Registration of the asylum application


Country Report: Registration of the asylum application Last updated: 31/05/23


Felicia Nica

Asylum applications are registered by the General Inspectorate for Immigration – Asylum and Integration Directorate (IGI-DAI) within a maximum of 3 working days if the application is made at the IGI [1] and within a maximum of 6 days if the application is submitted to another competent authority such as the Border Police operating offices, the police units in which pre-trial detention and detention centres are established and functioning, or the structures of the National Administration of Penitentiaries within the Ministry of Justice.[2]

In case of a mass influx of applications for international protection filed with any of the latter competent authorities, the registration of applications can be made within 10 working days from the date when the application was filed.[3]

Asylum applications are recorded in special registers if they are submitted at a border-crossing point, at the units subordinated to the National Administration of Penitentiaries within the Ministry of Justice, and at the pre-trial detention and detention centres within the police units.[4]

When a person expresses the intention to seek asylum at one of the structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania, the asylum application is sent to the Regional Centres for Asylum Seekers, together with an outline of the asylum seeker’s situation. In addition, authorities may also attach documents drawn up after the apprehension or the first submission to the competent authorities.[5]

According to the Border Police, a person who expresses the intention to seek asylum at the Romanian border is given a form, which he or she fills in, in the language he or she knows. The form is registered in a special register of the Border Police structure. After registering the form, the person is informed, through an interpreter, about his or her rights and obligations. Subsequently, the form is submitted by fax to the territorially competent section of IGI-DAI.[6]

Asylum applications made at border-crossing points or airports are transmitted to IGI-DAI together with an information note on the asylum seeker, which includes the hour of arrival, documents in his or her possession, persons accompanying him or her and other elements which may contribute to resolve the case in due time.[7]

CNRR reported one case where the Border Police refused to register the asylum claim at Otopeni International Airport. There were two Indian citizens who arrived in Romania on 26 September 2022, with the intention to continue their journey to their final destination, Belgrade, Serbia. They were detained in the transit area of Otopeni Airport without being informed about the reasons. They stated that they had manifested their will to make an asylum claim and that they did not receive any information about whether their requests had been registered. They were eventually returned to Cairo, Egypt (the country from which they had travelled to Romania), and the justification of the Border Police was that they were part of a larger group of Indian citizens who had encountered problems with the airline companies with whom they had travelled and were supposed to continue their journey. The airline company that was supposed to take them from Otopeni to Belgrade refused to board them on the plane due to a misunderstanding between that company and the one which had brought them from Cairo. The Border Police argued that it was not within their competence to intervene in this situation. No further explications were submitted and there was no prompt response to the urgent request from the CNRR counsellors to be granted access to the respective foreigners for assistance in the transit area.[8]

Asylum seekers are transported by the Border Police to IGI-DAI. If groups of asylum seekers are apprehended, they are transported to IGI-DAI by the Border Police. According to the Director of Regional Centre Timișoara, asylum seekers apprehended at border are transported by the Border Police to IGI-DAI.

There are no time limits set in law for making an application. According to Article 36(3) of the Asylum Act, competent authorities cannot refuse to register the asylum application on the grounds that it was filed at a later stage.[9] In addition, when assessing an asylum claim, IGI-DAI cannot reject it solely on the ground that it was filed late.[10]

According to IGI-DAI, asylum applications are registered in IGI-DAI database on the same day they are received, a registration number is automatically assigned. Simultaneously with the registration of the asylum application, the person is fingerprinted, photographed and issued a temporary identity document, which is extended periodically.[11]

If an unaccompanied minor expressed his or her intention to apply for asylum, in writing or orally, before the competent authorities, he or she will be registered as an asylum seeker in a special register, and the asylum application will be filed after a legal representative is appointed.[12] The identification data stated by unaccompanied minor are recorded in the special register.[13]

If an unaccompanied child has expressed his or her intention to seek asylum, in writing or orally, before the competent authorities other than IGI-DAI, the respective authority will immediately inform IGI-DAI, which ensures the applicant’s transport to the competent Regional Centre to assess the asylum application.[14]

According to IGI-DAI, in 2022, 2,520 asylum applications were submitted with IGI-DAI, 20% of all new asylum applications.

