How to apply for international protection in Malta?

To apply for asylum in Malta, follow the below steps:

STEP 1. Contact the authorities

If you are in a detention centre: you must inform the Immigration Police and/or the Detention Services Agency (DSA) that you wish to apply for international protection as soon as possible. The International Protection Agency (IPA) will schedule an appointment to register your application and will inform the DSA about the date, time and place where the registration will take place.

If you live in an open centre or in the community, you must approach the International Protection Agency (IPA) and inform them that you wish to apply for international protection.

Even if you approach another organisation or entity to seek asylum, you will be referred to the IPA.

  • There is no time limit for submitting the asylum application. However, if you delay too long before applying, you might have to answer questions about the reasons for the delay.

STEP 2. Register

During your appointment with IPA, you:

  • will be interviewed by an IPA officer. They will ask questions about you and your family members that are applying for asylum with you, including nationality, date of birth, family composition, contact details, the language you prefer to have your interview in, and the reasons why you left your country of origin.

You must answer with absolute sincerity to all questions. If you provide false information or evidence, this may have a negative effect on the outcome of your case.

  • will be asked to present your documents, such as your travel documents/passport and any other document you may have in your possession, for the verification of yours and your family members’ identity, country of origin, as well as family status. If you are in detention, the Immigration Police will already have taken these documents and they will be presented to IPA.
  • will be photographed and have your fingerprints taken. All family members applying for asylum together will be photographed and any person above the age of 14 years will have their fingerprints taken.

Your fingerprints will be entered into the European Central Database (EURODAC) and if the conditions are met, for example, if you applied for asylum in another Member State, your application might be examined by that EU Member State according to the Dublin procedure. For more information, please see the Dublin Regulation section here.

ATTENTION! Please always inform IPA, as soon as possible, if there is any change in your contact details (telephone number and/or address). Otherwise, they will not be able to contact you and you risk having your application withdrawn.

⬇️ Select below to find out more about this process ⬇️

What happens after you apply for asylum? ⬇️

After your asylum application has been registered by the IPA, you are considered an asylum seeker. At this point, IPA may decide that another EU Member State has the obligation to process your asylum application under the Dublin procedure. For more information, please see the Dublin Regulation section here.

If Malta is the responsible State for the examination of your application for international protection, you will be provided with the Asylum Seeker Document (ASD) which is to be renewed. It is important to renew your ASD in time, as without this document you will be unable to access services.

➡️ See Asylum seekers’ Rights and Responsibilities here.

➡️ See the Dublin Regulation here.

How long will it take for a decision to be made about my asylum application? ⬇️

There are several factors that can influence the time it takes to process your asylum application. These include your country of origin, language you speak, if your claim is complex and it takes longer to gather all the evidence, or if there are many applications awaiting decision.

Why am I placed in an accelerated procedure? ⬇️

When it appears that the application for international protection is manifestly unfounded (i.e. it falls under one or more of the grounds for considering the application as manifestly unfounded in case the applicant does not meet the eligibility criteria to be granted international protection), it will be processed under an accelerated procedure. When IPA finds that an application is manifestly unfounded, IPA’s decision will be sent automatically to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) immediately for their review. The Tribunal must review the decision within three days.


Safe countries of origin are:

All EU Member States, Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cabo Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Iceland, India, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Senegal, Tunisia, Uruguay, United States.

Who decides on my case? >

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