Applying for asylum at border checkpoints and Immigration Detention Facilities (CIE)

In Spain, you may request asylum when you arrive at border checkpoints for entry into Spanish territory, ports, airports and land borders (Ceuta and Melilla). You may also seek asylum if you are brought to an Immigration Detention Facility (CIE). In this case, there is a special process with shorter deadlines that applies, known as the accelerated procedure.

How can I apply for asylum in these cases?

  • You need to inform the police or civil guard of your intention to request asylum, refuge or international protection.
  • You may be assisted by an interpreter. If you need one, tell them when you request asylum and you will be granted one.
  • Your application for asylum will be formalised in an interview with the national police force. This may take a few days depending on whether or not you need an interpreter.
  • In the procedure at the border (ports, airports and land borders) you must be assisted by a lawyer. You can request a public defender (free), go to a specialised NGOs that provides free legal advice or hire a private lawyer.
  • You will be asked personal questions and will have to explain why you cannot return to your country of origin, what happened to you or what you fear would happen if you returned, etc.
  • You may submit all the documents you have that explain or prove why you had to leave your country of origin and seek protection in Spain.
  • You will also be asked about your relatives. It is very important that they are accurately indicated in the application so that you can apply for family reunification later if you wish, in the event that you are granted protection in Spain.

The application for asylum is confidential. None of the things you say at the interview or any of the documentation you provide, not even the fact that you have requested protection in Spain, will be communicated to the authorities in your country of origin or to anyone not involved in the procedure.

  • You must remain at the border facilities (port or airport) until a decision is reached as to whether or not your case is allowed forward to be examined in further detail.
  • If your case is accepted, you will be authorised to enter and remain in Spain to continue with your asylum application.
  • If your case is denied, you may request a review of your application, which the Spanish administration must respond to within 48 hours. During this time, you must remain at the border facilities.
  • If your case is denied a second time, i.e. your request for review has been denied, you must check with your lawyer about the possibility of filing an appeal.

If you are in a CIE (Immigration Detention Facility) and you decide to formalise your application for asylum, it is important to clearly explain the reasons why you did not request international protection previously.


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