In very few cases asylum applicants can enter the asylum country
legally without a visa. In most cases, however, a visa is required.
For a refugee, there are three basic ways of reaching the targeted
country of asylum when he needs a visa in this country: (1) obtaining
a valid visa; (2) using the target country as a stopover on the way
to a third country, seeking asylum in transit; or (3) entering the
country without a visa and seeking asylum once there.
1. To travel with a valid visa is the safest way, but the most difficult
In order to really enter an asylum country legally you need
- valid passport;
- a valid visa (in most cases);
- mostly some money to demonstrate your capacity to finance your
- sometimes an insurance for health care or a travel insurance,
- sometimes a financial guarantee of somebody legally residing
in your country of destination.
2. To use a stop-over at an international airport
is legally a safe way, but not always in practice.
border control officers pretend not to hear the word asylum even
if you shout it at them. One better
informs a lawyer, a refugee assisting organisation or at least a
friend before arrival.
In order to transit via an international airport of your targeted
asylum country you need
- almost always a valid passport to get into the plane (only few
people reach international airports without passport but with
- sometimes a transit/airport visa of your targeted asylum country,
- and often you have to fulfill the conditions for a legal entry
of the country you are officially travelling to (the “destination” country
of your flight mentioned on the airplane ticket).
3. To apply for asylum in a port/heaven is
even more dangerous.
guards there are not always trained to deal with asylum seekers. There
is no control by non governmental organisations or even normal passengers.
We do not know whether this is the reason why so few asylum seekers
apply for asylum in a port/heaven. But we assume that most of the
asylum seekers entering by ship first hide, enter the asylum country
illegally and apply for asylum later.
4. To travel by land to the targeted country and to apply
at the border is also not very safe either.
Border guards do not appreciate
asylum claims and sometimes do not listen to them. Furthermore the
Dublin system and the safe third country rule limit the freedom of
The pull-down menu in the "asylumseeker" section provides some useful links
for the most important asylum countries. As things are a bit more complicated
(EU) you should follow both the links for the EU itself and the targeted
country within the EU to get a complete picture.