MARSA, MALTA - JUNE 20: A sub-saharan immigrant that distributes food to his fellow immigrants at lunch is here at the Marsa Open Centre in Marsa on June 20, 2011. The Marsa Open Centre's capacity is of 650 people, but now hosts 900 immigrants, most of which are from Somalia. The centre's popoulation is composed of immigrants who received subsidary protection, asylum seekers (immigrants who applied and wait for their case to be handled), and rejected asylum seekers. The Open Centres in Malta serve as a temporary accomodation facility, but they ended becoming permanent accomodation centres. All immigrants who enter in Malta illegally are detained. Upon arrival to Malta, irregular migrants and asylum seekers are sent to one of three dedicated immigration detention facilities. Once apprehended by the authorities, immigrants remain in detention even after they apply for refugee status. detention lasts as long as it takes for asylum claims to be determined. This usually takes months; asylum seekers often wait five to 10 months for their first interview with the Refugee Commissioner. Asylum seekers may be detained for up to 12 months: at this point, if their claim is still pending, they are released and transferred to an Open Center.