Since late 2015, a new asylum law is in place in France. Much has changed in the asylum procedure. The new law has introduced new approaches and new ways of assessing and treating the cases of asylum seekers.
I have not started my asylum process yet
You no longer need an address in order to start the asylum process. That is to say, as soon as you arrive in France you must turn up in one of the platforms of pre Reception of Asylum Seekers (PADA). These platforms are the points of first reception of all asylum seekers, even if you have the address of a friend or family that hosts you.
Although you can go to any platform in order to seek an appointment for the ‘one stop service’ (GUDA) to apply for asylum, but it is more prudent and appropriate to go to a nearby PADA, close to where you live.
We recommend going there early in the morning because their capacities are often very limited.
→List of platforms “PADA” in France
What should you know before going to a PADA ?
1/ When should you take the first steps to apply for asylum :
The new law requires that the asylum seekers should begin the process of asylum within 120 days [4 months] of their irregular arrival (i.e entry without visa) to France; it is important to be attentive while declaring the date of your arrival in France. No proof of the date of the entry in france would be demanded as it is comprehensible that you entered in France without visa and by avoiding controls because you needed the protectection. You have just to declare the date of your arrival to the registration officer in the PADA..
After 120 days, you CAN still seek asylum, but your request will be processed in a procedure called “fast track procedure”.
2/ Information you should prepare :
Pay attention to the information you give to the PADA. This information will be forwarded to authorities responsible for asylum (the prefecture and the OFII) for the registration of your asylum application. An error made in your declaration will not be easy to rectify later.
We recommend that you prepare in advance all the information required, such as: date of departure from your country, date of arrival in France, the countries you crossed in addition to arrival and departure dates. If you do not know the exact dates or some names of the countries you crossed, because the conditions of the journey did not allow you to remember all these details, it does not matter. This does not prevent you from applying for asylum. You just provide the information you have.
Here in the PADA you will meet an official from the PADA who will :
1/ give you some information about asylum in France and ask you some questions about you. You will have to give :
-Personal information like : name, marital status
-Date of departure from your country and date of arrival in France
-The routes you have taken in order to arrive in France..
2/ fill in your information in the computer. This information is to be forwarded to the prefecture.
3/ give you a convocation to go (in a period of 3 to 10 days according to the texts) to the “one-stop service” in order to get the asylum application registered.
4/ And, in some cases, give you a document that is called a domiciliation (declaration of domiciliation). If that’s not the case, you will get this document later