Border procedure (border and transit zones)


Country Report: Border procedure (border and transit zones) Last updated: 24/05/24


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General (scope, time limits)

A specific border procedure to request an admission into the country on asylum grounds is provided by French legislation,[2] for persons arriving on French territory through airports, harbours or international train stations. This procedure is separate from the asylum procedure on French territory, insofar as it examines entry into the territory to seek asylum rather than the asylum claim itself.[3]

In 2022, the arrival of the ship Ocean Viking in November 2022 gave rise to a massive placement in a temporary waiting area created in Toulon: while the 44 unaccompanied minors were directly taken into the care of the child protection system, 188 out of the 190 adults placed in this waiting area applied for asylum, and admission to the territory as such was granted to 67 of them (35%) (others were released for procedural issues except 2 persons returned to Mali).[4] Despite government announcements upon arrival of the ship, no relocation seems to have been implemented to another European state.[5]


Legal framework

The border procedure is governed by Article R. 351-1 Ceseda:

‘When a foreign national who has arrived at the border applies for asylum, they are immediately informed, in a language they can reasonably be considered to understand, of the asylum application procedure, their rights and obligations over the course of this procedure, the potential consequences of any failure to meet these obligations or any refusal to cooperate with the authorities, and the measures available to help them present their request.’

As soon as asylum seekers apply for asylum after being refused entry into the territory, they are directed to a waiting zone. Article L. 343-1 Ceseda provides that:

‘[F]oreign nationals held in waiting zones are informed, as soon as possible, that they may request the assistance of an interpreter and/or a doctor, talk to a counsel or any other person of their choice, and leave the waiting zone at any point for any destination outside of France. They are also informed of their rights pertaining to their asylum claim. This information is communicated in a language the person understands.’

Grounds for applying the border procedure

French law foresees a specific procedure for persons held in waiting zones after arriving in train stations, port or airports without a document allowing them to enter the territory regularly (a decision to refuse entry is notified before placement in the waiting zone). Rather than an examination of the asylum claim itself, this procedure concerns the person’s admission to the territory for the purpose of seeking asylum (“admission au territoire au titre de l’asile”). Access to the territory is granted if:

  • France is responsible for the claim under the Dublin Regulation;
  • the claim is admissible; and
  • the claim is not manifestly unfounded.[6]

The law defines “manifestly unfounded” claims as follows: “A claim is manifestly unfounded when considering the foreign national’s statements and documentation it is manifestly irrelevant (manifestement dénuée de pertinence) as far as asylum criterion or manifestly lacking credibility (manifestement dépourvu de toute crédibilité) regarding the risk of persecutions or severe violations.”[7]

In theory, the asylum grounds and the merit of the application should thus not be examined by OFPRA at this stage, but only once the applicant is granted access to the territory and their claim has been channelled into the regular or accelerated procedure. As explained under Border procedure – Personal interview, the border procedure is very different from the asylum procedure on the territory. The purpose of the interview at the border is to point out the blatant elements showing the lack of credibility of an application that do not correspond to asylum critera or are manifestly lacking credibility regarding the risk of persecutions or severe violations.[8] Stereotypical, imprecise or incoherent accounts can lead to consider the application as manifestly unfounded.[9]

However, in practice, the assessment usually covers the verification of the credibility of the account; interview reports contain comments on stereotypical, imprecise or incoherent accounts on matters such as the sexual orientation of the applicant, with a lack of written proof. This practice of de facto examining the request on the merits is extremely problematic.[10]

It should be noted that the asylum applicant is not considered as being on French territory as long as the admission procedure is pending, i.e., there is a ‘fiction of non-entry’ that applies as long as entry to the territory has not been explicitly granted.

