India: Information on the circumstances under which an immigration official in France could deny an Indian citizen the opportunity to make a refugee claim and return him to India the same day
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 June 1994|
|Citation / Document Symbol||IND17548.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, India: Information on the circumstances under which an immigration official in France could deny an Indian citizen the opportunity to make a refugee claim and return him to India the same day, 1 June 1994, IND17548.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad135c.html [accessed 18 May 2013]|
Although this response refers to sections of the French legislation and regulations regarding access to French territory, it does not purport to be an interpretation or an official translation of the information contained in those sections.
According to a representative of Documentation-Réfugiés in Paris (13 June 1994), procedures pertaining to the validation of refugee claims come under Law No. 92-625 of 6 July 1992, which is reproduced in the attached 30 June-9 July 1994 issue of Documentation-Réfugiés. This law modifies Ordinance No. 45-2658 of 2 November 1945 on foreigners' access to French territory, an updated version of which is reproduced in the attached 4-17 January 1994 issue of Documentation-Réfugiés. The representative also referred to regulations from the above-mentioned legislation. These regulations are reproduced in the attached 17-26 November 1992 and 1-14 March 1994 issues of Documentation-Réfugiés.
According to the representative of Documentation-Réfugiés and the Association nationale d'assistance aux frontières pour les étrangers (National Assistance to Foreigners at the Borders, ANAFE), asylum-seekers arriving on French territory will be held at the point of entry for up to 20 days pending a decision on the validity or receivability of their claim (13 June 1994; Documentation-Réfugiés 8-19 Aug. 1994, 14). This period includes a 48-hour waiting period renewable only once (4 days) which is authorized by border control (Art. 35, sec. II of the legislation) and a 8 days waiting period renewable only once (16 days) which is authorized by a high court (tribunal de grande instance) (art. 35, sec. III of the legislation).
The following information was extracted from section 2(b) of the attached regulations pertaining to the above-mentioned 6 July 1992 Law No. 92-625, which sets up waiting zones at points of entry (ports and airports) (Documentation-Réfugiés 17-26 Nov. 1992, 11-14). The procedure for establishing the validity of a claim is as follows: a police official interviews the claimant, receives the asylum claim, collects information on the itinerary and country of origin of the claimant, and gathers the claimant's travel documents. An "expert" on asylum claims acting on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs interviews the claimant and examines his file (The source does not give any definition of the word "expert"). A recommendation on the validity of the claim is made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Minister of the Interior and Public Security. The Minister of the Interior will take a decision on the validity of the claim in accordance with article 12 of Decree No. 82-442 of 27 May 1992.
According to ANAFE, the procedure in force is part of the above-mentioned Decree No. 82-442 of 27 May 1992, which states that only the Minister of the Interior can deny entry to refugees applying for asylum at the border (Documentation-Réfugiés 9-18 Aug. 1992, p. 13). According to ANAFE, the actual application of the procedure is as follows. The Police de l'air et des frontières (Air and Border Police) issues a first statement, which is sent to the Ministry of the Interior (ibid.). An agent from the Demandes d'asile à la frontière (Asylum requests at the Border, DAF), which comes under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, interviews the asylum claimant and issues a recommendation to his superiors (ibid.). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues its recommendation, which is sent to the Ministry of the Interior for a decision (ibid.). If the decision is positive, the asylum-seeker is provided with a "sauf-conduit" that will give him access to French territory and will enable him to apply for refugee status (ibid.). If the decision is negative, he will be denied entry to French territory (ibid.). Information available to the DIRB does not indicate whether this whole process can be completed within the day of the claimant's arrival.
According to Article 31 (I) of Ordinance No. 45-2658 of 2 November 1945 on foreigners' access to French territory, as amended by Law No. 93-1417 of 30 December 1993, admission cannot be denied at the border on the grounds that the claimant is not carrying travel documents or visas (Documentation-Réfugiés 4-17 Jan. 1994, 27). However, Article 31 (I) of the above-mentioned ordinance also stipulates that, subject to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees, a refugee claimant can only be denied access to French territory if by virtue of the 15 June 1990 Dublin Convention refugee determination in this particular case is the responsibility of another state, if the refugee claimant can be admitted to a safe country that will not turn him back at the border (refoulement), if the claimant constitutes a threat to public order, if the claim is fraudulent, or if the claimant is abusing procedures with the intent to delay his departure (ibid.).
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Documentation-Réfugiés [Paris]. 4-17 January 1994. No. 233. "Annexe II."
. 13 June 1994. Telephone interview with representative.
. 9-18 August 1992. No. 192. "Annexe II."
. 17-26 November 1992. No. 202. "Annexe I."
Documentation-Réfugiés [Paris]. 1-14 March 1994. No. 237. "Annexe I," pp. 19-30.
. 4-17 January 1994. No. 233. "Annexe II," pp. 19-30.
. 17-26 November 1992. No. 202. "Annexe I," pp. 14-15.
. 17-26 November 1992. No. 202. "Annexe III," pp. 11-14.
. 9-18 August 1992. No. 192. "Annexe II," pp. 13-15.
. 30 June-9 July 1992. No. 188. "Annexe I," pp. 14-15.