Any foreigner can apply for asylum regardless of their administrative situation: whether they are in a regular or irregular situation. In this sense, an asylum seeker is a foreigner who has submitted an asylum application. As a result, he has a right to remain in French territory for the duration of the examination of his request.


Why seek asylum?

Applying for asylum allows you to obtain international protection: refugee status or subsidiary protection.

1.Refugee status

The Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of July 28, 1951 provides for this international protection.

If you are worried about being persecuted because of your race, religion, nationality, membership of a certain social group or your political opinions, you can obtain refugee status.

2. Subsidiary protection

Anyone who does not meet the conditions for being recognized as a refugee can benefit from subsidiary protection.

Subsidiary protection may be granted in the event of serious and proven grounds for believing that a foreigner is at risk of suffering one of the following attacks:

  • the death penalty or execution;
  • torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  • a serious and individual threat due to violence resulting from a situation of armed conflict.

3. Stateless person status

Anyone whom no State considers to be its national under its laws can benefit from the stateless status.

In this case, the stateless person status is requested directly from OFPRA.


How to apply for asylum?

The asylum seeker must follow a path in order to be able to register his asylum application.

1) The first reception structure for asylum seekers: SPADA

First, you must go to SPADA in order to access the asylum procedure.

The SPADAs are managed mainly by associations.

Their mission is to inform you about the asylum procedure and to give you a summons to come to the one-stop-shop.

Each asylum seeker can obtain a postal address there if they cannot obtain accommodation.

2) The one-stop-shop for asylum seekers: the GUDA

In order to register your asylum application, you must go to the one-stop-shop, in accordance with the summons given by SPADA.

The one-stop-shop is made up of agents from the prefecture and the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII).

During this meeting, your fingerprints will be taken in order to trace your route.

At the end of your meeting, you will hold a certificate of asylum request to justify your right to stay.

3) The French Office for Immigration and Integration: OFII

After registering your asylum application, an OFII officer will meet with you to assess your specific needs.

The confidential interview allows you to determine your level of vulnerability and to provide appropriate support.


Applying for asylum: treatment and procedure

When the examination of your asylum application is the responsibility of France, the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) is competent, under the judicial control of the National Court of Asylum (CNDA) .

The examination of the asylum application by OFPRA
  1. First, you must send your complete file, no later than the 21st day following the issuance of your asylum application certificate, by post, to OFPRA. 
  2. Once you have submitted your request, you will then receive an invitation to an interview.
  3. A protection officer conducts the interview confidentially, if necessary, in the presence of an interpreter.
  4. Finally, OFPRA decides on your situation.
  5. If your application is the subject of a favorable decision, you will obtain either refugee status or the benefit of subsidiary protection.
  6. In the event of an unfavorable decision, OFPRA notifies you of a rejection or inadmissibility decision.
Examination of the asylum request by the CNDA

In the event of an unfavorable decision by OFPRA, you can challenge this decision before the CNDA within one month of the notification.

In the event that you wish to benefit from legal aid, you must make a request within 15 days of notification of the OFPRA decision.

In general, appealing to the CNDA allows you to benefit from the right to remain on French territory, until the CNDA has rendered its decision.

The appeal is not suspensive, especially if you are a national of a safe country of origin.

The CNDA can summon you to a hearing to examine your appeal.

It will then rule on your request.

Finally, the CNDA will render its decision.

Apply for asylum and obtain material reception conditions

As an asylum seeker, you benefit from material reception conditions. They include accommodation and a monthly asylum seeker allowance.

In the event of non-compliance with certain obligations, the OFII may terminate the material reception conditions. A remedy is often necessary to restore your rights.


The Dublin procedure: how to put an end to it?

If you hold an asylum application certificate marked “Dublin procedure”, the prefecture wishes to transfer you to another Member State of the European Union.

In this case, it is the Regulation n ° 604/2013 of the European Parliament and Council of June 26, 2013, referred to as the Dublin III Regulation, which applies.

The prefecture will conduct an individual interview and provide you with informative brochures.

A few weeks later, the prefecture will summon you and notify you of a transfer decision.

You then have a period of 15 days to lodge an appeal with the administrative court of your place of residence.

If the transfer decision is accompanied by a house arrest or detention, you only have 48 hours to lodge an appeal with the administrative court of your place of residence.

In any case, you are strongly advised to contact a lawyer at the start of your Dublin procedure.

How to appeal ? 

The objective of the appeal is to annul the transfer decision so that you can submit your asylum application to OFPRA. OFPRA is the asylum authority in France.


How do we assist ? 

  • Assistance in registering the asylum application with the one stop service centre (making an OFII appointment and sorting out all other documentation) 
  • Assistance in writing the asylum application report and transmission of the file to the OFPRA
  • Stimulation of an OFPRA interview
  • Possibility of being referred to a specialist for complete handling of the file by a partner lawyer.