Number of staff and nature of the first instance authority


Country Report: Number of staff and nature of the first instance authority Last updated: 30/11/20


Forum Réfugiés – Cosi Visit Website

Name in English

Number of staff

Ministry responsible

Is there any political interference possible by the responsible Minister with the decision making in individual cases by the determining authority?

French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA)


Ministry of Interior


Source: OFPRA.


The OFPRA is responsible for examining applications for international protection and competent to take decisions at first instance. It is an administrative body falling under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and its institutional independence is explicitly laid down in law, which means that it does not take instructions from the Ministry of Interior.[1] In 2018, the budget of the OFPRA amounted to € 71,4 million, of which 69% was allocated to staff expenses.

As of June 2019, the OFPRA was composed of 814 staff members, of which 339 were caseworkers responsible for examining applications for international protection. A majority of these caseworkers (236 out of 339) had up to 3 years of experience. OFPRA has marked regular staff increases since 2015.[2]

As regards its internal structure, the OFPRA has different units dealing with different procedures as well as different asylum applicants. This includes a unit entitled “asylum at the border”, which is responsible exclusively for claims lodged in waiting zones and detention centres. The OFPRA has also set up five thematic groups (“groupes de référents thématiques”) of about 20-30 staff each dealing with vulnerable applicants, as will be explained further below. Another administrative arrangement visible in the OFPRA relates to the units which are organised according to geographical criteria.

Quality control of OFPRA’s activities was first introduced in September 2013 as part of the action plan to reform the determining authority and is now considered as a crucial tool to identify dysfunctions and address them accordingly, e.g. through enhanced training, information sharing and the issuance of instructions. To date, three quality controls have been conducted by OFPRA in 2013, 2015 and 2017. The results of the monitoring are available online.[3]


[1] Article L.721-2 CESEDA.

[2] OFPRA has seen regular staff increases since 2015 as a result of increases in its job ceiling (+55 FTEs in 2015, +140 FTEs in 2016, +115 FTEs in 2017 and +15 FTEs in 2018); See EASO, Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union 2018, June 2019, available at:, 103.

[3] OFPRA, Contrôle qualité: premier exercice d’évaluation, September 2014, available in French at:; Contrôle qualité: deuxième exercice d’évaluation, May 2016, available in French at:; Contrôle qualité: troisième exercice d’évaluation, November 2018, available in French at:


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation