The International Protection Agency was established in 2020 by virtue of Legal Notice 332 of 2020. The Agency succeeds the Office of the Refugee Commissioner which had opened its doors on a trial basis on 18th June 2001. On the 1st of January 2002 the Office of the Refugee Commissioner became fully operational and started to deal with applications for international protection completely on its own.

The International Protection Agency is bound by the obligations assumed by Malta under the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as Malta’s obligations in accordance with EU law, specifically European Directive 2011/95/EU (Qualification Directive), European Directive 2013/32/EU (Asylum Procedures Directive), and Regulation 604/2013 (Dublin Regulation). 

The International Protection Agency is responsible for receiving, processing and taking decisions on applications for international protection in Malta, as stipulated by the International Protection Act and its Subsidiary Legislation 420.07 on Procedural Standards for Granting and Withdrawing International Protection Regulations. The Agency is also responsible for determining the Member State responsible for the examination of an application for international protection that is lodged in Malta in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, and for withdrawing protection when any of the withdrawal grounds stipulated in the law apply. 

The Agency’s fundamental objective is to ensure a totally independent, fair, efficient and swift eligibility determination process while, at the same time, guaranteeing the best quality possible regarding the hearing, analysis and determination of applications for international protection. 

Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/EC)