Rights and Obligations

⬇️Select below the profile that best matches your legal status in Malta to find out your rights and obligations.⬇️

I am an asylum seeker


As an asylum seeker you have rights and obligations that are defined below regardless of the stage of your asylum application.

  • You can legally reside in Malta until IPA has made a final decision on your asylum case. This means you cannot be returned to another country against your will, while you wait for the decision.
  • Right to be provided with documentation in your own name certifying your status as an asylum seeker and/or that you are allowed to stay in Malta while your asylum application is pending or being examined. The International Protection Agency (IPA) issues an Asylum Seekers’ Document (ASD), the validity period of which is at the discretion of the International Protection Agency (IPA). See how to apply for asylum in Malta for more information on the asylum procedures.
  • You have the right to be provided with the services of an interpreter for filling in the application form for international protection and for submitting your case, including during your personal interview. You also have the right to state if there are communication difficulties with the interpreter. If this is the case, you can request the assistance of another interpreter. You also have the right to request an interpreter of a particular gender. The International Protection Agency (IPA) will, whenever possible, accede to such a request, unless the Agency has reason to believe that such a request is based on grounds which are not related to difficulties to present the grounds of your application in a comprehensive manner. It should also be noted that there might be cases where the International Protection Agency (IPA) cannot accede to such a request (e.g. an interpreter in the gender preferred is not available).
  • You have the right to be informed, where possible in a language that you understand, or, where necessary, with the assistance of an interpreter:
    • about the procedure to be followed and of your rights and obligations during the procedure,
    • about the possible consequences of not complying with your obligations and not cooperating with the authorities,
    • of the timeframe, as well as the means at your disposal, for fulfilling the obligation to submit the elements required to substantiate the application for asylum (international protection),
    • of the consequences of an explicit or implicit withdrawal of the application.
  • You have the right to have your information remain confidential. However, please note that the information you present to the International Protection Agency (IPA) may be accessed by third parties through the International Protection Agency (IPA) if it is deemed necessary for the processing of your application for asylum (international protection).
  • You have the right to the assistance of a lawyer during the asylum process (at your own expense).
  • You have the right to state-provided free legal assistance (available only at the appeals stage).
  • You have the right to contact the UNHCR or any other international/national organisation that provides support services and legal advice to asylum seekers.
  • You have the right to present your case fully and to make any submissions to the International Protection Agency (IPA).
  • You have the right to be provided with a copy of the completed application form and of any written statements made by you.
  • You have the right to be provided with the transcript of the personal interview, in a timely manner, before a decision on the application is taken by the International Protection Agency (IPA).
  • You have the right to be informed, in a reasonable time, of the decision on your application for international protection, in a language that you understand or are reasonably expected to understand.
  • You have the right to be informed about how to challenge a negative decision of your application.
  • You have the right to be accommodated in a state-run facility free of charge and for as long as the competent authorities deem necessary.

 NOTE: As an asylum seeker, you are not entitled to welfare benefits



As an asylum seeker in Malta, you have the following obligations:

  • To fully co-operate with the authorities and to provide any information relevant to your application for asylum (international protection).
    • Refusal to provide any information requested by the International Protection Agency or to co-operate fully with the authorities may lead to the suspension or termination of your, and, where applicable, of any dependent family members’ asylum procedures.
  • On making an application, to be photographed or to have the impressions of your fingerprints or palms of your hands taken for the purpose of identification and to assist in establishing the Member State responsible for examining an application.
  • To cooperate with the International Protection Agency with a view to establishing your identity and other elements referred to in the law.
  • To attend appointments at the International Protection Agency without delay or at a specified time.
  • To inform the authorities of your current place of residence or address and of any changes thereof as soon as possible.
  • To renew your Asylum Seekers’ Document (ASD).
  • If you are released from a detention centre/prison, you must approach the International Protection Agency to collect your Asylum Seekers’ Document (ASD) within two weeks.
  • To be subject to search and be asked to hand over all documents in your possession.
  • Oral statements may be recorded subject to being previously informed.
  • To respect and follow the laws of the country.

I am under 18 and I am unaccompanied

As an unaccompanied child in Malta, you have the right:

  • To be immediately informed of the appointment of a representative,
  • To be provided with legal and procedural information, free of charge,
  • To have your personal interview on your application for asylum (international protection) be conducted and the decision prepared by a person who has the necessary knowledge of the special needs of minors.
  • To have your application for international protection examined with due consideration to your specific needs, after a guardian has been appointed.
  • To be represented and assisted by a representative (a person or an organisation appointed by the competent bodies) throughout the asylum procedure. The representative will:
    • Assist and represent you in asylum procedures with a view to ensuring your best interests and exercising legal capacity for you, where necessary.
    • Perform their duties in your best interests.
    • Have the necessary knowledge of the special needs of minors in general and of your case in particular.
    • Inform you about the meaning and possible consequences of the personal interview and, where appropriate, how to prepare yourself for the personal interview.
    • Be present at the interview and may ask questions or make comments.

I am a refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection

General rights and documentation

According to the national legislation (Procedural Standards For Granting And Withdrawing International Protection Regulations), refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection enjoy the following general rights and entitlements:

  • To remain in Malta with freedom of movement and to be granted, as soon as possible, personal documents, including a residence permit for a period of three years, which shall be renewable.
  • To be given a Convention Travel Document (for refugees only) and a Travel Document (for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection) entitling them to leave and return to Malta without the need for a visa (unless they are in custody awaiting judicial proceedings for the commission of a criminal offence or are serving a term of imprisonment).
  • To have access to employment, social welfare (for refugees) and core social welfare (for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection), appropriate accommodation, integration programs, state education and training, and to receive adequate health care depending on their needs.
  • Family members of a person granted refugee status or subsidiary protection, if they are in Malta at the time of the decision or if they join later in Malta, enjoy the same rights and benefits as the international protection beneficiary so that family unity may be maintained.
  • Refugees have a right to family reunification, which means that if certain family members still live in your country of origin, they may travel to live with you in Malta. See How to apply for Family Reunification in Malta.
  • Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection do not have a right to family reunification according to the law currently in Malta.

For more information, refer to the International Protection Act and Procedural Standards for Granting and Withdrawing International Protection Regulations.


Right to Appeal (for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection)

If you have been granted subsidiary protection and you want to appeal this decision (of being granted subsidiary protection and not refugee status), you are entitled to free legal aid to submit your appeal to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal within 15 days, starting from the day you received the decision.

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