Applying for asylum in France
The asylum application procedure (asylum procedure), already greatly modified in 2015, has just been significantly changed again by law number 2018-778 of September 10th 2018 “for a controlled immigration, a real right to asylum and successful integration” (“pour une immigration maîtrisée, un droit d’asile effectif et une intégation réussié”) which reformed the Ceseda (« Code de l’entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile » or “code for entry and residence of foreigners and for the right to asylum”). As per usual in the field of foreigners’ rights and asylum, the legislators did not intend to simplify the procedure but, on the contrary, made it even more technical and difficult to understand either by asylum seekers or by the people who help them.
Another law, number 2018-187 of March 20th 2018, "allowing a good application of the European asylum system" is specifically aimed at people in the Dublin procedure, reinforcing the coercion of an already extremely precarious population.
The few small improvements of these laws put forward by the public authorities are, as always, outweighed by many other measures taken in their great majority to reinforce the control of people, to "sort" them according to their legal status, to suspend or withdraw their rights—sometimes completely arbitrarily—in order to make them more precarious, to lock them up, to remove them from the asylum procedure, to expel them…
Reception policy has been in crisis for years. A crisis organized by France itself, which instead of trying to really welcome people and adapt its system (centers for first reception, reception at the police prefecture, housing in sufficient numbers, true administrative, social and legal assistance), chooses instead to control people even more and turn away as many people as possible.
All this using a legal arsenal, the best known being the Dublin Regulation, to determine the responsible country. This regulation is used excessively, when all the countries of the European Union know that they cannot force people to stay in a country in which they do not want to settle, and in defiance of law and common sense, increasing the number of forced deportations, back-and-forth trips, or techniques for massively turning away people at borders. France itself has never complied with its obligations regarding the reception of asylum seekers and, for many years, has preferred to mistreat them, thinking that people will leave and spread the message that France is not welcoming.
Despite the measures taken by the authorities to put an end to refugee camps, they do not disappear but move and split up, gathering just a few dozen people, or a few hundred in some cities.
In the Paris region, it still takes months before one can begin an asylum procedure. What is new is that the queue has become invisible since the establishment of a telephone number, difficult to get through to, to get an appointment at the first reception center.
As for the refugees evacuated from previous camps, a good portion of them end up in centers scattered all over the country lacking not only the means and personnel competent in asylum cases, but which—more importantly—are used to “shelter” these people while organizing their deportation, whether asylum seekers whose requests were refused—still very numerous —or people waiting for a Dublin transfer (more than 40 000 in 2017 or more than one third of all asylum applications in France).
Although it is impossible to list all of the traps set by the administration, these fact sheets aim to provide the information required to submit an asylum application, and obtain one’s rights.
- always keep a copy of the documents you submit to the authorities
- never give originals (except for the passport that you have to submit to Ofpra)
Legal assistance for asylum seekers - Monday (2 pm – 5 pm)
In all cases, we try to find together solutions to help you (mail, court appeals…). People are received according to the emergency of the situation : people in Dublin procedure and need to make an appeal, people who have a refusal from OFPRA or people who did not manage to register their request for asylum at the end of the Dublin procedure (6 month) (those considered to be "escaping").
Who are we ?
All the participants are struggling by your side and support you in the difficulties you face with public services. We have no links with services in charge of refugees reception (Prefecture, OFPRA, OFII or any association commissionned by the government like FTDA, Croix-Rouge, Coallia, Emmaüs solidarité…).
This legal assistance service is set up by volunteer activits an by associations (ADDE, ATMF, Dom’asile, ELENA, GISTI, La Cimade).
How get to the legal assistance office ? 10, rue Affre 75018 Paris (M° La chapelle)
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