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Other Agencies

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS)
Department of Justice and Equality.

An application for a declaration as a refugee is made to the Minister for Justice and Equality, although the Refugee Applications Commissioner accepts the application and carries out the initial investigation.

The Minister for Justice and Equality is the person who will make the decision to either grant or refuse a declaration as a refugee in accordance with section 17 of the Refugee Act, 1996. The decision of the Minister will be based on the recommendation of the Refugee Applications Commissioner or the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (if appropriate).

In the case of a person who has been issued a Notice of refusal for a declaration as a refugee, the Minister may make an order in accordance with section 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999 requiring that person to leave the State.

The Minister also decides applications for leave to remain. Leave to remain is a status which is granted at the discretion of the Minister for Justice and Equality to persons whose claims for asylum are not considered to meet the criteria set out in the 1951 Geneva Convention but who are not returned home for humanitarian or for some other compelling reason. Persons granted leave to remain have many of the same rights as persons granted refugee status. The Minister also considers applications for Subsidiary Protection under the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 [SI No. 518 of 2006].

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Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT)
The function of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal is to consider and decide appeals against recommendations of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and make recommendations to the Minister for Justice and Equality. The RAT also considers appeals against decisions of ORAC to transfer applicants to another Member State under the EU Dublin III Regulation.

An appeal is dealt with by a member of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, a person independent of the Minister and the Refugee Applications Commissioner with at least 5 years experience as a practicing solicitor or barrister.

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Reception and Integration Agency (RIA)
The Reception and Integration Agency is responsible for co-ordinating the services provided to asylum seekers. These services include the provision of accommodation, health care, education and welfare to asylum seekers.

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Refugee Legal Service (RLS)
The Refugee Legal Service is the office established by the Legal Aid Board to provide an independent and confidential legal service to asylum seekers. The RLS can provide advice to applicants before submission of the questionnaire or prior to attendance at interview and can also make written submissions to ORAC in support of an application. The RLS can also provide representation before the RAT.

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Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC)
The Refugee Documentation Centre is an independent library service, provided under the aegis of the Legal Aid Board. Its role is to maintain a collection of objective and up-to-date country of origin information and asylum, immigration, legal and human rights documentation. The RDC serves the needs of UNHCR, RLS, ORAC, RAT, and the Department of Justice and Equality. The services and materials in the RDC are available to all organisations equally. A research and query service is provided to the RLS, ORAC, RAT and solicitors and barristers associated with these organisations.

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Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB)

The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) is responsible for all Garda operations pertaining to immigration matters in the State, including the carrying out of deportation orders that are issued by the Minister for Justice and Equality.

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Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration (OPMI)
The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration has a cross-Departmental mandate to develop, lead and co-ordinate integration policy across other Government Departments, agencies and services. The functions include the promotion of the integration of legal immigrants into Irish society, the establishment of new structures for this purpose, the coordination of Ireland’s international reporting requirements relating to racism and integration (e.g. the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination), the management of the resettlement of refugees admitted as part of the United Nations Resettlement Programme and the administration of funding from national and EU sources to promote integration.

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