Asylum in France, where to start?

Où aller pour faire la demande d’asile? À quoi s’attendre en s’adressant à la PADA et quand faut-il la contacter ?

The asylum application must be made within 90 days of your arrival in France in order not to be placed under the accelerated procedure. The asylum and immigration law of September 10, 2018 shortened this period from 120 days to 90 days.

The service where you will submit your asylum application is the Single Counter for Asylum Application (GUDA in French). But before going there, you must go as soon as possible to the Reception Platform for Asylum Seekers (PADA in French) or First Reception Structure for Asylum Seekers (SPADA in French) of your place of residence, in order to request a first meeting in the prefecture.

For asylum seekers who live in Nancy,

SPADA is located at 44 rue Molitor - 54000 NANCY Tel : 03 83 17 26 50

Email: [email protected] This structure is well known in town under the name “ARS” and here you have its official web page with useful information. 

In some regions of France there are no PADAs or SPADAs.. You must then go directly to the prefecture of your place of residence.

Si vous souhaitez demander l’asile dans l’une des préfectures d’Île-de-France, vous devez  téléphoner , you must call to find the dedicated platform and get an appointment in a SPADA. Free number: 01 42500900, du lundi au vendredi. De 10h à 15h 30. Notez que cet appel téléphonique peut s’avérer assez compliqué si vous ne parlez pas français. Il serait préférable de vous faire aider par une personne maitrisant le français. Vous pouvez aussi faire préparer et écrire quelques phrases à l’avance. Vous trouverez plus d’informations à ce sujet sur le site officiel de l’Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII ) http://www.ofii.fr/demande-d-asile.  

But, apparently, the difficulties don't end here. GISTI association1 (2021) says that “the number (01 42 500 900) set up is difficult to reach. This system of dematerializing appointments, adopted in many prefectures, makes exiles waiting for an appointment to register their asylum application invisible and any dispute impossible”.

You can find here the complete list of PADAs and SPADAs outside Île-de-France region, with their names and addresses (OFFI2, 2021).

In any case, if you choose to go in person to another structure to request asylum such as to the OFII, the police, gendarmerie or the prison administration, you will again be referred to the competent PADA or SPADA. This change dates from January 1, 2019, in application of the asylum and immigration law of September 10, 2018 in France (ADATE3 2021).

What to expect when going to PADA?

The people working in the center will pre-register your asylum application. If you don't speak French, they will provide you with an interpreter in your language. If there isn't one at the center at that moment, they can put you and the interpreter in phone. To complete your file, they will ask you questions about your marital status (surname and first name, nationality, family situation, etc.), your travel itinerary from your country of origin, how you entered France, if you have already asked asylum in France or in Europe etc. Normally, they will give you a sheet so that when you return home, after careful consideration, you can write down your story and the reasons for your asylum claim. You can't write beyond the pages ‘deadline that the PADA officer gives you, so focus to put on important facts. If you cannot write in French, you can write it in your own language and send it back to PADA. They will then take on charge the translation of your story.

To complete your file, they will ask you questions about your marital status (surname and first name, nationality, family situation, etc.), your travel itinerary from your country of origin, how you entered France, if you have already asked asylum in France or in Europe etc. Normally, they will give you a sheet so that when you return home, after careful consideration, you can write down your story and the reasons for your asylum claim. You can't write beyond the pages ‘deadline that the PADA officer gives you, so focus to put on important facts. If you cannot write in French, you can write it in your own language and send it back to PADA. They will then take on charge the translation of your story.

Let's go back to your pre-registration at the PADA. It is their agent who will proceed to your appointment at the GUDA where your asylum application in France will be registered. This agent will give to you the notice of this meeting, with the details such as the day, the hour etc..

In short, (ADATE4 2021), the role of PADA is therefore to:

  • remplir le formulaire d’enregistrement électronique de la demande d’asile, qui indique l’identité et la composition familiale du demandeur d’asile ;
  • fournir des informations à l’étranger sur la procédure d’asile ;
  • • make an appointment at the Single Counter for Asylum Application (GUDA) using a shared calendar;
  • give you a notice indicating the place, day and time at which you must go to this meeting;
  • take passport photos or pay the costs.

References

1 GISTI, (2021 février). How to take an appointment in Île-de-France for an asylum application?

http://www.gisti.org/spip.php?article6271

2OFFI, (2021 February). List of First Reception Structures for Asylum Seekers (SPADA).

https://www.ofii.fr/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Liste-SPADA-hors-Ile-de-France.pdf

3ADATE, (2021 February). The asylum application procedure. Info Droits Etrangers.

 http://www.info-droits-etrangers.org/sejourner-en-france/lasile/la-procedure/#territoire

4ADATE, (2021 February). The asylum application procedure. Info Droits Etrangers.

 http://www.info-droits-etrangers.org/sejourner-en-france/lasile/la-procedure/#territoire

* 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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