Asylum in France

People who are threatened in their country et that their countries' State can't protect can ask for protection from one European State. There common European rules, but each European State keep it's own procedures.

In France, the procedure can be complex and long. You have therefore to prepare yourself with the support of an association. Two asylum procedures exist :
- normal one, which offers better rights' guaranties
- priority one, mainly for people who ask for asylum in retention centre, or who have a decision to leave the French territory, faster and with less guaranties

Refusal of asylum request:
According to the Dublin II Regulation, an asylum seeker can only apply for asylum in the first EU country in which he/she sets foot, and where his/her finger prints are taken. Asylum seekers whose fingerprints have already been registered in the EURODAC database prior to their arrival in France, will find themselves deported by the French authorities to the country in which the prints were taken. This decision to send them back can be sometimes contested at the tribunal (more on the french implementation of Dublin II see here).

Priority procedure:
If an asylum request is done in compliance with Dublin II, it cannot be rejected by the French Prefecture, even if the applicant is detained in an Administrative Retention Centre. The OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless persons) has to respond to the application within 15 days.
This procedure concerns individuals originally from "secure" countries (French legal notion comprising: Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Croatia, Ghana, India, Mali (for men only), Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of), Mauritius, Mongolia, Senegal, Serbia, Tanzania, Ukraine), or those whose application has been deemed abusive (for example if the applicant has already been formally asked to leave France under the Obligation to Exit the French Territory or under the Order to be Redirected to the Border).

The State has obligation to provide accommodation to asylum seekers during the whole procedure. Actually, it proposes only accommodation facilities to people in the normal procedure, after waiting a longer or shorter time. If no accommodation is proposed, you have to appeal to the administrative court, with the help of an association.


Guide for asylum seekers in France in various languages

Guide for asylum seekers in France

Guide for sans papiers/ undocumented people in France of Cimade:

Guide for sans papiers/ undocumented people in France of Cimade:

Minors have special rights

Guide for minors in France

France has the obligation to protect minors in difficulty, what means offering good living conditions, education, opportunities to learn a job. It is possible for minors who choose to stay in France to leave in a camp or in a family, to go to school or to learn a job, under the responsibility of the Childhood Social Help. Some solutions exist for them to stay in France after 18, but it depends on their situation. It is sometimes difficult to proof you are under 18, even if you have identity papers.

Your rights and how to proceed if you are a foreign minor:

Go back