Dublin III in the border procedure 

OFPRA can only issue a negative opinion on admission to the territory for asylum purposes in case the application is inadmissible or manifestly unfounded. OFPRA is not competent to assess and apply the Dublin Regulation, which is the third ground for refusal of admission to the territory on asylum grounds. This competence lies entirely with the Ministry of Interior and such a refusal is issued where there is evidence that the applicant has family ties, documentation from another country or has applied for asylum in another country.[11] In case elements are submitted by the applicant during the interview with OFPRA that are relevant to the application of the Dublin Regulation, OFPRA issues its opinion to the Ministry of Interior without basing itself on the Dublin-related aspects.[12]

The Ministry of Interior reported that the Dublin procedure had been applied at the border in 11 cases in 2019, in two cases in 2019, and in one case in 2020 as of the end of September 2020. However, none of the persons were actually transferred to the responsible Member State. This is due to various reasons such as the suspension of the transfer decision by the administrative court; the person was released from detention by the liberty judge prior to the transfer; the applicable time limits for the transfer were not met; or cases where the person refused to embark.[13] More recent information is not available.

Authorities involved in the border procedure

The first authority involved in the border procedure is the Border Police (‘Police aux frontieres’), which is responsible for border management and apprehending individuals at the border. Thus, it is usually the first authority with whom applicants are in contact. The Border Police conducts a first interview upon arrival to collect basic identification information, based on which  OFPRA will prepare its interview. The asylum application must be considered and the Border Police has to make a statement detailing the request for admission on the basis of an asylum claim. As mentioned in Access to the Territory, however, cases documented in waiting zones such as Beauvais suggest that the Border Police does not always comply with this obligation.

The examination and appreciation of asylum claims made at the border lie with OFPRA. As mentioned under  Number of staff and nature of the determining authority, OFPRA is one of the few asylum authorities in Europe which has a Unit dedicated to the border procedure. It is entitled the “asylum at the border” Unit and is thus responsible for claims made in waiting zones.[14] In 2018, the Border Unit of OFPRA was comprised of three Protection Officers, one Secretary and one Head of Division.[15] The Unit is now supported by a reserve list of approximately 50 trained Protection Officers to assist when needed.[16]

The Ministry of Interior is responsible for determining whether a person should be granted access to the territory for the purpose of the asylum procedure. OFPRA issues a binding opinion to the Ministry of Interior allowing or refusing entry on two of the three grounds. The latter is the authority officially issuing the decision, and it can only refuse entry to the territory despite a positive opinion from OFPRA in case there is a threat to public order,[17] or by applying the Dublin Regulation, the only grounds not under the purview of OFPRA.

The Ministry of Interior is also the authority responsible for the placement of foreign nationals in the waiting zone, under the supervision of the JLD.[18]

Administrative Courts (Tribunal administratif) are responsible for the appeals lodged against decisions rejecting the access to the territory as well as placement into waiting zones decisions.[19] An onward appeal against the decision of the Tribunal administratif can further be lodged in front of Administrative Courts of Appeal (Cour administrative d’appel).[20]

The competent administrative authority for delimiting waiting zones is the Prefect of the département and in Paris, the Chief of Police (Préfet de Police). The decision to hold a foreign national in the waiting zone, which must be justified in writing, is taken by the Head of the National Police service or the Customs and Border Police, or by a civil servant designated by them.

Location of the border procedure

There are 32 waiting zones in mainland France. Most of the activities take place at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport. Moreover, waiting zones can be extended to within 10km of a border crossing point, when it is found that a group of at least 10 foreigners just crossed the border. The group of 10 can be identified at the same location or various locations within the 10km area. This exceptional extended waiting zone can be maintained for a maximum of 26 days.[21]

Waiting zones are located between the arrival and departure points and passport control. The law provides that they may include, within or close to the station, port or airport, or next to an arrival area, one or several places for accommodation, offering hotel-type facilities to the foreign nationals concerned. In some areas such as Roissy or Marseille, the waiting zone is a facility separate from the airport, meaning that the asylum seeker is transported there to follow the procedure (see section on Place of Detention).

While there are several waiting zones in France, but the one in Roissy – Charles de Gaulle Airport of Paris, is by far the main point of activity in the country, followed by Orly airport, also located in Paris.

