Every year Ofpra organises fact-finding missions in asylum seekers' countries of origin to collect information on the security situation, political situation, ethnic or religious minorities or gender-related problems for example. Backed by European funding, these missions involve not only Ofpra officials but also CNDA officials or European counterparts. The mission reports are published on Ofpra's website
The foreign national who has been qualified a refugee or has obtained the benefit of subsidiary protection may ask to avail of his/her right, on the grounds of family reunification, to be joined by certain members of his/her family.
This procedure particularly concerns his/her spouse or partner aged 18 years or older, where the civil marriage or partnership (stable and continuous) predates the submission of his/her asylum application, as well as any of the couple's unmarried children, aged 19 years or under. Family reunification is not subject to conditions associated with already having legally resided in the country for a certain length of time, income or housing.
The family members concerned must apply for their visa directly with the French embassy in their country of residence.
The procedure is also open to beneficiaries of stateless person status.
Where the marriage postdates the submission of the asylum application, the term used in France is "regroupement familial", and this comes under the remit of the French Office for Immigration and Integration/OFII. In this case, the procedure is subject to conditions associated with already having legally resided in the country for a certain length of time, income or housing.
The principle of family unity allows the protection granted to a refugee to be extended to his/her close relatives to allow him/her to lead a normal family life and afford him/her full protection. That said, the principle of family unity may only apply to the spouse (married, or unmarried partner), underage children and individuals under guardianship. It does not apply, therefore, to the refugee's parents or grandparents for example, or to collateral relatives, and may not be claimed for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection.
See "Female Genital Mutilation"
Flora is the name of the speciality portal which Ofpra officials have been able to access since 2012. Managed by the Information, Documentation and Research Division (Division de l'Information de la Documentation et des Recherches/DIDR), this was enhanced in 2013 with all of the information necessary for examining international protection applications and for the protection of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. This speciality portal thus contains all the relevant information on the situation of asylum seekers' country of origin as well as the analyses and documentation of Ofpra's Legal, European and International Affairs Division (Division des Affaires Juridiques, Européennes et Internationales/DAJEI).
In French legislation, one of the elements defining marriage is the free consent of both spouses. In cases of forced marriage, the consent of one of the spouses is not free, and was only given under psychological pressure or following physical violence.
This is a collegiate formation which, within the National Asylum Court (CNDA), is responsible for ruling on the appeals lodged against Ofpra decisions. One judge (who presides over the formation of the Court) and two assessors, who are qualified persons: one UNHCR representative and one person appointed by the Vice-President of the Conseil d'Etat.