Obtaining political asylum in Spain provides not only protection against persecution, but also the opportunity to obtain citizenship after 5 years of residence in the country. Russians quite often go to Spain, as here migrants are warmly treated and democratic values and freedoms are supported. The opportunity to ask for protection is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution (Article 13.4), as well as the Geneva Convention. Those who wish to receive protection in this country should be familiar with a number of norms and laws provided in official sources.
Does Spain provide political asylum for Russians now?
Considering the possibility of moving to Spain and obtaining political asylum for a Russian person, the main thing is to observe a number of conditions, namely, to provide the evidence of the existence of a real threat in the homeland and the inaction of the authorities. Persecution based on political and religious views, infringement of the rights based on national and racial grounds and some other reasons are considered as a threat, which presence allows to count on receiving protection from the Spanish authorities.
Asylum seekers in Spain need to prove the fact of regular harassment, persecution in the homeland, and failure to respect human rights. The argument for submission to the Spanish authorities can be:
- violence (psychological, physical, sexual);
- discrimination (by the police, judicial and legislative bodies);
- disproportionate punishment;
- failure to provide protection in judicial authority;
- prosecution of draft dodgers from the army, etc.
Additional protection is provided for those sentenced to death, subjected to torture, living in a war zone.
How to submit a request to get political asylum in Spain
Counting on receiving political asylum in Spain, you need to know in advance how to get the desired status. The application is submitted to one of the government agencies – the police, the customs at the border, the service for refugees, the bureau for foreign citizens, etc. At the submission of the application, the foreigner is informed on his rights, terms of consideration of the petition, a possibility of receiving consultations with UN officials and also warn about consequences of improper communication with the authorities. Surely allowances and privileges for refugees are announced.
For those who arrived in search of political asylum in Spain (including for the Russian contingent), certain terms and rules of submission of the application are provided. Requests are sent personally or by an authorized representative not later than 1 month from the date of arrival in the country. Further, you need to wait for an interview, without leaving the country. The applicant has the right to a free translator, lawyer, and communication with a UN representative, social benefits and medical assistance.
When considering an application for political asylum, Spain obliges the applicant to cooperate with the authorities in the course of the entire procedure, to provide biometric data and all information for migration services, to report on the change of places of residence and other changes.
Types of political asylum: Asilo, additional and special protection
Before getting political asylum in Spain, it is necessary to prepare thoroughly. Each foreigner (non-EU citizen) has the right to send a petition. The application is considered by OAR. If the applicant does not have citizenship, an application for recognition of a person as a stateless is submitted. The procedure is separate and is carried out regardless of the existence of the refugee status.
There are 3 main forms of protection which are possible to apply in Spain.
- Asilo is the main form requested by the refugees. Persecution in the homeland, a threat to health and life due to belonging to a particular group, belief, and also because of political and other views can be the reasons.
- Additional. The benefits of this form of protection are similar to those granted to refugees. It is provided for those who do not reach refugee status, but whose lives are in danger in the homeland.
- Humanitarian. It is provided for persons who do not meet the criteria for the two forms of protection listed above. This is a temporary status that is issued in exceptional situations (war in the homeland, etc.). As soon as the situation changes, the protection is canceled.
The procedure for obtaining a legal status
If you are going to Spain for political asylum, you need to clarify with a lawyer how to receive such status officially. The procedure provides the passing of an individual interview and consideration of needs for protection. It is necessary to prove that the arrival is not connected with the desire to improve the material and housing situation, but has become a necessary measure due to serious dangerous circumstances in the homeland.
The first step is to collect the evidence of harassment and threats in the homeland, necessarily – the confirmation of the inaction of law enforcement agencies (video, photos, statements, court extracts, medical certificates, media, etc.).
The next step is to file a petition upon arrival in Spain. As in the case of other countries, it is necessary to travel by direct flight to the country of destination, otherwise, under the Dublin regulations, the application is addressed to the authorities of the country that the applicant crossed the first on entry into the EU.
After submitting the documents, you should wait for an invitation for an interview, which is held in Oficina de Asilo y Refugio – a special refugee office. The Commission will ask about personal information and the history of threats in the applicant’s homeland.
At the end of the interview, Diligencia de Entrevista is issued – a certificate based on which you can legally remain in the country, expecting a verdict according to the petition. The state provides the opportunity to live in CETI – specialized centers for refugees in Melilla and Ceuta, and then in the CAR – the center where you can live until the moment when you can provide yourself with housing and other benefits.
Terms for consideration of the application
For Russians, political asylum in Spain can be expected after about 6 months. During this period, a refugee cannot be deported, but the staff of the ministry has the right to withdraw documents from a migrant, to oblige to live in a specified place and to detain, if necessary, for 72 hours or more. If for some reason the petition will be considered longer than six months, the applicant will be informed about it. If all documents are processed and prepared correctly, you can hope for a positive decision. The refusal usually follows in such situations:
- responsibility for the refugee is already borne by another state;
- the applicant has the opportunity to live in another country without any risk for life;
- Spain has already refused a petition earlier;
- The applicant is an EU citizen.
To reduce the risk of refusal and to get a chance to move to a developed country with democratic freedoms and a high standard of living, it is worth to enlist the support of the experienced lawyers. Specialists of the international consulting center RPI SOLUTIONS are ready to assist in the preparation of documents, interviewing and conducting related procedures. You can learn more by contacting an office abroad, a representative office in Moscow or by phone.