Since 2015, around 70% to 80% of all applications made at the border were made at Roissy airport and 10 to 12% at Orly airport. By way of illustration, in 2021, 86.9% of all border procedures were lodged at Roissy airport, and 5.2% at Orly airport. A slight increase in the number of applications made at the border in Overseas France was noted in 2018 and 2019, mainly due to arrival of several ships from Sri Lanka and Indonesia to the Réunion Island.[22] In 2021, Marseille was the third main waiting zone with 3% of all applications at the border made in this place. In 2022, Roissy airport remains by far the one where the most procedures are carried out (70%) but the ad hoc waiting zone created in Toulon for arrival of Ocean viking at the end of the year take the second position with 7,7% of all asylum applications at the border this year. 7,5% of applications were made at three other places (Orly airport, Lyon airport, Marseille port).[23]  

Time limits in the border procedure

There is no strict deadline to apply for asylum when applicants are waiting for their admission at the border and are placed in waiting zones. From when the application for international protection has been made, OPFRA has two working days to issue its opinion to the Ministry of the Interior.[24]

Average processing times of OFPRA (in days)
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
3.39 days 2.74 days 3.5 days 3.1 days 2.5 days 3 days 2.5 days

In 2023, the average processing time for OFPRA to issue its decisions at the border was 2,5 days.[25] It has consistently exceeded the time limit of two days laid down in national law, reaching up to 3.5 days in 2019. Available figures further indicate that some years, a relatively important amount of cases were not being examined by OFPRA within four days, thus largely exceeding the two days time limit laid down in law. In 2019, this represented 28.5% of the cases, a large increased compared to 2018 (17%) and a figure that is comparable to the year 2017 (28% of the cases).[26] More recent statistics were not available at the time of writing of this report.

Nevertheless, national law does not foresee any time limit for the Ministry of Interior to issue its decision based on the binding opinion of OFPRA. This means that applicant can theoretically be held in waiting zones for several days, up until a formal decision of the Ministry of Interior has been issued. Practice suggests, however, that the Ministry of Interior issues its decision within the same day. Moreover, there have been no cases in which the decision took longer than the 4 weeks’ timeframe foreseen by Article 43(2) of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.[27]

The person may apply for asylum at any time whilst they are held in the waiting zone, meaning during an initial period of 4 days which can be extended up to a maximum of 20 days. Exceptionally, if a person held in a waiting zone makes an asylum application after the 14th day, the law foresees the possibility of a further extension of detention for 6 more days following the submission of the asylum application, with a view to allowing the authorities to conduct the asylum procedure.[28] Therefore detention in the waiting zone can reach 26 days if the person applies for asylum on the 20th day of detention.

Number of border procedures

The number of applications made at the border has doubled from around 900 applications in 2015 to more than 2,000 applications in 2019. This is still far below the record number of 5,100 applications registered at the border in 2008,[29] after which numbers dropped significantly. When comparing these figures with the total number of applications, they represent a very small fraction of the caseload before OFPRA. In 2019, the number of applications lodged at the border represented only 1.4% of the total caseload. Very few applications were made at the border in 2020 (891) due to health crisis but an increase was noted the following years: 1,613 in 2021 and 2,416 in 2022 (most important figure since 2009). Statistics on the year 2023 were not available at the time of writing of this report.

The main nationalities applying at the border from 2018 to 2022 were as follows:

Asylum applicants at the border by nationality
1 Jan – 31 Dec 2018 1 Jan – 31 Dec 2019 1 Jan – 31 Dec 2020 1 Jan-31 Dec


1 Jan – 31 Dec 2022
Morocco 140 Sri-Lanka 289 Türkiye 14% India 14% Türkiye 14%
Türkiye 131 Türkiye 246 DRC 12% Türkiye 12% Sri Lanka 12%
DRC 120 Morocco 180 Morocco 9% DRC 9% Morrocco 4%
Sri Lanka 107 DRC 123 Syria 6% Algeria 6% Central African republic 4%
Cuba 90 Iran 76 Sri Lanka 4% Sri Lanka 4% DRC 3%
Others 856 Others 1,136 Others 54% Others 55% Others 63%
Total 1,444 Total 2,050 Total 891 Total 1,613 Total 2,416

Source: OFPRA, Annual Reports, available at:

More recent statistics on the year 2023 were not available at the time of writing of this report.


Decisions issued in border procedures

A person’s access to the territory in the context of the border procedure can be either accepted or refused.

  • If the Border Unit of OFPRA considers that the application for international protection is not manifestly unfounded nor inadmissible, and if France is deemed responsible for the asylum claim under the Dublin III Regulation, the Ministry of Interior is bound to grant entry to French territory. The only exception is where there is a threat to national security.[30] While the Ministry of Interior regularly assesses this risk, no cases of refusal of entry on this ground have been reported so far. The asylum applicant will be given an 8-day temporary visa upon release. Within this time frame, upon request from the asylum seeker, the competent Prefecture provides an asylum application certificate which allows for the lodging of the application. OFPRA then processes the asylum claim as any other application for international protection lodged on the territory.
  • If OFPRA considers that the application for international protection is manifestly unfounded or inadmissible, or if another country is deemed responsible under the Dublin III Regulation, the Ministry of Interior refuses to grant entry to the foreigner based on a motivated decision. The person can lodge an appeal against this decision before the Administrative Court within a 48-hour deadline. If this appeal fails, the foreigner can be returned to their country of origin. However, individuals refused entry benefit from a so-called “full day” (jour franc), which protects them from removal for one day. In the case of adults, this right must be requested, whereas under the law unaccompanied children cannot be removed before the expiry of the jour franc unless they specifically waive it.[31] The jour franc is no longer guaranteed in Mayotte and at land borders since September 2018, however.[32]

In France, only a minority of applicants are effectively granted access to the territory. This concerned 20.4% of applicants in 2016, 26.6% of applicants in 2017, 39.5% of applicants in 2018, 40.5% of applicants in 2019, 48.8% in 2020, 39.2% in 2021) and 40.3% in 2022.[33]

This means that, since 2015, most applicants were refused access to French territory. These figures seem to point to the significant difficulties faced by persons applying for protection at the border. So far, OFPRA has not issued opinions opposing admission to the territory on grounds of inadmissibility. The number of refusals of admission based on the Dublin Regulation are very limited. More recent information or statistics was not available at the time of writing of this report.

Overseas France: On Reunion Island, boats regularly arrive from Sri Lanka, which results in placement in waiting zone and sometimes asylum procedures which usually lead to decisions of non-admission.[34]


Personal interview

Individuals apprehended at airports are first interviewed by the Border Police, which drafts a report (procès-verbal) collecting basic information relating to the identity of the applicant. In practice, there have been cases where the Border Police has asked questions going beyond collecting basic information, relating to the merits of the application for international protection or cases where it indicated to the applicant that their asylum claim had low chances of success.[35] This is not documented in the reports of the Border Police, however, as it would be considered by Administrative Courts as a ground for annulment of the decision refusing admission to the territory on the ground of asylum.[36]

As regards interviews with OFPRA, the border procedure is very different from the asylum procedure on the territory. All asylum seekers subject to a border procedure are interviewed by the dedicated “Border Unit” of OFPRA which provides the Ministry of Interior with a binding opinion on whether their application is well-founded or not. OFPRA should deliver its opinion to the Ministry within 2 working days after the intention to apply for asylum has been recorded. In order to substantiate its decision, OFPRA conducts an interview with the person.

The law provides the same provisions on interviews in the border procedure as in the regular procedure:[37]

  • If the interview of the asylum seeker requires the assistance of an interpreter, it is paid for by the State;
  • An asylum seeker introducing a claim at the border can be accompanied by a third person during their interview with OFPRA;
  • At the end of the interview, the asylum seeker and the third person, if applicable, are informed of their right to have access to a copy of the interview;
  • An audio recording of the interview is also conducted; and
  • The interview can be conducted by video conferencing.

