Applying for Asylum in Spanish Territory

To request asylum in Spain, you need to follow these steps:

1. Set an Appointment to Formalise your Asylum Application

In order to formalise your application for asylum in Spain, first you need to make an appointment.

Where can I request an appointment?

  • MADRID: At the Police Station (Comisaría de Policía) located at Avenida de los Poblados, 51 – 28047 Madrid. Metro L5 Aluche and Cercanías C5 Aluche.
  • BARCELONA: At the Provincial Office of Immigration and Border Control (Brigada Provincial de Extranjería y Fronteras) located at Paseo de Sant Joan, 189, Barcelona. Metro L4 Joanic (yellow line).
  • Other locations: Visit the website of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, where you can consult the places where it is possible to make an appointmentto submit your application for asylum in each province. The website can be found under this link:   https://www.policia.es/documentacion/oficinas/oficinas_extran.html

How do I make an appointment?

This procedure must be done in person, so you will need to go to the relevant immigration office or police station yourself and declare your desire to seek asylum.

What do I need to bring with me?

  • Passport or some other document providing proof of your identity (if available)
  • 2 passport-sized photographs with a white background

When should I make the appointment?

We recommend that you make the appointment for your application for asylum as soon as possible after your arrival in Spain.

The law stipulates that the application must be submitted within one month after entry into Spanish territory, although asylum applications submitted later will be accepted even after this deadline has passed. If this is the case for you, it is important that you explain the reasons why you are applying late.

What are the consequences of requesting an appointment?

Requesting the appointment does not formally begin the procedure of international protection, nor does it mark the start of the period for receiving a response. All of this begins when you formalise your application for asylum in an interview.

Your appointment will be recorded by the police and, in some locations, you will receive a document showing that you have made an appointment to request asylum. In all cases, from that moment on, you will be protected from being returned to your country of origin.

2. Formalise your Asylum Application

Your application for asylum in Spain will be formalised in an interview.

What is the interview to apply for asylum like?

The interview is conducted by a police officer. At the interview, before you are asked about your reasons for seeking asylum, you will need to provide your identification details (name, surname(s), date and place of birth, etc.) and detailed information about your personal circumstances and your journey to Spain. Then, you will be asked to describe the reasons that led you to seek international protection in Spain, and in particular, the reasons that led you to leave your country of origin and/or why you, personally, cannot return.

You will also be asked for information about your family (names, surnames, relationship, etc.). It is very important that this information is clearly indicated in the asylum 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.

What should I bring/show at the interview?

  • Passport or some other document providing proof of your identity (if available)
  • 2 passport-sized photographs with a white background

If you do not have documents or proof to support your story, you can request asylum based on your own background, explained as fully and in as much detail as possible.

At the interview, you may submit any and all documents, photographs or other evidence to support your case, that helps show what happened to you in your country of origin. You can also submit these support documents later, at any time during the procedure.

Am I entitled to a lawyer?

Yes, you have the right to receive legal assistance free of charge. You can receive legal assistance from lawyers who work for NGOs specialising in asylum and refuge, or from the public defender assigned by the bar association in the province where you are located.

If you wish, you may also hire a private lawyer in whom you trust, although in such cases you will need to negotiate the conditions and cost of the service directly with this professional.

For further information about how to get free legal assistance, go to this section.

I don’t speak Spanish. What can I do?

If you don’t speak Spanish or do not feel comfortable speaking it, you have the right to request that an interpreter assist you free of charge. This interpreter will help you communicate throughout the interview and must respect the duty of confidentiality, which means that this person cannot reveal information about your story or your case to anyone.

If you think you need an interpreter, you must inform the police officer of this when you make the appointment to formalise your application for asylum.

What happens after the interview?

The Office of Asylum and Refuge (OAR) will decide within one month whether or not your application is allowed to move forward (that is, whether they agree to examine it). If the application is accepted, this means your case will be examined in detail to determine whether or not you will be granted international protection.

When you finish your asylum interview, you will be given an identification document known as “HOJA BLANCA” (White Card). This document is the receipt showing you have submitted an application for international protection, or evidence of your request for asylum, and it is valid in Spain for any subsequent interviews or other administrative procedures.

