Who is a Refugee?

If you have had to flee your country because of war, violence or persecution, you may be considered a refugee. If you are unable to return because you run the risk of:

  • threats against your life, liberty or safety;
  • violence, abuse or discrimination because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinions, sexual orientation or identity;
  • sexual exploitation, genital mutilation, forced marriage or violence by family members or others;  
  • forced recruitment to participate in wars or conflicts or to use weapons;
  • torture or inhumane treatment;
  • or you have fled because of war, conflict or violence in your country and are at risk if you return.

You can apply for asylum and you may be able to obtain some form of international protection.

When you apply for asylum you are protected by the principle of non-refoulement. This means that you cannot be expelled, returned to your country of origin or extradited until you receive a response to your application.

As a general rule, if you apply for asylum in Spain, you cannot subsequently apply for asylum in another country since the “Dublin Regulation” establishes that within the European Union the first country where a person arrives is responsible for processing his or her asylum application. There are exceptions in cases where there are family ties or situations of dependency, but we recommend that you contact a specialised lawyer for free advice. You can consult the list of lawyers here.

International protection: information for new arrivals in Spain – YouTube