Remote interviews

Videoconferencing is often used in interviews during the border procedure as opposed to the regular procedure. Roissy CDG airport, where the majority of border procedures take place, is the only waiting zone where the OFPRA Border Unit interviews the asylum seeker in person.[38] The interviews in Orly, Marseille and Lyon are conducted by videoconference and interviews for all other border procedures are done by phone.[39] The consent of the applicant is not needed. When videoconferencing is used, it almost always runs into technical problems, as a result of which the interview is then carried out by phone.[40] This led the Administrative Court of Marseille in 2017 to invoke procedural irregularities and annull decisions refusing admission to the territory for the purpose of seeking asylum where the interview with OFPRA has been conducted by phone rather than videoconference.[41]

Another important concern raised in practice relates to issues of confidentiality. According to OFPRA, all the rooms are approved by OFPRA and, to be approved, the room has to be used only by the asylum seeker and the confidentiality has to be guaranteed.[42]

However, according to other stakeholders, remote interviews are sometimes carried out in inadequate rooms where other persons may be present or where there is a disturbing background noise.[43] In Orly for example, the interview is held in a common room where other people are held and where other police staff maybe present. Moreover, the interview room is not soundproof and is placed next to an office of the border police, as a result of which background noise from police officers may disrupt the interview.[44]

Remote interviews further create difficulties to share and submit documentary evidence. There have been cases where asylum applicants were not able to share evidence they had in their possession, or only partially on video when videoconference is used. There are no other tools such as fax or scanners available to submit these documents.[45]


Issues with regard to interpretation have been reported during the initial interview, carried out with the Border Police at the very start of the procedure. Interviews with OFPRA must be carried out in the presence of an interpreter, unless the interview can be carried out in French. In practice, interpretation in interviews with OFPRA is available in 40 languages and is readily available through the Inter Service Migrants (ISM) by phone or videoconference. In the last years, interpretation was used in the majority of cases, reaching up to 87% of all cases in 2022, compared to 82.9% in 2021, 83% in 2020, 89% in 2019, 82.3% in 2018.[46]

Nevertheless, when carried out remotely, the quality of the interpretation services seems to raise concerns. According to organisations assisting asylum seekers, remote interview and interpretation prove particularly challenging for the individual as they are often interrupted by the Protection Officer, who is typing notes at the same time.[47] According to a report by ECRE published in 2018, in Nice, the interview report was read out to the applicant without being translated and did not mention whether the applicant was interrupted in the course of the interview.[48] According to OFRA, interview conditions have evolved since then.[49]

Another issue relates to confidentiality. There have been cases where the background noise indicated that the interpreter was in a train station while the interview was ongoing; or in a parc surrounded by children.[50]

Accompaniment by a third party

Since 2015, the law foresees the possibility for asylum applicants to be assisted during the interview by a third-party, namely a member of an accredited civil society organisation or a legal representative.[51] The list of NGOs accredited to send representatives to access the waiting zones, established by order of the Ministry of the Interior, was last revised in June 2021. It includes 10 organisations.[52] As regards specifically the waiting zone at Roissy CDG, the Red Cross has permanent presence and Anafé is present certain hours every week. In other waiting zones, Anafé and certain other NGOs may be reached at certain hours via phone.[53]

This possibility is rarely used in practice, however. Only 7.5% of all applicants were accompanied by a third party in 2019, compared to 6.9% in 2018 and 4.1% in 2017.[54] In 2019, only 7 interviews were attended by an NGO representative.[55] This means that over 90% of interviews were carried out without a third party being present from 2017 to 2019. More recent statistics were not available at the time of writing of this report.

