The protection of foreigners under the asylum status
The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT supports all foreigners, especially those threatened with persecution in their country of origin, and wishing to be recognized as refugees in France.
This refugee status can be granted, primarily by the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA).
It will be necessary, in particular, to demonstrate that the foreigner is threatened in their country of origin due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, political opinions, or their advocacy for freedom (depending on the basis of the contemplated application).
The rights recognized under asylum
The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT accompanies its clients throughout the asylum application process, with the understanding that during the examination period of their case, they will be hosted by the state, which will ensure their means of subsistence under decent conditions.
The credibility and evidence supporting the reality of the applicant’s story will be crucial for the success of their application.
How to contest the rejection of an asylum application?
The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists individuals whose asylum applications have been rejected by OFPRA.
In such a scenario, it is necessary to challenge this decision before the National Court of Asylum Law.
Once again, the support provided to the applicant will be crucial, aiming to help reconstruct their story precisely, which is key to the success of their appeal.
Asylum – the conditions for obtaining it and the rights granted
The term “asylum” is commonly used for everything related to the concept of “internationalprotection”. Indeed, there’s a difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee, and several concepts related to international protection can be distinguished:
- International protection is a protection granted by a State to a foreign national in accordance with its international obligations concerning human rights and humanitarian law.
- Asylum is one form of international protection. It’s notably granted to the asylum seeker who fears persecution in his country of origin. “Political asylum” is not a separate form of international protection but refers to a type of asylum.
- The refugee is the person whose asylum request has been accepted and for whom the State agrees to provide protection.
- Subsidiary protection is an alternative form of international protection. It may be granted to the asylum seeker whose application has been denied under asylum conditions, but the threat they face in their country of origin can be qualified as a “serious harm” rather than persecution.
- The “Dublin III” regulation often hinders the success of an international protection application in France. Indeed, member states of the Dublin Convention (all EU member states, as well as the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland) signed an agreement governing the designation of the State responsible for examining the asylum application. This regulation stipulates that the first Member State the applicant reaches upon arrival in Europe is responsible for processing his asylum application. Thus, if the applicant entered France via another country party to this agreement, France can refuse to process the asylum application and send the applicant back, with agreement, to the first country they reached.
- Different international protections
- Asylum and subsidiary protection
- The right to asylum is governed by multiple legal sources: the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the statutes of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Code on the Entry and Stay of Foreigners and the Right to Asylum (CESEDA). Generally, an asylum seeker will invoke provisions from one or more of these texts. A more exceptional basis for asylum is that of the 1946 Constitution. Indeed, its preamble’s paragraph 4 states that “any person persecuted for his actions in favor of freedom has the right to asylum in the territory of the Republic”. Asylum is granted to a person who meets all the conditions mentioned in these texts. They must demonstrate facing serious threats to their life in their country of origin.
The persecution must be established due to circumstances mentioned in the texts, including reasons of:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinions
- Actions in favor of freedom
- Situations under the strict mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Article L711-1 of the CESEDA)
Subsidiary protection :
- Subsidiary protection allows the State to grant protection to the applicant who, facing serious harm to their life, does not meet the asylum conditions. However, unlike asylum, subsidiary protection is granted for one year only. The beneficiary can renew their protection, but they must re-establish the current threats that justified the previous grant of protection.
- What are the general conditions for all international protections?
- Existence of persecution or serious harm:
The applicant must prove having faced acts constituting a severe violation of their fundamental rights, for instance by showing the act’s nature, such as torture, or its repeated character, like ongoing violence. Personalization criteria come into play: the applicant must testify that the threats or violence they invoke target them personally and individually.
- The current nature of these persecutions or serious harm:
- The person must demonstrate that if they are forced to return to their country of origin, they will be subjected to these acts or treatments. They can mention past threats to establish the insecurity of their situation in their country of origin. However, they must prove that there’s a current risk of undergoing such treatment.
- Origin of persecutions or serious harm:
- The applicant must face real threats in their country of origin (the country of their nationality) or in their habitual residence country.
- Lack/insufficiency of protection in the country of origin or habitual residence:
- The applicant must prove that, in their country of origin, they cannot avail themselves of any state protection against the threats they invoke.
- What rights do asylum seekers have?
- Support by the OFII:
Every asylum seeker has the right to the benefits of the material reception conditions (CMA) provided by the OFII (French Office for Immigration and Integration). They can thus claim assistance related to housing and material and financial benefits.
- Conditions for granting CMA
The foreigner must present themselves at the single window of the prefecture of their place of residence to register their asylum application. Upon registration, an agent from the single window conducts a personal interview. The purpose of this interview is to assess the personal situation and vulnerability of the applicant to determine whether it is appropriate to grant the CMA.
Offer of support
CMAs are only granted to the asylum seeker who accepts the support from the OFII. The applicant may be offered accommodation or a domicile (a fixed address at which they receive their mail). They must accept these conditions to benefit from any other material or financial assistance. Aid offered to asylum seekers
i) Housing assistance
The asylum seeker can be accommodated in a CADA (Asylum Seekers Reception Centre) or in a CHU (Emergency Shelter Centre).
ii) Financial resources
The applicant can benefit from the ADA (Allowance for Asylum Seekers), which is a predetermined amount paid monthly on their specialized ADA card.
Other social rights of asylum seekers
Access to care :
The right to access medical care is an absolute right. Asylum seekers can then claim PUMA (universal health protection) accompanied by the CSS (solidarity health supplement).
Transport solidarity :
An asylum seeker who benefits from the PUMA is entitled to reductions for public transportation.
Schooling of children :
Every child, regardless of the administrative situation of their parents, has the right to schooling in France. Thus, the children of asylum seekers have a right to education during their minority.
Access to the job market :
Generally, asylum seekers do not have the right to work. An exception to this rule exists for the asylum seeker whose application to Ofpra is still under review 6 months after its registration.