Asylum certificate and signing with OFFI

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

What is the deadline of asylum seekers ‘certificate and how is it renewed? When are you given the OFPRA form to complete?

To begin with, a very short summary: We are always at the One-Stop Counter for Asylum Seekers (GUDA in French), where you will find a bunch of the prefecture’s services and those of the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII). It's a very important day for you.

Proof that you are an asylum seeker

After being asked various questions, being assigned the language of the procedure, being taken your fingerprints and being given the Asylum Seeker's Guide, the prefecture must finally give you the proof of your asylum application, the asylum application certificate (you can find the form here «attestation de demande d'asile»)11with a duration of one month. This certificate, which allows you to legally stay, but not work, on French soil, will later be renewed. It has also written above the type of procedure in which you have been placed and about which I have written earlier here.  

: So, you will finally know if the prefecture has placed you in a normal, fast-track (accélérée) or «Dublin» procedure. At the same time, this is the document that proves that you are an asylum seeker, so you should always have the original or a copy with you.

Here is a very important tip: Always send your file to OFPRA as a registered letter, not as a plain one. That way you will have a formal proof of the delivery.

Normally, the prefecture should also give you a filing date to renew it. This renewal will be done in the prefecture, not at the GUDA. Do not worry if the given date by the prefecture goes beyond the one-month period indicated in the asylum application attestation. You remain protected!

If you are in a normal procedure, the second attestation will have a duration of 9 months, and later will be renewed every 6 months. If you are in an fast-track procedure (as are currently most asylum seekers from Albania and Kosovo), the second attestation lasts 6 months and is then renewed every 3 months. If your procedure is "Dublin", it is extended for 4 months, with renewal every 4 months. Of course, if your asylum application is rejected, there will be no renewals. Whereas, when your request is approved, you will be provided with other documents, which give you more rights and have a much longer duration. For both cases, so either your request is approved, or it is rejected, I will write in detail a little later because these are very long topics, with many legal details.

OFPRA form

The prefecture will eventually provide you with what is known as the OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) asylum request form, which you will most likely be advised to complete with the employee of Reception Platform for Asylum Seekers (PADA in French) or the First Reception Structure for Asylum Seekers (SPADA in French), where you first went. It is always completed in French. This form is, in fact, the file you will enter the French legal system and through which you seek asylum. It has le formulaire Ofpra (fiche n ° 4-1)2.

. You will probably fill in a part of it together with the PADA or SPADA officer, and the other part, exactly where you tell the story that prompted you to seek asylum, you will fill in yourself as I have explained shortly in here. But I will go back to the momentum of filling out the file and writing down your story because it is a very important chain in this whole long process. However, here you are two very important tips:

1. Do not forget to send you file to OFPRA within 21 days after receiving the asylum application certificate. If this is not you first asylum request, then this delay is 8 days.

 2. Always send your file to OFPRA as a registered letter, not as a plain one. So that you can have a formal proof of its reception.

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Gisti, (July 2021).

2Gisti, (July 2021).

This article is produced as part of the “Migration, Youth and Internet” project. It is written by Elda Spaho Bleta, volunteer of the local group Oxfam in Nancy, who paid close attention to the information given. The sources of the information are cited, and when personal advice is given, it is the sole responsibility of the editor. If, despite her attention, an error had slipped into the document, please report it to her by writing to This article is published with the funds of the French Development Agency, Grand Est Solidarités et Coopérations pour le Développement (GESCOD), and with the support of Oxfam France. The content of the articles does not engage the structures previously named.

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