In Rădăuţi, asylum seekers still complain about the fact that the Border Police does not use interpreters who speak their native language. According to the legal counsellor of Rădăuţi, asylum seekers who make an asylum application directly at the centre are asked if they speak English and the asylum request is written in broad terms, the interpreters are called afterwards. It was observed that the majority of asylum seekers, Syrian nationals, who made an asylum claim directly at the centre were accompanied by relatives or friends who could interpret for them. They also mentioned that when transfers arrive from Timişoara, there was no interpreter present, as they arrive during the night.

In Șomcuta Mare, the director of the centre is present when asylum seekers are transferred from Timişoara, and with the help of someone from the group who speaks English, they provide them with general information on the ROI, rights and obligations. In case of asylum applications made directly at the centre there is an interpreter present if the applicant cannot communicate with the officer in charge.

In Galaţi, the majority of asylum seekers were transferred from Timişoara. Because groups arrive late at night, the information session is held the next day by IGI-DAI staff from the integration department, logisticts and the psychologist and medical assistant along with NGO representatives. The cultural mediator or interpreter facilitates communication.

In Giurgiu when asylum applications are made directly at the centre, IGI-DAI ensures the availability of an interpreter, if not phsycally present then over the phone, according to the director of the centre.  Only 38 applications were made directly at the centre in 2022. The majority of asylum seekers (1055) were transferred from Timişoara and at the transfer there is no interpreter. The security officer provides information in writing.

There were no cases where IGI-DAI refused to have the asylum application lodged.

After the asylum application is lodged, the applicant receives a “temporary asylum seeker identity document” (Document temporar de identitate solicitant de azil). This is a card containing a photograph, personal details and a registration number.[15] The format of the temporary identity document was changed in 2021, and now it is a plastic card, similar to the residence permit.

The director of Timişoara centre reported that temporary identity documents were issued only for those who remained in the centre. In 2022, 99% of asylum seekers were transferred to other centres, within a maximum of three days from their arrival in the centre.

In Galati not all transferred asylum seekers had temporary identity documents at arrival. The same was reported also in Şomcuta Mare . The director of Galati centre noted that until all elements of the asylum request were determined asylum seekers were not allowed to leave the centre, this meaning the preliminary interview and issueance of the temporary identity documents, which was done the next day after their arrival in the centre. The director of Giurgiu centre stated that the majority had no identity documents, these were made at the preliminary interview. The JRS/CNRR representative from Giurgiu further mentioned that asylum seekers are not allowed to leave the centre until they are issued an identity document, after the preliminary interview, that takes place within 2-3 days of their arrival. This was still the case in 2022. Only one or two persons from the group were allowed to go outside to buy food. Asylum seekers reported that this practice is problematic because the ones who go outside request a share of the shopping list.

In Rădăuţi the majority of those transferred from Timişoara had temporary identity documents, according to the representatives of the centre.




[1] Article 36^1(1) Asylum Act.

[2] Article 36^1(2) Asylum Act, citing Article 35 Asylum Act.

[3] Article 36^1(3) Asylum Act, citing Article 35 Asylum Act.

[4]  Article 38(5) Asylum Act.

[5] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 21 August 2018.

[6] Information provided by Border Police, 27 August 2018.

[7] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 21 August 2018.

[8] Information provided by CNRR, 7 February 2023.

[9] Article 36(3) Asylum Act.

[10] Article 13(3) Asylum Act.

[11] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 21 August 2018.

[12] Article 39(3) Asylum Act.

[13] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 21 August 2018.

[14] Article 39(4) Asylum Act.

[15]  A template can be found 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