Step 1 – Registration
When you submit your asylum application, you must present all the documents that you have (such as ID documents, travel tickets and other documents related to the asylum application) to the State Border Guard.
After you submit an asylum application, an officer from the State Border Guard will register it. They will assess which country is responsible for processing your asylum application according to the Dublin regulation. The officer will take your fingerprints (if you are older than 14) to check if you have already applied for asylum in another EU country. If you are not detained, you will receive an asylum-seeker document. It is important that you keep these documents in a safe place and that you always carry a copy of them with you.
If Latvia is responsible for handling your asylum application, in accordance with the Dublin regulation, the Asylum Affairs Department of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) will proceed with the assessment of your asylum application. The OCMA will initiate the procedure, which generally takes up to 6 months, sometimes extended with 9 more months, that is a total of 15 months since you applied for asylum.
After your application has been registered, you will have asylum-seeker status until a final decision is made. The State Border Guard will collect your personal documents and, if you are not detained, provide you with an asylum-seeker document that confirms that you are an asylum-seeker. As an asylum-seeker, you will be placed in an accommodation centre. In exceptional cases, the State Border Guard may detain you for a maximum of 6 days/nights; after that, only the court can decide to extend your time in detention. You can also appeal the decision of the State Border Guard before the district court; to appeal this decision, you can obtain a free legal representative by contacting the Legal Aid Administration, a State institution.
Step 2 – Interview
You will be given the opportunity to explain the reasons for seeking asylum in Latvia during an individual interview with an employee of the OCMA. The asylum interview is a very important step of the asylum procedure. During the interview, you have an opportunity to provide as much information as possible in support of your asylum application and present all available documents in support of your asylum claim. It is important to give a full account of what happened to you and what you fear if you are returned to your country of origin.
Before, during and after the interview, you can provide documents and other evidence to support your asylum story.
All the information you provide during your application for asylum (documents, records during asylum interview with you) will not be shared by the Latvian authorities with your home country or anyone else.