Compulsory migration: asylum and subsidiary protection

While France benefits from a particularly attractive image for foreign nationals as a whole, it is also a very popular host country for asylum seekers.

The definition of an asylum seeker is set out in Article 1A2 of the Geneva Refugee Convention, an international text ratified by France and which has been transposed into the French CESEDA (French Code on the Entry and Residence of Foreigners and the Right of Asylum- Code de l’entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile), the code which brings together all of the legislation applicable to foreign nationals residing in France.

Asylum seekers are differentiated from other “migrants” above all by the reason that led them to leave their country.

Asylum seekers are those who, following persecution in their country of origin, seek refuge in another country that is more respectful of human rights, or simply that is not in such a state of disrepair that it is unable to protect its nationals. 

In order to meet the conditions of the Geneva Convention, and therefore to be able to claim refugee status, the persecution suffered by the applicants must be based on one of the reasons listed in the text, which has been supplemented subsequently by case law.

The political motive is the one most often invoked. 

In addition to refugee status, another form of protection has been established by European Union law. This is subsidiary protection, which will allow people who do not meet the criteria of the Geneva Convention to still have access to protection. This will be the case, for example, when the country from which the applicant comes is at war. The conflict must still be of a high level of intensity.

The regime of reception and access to international protection for foreign nationals is mainly based on European Union law, which strictly regulates the treatment of foreign nationals by Member States.

Thus, as soon as they arrive on the territory, these very specific foreign nationals are given an asylum application certificate and receive financial assistance from the States.

The asylum application will be examined by a dedicated administrative authority, which is the OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Individuals- Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et Apatrides).

If the application is rejected, a specialised administrative court, called the CNDA (French National Court of Asylum- Cour nationale du droit d’asile), will be responsible for examining their appeal and may, if it considers that the conditions are met, grant the applicant refugee status or subsidiary protection.

EXILAE Avocats has the necessary expertise to assist asylum seekers present in France or wishing to go there, in order to benefit from international protection.

The lawyers and legal experts who make up the firm, trained and experienced in the field of immigration law, will provide you with help and advice in all your dealings with the administration and will defend your interests both before the OFPRA and the CNDA. 

Practice areas

  • Access to asylum registration
  • Appealing to the CNDA
  • Access to employment for asylum seekers
  • Writing the asylum application: access to the OFPRA
  • Access to social rights for asylum seekers

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