On the “White Card”, the police will assign you a Foreign National Identification Number (NIE). A NIE consists of one letter, 7 digits and a verification code, and its purpose is to enable the government to keep track of the foreign population as a whole and to enable foreigners to do paperwork and procedures more easily.

Hoja Blanca

This document remains valid until its expiry date. You will see that there are two expiry dates on the card:

  • The first one falls within 1 month after the asylum application date (the interview date). During this first month, you may receive a resolution informing you that your case has not been allowed to move forward. In this case, this document will no longer be valid after this date.

If you have NOT received notice within one month that your case is NOT ALLOWED TO MOVE FORWARD, your “White Card” will remain valid until the second expiry date on the card.

  • The second expiry date falls within 6 months after the asylum application date (the interview date). This is the expiry date of your “White Card” if your application has been allowed to move forward and you have not received notice of a resolution.

If your “White Card” has expired, please read the section entitled “What should I do if my “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection has expired?

3. Your application is accepted to move forward

After the asylum interview has been conducted, the procedure will begin and your case will be examined to determine whether you meet the requirements for receiving some kind of international protection.

  • If you receive notice within one month after requesting asylum, informing you that your case is NOT ALLOWED TO MOVE FORWARD, this means that your case has been denied and will not be processed or examined in detail. This brings the application process to a close, unless you decide to submit an appeal for administrative or judicial review of your case. To do this, we advise you to talk to your lawyer, who will give you free assistance in the steps to be taken and the deadlines for doing so.
  • If you do not receive notice within one month after your asylum application date, this means that your application has been allowed to move forward (or accepted) and it will then be examined in detail in order to give you a final response as to whether or not you will be granted international protection in Spain.

4. Make an appointment to renew your “White Card”

At the appointment for renewal of your “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection, you will be given a new identity document: the “RED CARD”. This card replaces the “White Card” and authorises you to work in Spain.

Tarjeta Roja

How and where do I make an appointment to renew my “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection?

You should request an appointment to renew your “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection online under the following link: https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/icpplus/

On the website above, you need to select the province where you reside and search for the renewal procedure. If there is no option for making an appointment online in the province where you reside, you should find out how to renew your card by consulting with a lawyer specialising in asylum or with an NGO.

  • In Madrid:ASILO – OFICINA DE ASILO Y REFUGIO. Expedición/Renovación de documentos. Calle Pradillo”
  • In Barcelona:
  1. Click on “Expedición/Renovación de Documentos de Solicitantes de Asilo” and then:
  2. Select the option “POLICIA – EXPEDICION/RENOVACION DE DOCUMENTOS DE SOLICITANTES DE ASILO

When can I make an appointment to renew my “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection?

After you have received a “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection you can make an appointment to renew this document. You do not need to wait until your “White Card” expires, but instead can make an appointment for renewal any time before expiry. Bear in mind that the appointment must always take place after the expiry date on the “White Card”.

For example: If your “White Card” expires on 10 November, you can make an appointment at any time but you need to select a date that is later than 10 November for the appointment, i.e. starting on 11 November.

What should I do if my “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection has expired?

After the second expiry date indicated on your “White Card” or receipt of submission of an application for international protection has expired, this document is no longer valid. If you do not manage to set an appointment to renew your “White Card” within a short time after it expires, you can request an earlier appointment because the card is expired.

To avoid issues with the authorities, banks or other entities, we recommend that, if your “White Card” has expired, you print out the receipt showing that you have an appointment for renewal and carry it with you at all times along with your expired card.

The procedure for requesting an earlier appointment for renewal if you have an expired card may vary depending on the province where you live. In the Region of Madrid, for example, you must send a written statement through what is known as an “official registry”, following these steps:

  1. Check the list of offices that have an official registry in the Region of Madrid under the link below and go to the most convenient one: http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1331802501745&pagename=PortalCiudadano/Page/PCIU_contenidoAgrupadoBuscador
  2. At this office, you must send an “officially registered” statement addressed to the Deputy Directorate General of International Protection.
  3. In this statement, you must explain why you are requesting an early appointment, indicate your NIE number (shown on your “White Card” or “Red Card”) and the date on which your card expires and attach a copy of your “White Card” or “Red Card”.

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