If you’re in Spain or outside Spain, you can apply for asylum or protection in both cases. There are certain things or steps that you need to follow while applying for asylum. But in the first step, you must need to submit a formal application to concerned authorities.
How To Apply For Asylum in Spain?
One can apply for asylum in two ways:
- At the Spanish Territory
- At the Spanish Border Controls
The asylum process cannot carry out at any of the Spanish Embassy or Consulate. But, there is some provision for the asylum seeker who is outside the Spanish Territory. They need to make a formal application to the Spanish Border Control Authority. For the person who is already in the Spanish Territory, they need to go to the Office of Asylum and Refuge (OAR). They can also apply to the immigrant detention center known as CIE. Also, the persons staying in Spain must make a formal application in the first month of stay.
Any person willing to request international protection in Spain must make a formal application to the competent authorities. There are two main ways to apply for asylum: on the Spanish territory or at border controls. As explained in Types of procedures, asylum applications cannot be made through embassies or consular representations outside the Spanish territory in practice, although the Asylum Act foresees that possibility.
In case the asylum seeker is outside the Spanish territory, he or she must make a formal application to the border control authority, i.e. the Border Police. If the person is already on Spanish territory, competent authorities with which an asylum application can be made are the Office of Asylum and Refuge (OAR); any Aliens’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros), Detention Centre for Foreigners (CIE), or a police station.
If the OAR declares the application admissible in the regular procedure, it will have six months to examine the application on the merits. However, in practice, this period is usually more extended and can take up to 2 years. During this time, the applicant will receive new documentation certifying their status as an asylum seeker, in the form of a red card (Tarjeta Roja). During the first six months, the red card authorizes the asylum seekers to reside in Spain. After six months, the red card must be renewed and further grants the asylum seeker access to employment.
The Inter-Ministerial Commission of Asylum (Comisión de Asilo y Refugio, CIAR) is competent to decide on the application, upon a draft decision of the OAR. Asylum applications must always be examined and agreed upon, including in cases where the six months deadline is not met.
In case the application is made at the border or from a CIE, the procedure to be followed is the urgent procedure, even if the person is on the Spanish Territory. The OAR will have three months to decide on the application in the critical process. The applicant can ask for the application of the urgent scenario, or the Ministry of Interior can apply the procedure ex officio under the following circumstances:
The application will take up to three to four months for the final decision from authorities. Also, there is such a rise in asylum applications in the last few days. This processing time for the application may take up to more than a year or two at some pasts of the country. But this depends on the authorities and the number of applications they have. Spanish Inter-ministerial Commission of Asylum handles the decision. This commission will check whether the asylum can be granted or not. In case the application gets rejected, then you are not allowed to enter Spain or get deported. The authorities may ask you several questions. They may ask the reason for leaving your country, prosecuted in your home country and others as well. If your application got approve, then they will provide you a red card indicating you as an asylum seeker.
You may also reach out to the UNHCR in Spain to ease out the asylum process.
The authorities at the border will decide whether the asylum application is valid or not. Also, the whole process can take four days. After four days, you will confirm your identity and how you reached Spain.
However, there is a high possibility that they can ask why you left your home country. Also, they can many other questions related to your home country. Like where you were persecuted in your home country or not?
After all these processes, if they find your asylum application is valid. You will get a red card to identify you as an asylum seeker.
Who can Seek Asylum in Spain?
Spain’s Regulatory Act, 12/2009 on the Right to Asylum and Subsidiary Protection in Spain, grants refugee status to anyone with a justified fear of persecution in their own country on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, political views, or belonging to a particular social group, gender or sexual orientation.
It also recognizes as stateless any person who has no nationality, is of ordinary residence outside their country, and either does not wish or is unable to return to that country for any of the above reasons.
Steps To Apply For Asylum in Spain
- Submit your asylum application to the OAR office or CIE.
Address: The Barcelona Asylum and Refuge Office (OAR) is at Passeig de Sant Joan, nº 189. Metro L4 Joanic (yellow line).
- After applying, you have to take an interview.
The fundamental question asked are mainly about your identity, how you managed to get to Spain, and the reasons for your persecution.
- Go with your supporting documents during your interview or throughout the entire process.
- You will get to know what OAR decide within a period of one.
If they think you are eligible, you will get your asylum card. However, note that it is the first Member State of the European Union to receive asylum seekers under the Dublin Convention responsible for processing their asylum application. So you won’t be able to claim asylum in another country if you are registered in Spain.