Duration of detention


Country Report: Duration of detention Last updated: 30/11/20


JRS Romania Visit Website


Specially designed closed spaces


According to Article 19^7(1) of the Asylum Act, detention in specially designed closed spaces is ordered for a period of 30 days. IGI may request the territorially competent Court of Appeal to prolong detention for an additional 30-day period.[1] Accordingly, the total period of detention in those spaces may never exceed 60 days.[2]


IGI-DAI has to carry out the examination of the applicant’s identity and establishment of the elements of the asylum claim expeditiously in order to maintain the measure of detention as short as possible. Delays due to the administrative procedures that cannot be imputed to the applicant cannot justify a continuation of detention, except for situations where it is necessary to continue to apply the measure for reasons of national security, without exceeding the 60-day limit.[3]


Detention (“public custody”) centres


Detention in public custody centres is also ordered for an initial period of 30 days[4] and it may not exceed 6 months.[5] However, this period may be extended exceptionally for an additional period no longer than 12 months, in cases where IGI-DAI is unable to transfer the asylum seeker to the responsible Member State due to delays in obtaining the necessary documentation for the transfer to the respective Member State.[6] Therefore, detention in public custody can last up to 18 months.


Specifically, as regards detention in the Dublin procedure, the Asylum Act recalls that detention ceases if the time limit of six weeks set out in Article 28(3) of the Dublin Regulation is reached.[7]


When asylum seekers lodge an application in detention centres and are assessed under the accelerated procedure, they spend the whole asylum procedure in detention.


The duration of detention in Arad in 2019 was as follows:


Duration of detention – Public Custody Centre Arad: in the first semester of 2019


Number of persons

> 5 days


> 10 days


> 20 days


> 30 days


> 6 months


> 1 year


< 1 year



Source: IGI, Director of Arad Public Custody Centre, 21October 2019.


According to the JRS representative, there was an Afghan national who was detained for 18 months in Arad. Subsequently, he was granted tolerated status and released. According to the director of Arad, there were no persons detained for more than 18 months.


In Otopeni, according to the JRS representative, there were 2 Indian, 1 Iranian and 1 Iraqi nationals who were detained for 18 months. 1 Ethiopian and 1 Bengali were detained for 13 months and another Bengali was detained for 11 months.


According to IGI-DAI, in 2019, the average duration of detention was 1-5 months.[8]


Detention in border and transit zones


Detention upon apprehension cannot exceed 24 hours under the Romanian Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code.[9] According to JRS, in 2019 persons apprehended were not held for more than 24 hours in Border Police custody, as there were no cases of large groups of new arrivals.











[1]          Article 19^7(3) Asylum Act.

[2]          Article 19^7(5) Asylum Act.

[3]          Article 19^7(6) Asylum Act.

[4]          Article 19^14(1) Asylum Act.

[5]          Article 19^14(6) Asylum Act.

[6]          Article 19^14(7) Asylum Act.

[7]          Article 19^14(10) Asylum Act.

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

[9]      Article 23 Romanian Constitution; Article 209 Criminal Procedure Code.


Table of contents

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