All direct provision centres will close in the next four years, abolishing a system set up in 1999.
In a white paper published today, the Department of Equality says the current system will come to an end in 2024.
From then, asylum-seekers will stay in a reception centre for a maximum of four months, before getting housed in the community.
Minister for Equality, Roderic O'Gorman, says direct-provision centres will shut on a phased basis between now and December 2024.
The Irish Refugee Council says the plan can be achieved over the next four years.
But chief executive Nick Henderson says it will be difficult to find enough housing as a substitute for direct provision centres..