The limited use of this guarantee could be due to a lack of awareness on the part of asylum seekers, despite the fact that information sheets to that effect are available in the waiting zones, as well as the shortage in capacity of NGOs such as Anafé which have no permanent presence in the zones.[56] The interview may also take place only a couple of hours after the application has been made, thus rendering the availability of NGOs within that short time frame extremely difficult. Available figures indicate that, when a third-party is present, it is usually a legal representative rather than an NGO.[57]



When the request for entry for reasons of asylum made at the border is rejected, the person is refused admission into French territory. They can introduce an appeal to challenge this decision before the Administrative Court. The appeal must be introduced within 48 hours and has suspensive effect. The Administrative Court must decide within 72 hours.[58] This decision of the Administrative Court can be challenged within 15 days before the President of the competent Administrative Court of Appeal, but this second appeal does not have suspensive effect.

Anafé has denounced the illusory nature of the effectiveness of this suspensive appeal.[59] In practice several obstacles occur in this regard: the asylum seeker has very few resources to write such an appeal on his own; the request must be lodged with the competent court within 48 hours of notification of the decision of the Minister of the Interior, without extension on weekends; the appeal must be written in French and sufficiently motivated in fact and in law (otherwise, the appeal can be rejected without a hearing). These difficulties persisted in 2023.[60]

In France, the success rate of appeals in border procedures was 33% in 2019.[61] This is a slight increase on previous years (18% in 2018; 24% in 2017; 15% in 2016; and 11% in 2015), but the majority of appeals are rejected. No data on this issue has been available since 2020.


Legal assistance

There is no permanent legal adviser or NGO presence in the waiting zones; only Anafé is occasionally present in Roissy CDG Airport. Asylum seekers must therefore try to get hold of an adviser by phone from the waiting zone. Many concerns have been raised about effective access to a telephone, as well as outdated lists of lawyers available in different waiting zones.

A third person (lawyer or representative of an accredited NGO) can be present during the OFPRA interview;[62] and legal representatives shall be present for unaccompanied children. As stated in Border Procedure: Personal Interview, however, this possibility is rarely used in the border procedure.

Contrary to appeal procedures before the CNDA (see Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance) where the asylum seeker can request ipso jure legal aid, before the Administrative Court, in this case asylum seekers can be assisted by an appointed lawyer on the basis of “genuine right to legal aid”. They can ask for this support at any stage of the procedure including on the day of the hearing before the Administrative Court.

Asylum seekers can also request to be assisted by a court appointed lawyer during their hearing before the JLD who is competent to rule on the extension of their stay in the waiting zone (see Judicial Review of the Detention Order). In theory, the asylum seeker should have hired one previously at their own expense, or prepared a sufficiently well-argued request in French by themselves, in terms of facts and points of law. This is another illusory measure that does not guarantee the asylum seeker access to an effective remedy, even though they have access to court-appointed lawyers if necessary.[63]

Anafé denounces the fact that these cases are handled in haste by the court-appointed lawyers. Indeed, due to the urgency of the appeal and to the functioning of the administrative courts, the court-appointed lawyers in reality only have access to all the elements of the case once they meet the asylum seeker at the court, meaning in the best-case scenario one hour before the start of the hearing. Under these conditions, it is difficult for the lawyer to know the story of the person held in the waiting zone and to provide a good appeal.[64]




[1] Deadline for OFPRA to send an opinion to the Ministry of Interior.

[2] Article L. 351-1 Ceseda.

[3] OFPRA, ‘Demander l’asile à la frontière’, 20 April 2016, available in French at:

[4] Assemblée nationale, Mission « flash » sur le bilan de la zone d’attente temporaire installée sur la presqu’île de Giens (Var) en novembre 2022, 29 March 2023, available in French at:

[5] Forum réfugiés, ‘Comment s’organise la relocalisation vers d’autres pays européens des passagers de l’Ocean Viking accueillis en France ?’, December 2022, available in French at:

[6] Article L. 351-1 Ceseda.

[7] Article L. 352-1 Ceseda.

