Duration of detention


Country Report: Duration of detention Last updated: 22/05/23


The maximum detention period that a person can stay in a CIE is 60 days, after which he or she must be released.[1] The maximum detention duration for an asylum seeker who has applied for asylum from the CIE is the 4-day admissibility phase. If he or she is admitted, he or she will continue their asylum claim outside detention.

Persons issued with detention orders upon arrival are detained in police stations for a maximum period of 72 hours. Where return has not been carried out within that time limit, they have been transferred to a CIE. In its 2022 annual report, the Jesuit Migrant Service indicated that in 2021, the average duration of detention was of 28.5 days; the duration at the CIE in Las Palmas was shorter (16.41 days), as more returns have been carried out – especially to Morrocco – from the facility.[2]

The maximum duration of persons’ de facto detention and their obligation to remain in border facilities is 8 days. When this time limit is not respected, the applicant is usually admitted to territory, and will continue his or her asylum claim through the regular procedure.




[1] Article 62(2) Aliens Act.

[2] Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, ‘Informe CIE 2021.Territorio hostil. Formas diversas de hostilidad en los CIEs. Anexo de cifras’, May 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/41h2LzR.

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