In certain cases, Croatia will not be responsible for examining your application, and this responsibility will be transferred to another country in the European Union, or Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland (so called “Dublin III” States). The Dublin III Regulation means that only one country examines your asylum application and you cannot choose which country this will be. You can only apply for asylum in one country and only one country can grant you asylum.
A few Dublin “rules”:
- If you are below the age of 18 and a member of your family (parent, brother/sister, uncle/aunt, grandfather/grandmother) has residence in a “Dublin III” state, this country is responsible for the examination of your application – visit this page for more information.
- If you are an adult and your spouse or minor children are resident in one of the “Dublin III” States as beneficiaries of asylum or as asylum-seekers, if you so wish, that State examine your application.
- For example, if, before entering Croatia, you entered another “Dublin III” State without permission, this State is responsible for the examination of your application. This responsibility expires 12 months after the irregular entry.
- If another “Dublin III” State is responsible for the examination of your application, then you will be transferred to the other “Dublin III” State, at the latest within six months from the date this State accepted to examine your application.
You have the right to appeal against this decision before the Administrative Court, within the deadline mentioned in the decision which you will receive.
It is important to approach a legal counsellor for further information. The Dublin III Regulation can be found here.
After you have submitted your application for asylum you will be invited for a hearing. A hearing is an interview with an official, in the presence of an interpreter, which is a very important step in the process of delivering a decision. You have to attend the hearing in person, regardless of whether or not you have a legal representative. If you have a legal representative, s/he can be present at the hearing.
If you are a child below the age of 18 who arrived in Croatia without your family, you are entitled to a legal representative/special guardian who will prepare you for the interview with the Croatian asylum authorities and courts. The representative is also present during those interviews. The Croatian asylum authorities (Ministry of the Interior/Service for Asylum) will examine your application and will decide your asylum application in accordance with European Union and Croatian legislation – visit this page for more information.
It can take from several weeks to several months for a decision to be made on an asylum application, depending on your particular case. Usually, your application for asylum should be resolved within six months from the date when Croatia became responsible for your application following completion of the ‘Dublin’ procedure (link to above where Dublin is explained). If the decision cannot be made within six months, you will be informed of the time-frame within which you can expect a decision. The maximum time for a decision to be delivered is 21 months.
If you come from the safe country of origin your application will be decided in an accelerated procedure, within two months. A country is considered as a safe country of origin when there is a democratic system of government with no reported persecution, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, no threat of violence and no armed conflict. Croatia’s list of safe countries of origin include Algeria, Albania, Kosovo (UNSCR 1244), Montenegro, Morocco, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Tunisia.