[8] Information received from OFPRA on 16 May 2024.

[9] Information received from OFPRA on 16 May 2024.

[10] Practice-based observation by Forum Réfugiés and partners, January 2024.

[11] Information provided by OFPRA, 24 April 2018.

[12] Information provided by OFPRA, 24 April 2018.

[13] Information provided by the Ministry of Interior, 21 October 2020.

[14] ECRE/AIDA, Asylum authorities: an overview of internal structures and available resources, November 2019, available at:, 10.

[15] ECRE/AIDA, Access to asylum and detention at France’s borders, June 2018, available at:, 20.

[16] Information received from OFPRA on 16 May 2024.

[17] Article L. 352-2 Ceseda.

[18] Article L. 342-1 Ceseda.

[19] Article L. 352-4 Ceseda.

[20] Article L. 352-9 Ceseda.

[21] Article L. 342-4 Ceseda.

[22] OFPRA, Rapports d’activité, available in French at:

[23] OFPRA, Rapports d’activité, available in French at:

[24] Article R. 351-4 Ceseda.

[25] Information received from OFPRA on 16 May 2024.

[26] OFPRA, Rapports d’activité, available in French at:

[27] OFPRA, Information provided on 21 September 2020.

[28] Article L. 342-4 Ceseda.

[29] OFRA, Annual Report 2008, 2009, available in French at:, 26.

[30] Article L. 352-2 Ceseda.

[31] Article L. 333-2 Ceseda.

[32] Article L. 361-4 Ceseda.

[33] OFPRA, Rapports d’activité, available in French at:

[34] The Conversation, ‘À La Réunion, des Sri Lankais victimes des déficiences de la politique migratoire‘, 12 November 2023, available in French at :   

[35] Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2019.

[36] Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2020.

[37] Article R. 351-3 Ceseda.

[38] Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2020.

[39] Information provided by OFPRA, 21 September 2020.

[40] Information provided by OFPRA, 24 April 2018; Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2020.

[41] See e.g., Administrative Court of Marseille, Decision No 1704059, 7 June 2017; No 1704319, 16 June 2017. Contrast with Decision No 1706792, 3 October 2017, where the Court found no procedural irregularities.

[42] Information received from OFPRA on 16 May 2024.

[43] Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2020.

[44] Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2020.

[45] Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2020.

[46] OFPRA, Rapports d’activité, available in French at:

[47] Information provided by La Cimade, 26 April 2018.

[48] ECRE, Access to asylum and detention at France’s borders, June 2018, available at:, 21.

[49] Information received from OFPRA on 16 May 2024.

[50] Information provided by Anafé, 17 September 2020.

[51] Article L. 352-2 du Ceseda.

[52] Ministry of Interior, Arrêté du 1er juin 2021 fixant la liste des associations humanitaires habilitées à proposer des représentants en vue d’accéder en zone d’attente, 2021, available in French at:

[53] Information provided by OFPRA, 21 September 2020.

[54] OFPRA, Rapports d’activité, available in French at:

[55] Information provided by OFPRA, 21 September 2020.

[56] Ibid, 22.

[57] In 2018 for example, out of the 93 interviews conducted in the presence of a third-party, 90 interviews were carried out with a legal representative and only 3 of them in the presence of an NGO. OFPRA, Annual Report 2018, 2019, available at:, 25.

[58] Article L. 352-4 Ceseda.

[59] ANAFE, Privation de liberté en zone d’attente, les détenus face à la justice, 2017, available in French at:

[60] Practice-informed observations by Forum Réfugiés and partners, January 2024.

[61] Information provided by the French Ministry of Interior, 21 October 2020.

[62] Article L. 352-2 Ceseda.

[63] See also Observatoire de l’enfermement des étrangers, Une procédure en trompe l’œil : Les entraves à l’accès au recours effectif pour les étrangers privés de liberté en France, May 2014, available in French at :

[64] Anafé, Voyage au centre des zones d’attente, November 2016, available in French at :, 53.

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