Where are you going to seek asylum?
have no free choice of your asylum country within Europe. Be aware
of (a) the safe third country rule, (b) the European responsibility
sharing scheme Dublin II.
Many European countries apply the "safe third
country rule" to deny asylum to applicants who lived in
or even travelled through another country deemed to give protection
to refugees. Whether the "safe" country really is
ready to grant protection is irrelevant in most of the cases.
The safe third country rule is regarded as assumption. Only
in some cases and/or countries of asylum this assumption is
When an asylum country wants to apply the safe third country rule, it is only
allowed to return the applicant to the third country, not to the country of origin.
However, in practice asylum countries often prefer to examine the case themselves
in order to return the applicant to his country of origin as this is often easier
The U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Island,
and all European Union Member States are regarded as safe by all European
states. In some cases, asylum countries also regard other states as safe
third countries though refugee help organisations don't have the same
opinion. The European Union has tried to harmonise its criteria for a
state to be regarded as safe, but has not succeeded yet in doing so.
In addition, those seeking asylum in Europe should have an understanding of
the "European responsibility sharing system" that is commonly referred
to as "Dublin
II." This system is based on a couple of criteria determining the
responsibility of the responsible European asylum state. The aim is to avoid
double or multiple application of the same asylum seeker. The fingerprints
of applicants are registered so that double applications are revealed. Once
the authorities learned that you used a wrong identity not just to get out
of your country of origin, but to apply for asylum twice, your credibility
will be extremely difficult to re-establish. Chances for recognition as refugee
are thus diminished. Be aware of the risk that your double identity will be
revealed by the European Union fingerprint recognition system Eurodac and other
systems described under 4. or just by accident. Always prefer to make an intelligent
use of the existing rules instead of violating them. Reveal your real identity
once you have got access to an asylum procedure.
All Member States of the European Union (except Denmark) plus Norway
and Island take part in Dublin II. Dublin II is not applicable in Switzerland,
Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and in the overseas territories and
departments of France. It is not applicable in the Balkan states (except
Slovenia and Greece), Moldavia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, but asylum
procedures in these states are extremely difficult or even not existent.
As recognition practices vary very much, Dublin II is likely to influence
the outcome of your asylum procedure in Europe. You should therefore
study thoroughly the Dublin criteria. We prepared for you the complicated
legislative text in a way that makes it easier understandable. Please
free choice: Dublin II.
Is it possible to avoid the application of Dublin II by saying: ”I
do not apply for asylum but I apply for humanitarian protection”?
Humanitarian protection is protection against forcible return / expulsion
for other reasons than the once mentioned in the Geneva Refugee Convention
(see our page "Are
you a refugee?"). The answer to this question is not easy. We
deal with it on Alternatives
to Dublin II? Humanitarian protection”).