Cessation and review of protection status


Country Report: Cessation and review of protection status Last updated: 10/07/24


The Asylum Act and Regulation foresee the cessation of refugee status in the following cases:[1]

  1. When the refugee expressly so requests;
  2. When the refugee has obtained Spanish nationality;
  3. When the refugee avails, again, voluntarily, to the protection of the country of nationality;
  4. When the refugee has voluntarily established him or herself in another country, producing a transfer of responsibility;
  5. When, after a fundamental change of circumstances in the given country, it is considered that have disappeared the causes that justified the recognition of its nationals, or of a determined social group, as refugees, the Inter-Ministerial Commission of Asylum and Refuge (CIAR) after consulting UNHCR, may agree the cessation of the status.

This provision shall be communicated at the time of renewal of the residence permit. The refugee will be given a deadline to formulate allegations that they deem appropriate. Under the latter situation, continuation of residence permit under Aliens Act will be allowed when the person concerned alleges reasonable justification to stay in Spain.

Similar grounds are foreseen for the cessation of subsidiary protection.[2]

Cessation is not applied to any specific group in practice. In the case of changes in the circumstances of their countries of origin, refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection can ask for a long‐residence permit to remain in Spain, which is granted without many problems in practice.

In 2021, the OAR adopted cessation decision in 3 cases, one regarding a refugee status and two related to subsidiary protection cases.[3] In 2022, the OAR took cessation decisions in 51 cases, 38 related to refugee status and 13 regarding subsidiary protection. [4]

Procedure for cessation

The process for cessation foreseen is the same for the withdrawal of the protection status, and it is ruled in Article 45 of the Asylum Act. The initiative is taken in both cases by the OAR.[5] The beneficiary will be informed in writing of the start of the process and its motivation and they will be heard for their submissions on the case. UNHCR provides the necessary information for the OAR to take the decision. Information is under no circumstance provided by the persecuting authorities, nor would the process put the beneficiary in danger in any way.[6] Finally, the OAR’s decision is submitted to the CIAR, which is responsible for taking the final decision concerning withdrawal or cessation.[7]

The decision will have to be notified to the beneficiary in a time limit of 6 months since the start of the procedure.[8] When this time limit is not respected, the process procedures no effects on the beneficiary’s protection status. If a decision is taken, the beneficiary can lodge an initial administrative appeal face to the Ministry of Interior or directly lodge a judicial appeal against the notified decision.[9]




[1] Article 42 Asylum Act; Article 37 Asylum Regulation.

[2] Article 43 Asylum Act.

[3] Ministerio del Interior, Subsecretaría del Interior – Dirección General de Política Interior, ‘Avance de datos de protección internacional, aplicación del Reglamento de Dublín y reconocimiento del estatuto de apátrida. Datos provisionales acumulados entre el 1 de enero y el 31 de diciembre de 2021’, 2022, available in Spanish at: https://bit.ly/3I8rDzP.

[4] Ministerio del Interior, ‘Asilo en cifras 2022’, November 2023, available at: https://tinyurl.com/4xkffyhd.

[5] Article 45(1) Asylum Act.

[6] Article 45(2) Asylum Act.

[7] Article 45(4) Asylum Act.

[8] Article 45(7) Asylum Act.

[9] Article 45(8) Asylum Act.

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