Asylum, who has the right to seek for it?

Chacun.e a le droit légal de demander l’asile dans un autre pays que le sien. Il s’agit d’un droit humain fondamental régularisé par différentes conventions et lois depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Parmi ceux-ci, le plus célèbre est l’article 14 de la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme (DUDH), Universal Declaration of Human Rights, qui a été adoptée en 1948 et garantit le droit de demander et de bénéficier l’asile dans d’autres pays. Les instruments régionaux relatifs aux droits de l’homme l’ont développé, garantissant le «droit de demander et d’obtenir l’asile sur un territoire étranger, conformément à la législation de l’État et aux conventions internationales», comme la Convention Américaine Relative aux Droits de l’Homme, art. 22 (7), American Convention on Human Rights , African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, art. 12 (3) African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Bien sûr, demander l’asile est une chose et l’obtenir en est une autre. Dans une série d’articles, j’expliquerai comment utiliser légalement ce droit en France, dans quels cas vous pouvez l’obtenir ou vous pouvez voir rejetée votre demande d’asile, quelles sont les procédures à entreprendre dans chaque cas etc.

Comment demander l’asile en France?

To submit an asylum application, the person must be on French soil and must contact a prefecture which will issue an OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) form: this is the normal filing procedure. But you don't have to go specifically to a prefecture building to apply for asylum. There are official, specialized structures where you can make your request, as you will see as you continue reading. But, you cannot faire une demande d’asile depuis votre pays d’origine.

Apply for asylum at the border

In addition to this classic procedure mentioned above, there is a derogatory procedure, that of asylum at the border. It applies when the asylum seeker finds himself stranded at the border (at an airport, train station or port) upon arrival because he presents himself without a visa and without an identity document.

As soon as you arrive at the border, you will have to explain that you want to apply for asylum. However, you can be kept in the waiting area of the place of your arrival (for example at the airport) by the French authorities. You will be detained there while determining whether your asylum application is or not "manifestly unfounded". It may take several days.

If you have used someone else's passport, many French associations strongly recommend that you must declare that these papers are not yours and file your asylum application under your real identity.

Le demandeur d’asile peut-il choisir son placement pour habiter ?

The path of an asylum seeker is completely different from that of a foreigner who asks to be admitted to stay in France for another reason such as work, studies, reunion with family. Usually, the asylum seeker cannot decide in which city, region or village he will live. The prefecture is involved in the asylum procedure to choose placement under the normal, accelerated or Dublin procedure. It is the institution which issues the residence permits of varying validity depending on the procedure in which the applicant is placed. On the other hand,it is not the institution which takes the decision whether or not to grant refugee status or another form of protection: only OFPRA and possibly the National Court of Asylum Law (NCAL) has this competence.

What if you have the status granted in another country?

France can, subject to conditions, grant a transfer of status to a foreigner who has been granted asylum protection in another country. To find out more  www.OFPRA.gouv.fr 

Le transfert de protection concerne un étranger qui, reconnu réfugié ou bénéficiaire de la protection subsidiaire par un autre Etat, souhaite venir s’installer en France en conservant le bénéfice de sa protection. Pour que l’OFPRA entérine un transfert de protection, la personne concernée doit notamment avoir obtenu un visa long séjour des autorités françaises dans son pays de résidence habituel.

* 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 [email protected] 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.

17 thoughts on “Asile, qui a le droit de le demander?”

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