Persons held within the CETI in Ceuta and Melilla are not free to move outside the two cities, also due to their geographical location. In order to be transferred to the peninsula applicants and migrants have to wait for the permission of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, which manages the centres (see Freedom of Movement).
There is a persisting general lack of transparency concerning the criteria followed by the CETI for transferring people to the Spanish peninsula, which has been repeatedly criticised by human rights organisations. In particular, organisations denounce discriminatory treatment based on countries of origin for the issuance of permits to allow transfer to the peninsula. Transfers to the mainland from Ceuta are provided to nationals of Sub-Saharan countries who do not apply for asylum, whereas asylum seekers and nationals of countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka may wait for more than a year in the enclave. In Melilla, on the other hand, nationals of Sub-Saharan countries and Syria benefit from transfers to the mainland but Moroccans, Algerians and Tunisians do not.
In 2018, the Ombudsman reiterated a recommendation to Spanish authorities concerning the need to guarantee transfers to the peninsula to asylum seekers who are hosted in the CETI.