Applying for Asylum

Would you like to apply for asylum in France? Here is a summary of the procedure.

Step 1 : the SPADA

  • What is the SPADA?
    SPADA stands for “Structure de Premier Accueil des Demandeurs d’Asile” (Initial Reception Establishment for Asylum Seekers). This is an association that you must visit, so that it can help you schedule your appointment at the dedicated asylum application service center ( GUDA ).
  • Do you live in the Ile-de-France region?
    ontact Ofii “Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration” (French Office of Immigration and Integration) at 01 42 500 900 in order to get an appointment with a SPADA.
  • Do you live outside the Ile-de-France region?
    Go directly to the SPADA in the department in which you reside.
  • What takes place during the SPADA appointment?
    The SPADA will provide you with an asylum application registration form as well as a summons for the appointment with the dedicated asylum application service center, which will take place in 3 days (10 days during busy periods).


Step 2 : the GUDA

What is the GUDA ? GUDA stands for “Guichet Unique de Demande d’Asile” (Dedicated Asylum Application Service Center). Located on the prefecture’s premises, the GUDA is made up of prefecture and Ofii agents.

Where are GUDAs located ? There are 34 GUDAs in mainland France (see map below).

What happens at the GUDA appointment ? You will meet with a prefecture agent (1) followed by an Ofii agent (2) in order to register your asylum application.

1. Interview with the prefecture agent involves :

validating the personal information communicated to the GUDA by the SPADA (your first and last names, date and place of birth, etc.) ;

getting your fingerprints taken ;

  • getting your fingerprints taken ; 
  • an individual interview in order to retrace your journey from your country of origin ;
  • selecting the language in which you would like the rest of the procedure to be conducted, including during your Ofpra interview (languages available at Ofpra);
  • notifying you of the nature of the procedure, which will be applicable to your asylum request: normal procedure (NP) or accelerated procedure (AP) ;
  • providing you with an asylum application certificate valid 6 (if AP) or 10 months (if NP) and renewable throughout the procedure.

Attention: this certificate is only provided to you if your application does not fall under the framework of the “Dublin” procedure, i.e. if France is truly responsible for your asylum application.

  • providing you with an asylum application form, to be filled out, signed and sent to Ofpra within 21 days


2. The interview with the Ofii agent involves :

  • The evaluation of your personal situation and, specifically, your vulnerability ;
  • Accessing material reception conditions ;
  • Looking for a housing establishment ;
  • Accessing your rights to the asylum seeker allowance (ADA).

Step 3 : Ofpra

  • What is Ofpra ?
    Ofpra stands for “Office française de protection des réfugiés et apatrides” (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons). Once your application is registered with the GUDA , you will need to submit it to Ofpra.
  • How to submit an asylum application to Ofpra ?
    You must send in the asylum application, filled out and signed, within 21 days following the issue date of your asylum application certificate. The application must include:
    • The asylum application form that was given to you at the GUDA (filled out and signed) ;
    • 2 photographs ;
    • the copy of your asylum application certificate or your valid residence permit ;
    • an account in French of the reasons for your asylum application ;
    • your travel documents ;
    • if your application was assigned to the accelerated procedure , the copy of the informational notice that was given to you.
  • The application must be sent to the following address :

201 rue Carnot
94 136 Fontenay-sous-Bois Cedex

  • If your application is complete :
    You will receive an introductory letter, most often accompanied with the summons to the interview.
    An email and/or text message confirming the submission of the asylum application to Ofpra and that the introductory letter has also been sent.
    If your procedure is paperless, your introductory letter and summons will not be sent in the mail, but will be accessible in your Ofpra secure personal digital account.
  • If your application is not complete :
    You will receive a letter requesting additional information, by mail or in your Ofpra secure personal digital account, if applicable.
    You will then have an additional 8 days to complete your application.
    • Attention: if you exceed this timeframe, a decision to end the examination of your asylum application will be made. You will then have 9 months to request for your asylum application to be reopened.


Once these steps have been accomplished, your asylum application is officially submitted. This will then be examined by Ofpra.

Mis à jour le 22 September 2023