First country of asylum


Country Report: First country of asylum Last updated: 31/05/23


Felicia Nica

Article 95 of the Asylum Act provides that if the applicant has previously crossed a third country which has granted him or her protection, this country is considered a first country of asylum on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Life and freedom are not threatened for reasons of race, religion, citizenship, membership of a particular social group or political opinion;
  • There is no serious risk of harm;
  • The principle of non-refoulement in accordance with the Refugee Convention is respected;
  • The prohibition of expulsion to a State where the applicant is at risk of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is respected;
  • The protection granted subsists.

The law only refers to “protection”, without specifying whether the applicant must be granted refugee status or enjoy sufficient protection as per Article 35 of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

The criteria listed under Article 38(1) of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive with regard to “safe third country” also apply to the concept of first country of asylum”.

In 2019, 3 applications (2 coming from Germany and 1 from the Netherlands) were dismissed on the basis of the first country of asylum concept.[1]

In 2022, no applications were dismissed on the basis of the first country of asylum concept.[2]




[1] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 20 February 2020.

[2] Information provided by IGI-DAI, 22 February 2023.

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