Political asylum in Spain. Resolves all doubts about the application, requirements and legal advice.
How to obtain political asylum in Spain?
The 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees states that a refugee is a person who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.
According to Spanish law (specifically Article 4 of Law 12/2009), they may be beneficiaries of the so-called subsidiary protection in those cases in which the authorities appreciate the existence of well-founded reasons to believe that if they were to return to their country of origin they would face a real risk of suffering any of the serious harm provided for in the law, despite not meeting the requirements to be recognized as refugees according to the provisions of the Geneva Convention.
In other words, the right of asylum is the right of any person to seek protection outside his or her country when fleeing as a result of a conflict or persecution that endangers his or her life because of his or her race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social group, nationality or political opinion, the person has a well-founded fear of losing his or her life. On the other hand, subsidiary protection is given to those who do not qualify for asylum or refugee status, but who need protection because there are reasons to believe that if they return to their country they may suffer harm.
Article 10 of the aforementioned Law establishes the following as serious damages that may give rise to subsidiary protection:
- the death penalty or the risk of its material execution;
- torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in the applicant’s country of origin;
- serious threats to the life or integrity of civilians caused by indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal conflict.
The law also regulates certain cases in which subsidiary protection is excluded:
- Having committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity.
- Committing acts contrary to the purposes of the United Nations.
- To pose a danger to the security of Spain or to public order.
- Having committed a felony prior to receiving protection.
- Inciting the commission of the offenses or participating in the commission of the offenses.
Rights when Applying for Political Asylum in Spain:
- Right to free legal assistance and interpreter.
- Access to integration programs.
- Right to have your request communicated to UNHCR.
- The right to the suspension of any return, expulsion or extradition process that could affect the applicant.
- Access to public employment services.
- The right to know the contents of the file at any time.
- Right to health care.
- To receive specific social benefits under the terms set forth in the Law.
- Freedom of movement
- Right to be documented as an applicant for international protection.
It should be noted that the right to asylum or subsidiary protection is also granted to the spouse or partner, minor children and first-degree ascendants as long as their dependency is proven and they are not of a different nationality. It may also be granted to other family members if dependency and previous cohabitation in the country of origin are proven.
Obligations when applying for Political Asylum in Spain:
In addition, applicants for international protection have the following obligations:
- Cooperate with the Spanish authorities in the procedure for granting international protection.
- Submit, as soon as possible, all those elements that, together with your own statement, contribute to support your request. Among others, they may submit any documentation they have on their identity, age, nationality(ies), background, including that of related relatives, places of previous residence, previous applications for international protection, travel itineraries, travel documents and reasons for seeking protection.
- Provide their fingerprints, allow themselves to be photographed and, where appropriate, consent to the recording of their statements, provided that they have been previously informed about it.
- Inform about your address in Spain and any change in it. (Please note that any communication from the authorities will be notified to this address).
- Likewise, to inform the competent authority or appear before it, when so required, in relation to any circumstance of their request. Failure to comply with this obligation, as well as failure to renew the documentation provided to the applicant, may result in the application being filed within one month in accordance with current legislation.
Where to apply for political asylum in Spain?
Authorized border crossing points for entry into Spanish territory (ports or international airports).
At the foreigners’ offices or authorized police stations, depending on the province in which you live. In the following link of the Ministry of the Interior you will find where you can apply for asylum in each Autonomous Community.
Persons who are in a detention center for foreigners and wish to apply for asylum/international protection must inform the management of the center so that the request can be transferred to the corresponding police station.
In the case of unaccompanied foreign minors, it is the legally appointed guardian who must consider the possibility of applying for asylum for the child, even if the child has not expressly mentioned this type of protection.
The whole process is confidential and the people who talk to you (officials, police, interpreters, lawyers) are obliged to keep everything you say confidential.
Documents to apply for political asylum in Spain
- Photocopy of your passport or personal document (if you do not have it, you must explain why you do not have it).
- Documents supporting the application and showing the well-founded fear to which the applicant is exposed (these could be threats, complaints, press articles, medical reports of an attack on the applicant, etc.).
Requesting assistance from a lawyer
Political asylum seekers in Spain have the right to an interpreter and to free legal assistance. At the Service of Attention to Immigrants, Emigrants and Refugees (SAIER), under the Barcelona City Council, they will advise you on how to present your case and will help you prepare the interview and test documents.
How to apply for political asylum in Spain?
- You must inform the police or civil guard of your intention to seek asylum, refuge or international protection.
- You can count on the assistance of an interpreter. If you need it, please indicate it when applying for asylum and it will be provided to you.
- Your asylum application will be formalized through an interview with the national police. It may take a few days depending on whether or not you need an interpreter.
- In border procedures (ports, airports and land border) it is mandatory to have the assistance of a lawyer. You can turn to specialized NGOs that provide free legal advice or hire a lawyer.
- They will ask you personal questions and you will have to explain why you cannot return to your home country, what has happened to you or what you fear will happen to you if you return, etc.
- You must now submit all documentation evidencing your need for asylum.
- You will also be asked for your family members’ information. It is important that they are accurately reflected in the application so that you can later apply for family reunification if you wish, in the event that you are granted protection in Spain.
- You will have to remain at the border dependencies (port or airport) until it is decided whether your case is admitted for further study or not.
- If your case is admitted, you will be authorized to enter and stay in Spain to continue with your asylum application.
- If your case is denied, you may request a reexamination of your application, which the Spanish administration must answer within 48 hours.
- In the event that your application is denied a second time, i.e., your request for reexamination is denied, it is advisable to consult with your attorney about the possibility of filing an appeal.
Possible responses to a request for Political Asylum in Spain
After a careful study of the request, the Spanish state proceeds to give an answer about 6 months later, the answers that could be obtained are:
- Refugee status: with this status you are granted international protection as recognized in the Geneva Convention, and you are considered a refugee.
- Subsidiary Protection: This is the other form of international protection contemplated in the national asylum law mentioned above.
- Concession for Humanitarian Reasons: This is not strictly a form of international protection, but rather a temporary residence authorization for humanitarian circumstances. This may include sick people without access to essential treatment in their country of origin, without which they would be at risk of serious harm.
- Closure: The asylum application procedure will be closed when the applicant withdraws or withdraws his or her application for international protection. This may occur when within thirty days the applicant has not responded to requests to provide information essential to his application, has not appeared if requested to be present, unless he proves that these behaviors were due to circumstances beyond his control.
- Denial of international protection: The denial of an asylum application implies that the Spanish State does not recognize a person’s need for international protection. The denial of asylum entails the notification of a mandatory exit order from the Spanish State, expulsion from the territory, or transfer to another country responsible for the examination of the application through the Dublin Convention. If you do not agree with this decision of denial, you can appeal through administrative appeals, for which we recommend that you contact your lawyer.
- Family extension requests: In the case of a family extension request, it can be favorable or unfavorable.
Obtaining refuge or political asylum in Spain does not grant nationality, but the time to obtain Spanish nationality would be reduced from 10 years to 5 years, although if you are a national of Latin American countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, etc., this reduction is irrelevant, since the time to obtain Spanish nationality by residence in this case is only 2 years.
Lawyers Experts in Political Asylum Applications
Having the legal advice of an Expert Lawyer when applying for Political Asylum in Spain, guarantees you successful results. At Servicio Legal, we have the best immigration lawyers, experts in all types of refugee claim cases. Let’s talk now and find the best path for your legal case.
Official website of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: https://help.unhcr.org/spain/