2. Initial steps at the one-stop service for asylum application (GUDA: prefecture and Ofii)
2-1. The Sorting of asylum-seekers by the prefecture (normal and fast-track procedure)
After the reception platform – SPADA ([factsheet no. 1]), you must go to the GUDA (one stop service for asylum application, prefecture and Ofii) at the date of the convocation given to you by the SPADA. In France, their are 34 one-stop services (list)
Caution: you must communicate, if needs be, any change of address or domiciliation to the prefecture by registered letter with an acknowledgement of receipt.
1. At the prefecture, your fingerprints will be taken to see if you are registered on a Eurodac  and Vis (visa information system ). The prefecture has to give you a brochure explaining why your fingerprints are taken untitled "I asked for asylum in the European Union : which country will handle my claim ?".
The prefecture will also look for other evidence (or signs) of passage through another country of the European Union: you will be asked questions about your journey, your passport will be examined (to see if there is a visa for any other European country-), as well as other documents that you provide them, to see if you have traveled through another EU country.
- If your fingerprints are stored on a Eurodac file, or if the prefecture finds another indication of your passage through another European country, you will be transferred to the “Dublin” procedure (factsheet no.3).
- If the prefecture finds no proof that you have traveled through another country of the European Union, you can apply for asylum in France.
Some prefecture refuse to register asylum requests is your fingerprints are unreadable but its illegal, you have to contact an association or a lawyer to challenge this kind of practice.
You will be placed on the fast track procedure:
- If you do not provide your fingerprints, or if they are illegible or erased;
- If you provide false identity documents and the prefecture becomes aware;
- If you provide incorrect information about your journey and the prefecture becomes aware;
- If the prefecture notices that you have already requested asylum in France under another name;
- If you say that you entered France more than 120 days ago;
- If you are arrested and the police force you to leave the territory (an “OQTF” – an order to leave French Territory”) and you are placed in a detention facility…
Furthermore, the law provides that the prefecture will place you in the fast-track procedure if:
- you come from a “safe country of origin”;
- your request for reassessment is ineligible (very vague term)
The prefecture must provide you with a document that explains why you have been placed into the fast-track procedure. Ask for it if they do not give it to you!
If you have been wrongly placed in the fast-track procedure, it’s possible to send a letter to the OFPRA to request that it transfers you to the normal procedure.
According to the law, the Ofpra (factsheet n°4) has only 2 weeks to decide your fate but the delays are longer in practice. Especially is the fast-track procedure, it is essential to carefully prepare your written asylum statement on the Ofpra form (factsheet no.4-2).
If your asylum application is rejected by the Ofpra, only one judge will examine your appeal to the CNDA (instead of 3 under the normal procedure). This judge makes their ruling within 5 weeks instead of five months, which means there is less time to examine your appeal. As for now, this time limit is not respected.
4. You receive your asylum application acknowledgement
The prefecture will provide you with an “attestation de demande d’asile” (asylum application acknowledgement), valid for 1 month, which will indicate in which procedure you have been placed (“normal”, “fast-track” or “Dublin”). This document proves that you are an asylum-seeker: you must have it on your person in case you are stopped and checked by the police (the original or a photocopy).
You must return to the prefecture to renew this acknowledgement at the date indicated on the convocation, with:
- The asylum application acknowledgement;
- The Ofpra registration letter or an acknowledgement of asylum application;
- Two photos;
- Proof of residence
Under the normal procedure, the second asylum application acknowledgement is valid for 9 months, then renewable every 6 months. Under the fast-track procedure, it is valid for 6 months, then renewable every 3 months.
In case of an appeal before the CNDA, the acknowledgement will only be renewed upon presentation of the receipt of the appeal before the CNDA.
The prefecture can refuse to provide you with an attestation if it is your second request for reassessment or if your subject to an obligation to leave the French territory (OQTF). This refusal can be appealed before the administrative court (see all the cases of refusal Art. L.743-2 of the Ceseda).
If the Ofpra rejects your asylum application or declares it ineligible (factsheet no. 4-1), your asylum application acknowledgement will not be renewed.
2-2. The role of the Ofii (French office for immigration and integration)
The Ofii, a government body, must inform you of your rights and deal with your accommodation and your asylum-seeker’s allowance (ADA).
The Ofii must offer you accommodation according to the number of places available at the Asylum-seekers’ reception center (Cada), at a temporary reception center for asylum (AT-SA, emergency accommodation), in emergency accommodation for asylum-seekers (Huda) or in centers of reception and orientation (Cao). It consults the DN@ file (national file for the management of Cada places).
If the Ofii does not provide you with an offer of accommodation,it will direct you to the SPADA. You will be instructed to call 115 in order to find emergency accommodation by yourself.
The reception center may have different operating rules but they are all subject to the same obligations (general conditions), in particular with regard to administrative, medical and social assistance (see the center operating rules).
2. Postal address
If you are provided with “long-term” lodgings in a center, you will be able to use this address for your asylum procedure. The postal address declaration form will be filled in by the center.
If you are not accommodated in a center, you must return to the SPADA (factsheet no.1) which will provide you with a postal address to receive your mail.
3. The asylum-seeker’s allowance (ADA)
The PADA will provide you a cash withdrawal card of this allowance usable in ATMs. It is advisable to open a bank account (at the ‘Banque postale’).
To open an account: you need the asylum application acknowledgement and a valid address. In case of any difficulties, you can ask the SPADA or the accommodation center for assistance (see "how to open an account").
The ADA amount is 6.80 euros per day and per person on their own ; for 2 people (10,20 euros); for 3 people (13,60 euros)…; 5,40 euros more for people without accommodations.
To receive ADA , you need:
- To be over 18 years old;
- To declare that your income is less than the French “revenu de solidarité active” (RSA – a welfare benefit): 550 euros for one adult on their own);
- An asylum application acknowledgement (or a receipt)
- To have accepted and signed the “offre de prise en charge” at the Ofii;
- Have submitted the Ofpra form within the last 21 days (except for persons under the Dublin procedure – factsheet 3).
You will receive the ADA throughout your asylum procedure at the end of every month following the notification of the Ofpra or the CNDA decision, or up to the date of transfer for persons under the Dublin procedure.
In cases of reassessment of your asylum request : Ofii can refuse but the decision must be justified in writing after meeting with you to examine your situation.
Your allowance may be discontinued if:
- You refuse an offer of accommodation without a legitimate reason;
- You have missed one or more appointments at the prefecture or the Ofii;
- You have left your accommodation without reason for a period of 5 days.
In any of the above cases, the decision to discontinue ADA, to refuse ADA must be in writing and justified (arts. D,744-35, D,744-36, D.744-37). Otherwise, an appeal before a court is possible.
The Ofii is likely to wrongly stop the ADA. A significant jurisprudence exist at the level of administrative tribunals and the Council of state.
You will then be a priority case for accommodation which must be suitable for your particular needs.
 Database specialized in visa applications for France with photos and digital fingerprints
 Caution: if the prefecture does not provide you with a copy of this guide, this can later be used by a lawyer to have the decision revoked to transfer you to another EU country under the “Dublin” procedure. If the request for asylum is examined by the French authorities, you should inform the Ofpra and the CNDA that you have not received this guide.
 See the Government memorandum (“circulaire”) dated 2 November 2015.
 Ministerial information of the 1st of December 2015