences prior to their arrival in the state. These applicants are required to complete and submit their questionnaire in an open-plan waiting area at the IPO, an environment which is often extremely busy, noisy and tense. This raises significant concern in relation to the applicant’s privacy and personal data protection. Moreover, it is an extremely inappropriate physical space for applicants to complete such a significant document and gives rise to a risk of re-traumatisation insofar as particularly vulnerable applicants are concerned. Additionally, the revised process completely removes the applicant’s practical access to legal advice prior to the submission of their international protection questionnaire. Unless an applicant is accompanied to the IPO by a lawyer when making their application, they do not have the benefit of legal advice in advance of submitting their international protection questionnaire, a document upon which significant reliance is placed in the applicant’s substantive interview.

Translation services, as well as Cultural Support Officers are available to applicants in order to assist them in the completion of their questionnaire,[12] however, it is not clear what exactly the role of the Cultural Support Officer involves or the extent of the assistance they can be provide to applicants in the completion of their questionnaire. Having accompanied clients to apply for international protection on several occasions following the establishment of the revised procedure, in the Irish Refugee Council’s experience, Cultural Support Officers have not been present to assist applicants in the completion of their questionnaires, while the standard of translation services provided has been unsatisfactory given the importance of the questionnaire in the overall application process.

From 8th of November to the 31st of December 2022, 448 cases have been processed under the accelerated procedure with applicants originating from Georgia, South Africa, Albania and Kosovo.  The median processing time for cases under the accelerated procedure was 33.75 days.[13]


Personal interview

Personal interviews are conducted for all applicants at first instance. In practice there is no difference between the scope and format of a personal interview in the accelerated procedure and the normal procedure. This remained the case following the onset of COVID-19 and associated restrictions.



Where an applicant is subject to the accelerated procedure it should continue like the regular procedure. However, where the recommendation of the IPO includes one of the findings mentioned in the section on Accelerated Procedure: General there may be accelerated appeals under the IPA.

Under Section 43 IPA, applicants then have ten working days instead of 15 working days to make an appeal,[14] which shall be determined without an oral hearing, unless the Tribunal considers it necessary in the interests of justice to have such a hearing. The appeal is suspensive.


Legal assistance

Applicants under the accelerated procedure fall under the same rules for legal assistance as those who are not under the accelerated procedure. Practical obstacles in giving legal assistance in the accelerated procedure could include that the applicant has difficulty accessing legal representation or the legal representative has difficulty in assisting the applicant in the shorter time period.




[1]  Section 43 IPA, citing Section 39(4) IPA.

[2] Section 32 IPA.

[3] Information provided by IPO, April 2021.

[4] International Protection Office, ‘The European Communities (International Protection Procedures) Regulations 2022 and the International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 – Information Note’, 8th November 2022, available at:

[5]  ibid.

[6] Information provided by Irish Refugee Council Information and Advocacy Service.

[7] International Protection Office, ‘The European Communities (International Protection Procedures) Regulations 2022 and the International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals)(Amendment) Regulations 2022 – Information Note’, 8th November 2022, available at:

[8] International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 2022.

[9] International Protection Act 2015, s.39(4).

[10]  International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 2022.

[11] International Protection Office, The European Communities (International Protection Procedures) Regulations 2022 and the International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 FAQ’s, 8th November 2022, available at:

[12] ibid.

[13] International Protection Office, March 2023.     

[14] Section 43(a) IPA; Section 3(d) International Protection Act 2015 (Procedures and Periods for Appeals) Regulations 2017.

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 – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation