The asylum systems in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are complicated, involve significant amounts of administrative hurdles, and are often adversarial.
Though the standard for asylum is the more or less the same on paper, there are significant differences in the way countries apply the law, the assistance they provide to asylum seekers, and the rates at which different countries recognize asylum seekers from respective countries of asylum.
What all this means is that asylum seekers fleeing the same country for the same reasons can have vastly different experiences depending on where they go, how they get there, and the extent to which they can prove their case. These are the essential things for you to consider, and this material is organized around these issues.
Where are you going to seek asylum?
- Consider alternatives to applying for asylum in rich countries.
- Choose your preferred country of asylum on the basis of facts, not on rumors or prejudices.
- Chose your country of asylum also according to the recognition rates and the return policy for your country of origin.
How are you going to get there?
- You have no free choice of your asylum country within Europe. Be aware of the (a) safe third country rule and (b) the European responsibility sharing scheme of Dublin II.
- Try to enter the country legally, with a visa if one is required.
- Be aware that illegal journey to asylum country carries risks, including death.
- Women and minors: be aware of the risk of being sexually aggressed or “sold” as prostitutes though you paid for the trafficker.
What can you do to help prove your case?
- Try to (a) find information on the asylum procedure, (b) seek help from organisation for refugees and (c) contact a lawyer recommended by them.
- During the whole procedure, give a true, complete, detailed, and consistent picture of the reasons for your application, both in writing and orally!
- Collect and bring documents supporting your asylum claim.