Ofpra is a public administrative establishment created by the law of July 25, 1952. In charge of the application of the Geneva Convention of July 28, 1951 relating to the status of refugees, then of the New York Convention of 1954, it rules independently on asylum and statelessness requests submitted to it.
It was initially placed under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 2007. This public establishment then comprised two entities: an administrative entity, Ofpra, and a judicial entity, the Refugee Appeals Commission (CRR). In 2009, the Refugee Appeals Commission, renamed the National Asylum Law Court (CNDA), was attached to the Council of State.
Since 2010, Ofpra has been placed under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior. This is a financial and administrative supervision, which in no way affects the functional independence of Ofpra. Article 7 of Law 2015-925 of July 29, 2015 (amending Article L. 721-2 of Ceseda) indeed provides that "The office carries out with complete impartiality [its] missions (...) and does not receive, in their accomplishment, any instruction ". This supervision is accompanied by a contract of objectives and performance (COP).
Ofpra performs three essential missions:
- A mission to examine applications for international protection on the basis of the Geneva conventions of July 28, 1951 and New York of September 28, 1954 and the Ceseda.
- A legal and administrative protection mission for statutory refugees, statutory stateless persons and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection.
- An advisory mission within the framework of the asylum procedure at the border. He gives an opinion to the Minister of the Interior on the manifestly founded character or not of a request for authorization to enter French territory for asylum purposes.
The head office of Ofpra is located in Fontenay-sous-Bois (94) on the basis of a centralized organization with the exception of an office in Guyana which is responsible for processing the asylum request filed in the French departments in America.
The public establishment has more than 1.000 agents since September 2020 (compared to 450 in 2012).
A mission to examine applications for international protection
In December 2017, Mr Pierre-Nicolas Durand made a documentary (52') on Ofpra's work. If you want to watch the movie you can purchase it or get in touch with Ekla production.