What about Dublin in Spain?

Last update : November 2023

According to the Dublin agreement, people have to apply for asylum in the country where they first entered Europe.

What is the Dublin agreement and how does it work?

If you travel from Spain to another EU country and apply for asylum there, you will probably be threatened with deportation to Spain under the Dublin agreement. Being threatened with a Dublin deportation doesn’t have to mean that you will definitely be deported. There are a lot of people who have resisted the threat of deportation and who have, in the end, applied for asylum in their chosen country. It’s important to look for support networks that will help you to resist the Dublin agreement. You can find many groups and contacts from many countries at this website.

Remember: You are excluded from a Dublin deportation if you can prove:

  • be a minor.
  • have close family (spouse, parents or minor children) in the country where you are.
  • have serious health problems and have no treatment available in the country of deportation destination.

According to the Dublin agreement, you cannot be deported back to Spain if you haven’t applied for asylum for 12 months since you have arrived in Spain, because then Spain is not responsible for your application.

Attention: Sometimes the authorities will take your fingerprints without asking to register you as asylum seeker. Even if you don’t claim asylum this still means that Spain is responsible for your asylum application. If you claim asylum in another country they will likely try to deport you to Spain.

You have been deported to Spain by the Dublin agreement. What can you do?

If you are deported back to Spain against your will, you have the option to go back to the european country of your choice by yourself. If you decide to stay in Spain, it is difficult to get back into the Spanish support system for asylum seekers once you have left it. You should consult a lawyer who can inform you of the current state of your asylum procedure. With their help you can fight to get back into the social system. If you never applied for asylum, the first time you were in Spain, you can apply for asylum to get a legal status (⇒cap. Asylum).

If your application is denied you can appeal within 30 days against this decision or apply for asylum again with the help of your lawyer.

Remember: If after your return to Spain you can’t get back in to the government support system you can look for contacts of organizations that support you in the place where you are (⇒cap.Contacts).

Attention: Don’t forget your civil registration- (⇒cap. Basics for life in Spain/ Empadronamiento)-and make sure that you are still registered because it will help you with other forms of legalization.

You arrived from another European country and you want to claim asylum in Spain

You can apply for asylum. According to the European law, known as the Dublin system, you have to apply for asylum in the country where you entered the EU. Actually, this law is not often applied in Spain.

If you have arrived in Spain from another EU country, you do not automatically enter to the Spanish support system for asylum seekers what means that you are hosted by an NGO (⇒ch. Glossary). But you can apply for asylum and demand to get access to the support system. We recommend you to do so with the help of a solidarity organisation or a lawyer. You can also contact solidarity organisations in your area to find out about other options (⇒ch. Contacts). If you find yourself in Spain without papers (see ⇒ Living undocumented). You can always try to get residency via Arraigo after a certain time you lived in Spain (⇒ Regularisation/Arraigo).

Attention: Having a residence permit in another EU country protects you from being deported to your country of origin, but it does NOT automatically give you a residence permit in Spain. For that you need a European residence permit (⇒ch. Glossary).