When you flee your own country because of persecution for political, economic, religious or other reasons, and enter in another state, if you are unwilling to return to your country of origin, you are a refugee by The 1951 Refugee Convention.
To move from a refugee status to an asylum seeker status, you must file an application at the national Office of the Refugee Commissioner. Everybody can apply for asylum but not every person will be protected.
There are two different types of international protection and one national :
Refugees are entitled to an interpreter to The Office of the Refugee Commissioner, and also some informations to help them to get asylum. When they have filed their application they are considered as asylum seeker in accordance to the European Union and National legislation.
From that moment that they are given accommodation into the reception centers.
When you are an asylum seeker you have rights and obligations to follow.
The right to remain in Malta pending the examination of the case;
The right to receive information about the asylum procedure;
The right to receive the services of an interpreter;
The right to communicate with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees);
The right to seek legal assistance;
The right to confidentiality.