Asylum, how to request it in the prefecture?

In the previous article, I talked about the first phase, the pre-registration, of the asylum application in a Reception Platform for Asylum Seekers (PADA in French) or First Reception Structure for Asylum Seekers (SPADA in French). At the end of this pre-registration, you will receive convocation with an appointment assigned to the One Stop Counter for Asylum Seekers (GUDA in French), to register your asylum application. You can only check in if you have already made this appointment. Thus, you cannot go to the concerned GUDA and request that the registration process be completed. The only way is to go first to the PADA or SPADA of your prefecture where they will take the appointment for you and give you the convocation.

Until the day of the meeting...

Normally, this appointment should be given to you quickly enough, within 3 to 10 days because it is during it that you will benefit the services you desperately need: accommodation, financial assistance etc. But I have personally known tens of emigrants, mainly Albanians, who had to wait weeks, if not months, before going through the GUDA counter. French associations for the protection of human rights, and, in particular, those for the protection of the rights of migrants, have denounced and continue to denounce this delay which makes the life of emigrants extremely difficult. Especially on the issue of housing; until you are offered this service at the GUDA, the best that can be offered to you in France is the emergency shelter. Mostly installed inside old barracks or tents, in very difficult living conditions, it can only be offered if you or a friend constantly and regularly calls the number 115 every day.

 Alors, essayez de contacter un proche ou des amis (que vous pourriez avoir) en France, afin de faire face à cette période très difficile pour un immigré, mais surtout s’il est Albanais ou Kosovar. Pourquoi les Albanais et les Kosovars? Parce que l’Albanie et le Kosovo sont définis comme des pays « sûrs » qui ne sont pas en guerre, qui ne connaissent pas de graves catastrophes naturelles etc. Par conséquent, les immigrés de ces pays sont placés automatiquement en procédure accélérée. Selon de nombreux juristes et organisations de la société civile, il s’agit d’une procédure défavorable, qui crée espace pour un examen rapide et superficiel (Eric Tigoki1 2020).

Where can i find the GUDA?

With the letter of PADA in hand, you must go to GUDA. At this counter, all the relevant departments of the prefecture and French Office for Integration and Immigration (OFII in French) are brought together; the prefecture is responsible for asylum, while the OFFI is responsible for immigration procedures. Throughout metropolitan France (this is how is called France in Europe, excluding overseas), there are a total of 34 counters of this type.

Here, you can find the address of each, according to the prefecture that interests you.

For Nancy and beyond, for all the Lorraine, you have to go to the Metz prefecture because the respective GUDA is located at 9 Place de la Préfecture, 57000 Metz.

The importance of this meeting is vital for you. Not only to formally advance the asylum procedure, but also to benefit from the services provided for by law. So, be on time and plan your trip in advance: check the address on maps or Google Maps, look carefully at the trip plan (trains, buses, stations) given to you by PADA or SPADA at the previous meeting. Calculate the price of tickets and make sure you have the money to buy them - this is a service that is not covered by the French state. If you don't go or are not on time, you might miss the meeting and it will take you a lot of time and energy to get another one. These are all unnecessary problems that make your situation worse, although, already, it is not at all easy. You must notify, if applicable, any change of your address, at the Prefecture, by a registered letter.


1Eric Tigoki, (may 2020). Placement of the asylum seeker under the accelerated procedure. Village de la Justice.,35121.html

*Cet article est produit dans le cadre du projet « Migration, jeunesse et internet ». Il a été rédigé par Elda Spaho Bleta, bénévole au sein du groupe local Oxfam de Nancy, qui a porté la plus grande attention aux informations données. Les sources des informations sont citées, et lorsqu’un avis personnel est donné, il n’engage que la rédactrice. Si malgré son attention, une erreur s’était glissée dans le document, n’hésitez pas à le lui signaler en écrivant à [email protected]. Cet article est publié avec l’appui des fonds de l’Agence française du Développement et du Grand Est Solidarités et Coopérations pour le Développement et avec le soutien d’Oxfam France. Le contenu des articles n’engage pas les structures précédemment nommées.

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